Final Reflections

Hello all! My program in Granada wrapped up about 10 days ago after a flurry of finals, projects, and essays. Getting through finals is usually cause for unbridled jubilation and intense relief, but this time it was awfully bittersweet. The goodbyes were especially difficult; normally, end-of-semester goodbyes are eased by the knowledge that a future reunion will occur sooner or later. But study abroad goodbyes have something of an air of finality to them. It will likely be quite a while before I’m able to make it back to Granada to visit various special people there, including my amazing host family. Saying goodbye to the legendary Josefina (whose warmth, kindness, generosity, and excellent cooking skills greatly enhanced my semester) was enormously difficult. She went above and beyond the call of duty in making us feel like a part of her family and 2:30 pm Spanish lunches at La Casita Amarilla (the nickname for her house) were always major highlights of each day in Granada.

Bidding farewell to my American friends from the program was also quite tough, particularly since they all attend colleges far from my own. We had all become very close friends over the course of the program and I’ll sorely miss our regular tapas dinners, shawarma feasts, and occasional trips to other European cities. These friendships made my time abroad thoroughly enjoyable and incredibly special; it’s really a great thing when you find people who allow you to be completely honest and open and even happen to appreciate your unique sense of humor. After saying an emotional final goodbye to my American friends, I made my way back to the hotel I was staying at with my family; I may have gotten a tad emotional as I thought back on a wonderful semester with exceptional people. I was glad that it was past midnight and pouring rain because my eyes had gotten a little bit damp.

A picture of 4 friendly acquaintances at a farewell reception for fall 2019 IES Granda participants. These folks, and the lovely city in the background, will be missed.

One of the highlights of my time in Spain was a day trip we took to Priego de Córdoba for an olive oil tasting. The olive tree behind our group is called “el abuelo” – it is roughly 2000 years old.

A few familial relations visited me in Granada after my program ended. This is a picture of us in one of the Nasrid palaces within the Alhambra complex. Unfortunately, Mother Nature decided to unload a torrential deluge of rain on this particular day so we got a healthy drenching. It was still a great visit, though!

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