We’re here! Michael, Matt, Chloe, Caitlyn, Zina, and Mila have arrived in Segovia, Spain. It was 5:00am in the morning Spain time, but it was 11:00pm local time in the U.S. So you can guess we all looked like the walking dead. After meeting our host families and getting settled into our new homes for the next two months, we were left to sleep much of the day because of the time change. As you can imagine it wasn't hard to completely collapse into our new beds.
Day one (after resting) posing in front of Segovia’s castle, the Alcázar!
(Photo credit: Chloe Knowles)
For the next week it was all go, go, go! Which wasn't a bad thing because we were all eager to see this new country. We traveled to a nearby reservoir to swim, visited La Granja (which means The Farm), saw the nightlife and explored the town of Segovia during the day. Orientation for our new school was not the usual Proctor way of starting the year off with a hike. Instead we visited local markets, stuffed our faces with many croissants and crepes, and learned the way to get to and from school which is a hike to some of us (Chloe and Matt).
Exemplary effort demonstrated during a “scavenger hunt” competition in Segovia’s old quarter and beyond (students begin to learn the local bus system)!
Being overwhelmed with the amount of afternoon activities offered, we all decided to choose cooking, dance, metal arts, gym, photography, yoga, and basketball. We all enjoy going to Ryan, Mikaela and baby Lucia’s house and cooking dinner while listening to music and playing card games. [This past weekend we traveled to Madrid for the first time to see the capital. [And today we leave to begin our hike on] the Camino de Santiago! Catch us next week to see who survives the Camino...dun dun duuuuuuun.
~ Chloe Knowles and Mihaela Davies
Matt participates in Jesus’ metal arts afternoon activity.
Chloe, Caitlyn and Mihaela visited the medieval walled town of Pedraza as part of their photography afternoon activity. (Photo credit: Mihaela Davies).
As we get into the large, black van, my stomach begins to flutter making it feel as though there could be a million butterflies in it. I couldn’t believe I was in Spain. Reminding myself that everything would be okay, I nervously cracked my knuckles and fiddled with my friendship bracelets. What if I don’t understand my host mom? What if she doesn’t understand me? What if I can’t find my way home? A million questions were flowing through my mind. As the drive there was getting shorter and shorter the nerves and excitement were pumping adrenaline through me. I was so excited to start my adventure in Spain; I just wanted to get started.
Lucía looks on as students make homemade chocolate cookies, a post-study hall treat.
(Photo credit: Chloe Knowles)
As we pulled into the driveway I saw all of the host moms ready to get us and bring us home. When I met my host mom, she embraced me in a giant hug with a smile as big as the cheshire cat which made me feel at home right away. My nervousness was gone in seconds. Juana is an adorable, little old lady who has been a host mom for Proctor students for more than twenty years. She is an amazing chef. Our first meal together was dinner and she made me tortilla de patata and chicken. I felt so at home with Juana. After dinner we talked for several hours before bed about our lives and what I am looking forward to in Spain. I was so nervous before the trip that I was not going to be able to understand Juana at all and not be able to communicate with her. Once I started talking to her, I knew exactly what she was saying and could respond to her with good answers. I am so glad Juana and I have formed this relationship, and I am so happy to be in Spain for the fall term this year.
~ Chloe Knowles
Posing during a visit to the Real Sitio de San Ildefonso de La Granja (or, simply La Granja) a 18th century royal summer palace and gardens 20 km outside of Segovia.
Being in Spain has made me think about my childhood. Where I grew up was close to Spain. I was raised in London, England. But before then I was adopted from Bucharest, Romania. Walking the streets of Segovia reminds me of the nostalgic smells of European city life, being able to look around and hear twenty different languages and cultures as you walk by. I feel distant from my home in the U.S., yet I am reminded of the certain things I loved about Europe and especially the cities in Europe. In the U.S. there are many cities to visit and experience, but they have not given me the sense of nostalgia that Segovia has. Living with my homestay and walking through the apartment reminds me of the smaller characteristics that European homes have: small beds, bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms. You see, in the U.S., you grow so accustomed to big everything. In Spain it is humbling to see that there is no necessity for everything to be so grand because you can live happily with less.
~ Mihaela Davies
Getting into character with our Spanish history “characters”
Sharing a giant palmera while doing homework at the school!
Posing for the camera! (in imitation of an Instagram photo posted by Caityln’s host brother and his friends).
Hasta pronto with stories from the Camino de Santiago!
~ Proctor en Segovia otoño 2017