Friday, November 22, 2013

A Busy Week!

So I have not had the chance to post in a few days! Things are going so great and the days pass by quickly.  It is hard to find the time to post. 

On Sunday, I hung out with my host family all day.  It was still raining so we had a nice morning just relaxing and playing with the kids.  Naroa had a friend spend the night so I played with them a little bit.  They are so funny.  They kept wanting to jump rope and dance.  In the afternoon, my family met up with Ashley´s family for lunch.  But before we met them, my family had a surprise for me.  They took me to see the Sagrada Famila!! I hadn´t had the chance to visit yet so it was exciting to see it.  It is a beautiful church that has been under construction for hundreds of years, designed by Gaudi.  It is amazing.  We didn´t have time to go inside but I got a few good pictures of the outside and I plan on going back.  For lunch, we went to a traditional Spanish restaurant and I tried a lot of traditional dishes.  It was all very good! I love food so I am always up to try anything.  My family ordered a few things and I just ate whatever they put on my plate! It was fun.  After lunch, we went back home and relaxed for the rest of the day.  It was nice to have a day where I didn´t have to do much.  Playing with the kids and hanging out with the family made for a great day!

This week, a few girls and I have been exploring some more after school.  It rained on Monday and Tuesday so of course we went shopping! It is hard to do anything else in the rain because most attractions are outside or require walking.  We didn´t want the rain to ruin any of those things.  Because we didn´t do much on those days I was able to hang out with my family a lot.  Jordi (the little boy) really really wants a puppy.  Jordi (the dad) got him a book about puppies and we have been looking at it all week.  Of course, it´s all in Spanish so I´m glad I have my little translator (Jordi) to explain it to me! He loves talking about dogs and told me he wants 6 puppies to sleep with him! Haha! He´s so sweet.  I also told him that I played soccer when I was in school.  He thought that was really cool because not many girls play soccer here.  It is mostly boys.  Tomorrow we are going to a Barca game and I am so excited! It will be fun to see how soccer is different here. We went to the soccer stadium on Wednesday.  We were hoping to be able to go inside but they had already closed the field by the time we got there.  It was still cool to be able to see the stadium while no one was there.  On Saturday, it will be crazy! 

Last night, we went to the Picasso museum which is in the Gothic area of Barcelona.  We got to see the cathedral and a lot of other beautiful areas.  I loved the Picasso museum as well.  I really like art so it was so interesting to me.  They had a collection of his work in chronological order. It was interesting to see how his style developed over the years.  In the beginning, he did a lot of impressionism and still life.  Later, he moved on to the abstracts he is most famous for.  There was even a period where he only painted with shades of blue.  I really enjoyed getting to see all of this.  I could have spent days in that museum!

Today at school, my girls have been learning "Holly Jolly Christmas" to perform at their Christmas program.  It is so funny to hear the girls sing such a famous American song with their Spanish accents.  They are also making up a dance.  I will be sure to videotape it.

This weekend, we are doing our tour that got rained out and planning to go to Park Guell.  And the soccer game of course!!! I am so excited for the rest of the trip! The days fly by and before I know it, the trip will be over.  I am trying to savor every moment because I am definitely not ready to leave! I am having such a great time and I am so thankful for this opportunity! Adios!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Rainy Day in Spain

Today was such a rainy and cold day! I went out with some friends and we made the most of it though.  But let me catch you up on what has been happening these past few days.

