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The Joys of Hiking

Tomorrow it will have been 2 months since I left the United States and landed in Spain! 2 MONTHS! I can hardly believe how fast this semester is going. Midterms are just around the corner and then after that it’s a mere 5 weeks until finals! When studying abroad for a semester, you think you have so much time, but in reality it really does zip by.

Anywhere you are – traveling, moving to a new city, at school, at home, it is important to find something that fills your heart and that makes you feel connected with your environment. For me this semester that something has been hiking. It never fails to make me feel at peace and rejuvenated. Granada’s population is more than 230,000 inhabitants, whereas my hometown, Liberty MO, has roughly 31,000. Not only is the population greater in Granada but also the city is much more condensed. You can easily see from the city by walking in 1-2 hours, but Liberty is much more spread out than that. Additionally, I live in an apartment, with my host mom and roommate, that is about the size of my main floor at home in Missouri. It gets to feeling a little crowded at times, in the streets and at my host home.

When I need some space to myself, hiking is a lifesaver. I don’t dislike the city or my apartment, but there is nothing quite like the silence, solitude, fresh air, and the openness and freedom found in the mountains. No traces of cigarette smoke or exhaust are smelled. The air is crisp and inviting. The view of the large mountains on the horizon and the tiny cars of the city in comparison remind you just how small you are, how small your problems are, and how much more there is in the world beyond your minuscule and often clouded perspective.

I can’t express how much I love the mountains and the joy that they bring me! There are no mountains in Missouri, which may be why I love them so much: it’s extra special when I am near them. I take every opportunity I can here to explore the vast trails of the mountains while I have them in my backyard. From my apartment to the start of the trails is about a 45 minute walk; at home it’s a 9 hour drive to Colorado to find the best mountains. I am so grateful to be studying where I am.

What I have particularly enjoyed is the two times my friend and I went hiking at 6:30 in the morning to watch the sunrise over the mountains. It is truly magical. For starters, the walk through the city to the mountains is quite tranquil: the only people in the street are those returning home after a night out at the club (it’s very common to stay out all night here… I can’t keep up!) When we get to the mountains, I love how the sun first lights up the surrounding peaks before fully revealing itself to you. After hiking for an hour or two, my friend and I are of course very sweaty. As we sit and wait for the light to break over the peaks, our sweat is drying and it is quite chilly. Through this experience I realized how often I take the sun for granted. As my friend and I were shivering from the brisk wind and cool air, we jokingly contemplated would happen if the sun just decided not to rise that day: we would miss out on the beauty that it brings with it and we would also still be very cold. When the sun finally shines over the crests, I instantly feel its warmth and began to thaw. Mmm, I could just bask in the sun all day. With the sunrise, the world rises around us. What a treasure is the new day that the sun brings. And in the mountains it is even more magical.

I didn’t expect to be able to write so much about hiking, mountains and nature, and I could definitely go on. However, I will conclude with a thought I had on one of my hikes. This activity lends itself well to somewhat cheesy (yet profound) metaphors for life, and I love that. Here is my most recent one:

When hiking, it’s okay, and even encouraged, to look back at how far you’ve come and all that you’ve passed through. But if you turn around and walk back the way you came, focusing too much on that path (your past), you will never know what views and experiences lie ahead, where life will take you moving forward. Occasionally when hiking, through the mountains and through life, you will get lost and you’ll be forced to go back and retrace your steps (to spend a short time in the past), but this is only so that you can find a better path forward the next time around.

Go out and experience the nature around you! Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you.


Camille Meeks is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Psychology and Languages & Literature with an emphasis in Spanish. Camille will spend the Fall semester studying in Granada, Spain through International Studies Abroad as a Truman Good Neighbor Scholar.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Goodbye Spain!

