Monday, April 29, 2013

Picasso Attempt

What a dreary day in Barcelona!  I woke up and automatically pressed snooze on my cell phone.  It is cold and rainy!!  This weather is making me gloomy and tired :/  I did not pack a lot of warm clothes which was a mistake...I have been wearing the same long sleeve shirt a lot! Especially now that it has been cold for several days. 

Last night the family came over for Pablo and Jorge's birthday.  We had 2 types of cake and crepes which I didn't try, I was scared I wouldn't like it and I didn't want to leave anything on my plate haha Another thing we had was a champagne that was 180 euros!!!!  These Barcelonians take presents to the next level!  In one of my earlier posts I talked about how they give Nacho gifts for taking care of them since he is a doctor, well this champagne was from one of his patients!!!  Woah! 
The boys had a ball!!  They got matching shoes, a mini soccer goal and ball, plastic soccer balls, books, and many other things.  It was funny to see them blow out the candles especially Pablo!!!  He kept making his cheeks really big and holding it then breathing really hard.  He did this probably 5 times until they both blew out their cakes together. 

Back to today... This morning was crazy with the kids.  Our second class we had to keep them in their classroom for 15 minutes to make them calm down and actually listen.  Well go figure they didn't pay attention to what Rudy was saying so we waited and waited while he screamed at them to listen.  Finally he started deducted points off their grades which did not help either.  Finally he sent one boy away saying he was expelled from class- he ended up coming back in the room though 5 minutes later.  Then the last class of the day I got to teach!  When we went to get the girls from their classroom I thought it was going to be a bad first experience teaching.  To make a long story short they were wasting time in the classroom not coming out and Rudy actually threw one girl's backpack and folders into the hallway!!! That definitely would not happen in the US!! :O  When we got to the gym, which is 87 steps from the first floor- I counted today, I had complete control.  It was very different!  Normally I can yell loud in a gym but I felt like no matter how loud I was it wasn't loud enough!  The girls just wouldn't stop talking!  We did penalty kicks, corner kicks, and played a mini game.  I made it out alive!

After school the girls and I took the metro to the Picasso Museum.  When we first got off the metro there is a shoe store that sales the shoes that I have been wanting since the first day here...even the yellow color that I want!  They are reasonably priced too.  I already bought a pair similar but those were high tops and a different color :)  When we found our way to the museum, it was closed!!!  We asked a man in a shop and I guess it is closed every Monday...bummer!  I don't know when we would be able to go back since we only have ONE WEEK left!!!! AH.  I still want to see so many things!  Since the museum was closed we walked around and looked in shops.  There were some stores that is by the museum that has very pretty bowls, tea cups, plates etc and I am on a mission to find me something for my future home!!  Hopefully I will be able to find something but I haven't made up my mind on what to get!  There was a beautiful vase in one store so hopefully I will find something similar elsewhere or in Paris.  If you have any suggestions let me know :D

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cold and Rainy Day

Hola! Today it has been raining off and on. I definitely did not prepare for cold or wet weather!!!! My goal was to pack light and jackets and such were not on my mind. Today I got to thinking about how there is ONLY 2 weeks left until I go back home :/ I really think I will cry once the 8th comes. I miss people from home but the culture here is just better and I love seeing new things every day even if I don't go downtown. I can just sit outside and enjoy the weather.
Rudy has really got it in my mind that I want to come back here an teach. He has been telling me about the schools I need to look into an how they are American schools... Which makes it even better! I wouldn't want to stay this far away from home my whole life but it would be amazing if I could for several years! I may look into the schools if I get the A OK from mom and Ben!! It would be GREAT!
Today I saw yet another fight with the older boys! One boy actually got a black eye! No one got in trouble or anything though.. I guess they don't have punishment for stuff like that. But from the beginning of class Xavi was mad at them. In the pool he made the class swim laps for an hour with no free time and then once we got to the gym they ran for 30 minutes and it was time to go. He told me that someone from the military needs to come in and teach them because they won't listen. So next class if they act up, they will be swimming laps and running. All of my money says they will be running next week!!
This weather is getting to me though. All day I was yawning and day dreaming! I even woke up late... I forgot to set my alarm!! Thank goodness for noisy kids in the mornings haha.
Yesterday my younger girls class took picture with me. They were SO excited and kept kissing me and not letting go of my hands even when I was walking to lunch! Thinking about that makes me realize how different the schools are ere. Affection is a part of their culture. The teachers kiss the students (on the cheeks) almost every day. The girl students always kiss me and I them when I have them in class. If I did that in the US, boy would I get fired... Quick! Also Rudy plays around with the boys by hitting them, what they call the two finger punch and some other things and he even made the comment I could NEVER do this in an American school! Which is so true.
Tomorrow I am going to the mountains with my family! It is supposed to be COLD! Mid 30s.. Needless to say I am borrowing gloves, a hat, boots, and a coat from Patricia! Oh last night Patricia showed me her Pinterest account and we looked and looked for forever on there! She ended up loving all of mom's pins and added her and mine.
Anywho I am going to bed!! Buenos Noches!

The picture of Pablo is from last night's dinner. He was trying to eat his putting with his tongue and it was all over his face and hair!


