(Sorry, I still haven't figured out how to format this)
Hola from Sevilla! I arrived here sometime Monday afternoon. Traveling was relatively easy. I sat next to this lovely Israeli woman on the plane from Chicago to Madrid, so that helped me from getting bored on the flight. There were a ton of kids on the program on both of my flights, so that was really comforting.
The hotel we stayed at for the first few days was much nicer than I had anticipated. I also lucked out with a great roommate. We really didn't do too much on Monday since everyone was so tired. Let's just say it was an early night! On Tuesday we went to the Universidad de Sevilla for some information sessions on the program. The university (and Sevilla in general) is absolutely gorgeous. I wasn't quite sure to expect, but it still has a very old world feeling. There's not a lot of new construction. In the centro all of the streets are tiny! It's very hard to navigate this city. Forget a street grid system, they're all twisty and curvy. Sometimes it's even hard to tell if it's a sidewalk or a street--however, the cars honking will give you an automatic heads up. Tuesday night we went to a flamenco show and then to tapas. The flamenco show wasn't quite what I was expecting. It was mostly singing with only a little dancing. I'd definitely still like to go to another show, though.
Yesterday we moved into our homestays. I have a señora and two brothers, José and Alvaro. They're 22 and 16, respectively. They all seem really nice and I am looking forward to getting to know them better. I am hoping they will show me around town. José was telling me that he has his final exams next week, so maybe we can go out after that. Last night the group went to a discoteca. It seemed like a fun place, but I just wasn't in the mood to go out. I also had my shopping bag from earlier in the day with me...dancing with a hairdryer isn't exactly easy...let's just leave it at that.
I just discovered that we have internet in the house--I am so excited. This morning we went to a town that's about 20 minutes away called Itálica. It's ancient roman ruins. It was pretty interesting, however the cold weather and rain was slightly distracting. I didn't bring an umbrella because I had no way of checking the weather prior to leaving, but I obviously didn't melt. When we returned from Itálica a bunch of us walked around and did a little shopping. I purchased a Universidad de Sevilla sweatshirt with the hope of blending in a little more. After that we went to a coffee shop across the street from the Catédral. It was very enjoyable. I look forward to doing that on a regular basis.
(Photos: The top photo is from the ruins. The Universidad is the building on the left in the picture below. To the right of that is the giralda. The one below that has orange trees! They're all over. The last photo was the view from the hotel balcony.)