Thursday was blue day at school for the competition they are having.  Blue was my class's color so it was a crazy day! The girls were so excited all day and did not want to do schoolwork.  We ended up coloring a lot of pictures and doing a lot of cheering!! "Go Blue! Go Blue!" My class would make a great group of cheerleaders.  So after school, I went back home and met Ane (my host mom) to spend the afternoon with her.  We went to pick up Jordi from soccer practice and brought one of his friends home with us.  We hung out at the apartment for a little bit and then she took me to El Corte Ingles. Oh my gosh.  I want to live in that store.  It is amazing.  It has literally everything you could ever need.  There are 7 or 8 stories.  There is a supermarket, a women's section, a men's section and a whole floor with just makeup.  It was heaven.  It was fun to hang out with Ane.  We are very much alike. She had a lot of funny stories and was telling me about the city, she is very easy to talk to.  Even if she says her English is bad! It is very good. She is so sweet.  Once again, I am so thankful I got such a wonderful host family.  So after we got done at El Corte Ingles, we walked around the shops right next to it.  There were a lot of stores and I enjoyed just browsing and talking with her.  Then we went home for dinner.  We had pizza with ham and a few other meats and jalepenos! It was so good.  After dinner, we sat and talked for a while.  We talked about Thanksgiving and I explained what the holiday meant in the United States.  I think we are going to go out for a Thanksgiving dinner! Jordi and Ane told me about a strike going on in Madrid and we just talked about random things.  It was nice.  I am really enjoying their company.  I am already sad to leave! :(

Friday was another crazy day at school! It was Santa Isabel Day, so we celebrated all day long.  In the morning they were divided into teams to play different sports such as soccer, volleyball or basketball.  My teacher plays basketball so I went to watch that while she did the scoring.  It was so fun to see the kids so happy and excited.  They were having a great time.  After the sports, my class made cookies! We went to the classroom and all the girls had brought supplies.  They did so well! I was impressed.  I am not sure my American students would do that well! Then at lunch the girls took the cookies home and baked them and brought them back! I thought it was awesome that they were able to do that.  The cookies were very good and the girls were happy because they did it themselves.  The kids here are so independent.  So then in the afternoon, we went to make jewelry in the art room.  We made rings out of wire with beads.  The girls had a great time.

After school, Sarah, Mary Bruce, Brittany, Erica and I went to Provenca to walk down Las Ramblas, a very famous street here with lots of performers and markets.  Well once we got off the metro, we couldn't figure out where to go! So we found a donut shop and had these huge amazing donuts! It was wonderful.  Then once we had looked at our map we figured it out.  By this time, it was getting dark and we heard that Las Ramblas isn't safe at night so we decided to walk down the street next to it where all the luxury shops are.  We saw so many and even went in a few but didn't touch anything! Haha! We saw a few Gaudi houses too and we plan to go in those later on. After a while, we found our favorite store, Zara! We went a little crazy for a second then went on down the street.  My phone started to die so luckily we found the Apple store.  It was HUGE! It's three stories and there were so many people in there.  It was crazy.  While we were waiting for my phone to charge, we asked an employee where a good place to eat would be.  He explained how to get to a traditional Catalan restaurant but it was getting late so we decided to just go to a place that was close.  The restaurant we chose was called La Poma.  It had pasta, pizza and all kinds of delicious things.  I had a Margherita pizza and a DIET COKE! haha they do not serve Diet Coke everywhere so I am very excited when I can have one.  Dinner was great.  After dinner we tried to head back home.  We got on the metro and were going the right way.  When we got to our stop we got up and went to the door.  We were waiting for it to open and it didn't! The train started moving again.  We started freaking out and then we realized that you had to press a button to open the door! Luckily we were at the end of the line so it just went to one stop and then came back to ours.  Crisis averted!