Hi!  Sorry I haven't wrote in awhile..again haha Friday I had a very slow day.  I only had 4 classes and breaks after each one.  One of my breaks lasted over 2 hours!!  I went to Nyo's at got a coffee and doughnut while I read inside.  It was a rainy cold day again in Barcelona.  At the end of the day I was with Xavi and the sweetest class.  I was with a 2nd grade girls class and I adore them!!  They are so cute especially when I was trying to teach them because they loved listening to my English.  There were 3 other classes in the pool and it got SO loud that I was screaming just trying to give directions, definitely not used to doing that especially in the gym at home.  Xavi and I were talking about what we were doing this weekend and he is going to the mountains too but south from Barcelona and he is going to run in a race and we talked about a beer that Rudy told me to try and no one has even heard of it.  Alex, Xavi, the head swimming coordinator, and the other PE teacher (I forgot his name) had no idea and we ended up googling it.  Krieck is a Belgium beer that comes in a lot of flavors but they said that Barcelona doesn't sale it that they know of.  Who knows.  Any who, it was the last day for the student teachers that are from here.  For lunch we celebrated and got pizza, potato fries, chips etc.  The pizza was is from Boston Pizza and we are going to try and find the place to get more sometime soon.
Once I got home from school I started to pack for Cerdanya.  It is not pronounced sur-dan-yeah  but by having a lisp.  THUR-DAWN-YAH.  We left around 9:30ish and got there close to 11.  On the way there I got to go through the longest tunnel in Spain which is around 3 miles long I think.  On the way up it was raining and the temperature started to decrease.  At one point I was about to tell Nacho to pull over because I thought I was getting car sick, which never happens to me.  I am not used to going up mountains and around turns at high speed.  It was getting to me.  At one point I shut my eyes thinking that would help but oh no it made me more dizzy!! Thank goodness we were close at this point.
We pulled up to the house and it is beautiful even though it is right next to a cemetery.  Their house is split in half where they share with another family. Their house is 3 stories made of stone and wood which is mandatory in every village in Cerdanya.  I would love to have a house in the mountains like this one!  The windows remind me of Beauty and the Beast how Belle swings the wooden windows open because that's how you open the windows here!  It was neat.  When you looked out the windows you could see the mountains and the horses in the back yard.  In the morning I took a picture out one of the windows and then 15 minutes later it started snowing...hard.  It wasn't even cold but it was sticking to the ground and it made really good snowballs!  The kids and I went outside and walked around the village and we had a mini snow ball fight until Pablo got cold.  Later on we went to town which is around 30 minutes away-it is the closest place to get food and gas from their village.  At one point we entered France to get to the market!  As soon as you crossed over all the buildings looked the same other than the signs were now in French.  We drove around and they wanted to take me down by the river but the snow picked up even more.  But they told me that fireworks go off at night and you can have picnics by the river..Nacho says it's a place for "lovers", very romantic.
On the way back to the house, Patricia showed me where the first houses that were built in Cerdanya.  They are bigger houses and the owner of Donuts actually owns a house there!  Donuts is a brand name here and the doughnuts are AMAZING.  But the houses around there cost around 1 million euros.  For dinner I had a Catalina delicacy.  It is called pa amb tomaquet which is in Catalan not Spanish.  It stands for bread with tomato.  I am definitely going to do this when I get back home.

You need: bread, tomatoes, garlic (optional), olive oil, and salt
Cut the bread into slices and cut the tomato in half.  You can toast your bread if you want.  Next, take the tomato and rub it all over the bread then take the salt and sprinkle salt all over it.  After take the oil and pour over bread.  If you want to try the garlic cut the garlic into pieces and rub the garlic on the bread FIRST then follow what to do with the tomato and others.  It is kind of like burshetta minus the tomato chunks.  Having the garlic gives it a different kind of taste but still good!

 I played soccer with Guillermo, Alejandra, Maria and her brother who live next door, and Inaki.  It stopped snowing for a bit and everything melted so we went and played.  After awhile, the girls and I rode our bikes to see the horses down the rode.  It ended up sleeting!!  Woah talk about cold and your face hurting from it hitting you!  Once we got to the place you could barely see the horses, they were taking cover by a building so we hurried back home to warm up.  Later we watched Barcelona Hand Ball which was neat seeing the guy I told you about play!  He is actually REALLY good!! He is number 9 and is one of the top 5 best hand ball players according to Nacho.  They were playing in the final four and needed to win by 5 and they ended up winning by 8 I think!  The game was in Barcelona and the stadium went nuts when the game was over!

Today after church we had to hurry back to Barcelona because it started snowing really hard.  They said if we didn't pack up now we would get stranded there!  Once we got on the road it was covered with snow!!  I really thought we would get stranded but we made it A-OK.  We are having another Birthday party since yesterday (Saturday) was Pablo and Jorge's 3rd Birthday!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Saint Jordi's Day

Yesterday was Saint Jordi's Day (Jordi is George in English). Everywhere you went there were booths set up to buy books or roses for the opposite sex. Normally the men are supposed to buy a single rose for a woman and the woman is supposed to give a book to the man. This day felt like a holiday.
The ESO students sold cakes and baked goods during free time and they had a free day in the gymnasium that I helped with. There was tug of war, sword fighting with pool noodles, volleyball, badminton, ring toss, and others. There was a set schedule for all of the grades to do different activities like perform a dance or sing to the rest of the students in their grade. Since I helped Xavi when I was supposed to be with Rudy I ended up getting done very early because I couldn't find Rudy at school and one of the teachers jut told me to leave because he was probably off campus watching the fourth graders and I would probably get lost if I went alone.
I thought it was interesting when Rudy told me that some kids can miss class if they are good at a sport. For example, yesterday a boy missed class because he was being tutored by someone else in tennis. He is the champion of tennis and the school understands that he is very good and they allow him to take extra lessons during school! How cool!
Once school ended Abby, Kenzie, Tayler an I went down to las Rambla to see the festivities. There were TONS of people!! Booths were set up all down the street and authors were there to sign books! We couldn't find any books on English though :( as we walked down we came across a market and they had everything there!! Meat was hanging from the ceiling, all types of fruits, vegetables, candy, chocolate, fresh smoothies.. Which were only one euro! I tried some samples of fudge at one table and it was SO good! When we left the market and walked a little more we ended up seeing a mini riot. I wasn't able to read the signs but it was about the culture. I'm not for sure if it was about the issue on how people want to divide Spain into 2 states or what?!
When I got home we had potato omelets again and the watche the barca game! It was very bad. Nacho said that barca only plays with 10 players instead of 11 because Alexis is no good and needs to go home! Every time that Alexis messed up or got a foul it was hilarious to see Nacho's reaction. Barcelona ended up losing 4-0 and we all went to bed in a sad mood. I looked up tickets to go next week to the game and shew they are over 300 euros! Needless to say I won't scratch that off my bucket list here this time!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mamma Mia we went to Roma!

Sorry that I have not wrote since Wednesday!  Everything has been crazy and I am always on the go!  Well just to give you a run down of my excursion TO Rome:
1. The ESO boys (16 year olds) were insane Thursday.  They got me SOAKED in swimming class which the thought it was funny.  They also kept making these like ohh-la-la noises when I was trying to teach them the breast stroke...boys will be boys.

