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 »

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.

¡Viernes! »

It’s viernes (friday)!. It seems that Friday is just as desireable in Spain as it is in the U.S. This attitude was reflected in class today. After 3.5 hours of grammar exercises it seemed appropriate to send us to the weekend with Juan Magan’s popular music video “Bailando por ahí”. And on that tone the […]

In Granada! »

¡Caray! It’s been about a week since I arrived in Spain. This week has been crazy. Awesome, but crazy. The first moment we arrived in Madrid we hit the ground running. Navegating our way through Madrid Barajas airport was an adventure. It’s by far the biggest airport I’ve ever seen. Everything being in Spanish also […]

Predeparture »

So I’m not even sure how this blog works at the moment but this is my attempt to post something. It’s Monday the 22nd and I have only 5 days before I fly to Spain. In usual fashion there are a billion things I need to do but haven’t started so these next few days […]