It has been so hard to not say anything here online, but now I can finally let the cat out of the bag: my family and I are back from 7 weeks in Spain!
My husband had the opportunity of a lifetime to be the faculty member in residence for JMU’s summer semester in Salamanca, and we had the blessing of going with him. His main responsibility was to oversee 37 students who came to Spain to study at the University of Salamanca and to work alongside the Director of the program here, Sr. Jesus Jimenez. Theirs was a total immersion program in the Spanish culture for 6 weeks, and for the most part, so was ours. We stayed as a family in the University’s apartment in the city, and we learned to live the Spanish life for 1 1/2 months, us and our teenaged kiddos. We siesta-ed at 2-4, at our biggest meal at lunchtime, and had dinner anywhere between 8 and 10pm. We kept up our home, walked everywhere for everything (including the grocery stores) every day, and we logged 2-4 miles of walking EACH day we were there.
Words cannot do our experience justice, but as a blogger in a writing medium, I will give it my best shot. Over the next few weeks, I will attempt to distill our experience into a series of posts instead of just one big one, so that you can get a feel for our life in Salamanca (for almost 7 weeks of our lives), as well as our visits to several cities in Spain. The hashtag for this series will be #DeansInSpain, and I would be honored for you my readers to follow along!
In addition, for the balance of July and into the month of August, I will be sharing travel tips, insights into travel overseas, my favorite travel things…and a trip to Disneyland Paris! And of course, there will be pictures to share…plenty of them 😉
For now, let’s get the party started with some thoughts I wrote down within the first week and a half of our adventure:
The people of Salamanca are so friendly and kind..complete strangers help us communicate, talk with us, and they are patient with us.
If you just try, people will meet you halfway. One American I talked with at tapas said it so well: have the attitude that we came to visit you (in Spain, or other country). Honor them and their country by trying to speak a little of the language and learn about their culture. You will endear yourselves to many that way.
Not having a car is awesome in Salamanca. We walk at least 4 mile each day.
Be warned if you are sensitive to pollen or have full-blown allergies. It will be a bit rough at first. Drink lots of water and siesta! Not a lot of rain to wash it out of the air.
Speaking of the air…it smells wonderful. In fact the people and am the places of Salamanca are pleasantly fragrant as well. There is always a breeze blowing and I was impressed by how lovely everyone smelled! In fact, I searched out a perfume for myself because I wanted to smell good like that too lol.
Stay tuned for more of our life-changing experience!