Today we had planned to go on a walking tour of Barcelona.  Well, when we woke up it was pouring down rain! So we had to reschedule our tour.  It was nice because I got to spend some time with Naroa before I went out. Jordi had a friend stay the night so they were playing in the living room.  After I figured out my plans, I went into the kitchen and Naroa made me breakfast! She climbed up on the counter and put some bread in the toaster for me.  She was so precious, she asked me how many? One or two? And then she kept looking in the toaster to see if it was done.  She was so proud that she made that toast! Then, while I was getting ready she wanted to watch so I let her play with some of my makeup.  When I started to put some on she kept saying, "Muy bonita!!" which means very beautiful in Spanish.  She is so cute and I just love hanging out with her.  
So we met at the metro station at noon.  I live very close to the metro but with the rain, it felt like a long walk! It was very cold and windy.  When I finally got there, we decided to head down to Placa Catalunya to explore.  This is in the center of the city and there are many shops and sights in this area.  We walked down La Rambla for a while and then we found La Boqueria!  It is an indoor market with all kinds of fresh fruits, vegetables and meats.  There are also lots of little restaurants that serve different kinds of food.  Sarah, Mary Bruce and I shared a nutella and banana crepe.  It was amazing!  After La Boqueria we kept walking and just taking pictures and having fun.  We ate at El Bosc de las Fades.  The inside looked like the woods with fairies and many other interesting things! It was really neat.  It's hard to explain but it was beautiful.  I had a Spanish omelette which was delicious. It is just eggs with potatoes and onions.  It was yummy.  After lunch, we walked down to the sea to see the Columbus statue.  After taking some pictures we decided to head over to Las Arenas, which is a mall that used to be an arena for bull fighting.  It was neat to see how they had transformed it.  You can also go to the top of the mall for a beautiful view of the city.  I really enjoyed it.  After that Sarah, Mary Bruce and I went back to El Corte Ingles to get a few things and then Sarah and I ate a little snack.  We had some nachos at a Mexican restaurant and they were very good.  Then, we headed back home for the night.  So even though today was rainy, I still think it was a success! 

I am loving Barcelona so much.  It is such a beautiful city with so much diversity and culture.  I am excited to learn more about the city and spend some time with my family tomorrow! That's all for now! Adios!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

First Days in Barcelona

Hola!! I'm here! In Barcelona!! It is amazing. I am loving every second! There is so much to say so I will try to put it all in here.

First of all, my host family is amazing!! They are so sweet and welcoming. The kids are precious. They loved the gifts I got them and I have been reading the books with the kids every night. They even had a surprise for me on the first night, tacos! My favorite meal :) I am so happy I got such a great family. They are wonderful.

School is crazy!!! It is Santa Isabel week at school. The school is named for Santa Isabel, a woman who turned bread into flowers. I hope that is right, the little girls in my class tried to explain it to me! It was half English half Spanish so I understood parts! Anyways, this week the students are all on different color teams, yellow, red, green or blue. My class is blue! Azul! So they have special activities for each color team on different days. Monday was yellow day, Tuesday was red day and so on. These are all to celebrate Santa Isabel day which is Friday. So because of this, the kids have been so crazy all week! But I love my classes and my teacher. Miss Laura is so sweet and speaks very good English. I gave them the letters my Kentucky students made and they loved it! They took turns reading them out loud and after each one the girls would go "Oh La La!!" Haha it was so cute. So Miss Laura teaches 3rd grade boys and 3rd grade girls. Their classes are separated so we are always running back and forth between classes. The teachers move rooms instead of the students here. My teacher only speaks English to the children which is great for me because I understand what's going on! Haha! When they walk in the classroom she says, "Good Morning, Welcome to London!" The students are only allowed to speak English. Most of them are very good but sometimes they will ask a friend, "how do you say _____ in English?" It's so sweet because they try so hard to talk to me in English. It makes me feel bad for not being good at Spanish! But school is going great and I am so happy with my classes. It is very different from America but I'll save that for another post :)

After school, a few friends and I have been exploring a little bit. We went shopping today which was great. I am back home now and about to go to bed. I am so happy in Barcelona! I will post more later! :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Today's the day!

I leave for Barcelona TODAY!!! I am so excited.  I never thought the day would get here.
I have been talking to my host family and they seem so sweet.  I can't wait to meet them.  I hope they like the gifts from Kentucky! :)
Packing was difficult but I think I've made the 50 lb weight limit! I'm only taking one suitcase, which is pretty impressive for me. ;) Especially since I'll be gone for a month!
My parents are taking me to the airport in a few hours.  I can't wait to get to Barcelona and meet my sweet family! Adios Kentucky! Hola Barcelona!