2. Tayler and I took the wrong bus to the airport but no worries we quickly found our way!

3. We got to the airport and we felt like dummies because while we were in security we took our shoes off well we got funny looks.  I looked at Tayler and said, "Well looks like they have never had a 9/11 or terrorist attack!"  So we quickly put our shoes back on before we reached the security people.  I guess only the US makes you do that???

4.  As we wre waiting for our plane we saw an argument.  This is the first of many times we wish we spoke their language because it got heated.  The entire room fell silent and we all starred as these 3 women yelled and carried on with the information people before they got on their flight.  My guess is that their carry on bag was too big because they were throwing it around and opening and closing it.  RyanAir will only allow you one carry on item.  You have to fit your purse and everything into that bag or else you have to check it in for 50 euros! 

5.  Now it is time to board the plan an hour later... guess what?  ANOTHER fight breaks out.  This time it was scary.  A man in front of us was getting his passport looked at (he is italian) and my guess is that they thought it was fake.  He kept yelling and throwing his hands in the air going xrazy and saying something something passaporta!  So I am thinking that it was his passport.  Well anyway they let him go through and he turns around in front of me and is still yelling back at them (my guess is that he is cussing them) well low-and-behold one of the workers comes running past me to this man who is right in front of me and starts yelling at him.  The man still is yelling and won't calm down...after about 5 minutes the worker says something and the guy yells at him as the worker runs off in the opposite direction.  While we were waiting to get on the plane he kept starring back towards the gate opening I guess expecting security.  We get on the plane and I was like oh gosh we are going to see this man get escorted off!!  Bad news.. but good news for him... no one came.  He made it to Rome safely as far as I know! 

Okay so now starts my journey....  Tayler and I make it to our metro station by the hostel...the Termini which is pretty much in the center of Rome.  We went to eat since we were starving (we landed at 8ish in which I got to see a beautiful sunset right before we landed).  We had pizza at some restaurant and they told us it was for one person...well it was HUGE. 
We walked to Alessandro palace which is our hostel and checked in we go to our room and I will never forget Tayler's face.  I about lost it I was laughing SO hard.  I opened the door and there are 3 bunk beds and one girl is asleep on one of the top bunks and the rest are taken all but two.  The two beds are on the opposite side of the room from each other and both top bunk.  Tayler mind you is still standing in the doorway just starring wide eyed!  She looks at me and says, "Kelsey, can we please sleep together? I don't know about this."  I never laughed so hard in my life!  So we were scared and used the bathroom together that was in our room because we didn't want to be alone with this girl that was sleeping.  Then the bar downstairs is booming with music.  We just thought of the worst.  Long story short, the girl that was asleep is VERY nice.  She is chinese and is going to school in the U.K. and loved Tayler's name since it reminded her of Chuck Taylors haha.  We met our other roommates throughout the weekend and they were nothing but nice.  All of them were traveling alone and told us where they have been and for how long.  Just a note, Tayler and I ended up sleeping in separate beds since we felt comfortable with them.  I still slept with my passport and wallet but still you never know!
Friday morning we got up early to go on our Vatican Tour which was amazing.  At one point Tayler looked at me and said, "Kels I think I am going to cry."  If you are reading this and you have not been to Rome you need to and you will feel the exact same way.  The Vatican is fabulous and flat out breath taking.  The entire time I was in awe...every.single.part of it. Again, words cannot describe the things I saw.  Until you go you will understand.  The tour was a thumbs up.  We went through Viator and our guides name was Laura.  I learned so much about Micahelangelo, Raphael and other painters, history behind the Vatican etc.
After the Vatican we went to the basillica which again is breathtakingly beautiful. I could not imagine going to church there.  I told Tayler can you imagine having your wedding in a place like this?!!  There were so many statues, other popes have been preserved there.  Afterwards, we went to eat lunch that was close to the Bascillica.  We ended up both getting lasagna which was very good but the downside was that we were sitting outside and homeless people kept coming up to us!!!  One lady would not leave our table and it's sad that you say no but let me tell ya she did not like that answer!  I kept saying no and she was pointing to her belly (I think she was pregnant) and she just stared at me and so we ignored her, well she didn't leave until a couple of few awkward minutes.  Once she left then another guy came through!!  You just couldn't catch a break between them and the ANNOYING people who want to sell you these scarves and wooden baskets!
After lunch we headed back to the hostel because after all of the pictures we took everything we owned was dead!  Once we were recharged it was time for another tour which was free.  If you are traveling to Rome google free Rome tours.  It was a good tour.  We got to go inside a church where the first 3D painting in Italy was painted, the spanish steps, the pantheon, other churches, government buildings- we got to see the secret service outside because all of these important people were inside teh buildings deciding on a new president, Fontana de Trevi- we threw a coin over a shoulder for good luck, some statues and monuments etc. 
We finally met up with Abby and Kenzie since they arrived Friday morning.  We had dinner separately so Tayler and I went close to our hostel and our waiter looked exactly like corey off boy meets world other than he had a mole on his chin.  Our waiter loved us.  He actually begged us not to leave because we were attractive and he didn't want to be stuck with "old people" haha.  Another note about Rome..if you like Sangria's DO NOT I repeat DO NOT get any there.  I had 4 sips and I was done.  We told our waiter about how strong and different it was and he told us they make things stronger in Rome unlike Spain.  So just have that in your mind, unless you really like nasty stuff then go ahead and order it :D

Saturday we took a bus tour and say the colosseum, capitine hill, the forum and other things.  It was a long and tiring  and very cold day!  Sunday we ended up going back to the Vatican and we just missed the pope..there were TONS of people waving flags and banners listening to him speak.  Sunday we just enjoyed our day.  We saw the thigns we wanted to see and just walked and sat wherever.  We bought some paintings for one euro that we are going to hang in our future houses..they are very pretty.  We ended up seeing a concert and mini mouse, mickey mouse and tigger there too! 

