Final Goodbyes

Well this is it… It’s my last night in the beautiful city of Barcelona. As excited as I am to see my family and friends back at home, I’m not ready to leave my wonderful students and host family here. Saying goodbye to Gabriela and Patricia was harder than I ever imagined. We ended the night with a family picture in our WKU shirts and I put the girls to sleep for one last time.

From my host family showing me all around Barcelona to making me all the traditional Spanish food, I could not have asked for a better family. The girls were the little sisters I had always wanted. They looked up to me for everything and always wanted to share everything with me.

My teacher, Miss Hellen, and the rest of the teachers at RMSI were wonderful! They were all so sweet and welcoming. Even when I couldn’t understand them or they couldn’t understand my English, we always found a way to communicate.

Saying goodbye to my class and the teachers was one of the hardest goodbyes. The students each colored a picture for me and made me a poster with our picture on it. I have never received so many hugs and kisses! The kids all have a special place in my heart and I will miss them dearly!

I had a wonderful time here in Barcelona! I could not have asked for a better host family or placement. I am so thankful for this wonderful experience that I will cherish forever!

20140514-223003.jpg

20140514-223013.jpg

20140514-223054.jpg

20140514-223023.jpg

20140514-223042.jpg

Advertisements

Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช

This past weekend, I traveled to Pfaffenweiler, Germany (the sister city of my hometown Jasper, IN) to visit some friends. I flew into Switzerland Friday night where Annika and her mom picked me up. We went back to her parents house for food, wine, and to visit with her family.

Saturday morning, Annika and I went to city hall to meet the mayor. Mr. Haun talked to me about my family, and then showed me a picture he had on his desk that my grandpa had sent him. I also got to talk with Mr. Haun the school systems in America. In Germany, students with disabilities go to separate schools than the other students. He was interested to hear how we incorporate students with disabilities into our classrooms. After chatting for a while, he gave me a glass from Schnecke-Fescht. It is the last glass they made. He then showed me around his office and the different things he has from Jasper.

After meeting the major, Annika and I went to the Pfaffenweiler weinhaus to sample wine and meet our friend Caro. Annika and Caro then took me walking around Pfaffenweiler and then we went to Caro’s house for ice cream. After ice cream, we went driving up the vineyards to see the city. After exploring around Pfaffenweiler, Freiburg, and Staufen, we went to Annika’s parents house for lunch and then went shopping in France. ๐Ÿ™‚ After shopping, Annika ended our night with some friends at a Wine Fest in Freiburg.

Sunday morning, Annika’s brother and dad picked us up to go to the Black Forest. We walked around the shops for a while, had lunch, then headed back into Freiburg to explore and to have Black Forest cake and coffee.

I had the best weekend in Germany! It was so great to see my heritage and to see the town that I have heard so much about my entire life.

20140512-083456.jpg

20140512-083522.jpg

20140512-083607.jpg

20140512-083616.jpg

Italy๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

This past weekend was a holiday here in Europe so we only had a 3 day week at school and were off Thursday and Friday. My fellow SPED majors and I (6girls) traveled to Italy for the long weekend.

ROME
We began our adventure right after school Wednesday night. We flew from Barcelona to Rome. We got to Rome late Wednesday night and went straight to our hotel. Thursday morning we woke up early to begin site seeing. We started with a tour bus that took us around the city, showing us all the famous attractions. We then went to the Vatican (BEAUTIFUL!!!) Since it was May first (which is apparently a holiday in Europe) everything was closed. (Very silly) while at the Vatican, we could not see all that we wanted, but we still got to go into St. Peter’s Basilica and see various parts around the Vatican. After the Vatican, we hopped back on the bus where it took us to the colosseum. After looking around the colosseum, Roman ruins, and having lunch, we got back on the bus again to go Trevi Fountain. We all got gelato, made a wish in the fountain, and finished exploring the city. After exploring the city, we stopped at an ice bar for a drink and to rest. After the ice bar, we headed back toward our hotel and had dinner at a local pizzeria.

FLORENCE
Friday morning we woke up early to catch a train the Florence. After arriving in Florence, we bought tickets for the tour bus and rode around to see the city. For lunch we stopped at a small shop to have pizza and pasta (my favorite meal of the trip). After lunch we got back on the bus to explore some more. It started raining, so we all bought ponchos and stood in line for the Michael Angelo Museum where we saw the statue of David and various other famous art work. After the museum, we went shopping and headed back to our hotel for the night.

VENICE
Saturday morning, we woke up early again to catch a train to Venice! We arrived in Venice at about 11:00am, checked in to our hotel, and began exploring. Since Venice is surrounded by water we decided to take a water taxi to the opposite side of the city and then walk back to the central area so we were sure to see everything along the way. The taxi dropped us off right next to Saint Marks Basilica and Doge’s Palace. We explored around the area and then went to see Rialto Bridge. It began sprinkling, so we headed back to check into our hotel and eat at a local pizzeria.

