Our visit to Zamora—By David Krane
After an hour-long bus ride, we arrived in the small, walled, and incredible city of Zamora mid-afternoon, during siesta, creating a surreal almost deserted environment. In this antique Spanish city only our group paroled the streets. The consistently comfortable weather continued with the sun constantly illuminating the otherworldly catedrales (cathedrals) and the magnificent castillo (castle) that have survived over five thousand years. Tranquility filled the entire day, having absolutely no obligations except to explore. After an extemporized yet insightful tour by Sra. Fuertes, the free time allowed for a fantastically peaceful stroll in the now-awaking city. Hearing only the whistling wind atop the tallest tower of the castle, and seeing the reflection of the sun against el Rio Duero are truly singular experiences. The spectacularly beautiful city of Zamora will assuredly remain a highlight of this
Something I was very nervous about before traveling to Salamanca was my host family. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to communicate with my family because I am still learning Spanish. I ended up getting placed with the best host mom ever. She is patient with me and helps me find the words. I have learned so much from her already. Having such an awesome host family has made this trip even better than I had expected. Along with having an awesome host mom there is also other exchange students in the house. I now have friends from England, Ireland and Japan. I am so grateful for this experience and already have plans to come back and see my new family.
A Day in the House Life of Mellissa and Kaija in Salamanca
Alarm goes off for the first time. Tired Kaija tries to turn it off and after multiple attempts succeeds.
Alarm goes off again. Kaija reaches over to turn it off but can only snooze it as she did before.
Yet again, the alarm goes off. This time Mellissa swipes the screen to actually turn the alarm off.
The two check the time and Kaija gets out of bed. While she gets dressed Mellissa is still in bed until 8:55 when she makes her way to the bathroom, walking by Kaija eating chocolate cereal for breakfast (again) in the kitchen as laid out by their host mother, Maribel.
Somehow Mellissa has washed her face, brushed her teeth, gotten dressed, eaten breakfast and is ready to walk out the door while Kaija’s shoes still sit under her bed.
The two arrive at Letra Hispánica for school right on time thanks to their fast paced walking. Monday-Friday they have 2 hours of grammar in an 8 person class taught by Alazne who seems to always have energy, contrary to the class.
Listening to their stomachs and walking with heavy eyelids the two make their way to La Pausa, a small café across the street that is always poppin’. Here they buy café con leche and sometimes un pincho (a small snack).
School ended at 1:30 and ever since the two have been asleep on the couch waiting for Maribel to call them for lunch. When she does, the two are met with mountains of food, often times their host siblings and “Storage Wars” playing in the background. Maribel serves everyone, but for some reason Kaija forgets that and when she tries to serve herself she is reprimanded.
After a day out in Salamanca, either free or on a tour with the BHS group, Kaija and Mellissa again find themselves in the living room waiting for a meal. This time, they have started a movie, which then plays through dinner, an even larger meal than lunch. Even with the movie, the table is lively with discussion. The native Spanish speakers are mindful of Kaija and Mellissa, however listening to them talk, while difficult, has helped them improve immensely.
Depending on the night the two then either play with the baby of the family, Hector the dog (who is loved by all except for Kaija), or take a shower.
Back in their cozy room, the two set an alarm for 8:00 and go back to sleep.