Hola, I have made it to Sevilla (2 days ago). The past two days have been insane orientation. There are ninety kids on the program, maybe 10 boys. Most people are nice, it is just overwhelming meeting that many people, I remember maybe 5 peoples' names. There are four girls here from Elon, all of whom I have seen a little bit. On Monday, I arrived early on, and we didn't have to be here until 5, so I went and got a cell phone and walked down the street our hotel was on. We had lunch, where I met my orientation leader. Fernando, who is awesome, loves having a group of ten girls. That night, we had dinner and then a few of us walked down the street to where a bridge crosses the large river running through Sevilla. It was beautiful, and really really hot. I am told it will be 100 degrees through September, and most places do not have air conditioning. It ended up that twenty of us sat outside this bar and had a few drinks. We were token Americans, but I think it was the most business they had made all week.
Yesterday morning was rough. We had to be at breakfast at 8 AM, and most of us are still jet lagged. After breakfast we walked 30 minutes over to the University of Sevilla. We passed by the Cathedral which is amazing, and walked through it quickly. The University is in this old Arab architectural building. It feels like you are walking through a museum. We had meetings on classes, housing, etc. We went to lunch with our orientation group. We were given 10 Euros for each of us, but we had Fernando order whatever was typical. So we all ate paella, tortilla española, croquetas, prosciutto (which I had never had before) and the classic Sevilla beer, Cruz Campo. They all asked us why we didn't eat it, if we didn't like it, but we were full after the first course. Following the tapas we had to go CIEE study center where we will be taking most of our classes. It was a good 45-minute walk, to where which we had interviews. Mine was going great until he asked me about what I thought about Obama's new reforms, and what I think about the US government and education system. Dinner followed: pasta saladà pasta with a glob of mayonnaise, and chicken with a huge bone running through it. Enough said. To finish off the crazy day, we went to a Flamenco Show, which was amazing. The passion the people had for the singing and dancing was unreal, which I know sounds corny, but it's true.
Today has begun to be interesting. We had breakfast once again at 8 AM. Then we had to be in the lobby to be picked up by our "familias" at 9:45. I have a señora with a boyfriend, which is very unusual compared to everyone else. I was picturing a younger woman, since most people here marry once and if they divorce, stay single. Around 10:30, my señora shows up, casually 45 minutes late, and turns out to be probably 50-60. She says hi, and we are on our way. She sees that I am clearly struggling to get a huge suitcase, a duffel bag, a backpack and a purse up the stairs, but didn't take the subtle hint to help. Her boyfriend helped me put my bags in the car, and we were on our way. He is extremely talkative and friendly. We got to their apartment, which is really nice, and I put my things away. I am their 25th student, so I hope it's a good thing they keep getting more.
It is time to eat and then my new favorite part of the day, siesta! Tonight, we have dinner with our group and then we are going out for real. Mother, hope you are happy with my detailed entry. Hasta pronto!