Sunday morning we slept in, checked out of our hotel, and went to enjoy Venice! We went shopping for a little and then went on a gondola ride. After our relaxing ride on the gondola, we walked to Saint Mark’s Campanile and went up the tower to see off of Venice. We ended our day by having lunch along the water and then caught a bus to the airport.

Italy was beautiful! Rome was amazing and full of so much history, Florence was exactly how I pictured Italy to look, and Venice was the icing on the top of the cake, breathtaking! It was nice to have a little vacation on top of my vacation here in Barcelona. It’s good to be back in in Barcelona with my host family and to see all the kids in classroom! ๐Ÿ˜Š

20140505-190504.jpg

20140505-190809.jpg

20140505-190817.jpg

20140505-190756.jpg

20140505-190235.jpg

20140505-190257.jpg

20140505-190327.jpg

From Mountain to Sea

WoW! What a weekend! I seriously think I have the best host parents on this trip. This weekend they spent the entire weekend with me showing me every part of Barcelona. Barcelona is located in between 2 mountains, this weekend I was on top of both of them.

Friday, they picked the girls and I up from school to take us for Sagrada Familia. BEAUTIFUL!!

They then took me to Tibidabo which is at the top of the mountain and it overlooks the entire city of Barcelona.

Saturday, we started our day sight seeing at the Barcelona cathedral as well as other cathedrals in town including the church where Natalia and Javier got married. We had lunch on the the Mediterranean Sea then went to see the Olympic port, the Olympic stadium, and a military castle which was on top of the other mountain. We then went to La Pedrera by Gaudi and ended our day visiting the FCBarcelona soccer stadium and having sushi as home.

Sunday was beach day! We drove about 30 minutes to the families house in Sitges. We rode our bikes to the beach and enjoyed the beautiful weather. For lunch, we ate at a delicious restaurant on the harbor, walked around the city and had crepes!

It was an exhausting weekend, but I had a great one! My family took me around to everywhere I wanted to go and we ate at some of the best restaurants. The weekend was perfect! Now for school tomorrow..

20140427-221622.jpg

20140427-224632.jpg

20140427-224735.jpg

20140427-224800.jpg

20140427-224815.jpg

20140427-224826.jpg

Sant Jordi

Barcelona is beautiful! The buildings are beautiful and everything is very modern. There are markets everywhere full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. One of the big differences is eating. Here they eat 2 breakfasts, lunch around 1:00, and supper around 9:00. Lunch is a big meal to them like supper is our big meal in the states. Everything is also much smaller here. The roads are very narrow, food portions are small, and everyone walks close together; much different than the United States. So far my experience has been great! My family is very nice and helpful and my teacher is great!

Today was my first day at school as well as it being Sant Jordi Day (Saint George). Saint George day is a holiday celebrated in Barcelona on April 23rd where they sell books and roses on the street. The rose is the symbol of Saint George.

The story goes that a princess was getting attacked by a dragon when Saint George came up and killed the dragon to save the princess. The dragon bleed roses so the prince took the rose and gave it to the princess.
Today at school, all the younger children came to school dressed as princes and princess. It was a fun day for the children filled with a play about Saint George, a puppet show, and the students selling various items they made to their classmates.

After school, Natalia, Patricia, and I took the metro to downtown Barcelona to walk the streets for Saint George day. After arriving home, I helped the girls with their homework and then we had supper as a family. I then showed the family where I’m from and pictures of WKU.

First day in Spain

After a long day of flying and sitting in airports, we finally made it to Spain! When we arrived, it was 9:00am in Barcelona and 2:00am in Kentucky. We were bussed to the school, where our host parents picked us up. After my host mom, Natalia picked me up, we went home to drop off my luggage and to freshen up. We then went on a walk around Barcelona and finished up with lunch at the club where she plays Paddle Tennis (a mixture of Tennis and Squash).

At 2:00 we all met back at the school for an orientation with our coordinator. While there, we got a tour of the school and got to meet the teacher we will be teaching with. I will be teaching with a Kindergarten teacher who teaches about fifty 4 and 5 year olds a day.

After orientation, Natalia picked me up and we rode the metro home. When we arrived home, her oldest daughter, Patricia (9) was home. She greeted me and we then walked her to music school. After dropping Patricia off, I went home to rest until Natalia had to pick up her youngest daughter, Gabriela (7). I helped Gabriela study for her spelling test and she read to me in english. The girls and I then played the wii until Javier came home and we had supper. For supper, Natalia made a traditional Spanish meal of a Spanish omelet, ham, baguettes, cheese, and little chicken stuffers that I do not know the name of, but they look like mozzarella sticks. The meal was delicious, there was nothing I did not like about it. After dinner, I gave the family their gifts and everyone got ready for bed.

As crazy and exhausting as the day was, I have loved every minute I have been here. My family is great, the girls are precious! ๐Ÿ™‚ The city is beautiful and the food is good! The time change will take some getting use to as well as eating dinner at 9:00 at night. Overall, it was great day! Tomorrow I start teaching Kindergarten!