Barnes ’14: Host Family Very Welcoming

Adam Barnes ’14 – Lost luggage.  A new family.  Orientation.  New Friends (mostly from the University of Virginia).  Spanish Linguistics.  Spanish Culture and Civilization.  Festivals.  Beaches.  Castles.  Soccer Game.

To say the least this past week of immersion in Spanish culture has been a shock.  When I decided to study in Spain, I never anticipated loving the culture so much.  I never anticipated enjoying the company of my new family or of my new friends as much as I do.  As of now, I don’t think I could have made a better choice.

Just to touch on a few events from the past week, I am living with a Spanish mother and brother.  Both have been very welcoming and useful in correcting my lingual mistakes.  They both embraced me as part of the family and I’m extremely thankful for that.  My brother, Lucas, and I have enjoyed each other’s company: discussing the Spanish health care system, the different dialects present in Spain, and a passion of his, sailing.  Today, I even went to a sail factory to help stitch together some sails and learn a little about the sailing culture in Europe.  Next to this communication, so far I have most enjoyed the soccer game.

The atmosphere at the Valencia-Granada match was surreal.  All of the fans were energetic to cheer and die-hard faithful toward the Valencia players.  I went with a large group from my program and some of us even joined in as best we could with the Spanish cheers.  Valencia won, 1-0, which made the event all the sweeter.  This is just a brief glimpse into what has been a world-wind of an experience and one that I hope continues to be fruitful.  Already, I’ve noticed my speaking abilities improving, my confidence rising, and my interest in the culture growing.  So I’d like to thank Wabash College, the Rudolph family, and my parents for this opportunity…it’s once-in-a-lifetime!

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