I step off the bus and into the brightly-lit Plaza España. Waiting there is the group’s Señoras: the women who have so graciously agreed to host us in their homes. In turn, each Señora calls off the names of the students who will be living with her. When Señora Roldan calls off the names of my roommates and me, we eagerly walk forward to greet her. After exchanging pleasantries, Señora Roldan leads us through the streets of Cádiz.
Although we are all exhausted after two flights and a bus ride, the majesty of the city captures everyone’s attention. Señora Roldan leads us through what seems like a maze of narrow, cobbled streets lined with cafés, boutiques and gelato shops. We are all entranced by the city’s beauty.
Finally, we arrive at Señora Roldan’s apartment. It is located in an absolutely picturesque location: right next to the Gulf of Cádiz. Señora gives us a tour and we unpack our things. As soon as we have finished unpacking, it is once again time for us to go. Señora deftly leads us through the streets as we continue to gaze in wonder at the beauty of Europe’s oldest city.
We arrive at the Plaza Mina to meet up with the rest of the group for orientation. As Chris goes over the rules of the program and our itinerary for the next week, the people of Cádiz casually stroll by on this beautiful July evening. After orientation and a brief stop at the Cathedral of Cádiz, my roommates and I walk home along the ocean: mesmerized by the perfect azure water. After a delicious meal of chicken and beans from Señora Roldan, my roommates and I quickly drift off to sleep: exhausted from all the activity of our first day in Spain.
I awaken on our second day in Spain to the sound of the ocean gently brushing up against the shore. After getting dressed and eating Señora Roldan’s delicious breakfast, my roommates and I set out for school. We manage to navigate the streets ourselves and arrive on time for our first morning of classes. After taking a short placement evaluation, Aitor leads us on a tour of Cádiz. After the tour, I feel much more acquainted with the wondrous city of Cádiz and equipped to navigate its streets. After the tour, we all return home for lunch and a siesta. As I utilize a portion of my siesta to write this, I can hardly contain my excitement over what the rest of the day is to bring: a trip to the beach, gelato and another opportunity to explore the city. I know that there will be a truly unforgettable two weeks.