Currently, I’m sitting in a very uncomfortable chair in the Madrid Airport waiting for my plane to arrive. I’m going home ya’ll! As amazing as this trip to Spain was, I am so ready to be home and eat chipotle in air conditioning. I feel like living in a different country should have been tougher than it was, but I think I had such a good support group in both my host family and friends that I never really got too homesick. And thanks to Facetime I could talk to my boyfriend whenever I wanted! As far as my Spanish goes, I would say that I definitely understand better and I can get by in conversations with a few key phrases. Personally, I think I learned more at my host family’s house and walking around Granada than I did at school. In class everything is structured and organized, but when you’re having dinner with your family there is no outline or slideshow. You jump around and make jokes. The dinner table was where my Spanish was tested the most.

I finished off my month and a half stay with a trip to Valencia with some friends. We took the overnight bus on the last day of classes and stayed for the past 4 days. There, we visited 2 vineyards, went to the beach, and walked around downtown. It was a perfect way to end the summer!

I would 100% recommend that everyone study abroad in college. Is there any other time in your future that you think you could live in a foreign country for a semester long? Eventually, we’re all going to get “real” jobs and only be able to travel for a week or 2 at a time. So pick up a few extra shifts, cut back on the Starbucks, make it work, and take the leap. No one ever regrets the adventures they take. I sure don’t.


Megan Schwindler is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying English Literature and Spanish. Megan is spending the summer abroad with the UMKC Spanish Program in Granada, Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Helado and Heat Strokes

Last week we toured the Alhambra, a palace and fortress located in Granada, Spain. Originally it served as a small fortress until the Moors renovated and rebuilt it in the 13th century. But after the Christian Reconquista of 1492 it became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella. The same Ferdinand and Isabella that endorsed Christopher Columbus! History is so cool.

In the gardens of the Alhambra

So our toured started at 3 in the afternoon, which is not only siesta time but also the hottest part of the day. The day we went, it was a whopping 109° Fahrenheit. I knew it was going to be a hot day when I saw paramedics casually walking around with their gear and water jugs. Nevertheless, walking around a fortress that has stood since the 9th century was pretty amazing. I felt like I was walking in a set of Game of Thrones. 

A ceiling in one of the bedrooms
Spain is full of cute doors to take pictures in front of…

The tour took around 4 hours and by the end of it we were all exhausted, but it was worth climbing up all those stairs for the amazing view of the city we’ve all been living in for the past month. Also it was probably due to the dehydration, but I have never tasted helado (ice cream) so amazing.

From the top of the fortress
I couldn’t ask for better program leaders!

Thankfully, no one from our group had a heat stroke. But, if you do ever find yourself visiting the Alhambra make sure you bring a fan! I would also recommend going on a guided tour so you get the most out of your visit. I don’t think I would have appreciated the architecture, and I learned so many quirky facts about the kings and queens that resided there. I also need to brag about how amazing my program leaders are. Lorena and Louis have made this summer abroad so fun and I don’t know what any of us would do without them. If you’re thinking about studying abroad with UMKC, you definitely need to go with these two.

Follow me for more Study Abroad adventures!

 

Megan Schwindler is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying English Literature and Spanish. Megan is spending the summer abroad with the UMKC Spanish Program in Granada, Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Granada, Granada, Granada

 

Buen consejo / Good advice, “That which is chaos for the fly is normal for the spider.”

Hola amigos,

Hemos estado en Granada por un rato ahora.  Esta ciudad, aunque es muy antigua, me recuerda de Kansas City — es gran ciudad pequeña. Es muy fácil moverse por la ciudad andando. El grupo vio la Alhambra, que gigante!!! En la alhambra, había las tres banderas de Granada – de la ciudad de Granada, de la región de Andalucía, y de España. (ved las banderas abajo) Este sol andaluz lleva toda la energía y se necesitan muchas comida y agua para sustentarse. 😛 Encima una cierta colina, se existe el Mirador de San Nicolás, cual puede dar una vista buena de la Alhambra, así que yo saqué una foto 😉 el camino desde del centro de la ciudad hasta el mirador era un gran viaje por las colinas.