Our flight back home was really late we ended up not flying in until 10:30 and we didn't actually get home until midnight becuase we might or might not have gotten lost ;)  the bus that Tayler and I took the airport was closed so we didn't know where to go.  We ended up getting on a train to another metro.  That metro to another metro (which was going the wrong way) then we got on another metro to our stop!  We were SO tired that I just said if anything we can sleep on the streets because we have clothes, face wash, water, tooth brush, and other necessities to survive through one night haha

Well I am going to bed.  Tomorrow is Saint George's Day!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am really excited to see how they celebrate and especially to go to school because all day is activities and music!  I think tomorrow we are going to go to Las Ramblas and see the parade which supposidly lasts all day.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It has already been a week?!!!

Time has flown by!! I cannot believe a week ago I just arrived in the Toscas house and would soon start my first day at Reial Monestir de Santa Isabel!  I am not liking this one bit... I need and want it to go by slow.  A lot of the student teachers that I came with are ready to leave because they are home sick and want the American culture back...I am the complete opposite.  Barcelona is amazing in every way not matter if they do make fun of me for being American at restaurants ;)  I have tried so many new things that I wouldnt ever get in the United States.  Seeing the culture difference has really brought insight on how other people live, this isn't like a vacation for 1-2 weeks; I am actually living here and experiencing everything that Barcelona has to offer.  I couldn't be happier.  I do miss my family but I never get home sick...I love being away and starting fresh and seeing different things and meeting new people!

Today I was with Rudi and my morning started off late.  I did not have class until 10:30 so I woke up at my usual time and did some homework then met Tayler at Doctor Coffee.  I got a strawberry smoothie that was delicious!  All of my classes were crazy because the boys fought during soccer, go figure.  One class even got punished where they could not play for the rest of the year.  They were insane..before class even started one boy started kicking another kid in the stomach and even when he fell on the ground!  We are talking about 3rd grade!  I just want to know what the parents do at they even have discipline or do they just not care?!  In another class of boys one of them not too long ago assaulted Rudy...crazy and insane kids!!!

After school some of the girls that I have had in class saw me and ran and bear hugged me!! They are so precious... they drug me to meet their parents and how excited they were that they had an American teacher!  I was so happy that they were excited!  I told their parents how well they have been doing in class and that I love them! :D

Rudy gave me a map of Rome for tomorrow and circled all of the places I need to see (he has been there over 10 times!).  Hopefully Tayler and I won't get lost Thursday night and Friday morning by ourselves should be interesting!  I am so excited to go to Rome though!!! Saturday I will actually get to see my precious little bit Abby in Florence (she is my KD little sister)  It has been WAY too long! Tayler and I are flying out of Barcelona tomorrow at 6:30 PM and will land in Rome around 8:30 then we are going to walk around probably and hopefully find our hostel.  Friday morning we have a tour that we booked and we will get to see the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museum, St Raphael's room etc.  We are praying that the temperatures drop a little because we haev to wear long sleeves and jeans on the tour.. so we are going to be sweating like pigs!  Then that night we found a free tour that takes us to 15 different places I think!  Hopefully everything works out as planned!  Saturday Florence...then Sunday Rome again and we fly out of Rome I think 9 PM.

Tonight for dinner I had chicken (of course) red peppers which are delicious (I am making these  when I get back home!-Ben would love it), crockets, pineapple, potatoes and green beans together...I could have ate until I passed out!  Everything is SO good!  But I did grow a wild hair tonight.... There is a "jam" as they say, we call it HAM ha but any who it is the most expensive ham in the country if I heard right... for a leg it is 1,000+ euros!  Looking at it you would never touch it... it looks raw and gross but I mean come on it's expensive and I would never try it again.  So that wild hair grew and a took me a piece...I chewed and chewed then starting laughing because it was gross!!!  Of course I swallowed it because I didn't want to be rude but jeez it was not something I would try again.  Alejandra ate all of it but 3 pieces!!!!  I don't know how that girl loves it so much.  Oh and just to let you know they did not spend 1,000 euros on this thing it was a gift to Nacho and the hospital.  He says it is very common to give your doctors gifts and that is what he got!  I will have to take a picture of it next time that way you will see how insane I am for trying it.

Well I have to go!  I have plenty of homework to get done unfortunately!  Tomorrow I have my crazy boys who are 16 that have no filter for swimming and for regular PE.  It should be interesting!  I will definitely have to blog after that class because I know they are going to do some stupid things haha


Oh and I posted pictures in my last post from yesterday!! I forgot to add the pictures last night.

Inaki and Guillermo on the way to school after lunch...what a sweet big brother!

