We have been in Córdoba for a whole week now, and we are all settling in well. Everyone is getting to know their host families better, and we are getting along really well. We are all settling into life and class in this beautiful city.
This week was the first week of classes at the Académica Hispana here in Córdoba. Every morning at 9:15 we have class. We have two great professors: Noelia and Marisol, and are divided up into two groups of four for class. We usually play games like Password and Pictionary at the beginning of class to work on vocabulary (and wakeup!) Then we learn or review a grammatical concept and do more fun activities to practice. Later, we sometimes head out to the streets to ask people cultural questions. This also helps us get used to hearing and understanding the Andalusian accent (which can still be a little challenging). Finally, we all come together for a class on Spanish history, followed by a fun game of Kahoot (an online quiz game) to see how much we remember. We are all enjoying the classes and our awesome professors!
After class each day, we have time to relax, grab lunch, and explore a little. We split up into groups and walk around trying to find new restaurants or recommended places. Then, some people head back to their houses for a siesta, some do homework, some go shopping, and some go exploring. We have several hours to ourselves every afternoon before we meet up for cultural activities at the school.
So far, our cultural activities have included a lesson in flamenco dancing, a visit to an English class, a cooking lesson, and visits to some lovely and historical sites around the city. The flamenco dancing was very entertaining. We learned A LOT of steps in a short amount of time, with varying levels of success. Then, at the end, we tried a couple of run throughs with the music. This was very challenging, but we all had a lot of fun. The English class was also very fun. We had a chance to talk to the students ages 18-50 in Spanish, and they talked to us in English. We learned a lot about the culture and their experiences growing up in Córdoba and got us some recommendations on fun things to do. The cooking class was a great experience. We walked to a beautiful house where we learned how to prepare five dishes: Salmorejo, (a thick tomato soup) Calabacines a la Montillana, (grilled onions and cucumbers), Tortilla de Patatas (potato omelette), Albóndigas (meatballs), and Croquetas (fried ham and cheese). Our instructor explained how the dishes were made, demonstrated everything, and let us help a little. It was very interesting to learn from her because she is an incredible cook. After cooking, we got to eat all the food we had prepared! It was fantastic and quite a feast! We all really enjoyed the class!
Later today, the adventure continues with a tour of Alcazar de los Reyes (a palace garden) and a Flamenco show. Saturday, we head to Sevilla for a full day of sightseeing. We are all looking forward to more beautiful, fun, warm days to come and continuing to explore all that Córdoba has to offer.