With only three weeks left of the program, I am getting anxious to go home. But I am still finding the little things that make being here worth it. Last Friday was the DELE, the Diploma de Espanol como Lengua Extranjera, or in English, the biggest test of my Spanish career. It’s the test that determines if you are proficient in Spanish at a certain level, and it’s pass or fail- no in-between. Our entire semester was preparing us for this test, and I felt I was well prepared, although I won’t find out until February how I did. It was definitely scary, and once it was over, I felt relieved but also unmotivated. Now what? We still have finals to do, though, so I have to keep doing homework and studying and practicing. The following Sunday, to reward myself, I went to the Alpujarras, a region in Spain at the base of the Sierra Nevadas with several small mountain towns. We went to a chocolate factory, did some ham tasting of the regions hams, and explored the adorable towns. It was totally different from other parts of Spain, and the views were incredible.
Finally, Thursday was Thanksgiving. In order to not feel overwhelmingly homesick thinking about the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie we were missing out on, two friends and I went out for pizza at a quaint pizzaria, the most American we could get since one of my friends is a vegetarian.
It was really fun and it helped us remember that even though we were 5000 miles away from our friends and family back home, we were having an incredible experience in Spain. Every day I get to experience a completely different culture and way of living, I get to walk by churches and fountain shops that I would never be able to find in the United States. I get to learn about the history of Spain in my classes, a history, one could argue, that is so much richer than that of the United States because Spain is so much older. This week I even saw a flamenco concert with my entire program and host family! I have made life-long friends on this trip, I have been to incredible places, I have learned and grown so much, and I have a million memories that I can take back with me. My host family is so wonderful, which makes me very grateful because some of my friends have not been so lucky.
I cannot wait to see my friends and family back in the United States, but I will not forget or regret the times I have had in Spain as well.