Shopping Day

     Sorry that I did not update you all yesterday.  I have been SO busy every day.  I feel like I am nonstop.  Having classes on top of student teaching is a pain!  The TWS is due next week so I am trying to finish everything before this weekend and I have a night class that has presentations due that I need to finish to send to my teacher.  I am going to miss out on some things today and next week but oh well.... I need to finish this unfortunately.
     Well school went well yesterday.  I forgot to tell you all about Rudi.  He is from Argentina and he reminds me of Ramos.  Ramos is a teacher that I had at Western and he was very sarcastic and liked to joke around with people.  They are pretty much the same person and look similar!  A lot of the student teachers here have talked about discipline within the classroom and how awful it is because students will talk when you are trying to explain something and the teacher really doesn't do much.  Well in P.E. it is the complete opposite.  It is very structured and if Rudi is trying to explain something and the students are talking he will yell and get after them and wait while telling him they are wasting their time to play a game at the end of class.  This is what I do minus the yelling haha.  He is used to the American way because when he started teaching he was with American students in Argentina and throughout Europe.  Also, I got to learn about his personal life.  He told me about his wife yesterday and I learned that she has Huntington's Disease.  I have heard of this before but he explained to me that she has had it for 13 years and it is to the point where she is going to die soon.  Six years ago he had to put her in a home because he could not take care of her any longer.  When he was giving me the details about what all happened to her I was speechless and wanted to cry for him.  The one thing he misses the most is his best friend who he can talk to and tell anything to..what a sweet man.  Since she has this disease they decided not to have kids because she got this because of her mom and her great grandmother I think.  Since she has had this disease for a long time he told me that he is an expert in the disease and is actually going to talk to scientists and researchers in September- around 800-1,000 people!!!
     I was with Rudi for somewhat of the day and wow the boys class from yesterday that I had swimming with (the one's that are bad) I had for my first class.  Guess what?  There were TWO fights when we were playing soccer.  I don't know why they were fighting but one was after a goal and another was when someone took the ball away.  They just cannot stand to lose and they get too into the game haha  Some of the kids had to hold one boy back while Rudi was trying to calm the other down and then they broke loose and started pushing each other...finally we got them to sit out!  Boys these days...sheesh.
     The next classes I had with Xavi and he made me teach the breast stroke to the ESO 4 girls class (this is an all girls class that are 16).  Well if you know me you should know that I do not know swimming techniques whatsoever and it was interesting to say the least.  Xavi had to teach me what to say with the motions and then I had to remember and teach it in English.  Who knows if I even explained it right haha they did pretty well though!  After swimming we went to the gym where they had to create a dance.  During the class they only picked out their music which they were doing and some parts of the dance.  The music is American/English and there are cuss words which surprised me because in school back home obviously you cannot use that music.  I guess they don't know what it means because everyone was singing out loud saying it and Xavi didn't say anything.  If the priests know what it means I bet they won't be too happy when they perform the dance in front of the school!!
     For lunch a group of us went to Tomasz  and ate.  It was so weird because I got the chicken and potatoes but it cam with eggs!  It was SO good though!  The potatoes were actually better here than the place we got them from on Sunday!  After we ate we went and got dessert of course and I had gelato which was AMAZING!
     After school Tayler, Kenzie, Abby and I went downtown to Corte De Ingles which is comparable to a HUGE Macy's.  I think it was 6 or 7 floors!!!!  I bought an outfit for this weekend in Rome.  On our tour we have to wear shirts that are at our elbows.  When we were finished we went to H&M and I bought a pair of jeans for 10 euros!  Talk about a bargain!  In U.S. money that is 13 dollars.  We could only go to these two stores because we told our families we would be back for dinner.  Nacho cooked me eggs and bacon and then I helped Guillermo with English.  He actually corrected me on my English haha! When I was helping him I actually learned a lot because I know that I do not use the correct words in a sentence like lay, laying, lying etc.  Now I know the difference!
    Anyway I am going to meet Tayler for coffee now at Dr. Coffee I will update later!  Buenos Dias!


Yummy red peppers with water and oil

My coca-cola with lemon in the glass

Chicken, egg, grabbas, bread.  You can see the spicy mayo clump to the left
Below:  Perfect Dessert at Chocolate Box

Monday, April 15, 2013

First day in P.E.

     Hola!  As I am writing this post I just found out about what happened in Boston.  I got out of the shower and had Nacho tape my foot when he told me what was on the news.  I could not believe it!  The first thing I thought of was 9/11 and what was going on and if they caught whoever it was.  Sitting and watching the news and calling mom to make sure she knows about it gives me goose bumps all over.  It is devastating to know that people have to result in violence especially to innocent people.  Hopefully, we find out who is responsible and nothing more will come of it...prayers are going to everyone involved and to the whole country of the U.S.

     This morning I was finally going to Physical Education!!  Rudi went to Madrid last week to coach volleyball and he actually won the cup! He was very proud and showed all of the kids and teachers at school.  I couldn't help but laugh.  My first class was with Guillermo so I was very excited.  When I got there, to my surprise we were flaying futbol!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was SO excited to finally get to play! :D  Their P.E. is different than what I am used to.  Everyone still dresses for class but they get a lot more time than I would like if I was teaching and in class they do 2 skill activities and then play a game.  Normally, I would have to gradually teach skills and/or moves then 10 minutes at the end of class play a soccer game whereas they play for 30.  I did like how at the beginning Rudi has the class run for 8 minutes and then do sit ups and push-ups.  With the younger age group they will run for 5-6 minutes.  When we got to play Rudi and I split up on either team with 10 minutes left in class.  I thought I would get smoked by these boys especially since they live for soccer.  They actually told me I did good and was impressed (they were 5th graders though haha). 
     I had 2 classes for swimming one class of all boys (the other 5th grade class) and a 4th grade class of girls.  In the swimming pool area everyone had to wear sandals and the students had to wear a bathing suit and a cap.  Rudi likes to joke around with me because he told me that the female teachers teach topless in the pool and go figure I believed him!!  I kind of looked at him like he had 3 heads and he started laughing haha.  When the boys were done changing, it was funny to see them because they wore very short shorts.  In the pool area I didn't know what to expect and when I saw it I was very surprised.  It is a big pool with a lot of different lanes.  Other schools come to my school in order to teach swimming to the kids.  There were probably around 6 teachers in there trying to teach.  Any who,I do have to say that the boys were the worst class that I had for swimming.  They thought it was SO funny to do a cannon ball into the pool right by Rudi and I so of course I get soaked while they laughed.  They were out of control.  They kept throwing things at each other and not listening to Rudi.  The girls on the other hand were very good.  Majority of them were able to do the free style, back stroke, and breast stroke correctly. 
     My last class of the day was with girls and they were a hand full.  We ended up not having a lot of time to play soccer because a group of 4 girls took forever to get dressed- I even had to take things away from them because they would just sit and talk in the locker room and not change!  In class while we were running they would walk and Rudi told them to start running and they didn't listen.  Boy was he mad!  I told him that I don't know how he will handle them when they are teenagers because they are only in the 4th grade acting prissy!!  I am already dreading having them when they go swimming this week! 
Tomorrow I am going to be with Rudi again and Xavi who I met today.  After school Tayler, Kenzie, Abby and I are going shopping!!! wahoo!

Buenos Noches,

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Birthday Party!

