In the past four months, I have visited eight different art museums a total of 14 times. This includes the Prado Museum five times, the Reina Sofía twice, plus the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay and the Vienna Art History Museum. I have never had anything against museums and have always passively enjoyed looking at art. However, I’ve never enjoyed it nearly as much as I’ve learned to this year. Every time I see a new artist, I immediately ask whomever I am with to tell me everything they know about the style, era, their peers, and anything else they might know. In my four and a half months here in Spain, I have spent hours and hours learning about Spanish language, art, history, and culture. But one of the most important things that I’ve learned is something about myself: I love learning.
Throughout my year so far I have continuously heard my host family talk about Sevilla, about their family, about their home, and about their beautiful city. Luckily during these holidays I was able to go with them to Sevilla and spend Christmas and New Years with them and their extended families’.
I wanted to do this year abroad because deep down I didn’t want to do it. Or, in simpler terms, because I thought it would be hard. I’ve developed a liking, maybe from 6 years of competitive rowing, to doing things that are hard because I enjoy the feeling of satisfaction after, which can be both a good and bad thing–it gives me more self-discipline, but it can also lead to me doing things that don’t really benefit me for the wrong reason. So, when I was given the opportunity to live and work in Brazil for eight months, my first thought was, like many kids, wow, that sounds scary but my second thought was, but think about how accomplished you’ll feel when you’re done! I literally went into this year thinking about how nice the feeling of coming home would be.
‘Tis the season! With the holidays fast approaching, my days at el Colegio Santa Maria la Blanca have been consisting of endless Christmas carols, or villancicos, paper snowflakes and ornaments, and of course, countless stories of cool gifts from Santa Claus and los Reyes Magos from past years and wish lists for the coming Christmas. It’s definitely been a refreshing experience spending the holiday season with such young kids. During the past three months working as an (almost) first grade teacher, I’ve been having the time of my life. Sure, I have to deal with the chaos of crying kids mumbling in Spanish or the frenzy of a mob of little girls begging to braid my hair, but all the perks that come with being a first grade teacher have made it all worth it.
1+4 fellows in Brazil recently participated in Training Seminar I – a week of training and reflection as a group, away from their work placements and host families. Di shares her experiences and photos from the week in the following video!