La Alhambra del Mirador de San Nicolás / the Alhambra from the Lookout of Saint Nicholas

 


 

Escudo de Granada / the Crest of Granada

Hello friends,

We’ve been in Granada for a while now. This city, although it is really old, reminds me of Kansas City — it’s a little big city. It is really easy to get around the city walking. The group saw the Alhambra, how giant!!!!!! In the Alhambra, there were the three flags of Granada – the city of Granada, the region of Andalusia, & of Spain. (See the flags below) This Andalusian sun takes all your energy and a lot of food and water are needed to survive. 😛 On top of this certain hill, there is the Lookout of Saint Nicholas, which can give a great view of the Alhambra, so I took a photo 😉 the way from the city center to the lookout was a big trip through the hills.

 

Las banderas / The flags | Andalucía/Andalusia, España/Spain, & Granada

Natagnél Frisella is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, studying Spanish Language & Literature. Natagnél is traveling through Spain this summer 2017, concluding with the UMKC Spanish Program based at the University of Granada in Southern Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

 

Quien dice España, dice todo

Hello friends! Sorry I haven’t posted since I left I did not quite anticipate just how crazy life gets when you’re studying abroad. I’ve been in Spain for almost 3 weeks now and I am absolutely loving it. The first week I spent entirely with the group from UMKC, traveling on a bus from Madrid to Segovia, Toledo, Sevilla, Torremolinos, Frigiliana, Almuñécar, and Córdoba.

Frigiliana

 We woke up almost every day at 8 and spent the days exploring and walking around the cute towns and cities of southern Spain. We toured beautiful cathedrals, mosques, and synagogues and learned so much about the culture and history of Spain.

A random street in Madrid
The Royal Alcázar of Segovia

After a week of travel, we arrived in Granada around 1:30 on Monday afternoon where we met our host families and parted ways. From there I got set up in my new room and had dinner with my host family. I was surprised I could actually follow the conversation at dinner! That first week we spent getting ready for the placement test at the Centro de Lenguas Modernas building where we’re all taking classes. The biggest adjustment for me has been the lack of air conditioning in both public places and the home I’m staying in. Thankfully, my room has a little fan to keep me from dying, but most restaurants and bars I’ve visited have either had their air conditioning off or set to room temperature. Aside from that the differences are small; I get weird looks when I order ice to put in my coffee, restaurants, shops, and businesses shut down to take a siesta (nap) after lunch, dinner isn’t until 9:30, and lunch is the biggest meal of the day. But all in all, I think I’m adjusting pretty well to the Spaniard lifestyle, especially the naps! And having an amazing host family definitely makes this whole experience so much sweeter.

More to come!


Megan Schwindler is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying English Literature and Spanish. Megan is spending the summer abroad with the UMKC Spanish Program in Granada, Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

What’s in a name? A LOT!!!

Mientras he viajado por Iberia, he encontrado muchos nombres, más complejos que justo de la nacionalidad. Por supuesto, hay adjetivos como Portugués, Español, y Francés pero mis viajes por España me han aprendido mucho. España es un país muy regional – como los Estados Unidos. Se existen términos muy básicos para referir a alguien y de donde viene esa persona, como Estadounidense o Español; ellos son términos extensos que faltan una descripción verdadera. Creo que términos como ¨Nueva yorquino¨ o “Misurense” funcionen mejor para describir a alguien. Se describe mejor el personaje de la persona. ¡Vamos a mirar a unos pocos de los términos que he encontrado! (Por supuesto, las forms masculinas y femeninas)

While I’ve traveled through Iberia, I have found many names, more complex than just of nationality. Of course, there are adjectives like Portuguese, Spanish, and French but my travels through Spain have taught me a lot. Spain is a very regional country – like the USA. There are very basic terms to refer to someone and where they come, like American or Spanish; they are broad terms that lack a true description. I think that terms like “New Yorker” or “Missourian” work better to describe someone. The personality of the person is best described. Let’s look at a few of the terms that I’ve found! (Of course, the masculine and feminine forms)