Hola!! I just finished the birthday party for Guillermo, he will be 11 tomorrow.  After church we tried to go to Tomasz's but it was closed since it is Sunday.  It is very close to the school and like I said before it is famous for hot potatoes or potatoes grabbas.  Nacho and Patricia said they are very spicy because they have tobasco sauce, spices, peppers etc on there.  I was really nervous to try since I DONT like spicy food at all.  But we went to a different place by the square ad got them and amazingly they were good!! We got two orders and one of the boxes had just the spicy sauce and the other had everything and even hot mayonnaise!  Patricia drank probably 3 glasses of water while I took it like a champ haha
When we got back to the house Patricia's dad was waiting for us (the one that came over earlier in the week to watch the soccer game) around 2:30 we started lunch.  We had beef from the other night which was still delicious, chick peas, artichokes (yuck), olives, and something they called crocket but I think they were something like popper- it was fried with a cream in the center with ham chunks, very good! We also had the grabbas, pasta, and for dessert strawberries.  Nacho kept making fun of me because I don't like artichokes so he made sure to save some for me as a joke.  Once we were finished Patricia's dad and I tried to communicate with each other about Abraham Lincoln, Davey Crocket, Elvis Presley, James Brown and others.  We listened to his "old timer" music which was the plasters or posters I cannot remember.  Even though he can barely speak English I feel like he is a part of my family.  I called him old and crazy.  Crazy because when he was younger he used to run with the bulls!!!!!!  CRAZY MAN!  We watched videos of it and I learned every year on July 8th the run with the bulls down the street into the stadium.  So I told him he was crazy and everyone else who did that.  Patricia translated for me because I wanted to know the history behind the running and her dad said that it started a long time ago because some person decided it would be a good idea to run alongside the bulls and since then it has been a tradition. 
After we listened to music and told stories, I shared with the photos of my house in KY and they were amazed that I lived in a house with a lot of land.  Here it is unusual to live in a house because a lot of people live here and they are close together.  Guillermo wanted to see a picture of where I slept but I didn't have one.  We sat and looked through pictures of their second home in the mountains-where I will be going in 2 weeks.  Nacho showed me a place where the black virgin is.  He said even if I am not Catholic I need to visit.  Barcelona celebrates her and Saint George.  She is in Montserrat which is an hour away from Barcelona on a bus or train.  When I saw the pictures Montserrat is not the mountains we normally think of.  If you google it you will understand, very unusual.  Around this time the family kept piling into the house!
We talked and talked and talked for 2 hours- I really felt at home with their family.  They were very nice and made sure to translate for me when needed.  I learned that gin and tonic is the "it" drink now-a-days here.  Last year if you drank a gin tonic people may think you are crazy but now it is something you drink when you go out.  Anywho, we had gin tonics (yuck)  and champagne and finally got to eat the birthday cake close to 8:00, mind you this is still our lunch!!!!! They sang happy birthday in spanish (I got a short video on Facebook) and then in English for me that I had to lead.  Their uncle kept telling me to say it louder so sorry if I was screaming or sound awful haha Nacho and his brother-in-law are going to race in the 10k next Sunday and they were giving each other a hard time all night about who was going to win.  Last year Nacho lost by 1 minute so he has been bound and determined to win!  I was told that I had to come with a sign and make a t-shirt to root him on.
Tomorrow I finally get to start in P.E. so we will see how this goes especially because I will be teaching swimming...everyone say a prayer that no one drowns!!!!!!! AH.

Buenos Noches,

Friday, April 12, 2013

Tibidabo Mountain

I really need to start blogging before midnight here.  I am going to forget things that have happened today!!  Today was my last day with Natalie which I will miss SO much!  In one of our classes the students thought we were crazy because we were literally laughing at everything!  She was trying her hardest to sound American and so she wanted me to sound British.  The 16 year old's wanted to watch a movie instead of being in class so we watched a modern day of old yeller and that got everyone laughing since I said old yeller and not yellow.
For coffee break Tayler, Kenzie, Abby and I went to Dr. Coffee in the square and had some delicious drinks!  I got a macchiato and it was perfect (see picture below).  It was very warm today, all of the teachers were saying it is very unusual that it is this warm.  When we got back to school I was pretty much done for the day other than a girls class (Tayler's class) and we learned about Christopher Columbus.  It was good to get a refresher on my history since it is not my best subject.  At 3:00 Guillermo and his class got to play soccer with their dad's for a reward for doing so well.  For a little bit I got to see Nacho and Guillermo play with each other and they were good!! I was very proud.
On the walk home Nacho brought up the idea that I should go running with him and of course I said yes thinking it would be a short run.  Oh no he said, "Eh okay we will go for an hour.  It will only be 10 or so kilometers up a mountain."  Once he said this my mouth dropped open since I am so out of shape.  I had to warn him that it was not going to be pretty haha  Patricia wished me good luck and how I would represent all women in the mountains.  Not only was I going to run UP a mountain but he asked if it was okay if we took the motorcycle, of course I said yes!!!!  Mom, I wore a helmet and like my previous post the male that I rode with not only knew how to drive, he knew not to hurt me, and we did not go too far only like 20 minutes away with traffic ;)  It is a law that you have to wear a helmet if you are on a motorcycle which is very good.
On the way to the mountain I was not for sure how to hand on and I know that Nacho thought I was a weirdo since I put my hands on his side which I thought was awkward since he is my host dad haha Finally after seeing other people on bikes I noticed where the handle bars are to hang on which helped!  We were weaving in and out of traffic and were right next to cars a long the way, at one point I just closed my eyes because I was nervous that I would fly off somehow even though he was very cautious.  On the way to the mountain I was able to see the hospital where Nacho works which was big and the cancer and tendon hospital that is very famous- they work with New York.  When we got half way up the mountain he told me a good place to get good and a gin and tonic for dessert!  The place looks over the entire city of Barcelona.  I cannot describe in words how pretty it is!!!!!  I have few pictures below but it does not do justice because I was running while taking them and you cannot see the whole city.  While I was running I kept thinking to myself aw this is so pretty yet I hate this since I was running up hill the majority of the time.  Nacho was trying to stay with me but I told him to just go ahead if I was too slow, he stayed with me for 2 or so miles and when I started slowing down I finally made him run ahead.  When I was close to the 3 mile mark I had to turn around because he was on his way back down the mountain.  By the end he ran all the way back down and up probably 1.5 miles to meet me again.  Jeez he was SO fast and in tip top shape.  He told me that if he doesnt run a 4:30 minute mile it is not good for him.  I can only wish to do that haha  However, even though I am sore, I am glad that I was able to see the full view of Barcelona and all of the people who go and run, walk their dogs, and bike there.
When we got home I met their Aunt who speaks zero English so I was tutoring myself on how to communicate and all she could do was laugh at me!  I tried but majority of the time it didn't make sense.  We all ate a meet they called pot roast or roast beef (which it looks nothing like either in America) and it had a brown sauce on there, there were fried potato balls, and strawberries.  Everything was excellent yet again!  After dinner Nacho and Patricia went across the street and the kids and I had a movie night.  Needless to say the movie was in Spanish so I was completely lost the whole time.  Guillermo had to keep translating for me which I am sure annoyed him.After the movie I tucked the kidddos in bed and blew kissses and wished them good night.
Tomorrow some girls and I are going to go explore Barcelona again and hopefully we won't get too lost!  In the evening I am going to watch Alejandra's school play and we are going to Tomasz's to eat which should be interesting because they want me to try a specialty and it sounds very spicy!  Tabasco sauce, peppers, spices etc. on top of potatoes!  Anyway it is midnight here and it is going to be an early morning for me!


