Reflexión: me he enriquecido como persona

Reflection: I have been enriched as a person through studying abroad. 

My view of cultural emmersion coming to Toledo was that I would be able to experience the traditions that I learned about in Spanish class, the Paella, the Flamenco dancing, the siestas etc. The real emmerison happened when I realized that the Paella is well known in La Comunidad de Valenciana (I am not studying in the Conunidad de Valenciana, I am in Castilla-La Mancha), Flamenco dancing is most traditionally from southern Spain and not everyone has time to take a siesta due to work. 

Side note: Spain has some amazing companies from small to large like Santo Tomé and Zara to name a few. 

I definely did eat Paella, watch Flamenco dancing in Andalucía and take my fair share of siestas after comida. 

I changed through the confrontation of my preconceived perspectives being replaced by an openness to accept there are multiple ways to see the world. This process was not always easy. Many times I had to take the initiative to let go of what I thought was going on in order to enter into a completely unknown space of how others were viewing what was happening. My host family, intercambio pair, co-workers at my internship, and fellow classmates and professors at the Fund enlightened me along this journey. ¡Muchas gracias!

For example, I could know what a word literally meant, but I could be completely lost by its connotation in a sentence. Venga, a command meaning come, is often used between close friends or family before you leave in the frase Venga! Hasta luego! It simply means see you later friend, but I was confused the first few times I heard it. That is just a small example of what happened daily, the augmentation of not only my vocabulary but the increase in cultural knowledge so I leared how to use that vocabulary so it makes sense in context. I also came to the conclusion that in the future I will be able to communicate with people from other Spanish speaking countries but we may have trouble understating each other due to cultural differences. 

Hiking around Toledo allowed me to reflect and explore at the same time.   Yesterday, I finished the last long hike that I wanted to do in Toledo before the Camino. I hiked to Cobisa, a nearby city through the hills of Toledo. 

I am glad that studying abroad was much more of an adventure than I initially thought it would be. I came to Toledo nervous of what was to come, but I am leaving enriched by the friends I have met and the memories we made. 

Fue un placer conocer Toledo! Hasta luego! 

This is only the beginning of lifelong discoveries. I am off to walk the Camino! Miss you all! I will see you soon! El tiempo vuele! Time flies! 

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