Monday, November 24, 2014

My weekend in Barcelona

This weekend I finally had a chance to see more of Barcelona. Friday night a friend and I had topas, which are mini appetizers, at Txapela. They were delicious! Later we met up with couple other friends and walked around Plaça Cataluyna. Barcelona has Christmas lights up all over the city. It is such a beautiful sight. We drank some red wine at El Racó, which was quite delightful. We sat outside and enjoyed the atmosphere.
On Saturday, I went to El Born with my family. This is a little town within Barcelona. There is much more history in this city than I thought. The city of Barcelona was bombed 300 years ago when Spain took over Catalunya. Cataluyna was a separate country at this point, but were not strong enough to defend themselves. Catalan people still feel very strongly about their freedom and would like to have their independence back. Anyways, on Saturday I saw the Capitol building, the Cathedral, and went to some great shops and cafés. There is so much to do and see in this city.
Saturday night I went to the Barcelona vs. Seville fútbol match! It was a blast and an awesome experience! I have always wanted to attend a professional fútbol game. Barcelona won 5-1, Messi scored a hat trick, and also broke the record for the most goals scored in Spainish fútbol history. The crowd was going nuts! It was an exciting moment to see. After the game I went to dinner with Anna and Xavi at a local Japanese restaurant called Zuo. It was the best Japanese I've ever had. The fish was so fresh. It defintely was not like the Japanese food in America. It was very light and healthy.

On Sunday, I hiked up Tibidabo Mountain. I could see the entire city of Barcelona. It was breath taking. I'm sad because my pictures did not turn out well due to some cloudiness, but the view was extraordinary. There is church built right on top of the mountain that looks like an ancient castle. Many of the buildings I saw this weekend have the Gothic stlye build. There is also an amusement park located at the top of the mountain! It is so awesome! It is a goregous place to visit. Along the hiking trail up the mountain there are stops along the way where you can sit and have lunch or have a nice read. It's a very peaceful place to visit. After Tibidabo, I went to Parc Guell which was designed and built by the famous Guadi. His work is unbelievable. The park is great. There is the main part where all of the Guadi structures are and then there is the actual park which is massive. It has all of these walking paths, stone walkways, and bridges. There are many places to sit and have lunch. The forestry at the park is beautiful. I went home after seeing these places, showered, and went straight to bed. I have walked so much since I've been here. I love it, but it's exhuasting! I'm looking forward to my week at school. Then on Friday I am heading to Rome for the weekend! Ahhh I'm so excited! Until then :)

Friday, November 21, 2014

My first full week at St. Paul´s School

Today concludes my first full week here in Barcelona at St. Paul´s School.  I am enjoying every minute of my time here.  My teacher´s name is Sarah and had been an instructor at this school for 16 years.  She had taught me many new activities and strategies that will be useful for my future classroom. This week I taguth my first lesson about Bowling Green, KY and Nashville, TN, the two places that I am from. The students enjoy hearing country music for the first time and I also showed them a funny video of Big Red, WKU´s mascot, dacning. They loved it! The students here are so bright and willing to learn new things.  They are learning three languages at this school: English, Catalan, and Spanish. Most of the students speak Catalan in their household.  They also have the option to learn Chinese after school a few days of the week.  Many of the students choose to do this.  I wish America pushed another language on our students.  I think by not teaching Spanish to our students, we are hurting their chances of succeeding in the future.
The sudents here go to school from 9am-4:45pm.  The days were long at first, but now I feel used to the new schedule and I think it is a lot better on the teachers and the students during the school day.  There are many breaks for the students to go outside and the teachers to help other colleagues or to plan out their lessons.  The school environment is much more relaxed and not so rushed.  There is time.  In America, the teacher is lucky to get maybe 30 minutes of free/break time.  Here, a teacher might have 1 hour at 1 time to plan and get things together for the following week or to help out other teachers in the school.  This is a great atmosphere to be among.  I am considering teaching internatioanlly for a career. I planned this trip as a trial run, to see how well I would be able to adapt to a new enviornment and how the school systems opereated.  So far, I have loved the change of pace, the new daily routine, etc. I feel like I can stop and catch my breath, things are not rush, and everyone seems generally happy and relaxed at the school.  This is an environment that I can see myself being involved with for a long time.  This trip has been more than I could have imagined. I love it here and will be sad to say goodbye to this wonderful city. I look forward to spending the rest of my time here learning, living, and enjoying every minute with the people I have met.
This weekend I will be staying in Barcelona. Tonight I plan to go out to Placa Cataluyna.  Tomorrow I will travel around and see the city during the day, go to the beach, etc. Then tomorrow night I will be attending the Barcelona Futbol game with Xavi and my host Grandpa. I can not wait!! It has been wish of mine to go to a professional Futbol game! Then on Sunday, Xavi, Anna, and I are going to take a run up Tibidabo Mountain where we will be able to see the entire city of Barcelona and then have brunch on the beach near the water.  Then after brunch they will take me around and show me some new places. I plan to post pictures of the weekend....until then :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Last day in Calella

Today we went to the tennis club where Xavi and Anna take tennis lessons every Saturday and Sunday. I played a little futbol with the girls while we were there. After visiting the tennis club we went to the beach which is just right across the street from their summer home. The beach is beautiful. This beach in Calella is very special because it is made of very small stones instead of sand. Xavi swam in the sea. I found some stones too keep. The water was freezing but the weather is quite warm. It is suppose to get warmer this week. After the beach we went back to the house. The grandparents came over and we had a big lunch. We had a whole fish that was bought yesterday at the market. We ate this with tomatoes and potatoes. For appetizers we had croquettes, rice, and muscles that were delicious. For dessert we had an apple cake/pie type thing. This was very sweet. After dinner we tidy up the house then headed back to Barcelona for the week. I am here now. Xavi and I took a walk down to the bakery to get bread and ham. He showed me where the metro station is located and was train to take when going to the Centre of Barcelona. I am very excited for this week of school. I am happy that I have more energy so that I will be at my best for the children. Being here, in this new environment, is amazing. It makes me want to reach abroad that much more. I look forward to the rest of my time here.