The twins playing with the box (Jorge and Pablo age 2)
View from the mountain


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mission Half Way Accomplished!

Wow... today has been very hectic!  First of all, Cereal again this morning was AMAZING but what I find odd is that not only is oil a part of the main food groups unlike the US, they put it on everything...seriously.  Instead of butter and jelly on toast it is oil.  On rice..oil, salad..oil, chicken..oil, pizza..oil etc.  I will attach pictures of my oily pizza from a hole in the wall place downtown Barcelona- we got lost and it was what we call a "ghetto" in America haha.  On the way to school Guillermo pointed to this very slim tall man holding his little sons hand and guess what?! HE WAS FAMOUS!  The man plays for the Barcelona hand ball team and is very good.  He walks his son to school every day to Saint Isabel and I am guessing he lives by us since it was close to the house!
     At school I found Natalie again and we had different classes today, english and french but with a different group.  The group of 4th grade boys were very interested if I had an Instagram, Facebook, if I liked Obama, if I had a gun and what I thought of guns (they knew about ALL of the shootings that have happened in the US recently which surprised me), I told them KY is the bluegrass state (they thought there was blue grass literally hah), everything to know about KY, I sang the national anthem which was awful as well as the pledge of allegiance etc.  The group of boys made me laugh until I cried because they were asking me so many questions that I would never think of at their age.  Since the school is a very conservative catholic school they were taught that you could not kiss someone unless you are married to the other person which brought up discussion about Modern Family.  I have never seen Modern Family but the boys did not understand why the actor and actress kissed if they were not married on the show or in real life- I told them it was a part of their job but they still did not think that was right.  I thought this was interesting since in the US we see SO much of this stuff and even worse on TV and do not think twice about it.
     Natalie and I got to know each other VERY well on a personal basis that I would never think someone would ask me or me to her.  It was a hoot because she is british and says their weirdest things like flat (meaning room) or other "british things".  I got to learn about how she was brought up catholic, her husband, her daughter who was born in July, her first boy friend, and the boyfriend she fancied most!  Natalie is such an amazing woman even as a teacher!  The kids love her because she is down-to-earth and can relate to them on any given topic.  After french class Kenzie and I went to the coffee shop at the square and sat in the tents with Jessie while we waited for our long break to be over.
I was done with school early again so Guillermo and I walked to school (Iñaki was sick today) and we ate white rice (with oil, go figure) and what I think was sausage links.  After lunch I went back to school even though I was done for teh day at 1 again but I watched Kenzie's class of boys and let me tell you they are wild!  The boys got to listen to the Saint George story since on April 23 is a holiday for him.  Typically at school we do not teach, the kids will play and the males will give a female flowers (preferably roses because it is symbolic of the Saint) and the females will give the males a book.  There will be parades in the street and everyone celebrates.  I cannot wait to take pictures.
     After school I went to soccer practice where Abby and Kenzie's brothers were playing.  The boys were insane and soccer practice too!  They were singing on the nets like Tarzan and the coaches did not even see them goofing off by us!  Their coaches were very young probably my age so I can only imagine how much they have to put up with with the little boys!  At 7 we met at the school and took the metro downtown which was very pretty.  A lot of buildings and shops.  For whoever comes to Barcelona the Apple store has free wifi FYI- we used it a lot tonight since we got lost...again!  Oh and I saw a pretty fountain that lit up and I wanted to go take a picture of it and it disappeared..seriously!!   Any who, we only got to eat and go to the Apple store because everything closes at 9 or 10 even the metro!! We did not find that out until 10:30 haha... we asked 3 people for help and still managed to not find our way, we kept walking in circles.  When we FINALLY found the metro it was gated and dark.  The only thing we could do was to get a taxi and guess what!? The taxi guy got lost, even with a GPS!! - but I did find the fountain again that disappeared which was a plus.  At least now we know to get on the metro before 10 PM and to take pictures of our surroundings when we get off the metro!
     I have already decided this is where I want to live and my kids can go to the Catholic school and be very smart since they learn a lot of languages, play soccer, watch soccer, live soccer, walk everywhere, and be in a beautiful city all day every day!  I already broke the news to Mom and she is fine with it as long as I get to talk to Messi (famous soccer player for Barcelona).  I just can't get over how much I love it and I am already starting to sound like them speaking English.  So maybe I can fit right in?!!
     Tomorrow I will be with Natalie again at school and will probably watch Kenzie's class too since I will get done early and no one else does!  We will go out to Tomasz's (a bar and grill) after.  They have a potato specialty in Barcelona and somewhere by it has a famous bar that a lot of locals go to.  the pictures attached are from the restaurant my white wine and pizza.  Oh and if someone could tell me what (vallae??) means it would be GREAT! Everyone says it here.
   Just to clarify, the reason why I named this blog "Mission Half Way Accomplished" is because I have marked off some of my things I wanted to do while here.  I.E. see a celebrity.  I added to the list tonight because a boy was on a motorcyle that we asked for directions and I really, really, really want to ride on one!  Mom I know you are going to freak out when you see this but I will make sure the person speaks English, I will wear a helmet, they are nice, and I won't go far. :)

