Every day, twice a day, I carefully make my way home over uneven, crooked, cobblestone streets lined with Medieval stone buildings. I am in a walled city so rich in history that it leaks from the cracks the lizards escape into. Trujillo, and Spain itself, has structures and remnants from historic periods a whole lot older than most in the United States. And though I love the States, there is something very compelling about walking through a city that has been known since Prehistoric times — literally. This is one of the reasons I love Europe. When we qualify something as “old” in the United States, you think about an entirely different century than you do in Europe. For some of us, something “old” in the United States is really only dated back to when the Europeans first settled, which didn’t happen until well into the 15th century. Saying something is “old” in Europe can mean something dating back to the 1st century! This concept of time boggles my mind. On one walk through the Antigua part of Trujillo, we found a stone thought to be a Roman ruin from the 1st century. They have reused it and put it in the wall of a building.
In the three weeks we have lived in Trujillo, we have watched running with the bulls, eaten paella, hiked through the countryside, stargazed from the top of the castle and eaten olives in the plaza. All very Spanish things! Studying and living in a different culture has been incredible, to say the least. Living with a host family is both more interesting and more fun than living with other students. Not only does your Spanish improve immensely, but you are welcomed into a family with open arms. You are considered another child, and they love you just as they love their own. All doubts about studying abroad were immediately washed away as soon as I stepped into the welcoming embrace of my familia. Deciding to study abroad was the best decision I could have made!
I am excited to continue this incredible adventure!