Términos extensos / vast terms

  • Spanish – español, española (from Spain)
  • Portuguese – portugués, portuguesa (from Portugal)
  • French – francés, francesa (from France)
  • German – alemán, alemana (from Germany)
  • Italian – italiano, italiana (from Italy)

Nombres regionales / regional names

  • Castilian – castellano, castellana (from Castile)
  • Catalan – catalán, catalana (from Catalonia)
  • Basque – vasco, vasca (from Basque country)
  • Valencian – valenciano, valenciana (from Valencia)
    • [from the city Alicante – alicantino, alicantina <3]
  • Andalusian – andaluz, andaluza (from Andalusia)
  • Galician – gallego, gallega (from Galicia)

Me interesa saber por que algunos de estos términos (de rojo) faltan las vocales finales de las formas masculinas si todas las formas femeninas tienen las finales A’s. ¡Yo supongo que más estudios vengan!

I’m interested to know why some of these terms (in red) lack the final vowels in the masculine forms if all the feminine forms have the final A’s. I guess more studies are coming!

Hasta pronto / Until soon,

Natagnél / Nate

Feliz Julio / Happy July


Natagnél Frisella is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, studying Spanish Language & Literature. Natagnél is traveling through Spain this summer 2017, concluding with the UMKC Spanish Program based at the University of Granada in Southern Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

El Paseo por Andalucía ;)

Andalucía es una de las más grandes comunidades autónomas en el país entero, con una cultura muy distinta y su propio acento. España fue un país de guerra entre los católicos y los moros por siglos y Andalucía fue el centro de estas batallas porque fue el central área entre Europa y Africa norteña. En los días de hoy, todavía se existen dos pequeñas colonias españolas en Marruecos, Ceuta y Melilla. Andalucía me emocionaba porque he querido visitar Sevilla por mucho tiempo y por fin, tenía la casualidad. ¡Vamos a mirar!

Andalusia is one of the biggest autonomous communities in the whole country, with a very distinct culture and its own accent. Spain was a country of war between the Catholics and the Moors for centuries and Andalusia was the center of these battles because it is the central area between Europe and northern Africa. In today’s days, there are still two small Spanish colonies in Morocco, Ceuta & Melilla. Andalusia was exciting me because I have wanted to visit Seville for a while and at last, I had the chance. Let’s take a look!

Plaza de España

En Andalucía, la primera ciudad que visitamos fue Sevilla. ¡Que alegría que íbamos a visitar la ciudad hermana de mi ciudad, KCMO! Por supuesto, me aseguré ponerme una camiseta sin mangas de KCMO. En Sevilla, primero visitamos la Plaza de América, con los jardines y las fuentes. El siguiente lugar que vistamos fue la Plaza de España. Un gran área con un altar de cada provincia de España. ¡Que bonita era la Plaza! No sólo yo tuve memorias de KCMO y la plaza allá, sino encontré un altar de Alicante también –  mi primer amor español.

Plaza de América

In Andalusia, the first city that was visited was Seville. What joy I had that we were going to visit the sister city of KCMO! Of course, I made sure to wear a KCMO tank top. In Seville, first we visited the Plaza of America, with the gardens and the fountains. The next place that was visited was the Plaza of Spain. A great area with a shrine for each province of Spain. How beautiful was the Plaza! Not only did I have memories of KCMO and the plaza there, but I found an altar to Alicante too – my first Spanish love.

la Catedral de Córdoba

Después de ver las vistas en Sevilla, nos fuimos para Córdoba. En esta ciudad, vi la catedral cordobesa, un edificio de mucho lujo y una historia muy compleja. Al igual que en Andalucía en general, esta ciudad se cambió del control de los moros al control de los católicos unas veces – estos cambios se reflejan de los estilos de la catedral. Hay una parte de un estilo muy árabe, con los arcos entre las columnas, cual funcionaba como una mezquita en una época. Esta parte entonces se conectó con una parte muy lujosa, de un estilo muy europeo. En esta parte, había muchas reliquias muy lujosas de plata y de oro. Era una estructura fascinanate.

