March 3, Segovia

Accounts from Our Students

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Looking out my window, moldings all clad with deep cherry stained wood, through the diamond-shaped panes I see the most beautiful countryside. The emerald trees frame the houses that are nestled among the rocky cliffs and grassy moss covered hills. The stone bricks are set in their perfect form of arches and columns so they need only the slightest support to uphold their aqueduct structure. Far beyond these trees and houses in the cold altitude of the sky are the mountains, their tops enveloped by snowy caps and bottoms brown like the earth. These mountains tower in the distance, their white peaks an ever-present sign in the lives of the people that they are here still.

I walk down the cobbled streets narrow waiting for the pervasive oncoming cars to press me against the body of these buildings. In this moment of contact, I hear their heartbeat. Their fleshy exterior, although cool as my cheek grazes them, is enlivened by the sound of the people's laughter and pride for their country. The pulse of their architecture is loud in the wrought iron bars of the balconies that plague every building side, but the blood that flows through their veins are the lives of the people intertwined in those bars. The kings that sat in the thrones all shrouded in maroon velvet, the knights that fought valiantly with their armor of steel, but most importantly the men and women who labored to build the buildings, who worked to lay every stone in the Roman aqueduct, and who struggled to support their families.

There are many things on my trip to Spain that I will always remember, but the day I will cherish the most is the day when we traveled to Segovia. Speeding through the air in our bullet train, I saw sights that took my breath away. The mountains and their dominating, but kind presence will be forever etched in my memory; the streets and their bumpy, uncomfortable twinge under the soles of my feet will be a feeling hard to forget. Besides the beautiful landscape, the words of wisdom from Dr. Reyes, funny stories from Jayzell, Juan, Brad, and Victor, and the giggles of all the girls in ear shot mean more. This group of people there in Segovia broke bread together, sat around the table and swapped stories of each others' lives, and for the first time somewhere in all that foreignness, we found a connection with each other; a connection that lasted until we left from Madrid on Sunday morning. We truly were a family. A rowdy, dysfunctional, diverse family, but a family still the same.

Author: Samantha Coassolo