Between Rubble

Hi! My name is Nicole Eitzen and I am a junior from Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. I am a Literary Studies and Communication and Culture major and look forward to sharing my college experience with Bethel’s blogging community. This semester I will be studying abroad at the University of Barcelona located in the northeast coast of the region of Catalonia­, an autonomous community in Spain. Having lived in Mexico for most of my life, I am thrilled with the opportunity to reconnect with the Spanish roots of my Mexican heritage and learn from the richness of Barcelona’s unique language and culture. My journey with Brethren Colleges Abroad begins September 2nd and until then I will be in the North Newton area to visit with relatives and friends.

I like to think that beauty can be found in the most unexpected of places and so I have chosen to title this post: “Between Rubble”. The phrase came to me a few days ago as I was thinking of the devastation earthquakes can bring and of how beautiful it would be to find a forgotten something miraculously unscratched between the rubble. Beauty shouldn’t be overlooked or taken for granted and so I have decided to use the idea of finding beauty between rubble as a way to turn all new discoveries during my travels into pleasant surprises. Wouldn’t life be better if we always thought of the unknown as possessing that special quality of something that can make our lives worth living? As the time for me to leave Bethel approaches, I have found myself getting anxious about my time in Barcelona and have been looking for ways to overcome my nervousness. In Spanish, people use the word “escombrar”– meaning “the clearing of obstacles” to reference the action of tidying up a physical space to find comfort, as if inner peace began with the working conditions of life around us; so maybe before I leave I have some tidying up to do?

The idea of studying abroad in Barcelona both terrifies and intrigues me and I can’t wait to experience every new possibility the city has to offer. What kind of hidden surprises does Spain have in store for me? Will I soon be calling a city of 1.6 million people my home? Maybe the answer doesn’t matter. Maybe all I need to do is to learn to make the most out of the opportunities I have been given. Or maybe the answer is to free myself from all my insecurities until I have no more left. Step outside of my comfort zone and test the terrain. Clear out my physical space from obstructions to make room for that special something. For someday to be able to fall upon that beauty which is found between the rubble.