ONE WEEK IN PLASENCIA BY ANNA POSPÍŠILOVÁ
Who would have thought that one week in Spain would be this hard to summarize? In only a few days I got to learn so much about culture, people and their lifestyles in a place completely different and new.
It was my second time flying which is always an experience itself, but travelling is always the longest and most boring part. Once we arrived, I completely forgot how tired I’d been from the bus and found my host that I was assigned to. Her name is Silvia, she is one of the nicest people I met there. Her and her family took care of me well and there’s nobody else I’d rather live at more. She introduced me to her mom and dad, sister, her grandparents and even her dog. One of the things I noticed as soon as I got there was how friendly everybody is, even complete strangers who barely spoke any English were eager to make a small talk with me. That’s how I got to meet most of the people there. I’m definitely going to miss that the most, making friends this easily.
I didn’t look at the programme much so every day was full of surprises for me, especially after the first day in the school and presentation, our plans consisted of trips, guided tours, gatherings, food, festivals and parties and much more. My favourite day was the trip to Cacéres. We visited a beautiful gallery of modern art and were guided around the castle by a very sweet and well educated Antonio… he even tried to say different things in Czech.
Speaking of which, our friends learned so many Czech words every day just like we learned things in Spanish and Italian. Soon enough, we didn’t even have to use English to comunicate which brought us even closer.
Another very interesting day was on Thursday when we attended a traditional School Festival and even participated in it! We could watch all kinds of activities, games, dances, sports and contests that the students and teachers prepared. (Believe it or not, there was even a wedding happening.)
Friday was a working day for us, the students were divided into 7 teams and prepared speeches about their own experiences and views of Spain. Me and other students were specifically chosen to have a debate whether or not tourism affects our cultural heritage negatively. I was in the team that was against tourism together with the Italian student Simona and two Spanish students David and Jorge. We were a bit nervous to present in front of everybody, but it was fun in the end.
On the last day before our departure, we visited Monfragüe National Park, walked to the top of the hill and went to the Monfragüe castle. On our way down, we hiked to Fuente del Francés. Even though it was a tiring walk, we had a lot of fun. At the end of the day, we got our certificates and had dinner together. Our farewell party was very nice but it was sad to say goodbye to a lot of people we will never see again.
I got used to the place more easily than I expected. I think that if I had stayed for a little longer, it would have been completely impossible for me to leave. I will miss Plasencia, but I hope I will get to visit the town some time again in the future.