Livin’ la vida León
With the first week of classes out-of-the-way, Leon has slowly wriggled its way into my heart. It was inevitable really, with such amazing food, great people, and beautiful sights at every turn. But its amazing to actually feel that ownership of a city after only being here a week. Today I actually got stopped on the street by two different people asking for directions!! But besides not getting lost, this week has been a huge transitional period of growth. In my Spanish, I find myself more comfortable speaking now than I ever was after 4 years of it in high school. Granted, half of it might be Portuguese with a Spanish accent but it gets me around and communicating! One week in an immersion setting, and all of us are more outgoing with Spanish than before which correlates perfectly with our subject material, “second language acquisition”. I’m a huge linguistics nerd, so I have just been eating this up.
In our families, they’ve gone from strangers in a new land to families to come home to. Where before I was a bit apprehensive about dinner and lunch time, because it was hard to communicate, now I look forward to talking about my day and being corrected. Families meals are such a huge thing that I’ve missed out on in college, and I’m glad I get to enjoy the benefits of them here in Spain.
In our school group, weave grown from fellow students to a hilariously tight-knit group. Opening up is easy when we all struggled through our first few Spanish classes. There’s nothing like making a fool out of yourself that makes fast friends. And when there is a whole city to explore, there is no lack of things to do together.
One week down.
These are a few of my favorite things:
1. Tapas ~ Go to a bar, order a drink, get a delicious snack to go along with it.
2. The Cathedral ~ Day or night, its sheer size is insane. In the day, the white architecture just looks pure. At night, the light casts shadows all over giving it an even bigger feel.
3. Spanish kids ~ Part of our program is helping out English summer camps where little kids are improving their English. They are so outspoken and hilarious.
4. Spanish music ~ I have no idea what they’re saying, but it’s so sensual.
5. The Rio ~ Running alongside the entire city, the river lazily gets to its destination Spanish style – SLOW. There is a great bike/walking path right next to it to get away from the city. Jogging on it is a great way to relieve the tension in my head from focusing on Spanish.
6. The old part ~ Where the city used to be, is surround by an old Spanish city wall. You can walk on it and just feel history oozing out of it.
7. Pilgrims ~ El camino del Santiago passes right through Leon. Tired and hungry pilgrims walk through the main part of the city, following the pathway of golden shells on the ground. Their tired awestruck looks always reminds me how grateful I am to be in such an incredible city.