Saturday, June 11, 2011
Our travel day went without a hitch. We had a few delays due to inclement weather, but everyone arrived to O'Hare for our international flight. Most of the students were much too excited to sleep. There were two IU groups on the flight, about 60 students. And there was another student group of about 3o. This made for a lot of young people on the flight! There were quite well-behaved. I hope this is indicative of things to come. The weather is perfect yesterday and today. I intend to to enjoy the week of so of cool evenings because I know what lies ahead..... el calor! Even though it's dry, it's still really hot. At least there is little humidity, unlike Indiana. We will have an orientation session with the students on Monday to show them around Ciudad Real a bit. I will post photos then.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
We have reached the end of our journey. The kids have enjoyed the summer immensely. They have grown in many ways and will return to the US with a new perspective. They will never forget this experience and they are sad to leave Ciudad Real. I am sure that many of them will return in the future, but the magic of this summer can never be repeated.
This past week we went to the Corrida de toros in Manzanares which was an interesting cultural experience for them. Many said it was good to see once but that they would probably not go to see another bullfight. Tuesday evening we went to Almagro for the Corral de Comedias. Almagro is a lovely little town. We arrived early, took a short walk, ate sandwiches in the Plaza Mayor and went to see El condenado por desconfiado by Tirso de Molina. This is a traditional play from the 17th century. We had discussed the plot in class so the kids had general understanding. It was presented in old Spanish and was therefore a challenge to understand. The production was well done and I think that most of them enjoyed the experience.
Last night was the Farewell show. The kids presented two short plays and sang several Spanish songs for the host families. There were quite a few tears at the end of the program and there will be many more on Tuesday morning as we leave Ciudad Real.
It has been an amazing summer and I am lucky to have had the opportunity to spend it with a wonderful group of people.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
I have neglected the blog this past week. Our Fourth of July fiesta was a success. The families all brought traditional Spanish foods and everyone seemed to have a good time. The next day was the quarterfinal Spain/Paraguay game. In the end, most of the kids watched the game with family and friends. A few of us went to the movie theater and watched the game in 3D. It was fun, but watching a game in 3D was a bit difficult because you have to constantly move your head with the ball. The next game against Germany was on July 7 and many of the students went to the Plaza Mayor in Ciudad Real. As you might imagine, the World Cup has been a main topic of conversation. Last night, for the final game everyone went to the Plaza Mayor again. There was a huge television at the far end of the plaza and it was full of people, a big street party. It was steamy, sweaty and smelly - not really my idea of fun. The kids, however, really enjoyed themselves. After the game, many of them jumped in the fountain at the other end of the Plaza Mayor. Being here during the World Cup has been quite an experience.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Just a quick post before the upcoming holiday weekend. This is our first entire week in Ciudad Real without a Friday excursion. Instead, we are having a 4th of July party at the school. Not nearly the same as being home. I talked with some of the kids about this today. I know that they might be thinking about home a bit more this week. The game plan is to keep them busy. Thus, the party on Friday night. Their host families will be there and will bring typical foods to snack on. Since Spain won against Portugal last night, we have promised the students that we will all go out on Saturday evening to watch the next game. Many of them have really caught the World Cup fever. It is fun to be here when it's going on - I was here four years ago when it was in Germany. It's amazing how a sport can unite a country. I'm including some photos of the comedor where we eat lunch. Pilar, the woman who prepares the food, is great. I have liked almost everything we've eaten so far. I'm sure the kids might have very different opinions about the food. Most of them at least try everything. Today there was watermelon which was a big hit.