Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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Living Quarters

A view looking out my bedroom window in Granada, Spain

I took this photo looking down from my bedroom onto the other residents’ living quarters. While I could have uploaded a beautiful picture of a cathedral, sunset or palace, this photo captures the more mundane and daily aspect of my life in Granada as it was the view I saw everyday. Moreover it is very typical of the living quarters of most spaniards. In Spain, the vast majority of people live in highly concentrated urban centers with little space being wasted. Starting in the 40s and 50s there was a massive exodus away from rural communities toward large urban developments and many of the buildings constructed during this wave continue to house a multitude. Although one doesn’t have as much personal space as in a suburban home, apartments are far more practical in the context of spanish life. Indeed the spanish home is a sacred place in which only family and those very close may enter. It is not the tradition to host friends at one’s home. Rather they go out for tapas or drinks at local restraunts or bars and enjoy pleasant strolls through the town. Hence extra living space for entertaining is unnecessary. At first this was difficult to understand because I wanted to invite friends over to hangout, watch movies, eat, etc, but it was soon no issue as we found it was more fun to do those things outside.

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