Spain Awaits

In the space provided, please write a concise narrative in which you describe a meaningful event, experience or accomplishment in your life and how it will affect your college experience or your contribution to the UF campus community. You may want to reflect on your ideas about student responsibility, academic integrity, campus citizenship or a call to service.

I get off of the train into the piercingly cold winter morning, anxious, not knowing what to expect. "So who am I supposed to be looking for?" I think as I nervously scan my surroundings. After a draining 20 hour flight and train ride to get to a small rural town in Spain to meet my family for the first time, I do not know whether to be excited or nervous. As I see, in the distance, two women emerging from the darkness, I automatically remember that I don't speak Spanish! How am I going to communicate with them when all I can say is hello? Will this language barrier keep me from truly knowing the distant family I so eagerly wish to learn about? I can only hope not.

Immediately I am welcomed with a warm hug. "Hola!" I exclaim, trying to display my excitement with my limited vocabulary. "Soy Robert" I say, nervous of saying things improperly. They respond instantaneously with what seems like words spoken only by aliens. My mom, however, mercifully comes to my rescue, as I stand there in befuddlement, stating that I do not speak Spanish. I automatically see disappointment in their eyes. Disappointment? Does this mean that I will not be able to gain a connection with the very people I crave to be so...

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