Los arcos de la catedral cordobesa
Las reliquias lujosas cordobesas de la catedral

After seeing the sights in Seville, we left for Cordoba (sometimes written Cordova). In this city, we saw the cathedral of Cordoba, a building with so many luxuries and a very complicated history. As in Andalusia in general, this city was changed from the control of the Moors to the control of the Catholics a few times – these changes are reflected in the styles of the cathedral. There is a part with a very Moorish style, with the arches between the columns, which was functioning as a mosque at a time. This part was then connected with a very luxurious part, of a very European style. In this part, there were many very luxurious artifacts of silver and of gold. It was a fascinating building.

FRIGILIANA

Después de ver Córdoba, nos fuimos para la costa. Nosotros entonces vimos unas ciudades por la costa sureña de España – Andalucía ocupa casi toda la costa sureña ibérica, otra de la costa portuguesa y la costa de Murcia. Llegamos a la ciudad de Torremolinos primero – donde nos quedamos por tres días. Torremolinos me hizo pensar en Florida, me pareció como el estado, con las playas y estaba muy cerca del mar. Por el segundo día, vimos tres más ciudades andaluzas – Málaga, Frigiliana, y Almuñécar. Frigiliana es una ciudad del estilo muy clásicamente mediterráneo – casas blancas por la colinas.

TORREMOLINOS

After seeing Cordoba, we left for the coast We then saw some cities along the coast of southern Spain – Andalusia occupies almost the whole southern Iberian coast, other than the Portuguese coast and the coast of Murcia. We arrived to the city of Torremolinos first – where we stayed for 3 days. Torremolinos made me think about Florida, it seemed to me like the state. For the second day, we saw three more Andalusian cities – Málaga, Frigiliana, y Almuñécar. Frigiliana was a city with a very classically Mediterranean style, white houses through the hills.

El tiempo que ha pasado fue maravilloso. Apenas puedo esperar pasar más aquí.

The time that has passed was wonderful. I can barely wait to spend more here.

—Nate.

Chico Veinticinco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Natagnél Frisella is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, studying Spanish Language & Literature. Natagnél is traveling through Spain this summer 2017, concluding with the UMKC Spanish Program based at the University of Granada in Southern Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

¡Menos de un mes!

Gofres y helado en Alicante/Waffles and Ice Cream in Alicante

¡Que rapidez! Yo apenas puedo creer que mi viaje es tan pronto. Que emocionado estoy por estar en Iberia otra vez — menos de un mes hasta que empiecen mis estudios españoles. Hace cuatro veranos, yo fui a España y tenía una experiencia bonita. Estuve en la ciudad Alicante, en la costa del Éste de Iberia. Nosotros vimos el acuario famoso en Valencia. ¡Que diversión, que comida, que amigos, que alegría! Estoy emocionado por ver una parte nueva de España, el Sur, Granada, Andalucía.

Contando los días y practicando mi acento Castellano,
Nate
23 de Mayo, 2017


El acuario valenciano/the Valencian aquarium

What speed! I can hardly believe that my trip is so soon. How excited I am to be in Iberia again — less than a month until my Spanish studies begin. Four summers ago, I went to Spain and was having a beautiful experience. I was in the city Alicante, on the East coast of Iberia. We saw the famous aquarium in Valencia. What fun, what food, what friends, what joy! I am excited to see a new part of Spain, the South, Granada, Andalusia.

Counting the days and practicing my Castilian accent,
N8
5/23/2017

 

 


Natagnél Frisella is a senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, studying Spanish Language & Literature. Natagnél is traveling through Spain this summer 2017, concluding with the UMKC Spanish Program based at the University of Granada in Southern Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.