I LOVE SPAIN! TE AMO, ESPAÑA! ILY!
I don't know how to make it any more clear that I think SPAIN IS GREAT! Yes, that deserved to be in caps, underlined, bolded, AND italicized.
After arriving to the airport in Madrid at 6:30am Spain-time (12:30am EST) on Thursday, May 12th & waiting six hours with all of the rest of my 30-person group to get picked up by the people in charge of us, we hopped on the bus & headed the two hours west to Salamanca! Unfortunately, I didn't see one thing along the ride from Madrid to Salamanca because I fell asleep on the bus before we even pulled out of the airport parking lot, but that's okay because we'll be making the trip to Madrid again in a few weekends!
Once arriving in Salamanca, we were quickly paired with our Madres (host-moms/families) and were immediately immersed into the Spanish culture. Upon arriving at our apartment - the closest to town (woohoo), my roommate and I instantly fell in love with our new home! My room (pictured below) is very nice. Definitely my favorite part is all of the natural lighting!
We were quick to eat lunch (usually served at 2pm here), unpack, and adventure out into town. Hundreds of pictures were quick to follow. Below are some of my favorites...so far!
Just as lunch is served at 2pm (at the absolute earliest), while lunch in the US is traditionally served around noon, there are some other cultural differences that I think are pretty awesome! First of all, the most important and AMAZING cultural difference is Siesta. While many locals say Siesta is a myth, it is typically between 2-5pm every day where Spaniards take a break from work and go home to eat lunch and take naps or relax. While Spaniards normally just take a break during this time to grab some food and they skip the nap part, I think this norm is great because it allows for some quality time with friends and family that Americans usually don't get. This break happens EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. So, so, sooo great. Just as lunch is served later, breakfast is around 9am, and dinner is around 9pm.
Although there are some differences, figuring out how to adapt and accept the differences as something beautiful and not odd is the best part, and once that's realized, life begins - at the end of my comfort zone.