-Hannah Olevson, API Director of Alumni Engagement; API Sevilla alumna
“Don’t eat the oranges on the trees – they are poisonous.” These are the first words that I distinctly remember coming out of my host mom’s mouth after I settled into my new home in Sevilla, Spain. It’s certainly helpful that I was warned–otherwise I might not be here to tell you that orange isn’t just a color. During my long walks to class, I had a lot of time to reflect and really live my life through my five senses, thanks to the famous oranges of Sevilla.
Naturally, the tiny pops of orange on the trees lining the streets from my second-story window were the first thing I saw and a reminder that I was in Spain each morning. The orange is so bright and cheery it made me feel like I had 1,000 suns greeting me each morning.
After locking the door to the apartment and opening up our creaky gate I would often close my eyes to smell the scent of the orange blossoms that greeted me for a few weeks before they became inedible fruits.
While enjoying my walk I was greeted with the sounds of oranges squashed beneath the tiny feet of the preschoolers attending school next door.
Remember when you were a child and you had to stick out your hand and palm every single tree that you walked past? This was me in Sevilla. Every single tree on the way home, I felt. It was like I was greeting the leaves and the bark to make sure I was really living my dream of studying abroad.
And of course, you can’t forget how oranges (that are safe to eat!) taste. They are sweet and tart and juicy all at once. One of my very favorite memories was eating churros and freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast on an API cultural outing. Forget Wheaties, this is the Breakfast of Champions.
Before my time abroad I would have looked at orange as simply a color, but during my time in Spain, I was challenged to look at things in new ways and broaden my way of understanding. I’m thankful that whenever I see the distinct hue of Sevilla oranges I’m instantly transported back to the sunny streets in Sevilla soaking up the sounds and sights from my incredibly transformative semester abroad with API.