By: Brett Kennedy, Foster Undergraduate
Wow! The first month and a half in Pamplona has been amazing. It feels more like home with each day that passes. I have well-acquainted myself with the city and the warm personalities of the people that live here. It has been a transition, yes, but not as abrupt as I expected it to be. It has been surprisingly easy to get into the rhythm of the schedule that you find in Spain, including the late dinners and afternoon siestas. The city has a sort of “buzz” to it that I attribute to the friendliness of the locals; most people you see on the street are engaged in conversation with others, and many times a day I see strangers recognizing each other and stopping for a quick chat. When I visit the local shops I am always greeted with a big smile and a “How are you?” which is a nice touch to my daily activities. It’s even considered rude if you don’t greet a stranger in an elevator!
It has been a pleasant transition going from the fast-paced and somewhat impersonal rhythm of home to the more interactive “seize the day” mentality. With this culture as the driving force, meeting people has never been easier. Most people are very open to talking to strangers which gives way to opportunities to make new friends. Overall, Pamplona is a very safe city with many beautiful landmarks scattered throughout it. Lately I like to relax by running laps around the Ciudadela, or Citadel which was built over 400 years ago to protect the city. It is the deep-rooted history like this, which is all around the city that adds to the experience of living here and understanding the Spanish culture. I can already see myself missing Spain the minute I leave, but for now I plan to seize every minute that I can.