Buenos Noches,

Greasy pizza

Greasy pizza and wine
Down the street from my house

Fountain downtown

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Saint Isabel- Day 2

Hola!  Today was my first day at Saint Isabel and I got lost countless times.  But to start I ate cereal for breakfast with their boxed milk and a HUGE spoon; the cereal was delish (I told them it does not take much to please me haha).  It is a bog private catholic school.  There are 3 sections that I know of: the little kids which Iñaki goes to.  Guillermo and I walked Iñaki  to his class and he showed me where the computer labs were.  I was supposed to meet a substitute teacher there because both of my teachers were gone to Madrid for a futbol championship with some of the students- they will not be back until next week.  Thankfully, I found Natalie and I was with her all day because I did not find the substitutes!  The first class was very small and all girls.  Today they learned about 4th of July in America and I told them the traditions that we do i.e fireworks, barbecue etc.  They were shy at first but finally they asked me questions.  If they talked in spanish or did not say the sentence properly in English they had to keep re saying what they were asking until it was right. The second class was also English and it was all boys, probably 12 of them which was big for Natalie.  They were VERY talkative and asked a lot of questions about Kentucky and about school.  The last classes that I went to were French but thankfully we talked in English!!  The boys kept asking if I had a boyfriend and when I said yes one students comment was, "what a lucky boy".  Needless to say I told Ben that at least someone thinks he is lucky ;) . 
     I was done with school around 2PM because I took lunch early with Guillermo and Iñak.  We walked back home and ate potatoes and green beans which are very good with chicken.  After we ate lunch I was done with school because Natalie does not have anymore classes after that.  So what do I do?! Explore Barcelona!  I walked and walked until my heels bled (literally) and got lost!  I had to use my spanish speaking skills and ask for directions back to school so I could pick up the kids and walk back home with them since I still do not know my way back.
     Tonight I got to meet Patricia's father and he knows slim to none English.  It was rough to communicate but he is hilarious!  He thinks I drink whiskey all the time since I am from Kentucky and even if I said no he thought I was lying haha- he even made me eat whiskey chocolate!!  For dinner we all had wine, an omlette which is a delicacy here it is egg with potatoes and onions VERY GOOD!, chicken nuggets, bread with oil, some type of meat they sliced off a huge leg of an animal right in front of me, and a salami type of meat.  I was full but we had to scarf everything down so we could watch the Barca game-which came out to be a tie 1-1.  Messi did not play until Paris scored and as soon as he went in we scored!!!!! Everyone went insane and then they apologized.  They were screaming with their hands up running in circles it was funny.  Nacho was telling me that when they play the whole city is deserted, no one on the streets or any place because they are either watching it live or at their homes watching then everyone cheers in the streets if they win.  This makes me even more excited to go to a game!! I need to figure out the best way to get tickets ASAP. 
     It is midnight here so I am going to bed for another great day in Barcelona! 
Buenos Noches,

PS Alejandra is obsessed with the Kentucky Derby so maybe when she is older she can come visit and go!! :)  and Pablo is finally warming up to me, mom got to talk with him on Skype even though he just stared at her haha

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Still Day 1

I finally got to meet the whole family! Nacho's English was very good as well as the children's.. Very impressive. I have them their gifts which they LOVED since it was candy, side walk chalk, and bubbles. At dinner I had pinchos which I loved in Puerto Rico so I was happy to have that (chicken on a stick). I showed the family my family back at home and of course my doggie! Alexandria loves horses and horse back rides (which ill get to see her do Thursday), I showed her pictures of the KY Derby and she was ecstatic! Horses are her favorite thing in the world she says. Also, the weekend after I get back from Rome I am planning on going to their house in the mountains which looks amazing. Nacho said everything is green in the spring and wild horses are running free as well as cows and sheep! I cannot wait to see.
Tomorrow starts my first day at saint Isabel and I am extremely nervous! Both of my teachers will be in Madrid for an athletic event so I am flying solo the whole week; maybe with a sub think goodness! I will update more tomorrow because it is 11PM here and I need my beauty sleep :)

Buenos Noches,

Home sweet home

I have officially met my new Madre Patricia as well as the twin boys Pablo and Jorge who are two years old. The boys do not like me they said in Spanish,"I don't like the nice girl." Haha they are VERY shy around me because they don't know what to expect! Patricia is extremely nice and is trying to learn English. We had to pull the Spanish/English dictionary out several times to communicate. There are 3 helpers that clean, cook, do laundry, iron clothes etc and one is leaving tomorrow :( she is very nice and her English is good! My Madre told me that the eldest son is ashamed of her English and he made her promise not to talk a lot of English because its awful haha Patricia really isn't bad at communicating at all!
I have unpacked what I could, I have a small closet, a bed and small desk area. It's definitely a change but doable. She is doing work business right now and the.n she's taking me around town. Oh and I asked her about "siesta" and she made it clear that there is no siesta at home which means no naps for me!! Haha I will update more as the day continues.

Viva la Barci!

I just arrived in Barcelona and while getting my luggage there were Michigan fans on the plane and they told me that the Cards won!!!! Wahoo ohhhhh C-A-R-D-S CARDS! I barely got any sleep on the plane it was so hot and babies were crying.
I am on the bus that will take me to the school for a meeting and then I'll meet my family that I will be staying with! Oh an of course I made my first purchase... A Barcelona soccer shirt DUH! I couldn't resist! Now I just need to get tickets to a game. The pictures posted are from the hill side on the ride from the airport to the school and the front of the school!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Tomorrow is the BIG day

Not only am I leaving to travel across the world tomorrow BUT Louisville is playing for the national championship WAHOO!  Words cannot describe how exciting this experience is going to be, but I am hoping that the plane will have coverage of the game because I will be in panic mode until I watch it. 
Throughout the week I have been trying to get ahead on my school work for my night class and trying to get everything ready.  I just know I am going to forget something not matter how many lists I make!!  The family that I will be staying with has 5 kids so I am excited to have a big family to be a part of for a short while; it will definitely be different than having only one big brother.
I will post more tomorrow at the airports and when I finally land in BARCI!!!!