We left our apartment in Cape Town at 6:30am on a Monday and got to our new apartment in Sevilla on Tuesday at 5:30pm. That was a long 2 days of travel . . . which we are kind of getting used to (not that we like it all the time but; it is what it is). The very frustrating thing was that for some reason our luggage never made it to Sevilla. We called and called and sent email after email trying to track it down. We didn’t seem to be getting much response other than, “we don’t know where they are, but we’re trying to track them”. Luckily we always take all important documents and electronic gear with us as carry-on so we were not as frazzled as we might have been since all we needed to replace was the backpacks and clothes that aren’t that expensive to begin with. Thursday we were off to start the process of slowly buying new clothes. Before we headed out we called one more time to check and they said they found them (not sure when they were going to call us) and that we could pick them up that evening when they arrived. We let them know that we were told that our luggage would be delivered to our apartment; however, they said that because they came from outside the EU they would have to go through customs and a bomb detector and we would need to be present for that process. A small annoyance that we were happy to accept as long as we got our backpacks back . . . and we did.
Now to some fun stuff . . . José Manuel, the apartment owner, met us at our apartment, he has spent some years in the US as an Educational Ambassador for Spain so his English is excellent. He is a great guy that was gracious enough to take us out for dinner (great tapas) on our first night in Triana (the neighborhood we are actually residing while in Sevilla – I’ll get to our location in another blog). José Manuel explained some of the many nuances of the area and if that wasn’t a nice enough introduction he also introduced us to Alex, a young teacher from the US that is here teaching English to Middle School level kids. José Manuel and Alex (the only teacher at this school that teaches English as a specialty) have invited Kendal and Keegan to go and spend time with their students to help teach and also learn some Spanish. Kendal and Keegan were quite happy with their invitation and are very excited to see another school setting.
Other than a bumpy first part of the week, uncertain whether we would ever see our luggage again . . . we couldn’t have asked for a better way to start off this leg of our adventure.
We are definitely in a traditional neighborhood and not a tourist area (which is exactly what we were looking for) but we now know that this really puts more responsibility on us to reach out and get involved. We’ve learned that we need to take a day to get situated after long travel but as soon as possible get schedules worked out. The issue that obviously makes things more difficult is the language barrier. English in this area is not as prevalent as we have experienced in other European areas. So, we are all signed up for Spanish classes this week. Amy and the kids are doing a private lesson for 2 hours each day and I’m in a group of 7 students for 4 hours each day. After the first week we will decide if we want to stick with this school or move on to another one for more variety or just try to wing it. TIme will tell.
It’s been raining the last few days so it’s been hard to get the camera out and take some pictures but this week should be better . . . it really is a beautiful neighborhood with incredible history. Our apartment is on a pedestrian only street, which was a nice surprise. I was a little concerned with the location at first because as you may know they stay out until 3, 4 or 5 am here having fun (we’ve come home at 10:30 and 11:00 some nights and it seemed like things were just getting going – which wouldn’t surprise me if this was a vacation spot or if it was a holiday but it’s just regular week days). However, as we walk into our courtyard and up to our apartment we hear absolutely nothing from the street, its amazing. So we get the great, constant action of Calle San Jacinto and the quietness of our apartment.
Thanks Amy for getting us in another great location!