Returning to Spain after half a century

Returning to Spain after half a century

by Betsy Herbert

Good grief! It has finally sunk in that the first time I visited Spain was 51 years ago. I remember the time well, because it was just a few months after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I sailed from New York across the Atlantic on the Italian cruise ship "Cristoforo Columbo" with a group of students, as part of Beloit College's semester abroad program.

At 19, I thought I was fairly well prepared for the experience of living with a Spanish family for three months. I had taken several years of Spanish in high school and college, I'd read some Garcia Lorca poetry and studied Cervantes' Don Quixote de la Mancha. I also had read the novel, The Ugly American, (1958, Burdick & Lederer) and I was dead set against becoming that type of unenlightened world traveler..

What a shock when we got off the ship and couldn't understand a word of Spanish as spoken in this part of southern Spain, known as Andalucia.

Read More