How does your usual day in Seville look like?
Verónica Valdés Vega:
Seville is a beautiful city to walk. Every morning I walk through town to get the bus that will take me to the food bank that is in the outskirts of the city. The cobblestone streets and yellow alleys are the most pleasant commute to work. Working for Cooperación Internacional is a great immersion in Spanish culture, everyone and everything that happens there is a very good way to picture the social context in Spain. Work is active, physical, lifting boxes full of vegetables and foods to supply for a week for each family that comes. The counterpart is paperwork, checking every detail from the social services, listing and signing to notice the EU that everything is working perfectly.
A usually day in Seville looks like starting work at 10.30-11 in the food bank and having a few really busy hours and people from all over Seville come in to use the services. It is a very busy few hours, and is always quite funny trying to ask people if they would like certain foods in my Spanish - but we always get there in the end! I usually get back from work at around 4 in the afternoon - giving me enough time to catch some sun, learn some spanish, read, walk along the river etc etc. Evenings, are a Spanish class provided by 3si, a group activity, or a few drinks and tapas in one of the local South American bars in the Macarena - which are all so unique / tasty and cheap. Then Fridays and weekends are usually spent traveling to one of the local towns/cities or seeing the sites in Seville!
Starts off at a reasonable hour to get ready for the days work, this includes making a packed lunch, before meeting with my work colleague to walk or cycle to work (depending on the Sevici availability). Completes all the days tasks at work and have lunch before coming home. My afternoons are filled with either studying Spanish (with OLS and my own materials), shopping for food (or clothes if I want to treat myself), or improving my fitness with working out or going rock climbing. The evenings are either quiet and staying inside or occasionally going out with friends for tapas and wine.
An average work day sees me waking up at 8.30, drinking coffee and cycling to work using one of the Sevici bikes nearby. My commute takes me out of the Macarena district across the stunning river Guadalquivir, above ambitious river goers rowing and kayaking their way in to the day! Passing through a rural outer area of Isla Cartuja to the sounds of songbirds in the trees and bizzarely vocal frogs in the ponds! Working on my project at EBD either analysing GPS data or preparing samples for isotope analysis in the lab with my colleague Jasmine (we keep each other motivated and entertained in equal measure) until 4PM. I usually cycle home, and variously throughout the week go bouldering at the local climbing gym ‘rock and wall’, relax in my apartment reading or working on assignments, then perhaps meet the other students for drinks and tapas in Alameda square, locally in Macarena or closer into the Alfalfa district. Some days after work or at the weekends I love running along the river down to the plaza de España and back through Maria Luisa park, with parakeets and horse carriages all around me, fountains and beautiful buildings- what a city!
For me a usual day in Seville involves rolling out of bed after a nice lie-in, getting ready and going out for a late brunch around 1pm, heading to work for the afternoon, getting food and drinks with colleagues from work, or doing something with either the other interns or perhaps some Spanish friends, and eventually going home to get some personal work done (like Spanish learning, and occasional lesson planning). Some evenings there are events put on such as intercambios (language exchanges), Sevillianas (a type of free-style flamenco) taster classes, or other events around the city aimed at foreigners, Erasmus and Erasmus Plus people, or just social events designed for all. There's always something going on, so there's no reason for 2 days to look the same!