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The Memories We Take

cmparkThe following post was written by Darby Tarlow from Calabasas High School, CA, who participated in the Salamanca 2013 program.

Now that our trip is coming to an end, I am able to reflect upon the past month of experiences. From unfortunate Spanish cuisine to savory pastries, from walking through stinking streets to lounging in beautiful parks, from having rapid-fire Spanish blared at me to speaking my own broken Spanish.

Overall this past month has been a spectrum of different activities, problems, challenges, and fun. While not all of it was good, even the bad experiences helped me gain perspective about different cultures along with knowledge of myself. The negative experiences told me more about my tolerance when it comes to people, food, customs, and just overall stepping out of my comfort zone than a perfect trip ever could. That being said, the positive aspects of this trip will lend me memories for the rest of my life.

One memory that I will not only carry with me but also be able to visit is hanging the lock on the well in the Huerto de Calixto y Melibea park. In the years to come I will be able to see the lock hanging on the well in the scenic picture of light filtering through the leaves of lush trees of the park coupled with a picturesque view of the city buildings and cathedral. Other memories that will stick with me are eating mouth-watering ice cream in the plaza three times a day and Joe breaking the museum of modern art.

I know that in the next three days that we have left, we will make even more memorable experiences. Experiences that reflect all aspects of life whether it be educational or recreational, spectacular or mundane, in company or in solitude, good or bad. All will benefit us, even if we are unable to comprehend in what way they influence us. Personally I have tested my limits and reaffirmed not only my desire but also my ability to able to travel to foreign and exotic places. This trip has lent me appreciation for what my culture does offer along with appreciation for other ways of life.

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