After arriving at Logan Airport, I found most of the group already there. As we waited for everyone to arrive, the atmosphere was filled with excitement for the adventure ahead. While chatting amongst ourselves, we quickly were faced with our first task: naming the small guitar Katie brought. Suggested names include Swift, Mary, and Taylor (which was chosen as the last name), but a first name has not yet been officially adopted. Naming the guitar was just one of several questions we were faced with today. Here are some other questions we faced and facts we discovered as we began our Dialogue.
Question #1 – How do we count?
After getting our plane tickets, we all received numbers. Ideally these numbers would make it easy for us to count off, one through seventeen, ensuring all students are present. However, due to reasons including the distractions that come with finally having wifi after 6 hours, trying to absorb the world around us (and therefore not paying attention), or just not hearing the previous person say their number, we were seldom able to execute the count-off smoothly. Although counting may be a work-in-progress, with all seventeen students present, we boarded the plane to Madrid.
Question #2 – What is it like to travel abroad?
This question was more relevant to me than most, as this trip was my first time traveling outside the U.S. (except for Canada, which doesn’t count when you grow up in Buffalo). The opportunity to spend a month in Spain, learning about religion and walking the Camino is so incredible that I have not fully comprehended that it is actually happening – even after arriving in Granada. For me, the answer to this question has resulted in new discoveries. For example, the horror of customs, of which I had only heard stories, ended up being quicker than I expected; a brief glance at my passport and a stamp (my first stamp!) and I was into Spain. While in the Madrid airport waiting for the flight to Granada, I discovered that soccer and tennis are the main sports on the news in Spain. I am excited to learn more as I immerse myself in Spanish life.
Question #3 – What is time?
After eating dinner and breakfast on the airplane with little time in between the two meals, my stomach was thoroughly confused. Add to that the inability to find a comfortable sleeping position and the six-hour time jump, and I began to question the concept of time. Tired, hungry, and without any sense of time, we arrived in a rainy Madrid with a long layover before our flight to Granada. After groggily passing through a brightly lit shopping center that had us questioning if we were in an airport or a mall, we quickly found the closest gate and collapsed in the chairs. Once again not finding a comfortable position to sleep in, several of us ended up lying on the floor. After sleeping and eating our way through the layover, we boarded a flight to Granada, and upon arrival, our confused bodies were finally given a chance to rest in comfortable beds. A few hours later, we were awake again, ready to explore the city and eat dinner. Although we would have preferred to see the shining sun that usually scorches Granada, even the rain pouring down in the city couldn’t drench our spirits: we had arrived!
Although the day’s travels came with many questions, a few facts also presented themselves over the course of the day.
Fact #1 – Granada is beautiful.
Even in the rain, it is easy to be awed by the beauty of Granada. From stepping off the plane and being surrounded by mountains on the horizon, to the stunning architecture, to the orange trees dangling with fruit ready to be picked, there is no debating the beauty of our surroundings.
Fact #2 – The people on this trip will quickly become a family.
We were told we would end up a family by the end of the month, but even after one day, it is possible to see strong relationships forming. With friendly atmosphere and bountiful conversation, it’s easy to notice that we are all excited for this month. Joking and bonding through a long day of travel, I can see this group of people getting closer with each passing moment.
Although our first day on the Dialogue is over, there are still many more questions to be answered as we explore religion and Spain. Perhaps the most important question…what will we name the guitar?
Jenny Komosinski, Physical Therapy