Trujillo, Spain by Spencer Marsh

I guess you could say my study abroad in Trujillo started off with a bang. On our first day, we seemed to have arrived in the mist of a three-day long fiesta. There was partying every night until the sun rose, even kids were staying out late. I remember on the very first night, I saw two-year old’s playing together at 2 AM. If adjusting to this kind of active schedule isn’t culture shock, I don’t know what would be. I remember wondering how on earth people could party from sunset till sunrise and still function on a normal workday. But once I realized the true meaning of siesta (a two-hour break in the middle of the day), I quickly adjusted my schedule too. But my schedule changed again, just as quickly as it had before. Once the fiesta’s were over, people finally dialed back the partying from sunset until 3 AM.

            With all of this change hitting me at once, so did the language barrier. On my first day, my host-parent told me we were going to the bank, and I thought they said were going home, so I took all of my belongings out of the car. I only slowly realized my mistake when I saw el banco sign above the door. Even though, things in Spain seem completely different on the outside compared to American culture, if you truly pay attention, you’ll notice were not so different after all. While yes, our cultures have differences in language, traditions, and histories, in Spain, the only difference I’ve noticed is that Spaniards don’t live to work, they work to live. But in the end, everyone is still doing the same thing. We’re living our lives, we go to work, school, and hang out with friends and family. We go to grocery stores (which carry basically all the same foods), we go to parties, we go to the malls, and we eat out at restaurants.

            Even though I am living in a completely new environment, it’s slowly starting to feel like home.  I am starting to adjust and even find comfort in this culture. I really enjoy the siestas, the new foods, and the fairytale like country-side views.

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