Looking Back While Moving Forward

I’ve been home only for a little while and I don’t feel adjusted to life back in the USA. What happened in Spain seems surreal. However, my eyes have finally adjusted from the hazy symptoms I experienced in Spain. I’m not lying to you. The experience I had over there was really that fantastic that my eyes felt hazy almost all of the time. Now, my eyes are clear and I’m back into reality.

My peers seem to be adjusting better than I am. As I mentioned before, they were so eager to get home. Don’t get me wrong, I missed my family like crazy but for me, Spain was a dream. It was a break from the stress and responsibilities I have here. Also, I left people I really love over there too. I find myself, and my family has noticed, trying to re-create my lifestyle from Spain.

Thankfully, I have mastered my host Dad’s special sauce and my kids LOVE it, of course. I make coffee and leave it out all day like my host family did. I eat breakfast like they did, with toasted bread and jam. I constantly am looking in supermarkets for the peanut snacks and cookie treats for coffee that many Spanish supermarkets had. I am always on the lookout for the Spanish melon! Oh how I miss it! It just doesn’t exist here, I must face the fact at some point. It’s funny now that I think of it, when I first got to Spain I was always searching their markets for the treats I loved from the USA and now it’s completely flipped!!! I also try to walk and walk for miles everyday to keep up with all the walking I was doing before (my legs got super toned). I am trying to enjoy life much more than before. The Spanish taught me more than ever how much each day and moment is a blessing. I take pictures more of all the beauty around me here at home. I am cooking meals with fresher foods and less spices. I am really trying my best to preserve the lifestyle I was living. I’ll tell you, it’s not exactly working very well due to the fact that the USA is not Spain. Obviously, I get attached to things too quickly.

My opinion of current events hasn’t changed much. The only thing I consider more is what my host mom spoke about. She was upset during our political discussion one day when I said I think it important to take care of everyone, never mind whether or not they are a citizen or immigrant, everyone needs help sometimes, or, always but I think human beings should help one another. She told me she understands that but when an immigrant comes to her country where she has been working hard all her life to raise her son and now put him through college, and to afford her home and feed her family (etc. etc.) and then an immigrant comes from anywhere and starts getting free handouts that she has alwatys been working for, where is the justice in that? She expressed how hard her life has been and how it isn’t right that an immigrant will get, for example, a free education when she still works very hard to pay for her son’s college. On top of the fact that she works hard everyday and doesn’t think she should have to pay (in taxes) for an immigrant to get things free. Why should she work for them? Needless to say, I still feel we should help one another always but I am more aware of those who hold her point of view. This is a frequent topic here in the states. After speaking with her, I understand better how it must feel really unfair to her that immigrants have so many benefits that even she doesn’t receive. I, however, think many immigrants come from lives that were much, much harder than hers (probably worked hard too) and many, if not most are leaving their home countries looking for a much better life. I don’t think that the immigrant is undeserving but rather, there needs to be significant reforms in the country that will address these inequalities. Not to necessarily take away from the immigrants but to allow actual citizens the same benefits, if not better. Easier said than done but this is what I retained from a political perspective.

I know I have much left to learn and I am eagerly planning a return trip already. Nothing concrete but it’s going to happen.

I had a garage sale at home today and held a lengthy conversation with Spanish speakers today, I was proud of myself and they laughed at my accent of course. Also, I was looking for milk like the milk that my host family used to buy (in a box) and went on a search to the nearest Mexican stores today. Can I just say, I wasn’t thinking about it when it happened but, when I entered into the store and the man at the front said “Buenas!” it was like music to my ears!!! I ran over to him to ask about the milk and oh the joy I had! I love to speak Spanish. I will make it a point now to go into Mexican shops or any Spanish speaking shop from now on just to hear the beautiful sound of day-to-day Spanish being spoken.

Hasta luego…

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Tessa studies Early Childhood and Childhood Education with a Concentration in Spanish. She has wanted to speak Spanish fluently and visit Spain since she was very young and considers this opportunity to study abroad in Oviedo as a dream come true!

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