A few days after I came to Santa Isabel, Miss Alex and my sweet first graders welcomed me to the school with a handmade book. Now I know everyone enjoys receiving gifts, but I ESPECIALLY love presents! I have even been told I'm the "best present opener ever." (But that's a whole different story ha.) So, I just adore the blue, star studded book.
Inside, each and every boy drew pictures depicting their school. I noted a lot of rainbows, smiling suns, and soccer games. Not a bad way to describe a school ha!
Montjuïc has incredible views of the city, showing of versatile Barcelona is. There are modern skyscrapers, old-world architecture, other mountains, all kinds of trees (everything from pine to palm), and the Mediterranean Ocean. The views were breathtaking, even on a cloudy, wet day.
I also enjoyed learning more about Barcelona's history that day. Montjuïc holds a special place in the Catalan people's hearts as it's a symbol of their freedom and democracy. I was shocked to learn that Spain is a very young democratic country. Their first democratic president was in the 1950s!
Today was my birthday, and I don't know a better place to turn 24 than in Barcelona! It was so precious every time my boys wished me a happy birthday. They constantly were coming up to me and saying, "Miss Brit-ta-nee, it's you birthday!" Haha, it was just the cutest!
For lunch, eight of us got lunch at a local restaurant named Burritos. And if you can guess it, they sold burritos ha! Even though I adore the food in Spain, it was nice to change it up a bit and get some (yummy!) Mexican food! We all loved it and I definitely recommend it for future student teachers. :)
After school, a few of us went out, walked around Plaça Catalunya to admire the newly lit Christmas lights, and watched the new Hunger Game film, Catching Fire (which was amazing!!). All in all, I had a fantastic birthday. It was a really great way to start my 24th year!!
Before it rained a river and brought in the chilly weather, I was able to explore a little bit around the school. I had an hour or so break, and it was too beautiful to stay inside. I walked around Sarriá and saw some really gorgeous buildings. Plus, Tibidabo was contiunally in sight, which always makes for a nice view.
I really encourage those who student teach in Spain (or any other visitor) to take these free moments to explore the city. Barcelona is a very unique and beautiful city, and you never know what you may find and adore. Plus, it is fun to act like a Barcelonian and get lost in viewing the scenery.
The pictures above were taken at La Boqueria, which is off of La Rambla. Basically, it's this awesome covered market with every food imaginable! It was a perfect escape from the rain, which has been pouring for the past two days.
These are some random buildings on La Rambla. One of my favorite things about Barcelona is how almost every building is so intricate and unique. It is almost like they are a work of art themselves.
PS: The pride and joy we felt when us girls spotted that KFC was immense ha! We all started yelling and pointing, haha!
At the end of La Rambla is the ocean!! Even though is was a very gray, rainy day, I still loved seeing it. I should also that mention that the statue is of Christopher Columbus. (Another moment when us Kentucky gals got very excited haha!)
The round building was actually once a stadium where bull fights were held. Today, it has been transformed into a mall...so basically, it is the coolest mall ever ha! And the best part is that you can go to the very top, which has an incredible view of Barcelona!
I ended my night with getting lost while trying to find the cathedral, while along the way losing my metro pass. While that sounds bad, I actually had a fantastic night. I finally found the cathedral, where my host family was waiting for me. From there, we explored the church, walked around a little, and had authentic hot chocolate with churros (!!!). So in the scheme of things, it was a pretty terrific night. :)
Here are some pictures to show what my school is like!
My boys with their gifts: real American money, pennies!! I explained how that on one side is a famous president, Abraham Lincoln, and his monument on the back. They immediately started flipping the coins and shouting, "Presidento!" when it landed on the head side. I then explained "heads and tails", and we had so much fun guessing which side it would land on. It reminded me how no matter where children are from, they really at their core are the same. :)
Mickey and Minnie came and surprised the boys on our last day of celebrating Santa Isabel...which I of course LOVED! :)
I'm not exactly sure since I have seemed to have lost my sense of time, but I believe this is my third day in Barcelona. To say I love this city is an understatement. I am obsessed with it!
I should begin with my host family. They have been so, so, SO great! I immediately felt loved. And sweet Blanca welcomed me to my new room with that sign. It was also her birthday today (November babies hooray!) and we celebrated with crêpes!
I also have met the majority of my students. I work mostly with 1st grade boys and about two hours with 1st grade girls. Although it's only been two days, I already love them so much. Honestly, it's hard not to fall in love with them since they are so cute!
I also found out I will be working with a small group of 4th grade "chickas"...AND 17-18 year olds! I've never worked with students above 5th grade, so im pretty excited to see how it goes! (Although they'll most likely be taller than me ha!)
I should also mention how wonderful my Spain teacher is! She is so sweet, helpful, and you can tell how much she adores the kids. I am very happy.
I guess that's the theme of this entire post. How happy I am!! I don't think it would be too presumptious to say that Barcelona is going to change my life in the best way possible. :)
Oh! And I should also mention that I got extremely lost last night. First, I took the metro the wrong way. Then, once I got to my stop, I took the wrong street. Luckily I found a nice girl with a dog who spoke just enough English to help me out haha!
But for now, it's time for bed! All week long, the school is competing against each other, and my class (Team Azul) is celebrating their day tomorrow. So that means I need a lot of sleep ha! Adios! :)
PS: This is my fourth try at this post. Between that and texting, please excuse any spelling and grammatical errors. Gracias! :)
PSS: I should be adding pictures soon under the tab!
Today is the day. The day I board that plane to Barcelona, my new home for the next month. Although I will miss my 2nd and 4th graders at Natcher immensely, I am just beyond excited to start teaching in Spain.
I will be living with my host family in an area known as Placa de Lesseps. I got to Skype with them yesterday, and instantly feel in love with them! Also, I will be teaching first grade boys for English and Science and first grade girls for PE at Collegi Reial Monestir Santa Isabel. To say I feel blessed is an understatement! =)
But for now, I am going to finish getting ready so I can start my journey to Spain! Adios!