Archives for August 2011

Our Language Partners & Caves of Nerja

Practicing our Spanish with locals

One of the activities that I think is most valuable for the students is their time spent with language partners. College-aged students are selected by our local leader to spend time with the kids with ECI. So far their language partners gave them a tour of Nerja on our first night, they had a beach activity a few nights ago, and Wednesday night the had a “tapas” activity. In Spain it’s customary to receive a “tapa” (small plate of food) with any type of beverage you order. So last night the girls got to experience a typical evening in Nerja for the Spaniards, and they went “tapeando” – bouncing around to different locations to have a soda and a tapa. 

Las Cuevas de Nerja

We visited “Las Cuevas de Nerja” yesterday, also known as the Caves of Nerja. Some boys who were playing in the area discovered them in 1959. As the story goes they lost their ball down one of the caves and when going to look for it, they discovered the underground caves. For years now, the caves have been a popular attraction. You can check out the link if you would like to see more pictures of the inside because we were not allowed to use flash while taking pictures. – Las Cuevas de Nerja

¡Hasta Pronto!

– Anne Johnson, U.S. Chaperone, Nerja

Visiting Golden Gate Bridge & Berkeley

Monday, August 8th / Montag, 8. August/ Lundi 8 Aout

Rebonjour a tous!!! Comment allez-vous? Vos filles ont passé un tres bon weekend. Marion dit “on a pas arrete de rire quand la mere essayait de dire mon prenom!” Jeanne a dit qu’elle avait passé un bon weekend et Juline qu’elle s’etait regalee!

D’ailleurs elle a ete tres sage aujourd’hui: elle n’a achete qu’un T-shirt a l’universite!! En parlant de cela, aujourd’hui visite de l’universite de Berkeley, qu’ils ont tous bien apprecie je pense et certains veulent meme aller y faire leurs etudes! Attention a vous! Apres-midi, shopping a Berkeley, au sein des annees 70… Et le soleil etqit au rendez-vous. Que demander de plus… Demain, direction la plage!

Der Startschuss fuer Woche 2 ist gefallen! Nach einem fuer alle erlebnisreichen Wochenende mit den Gastfamilien stand heute Berkeley auf dem Programm. Berkeley ist fuer seine ausgezeichnete Universitaet bekannt…und genau diese war heute unser erstes Ziel! Die naturwissenschaftliche und die philosophische Fakultaet sowie die wunderbare Bibliothek und das Sportgelaende – so sieht also das Studentenleben aus! Am Nachmittag : Shoppen auf Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue! Was will man mehr??

Tuesday, August 9th / Dienstag, 9. August/ Mardi 9 Aout

Bonjour! Nous sommes enfin sous le soleil Californien!!! Il fait chaud et beau!!! Ce matin, preparation du spectacle la veille du depart… Tout le monde participe, mais chuuut, c’est une surprise… Cet après-midi, direction santa cruz: lezarder sur la plage au soleil, et profiter des attractions au bord de l’eau… Ils ont tout fait!!! Et l’avis general est que c’etait genial!

Hallo ihr daheim Gebliebenen!
Endlich bekommen wir die Sonne Kaliforniens zu Gesicht. Am Morgen trafen wir erste Vorbereitungen fuer unsere Verabschiedung und am Nachmittag ging es nach Santa Cruz! Beach Time!!! Nicht zu vergessen sind natuerlich die Attraktionen des Boardwalks, auf dem man sich wunderbar austoben ka/nn…Die allgemeine Meinung: “Es war grossartig!”

Wednesday, August 10th / Mittwoch, 10. August/ Mercredi 10 Aout

Aujourd’hui, nous avons joue les vrais tourists a SF. Les jeunes sont toujours un peu fatigues de leur journee d’hier (qui restes geniale, fantastiquen trop bien et j’en passe) alors debut facile, une heure dans le bus a imperiale, sous le soleil (miracle a San Francisco?), puis on descend pour quelques memorables photos du Golden Gate Bridge et Alex et Fabian traversent le pont aller-retour en 40 min (environ 3 km, c’est impressionnant), puis direction le parc du Golden Gate avec se musees et son herbe verte et enfin la mairie de SF (un capitole plus grand que celui de Washington DC!).

Et demain, rebelotte, cette fois ce sera le palais des beaux-Arts, Haight Ashbury et on verra ce qui peut bien se passer d’autre!! En tout cas, meme si un peu fatigues par le rythme des activites, ils sont souriants et profitent a fond!!

Heute gab’s San Francisco mal aus der wirklich touristischen Perspektive. Da die meisten noch etwas muede von der “langen” Nacht auf dem Boardwalk von Santa Cruz waren, waehlten wir heute den einfacheren Weg und sahen die touristischen Attraktionen vom Bus aus.

Erster Stop: Golden Gate Bridge!! Alex und Fabian ueberquerten die Bruecke sogar ganz und kamen schweissgebadet wieder zurueck. Im Anschluss daran erkundeten wir den Golden Gate Park mit all seinen Museen und Sehenswuerdigkeiten. Zum Schluss noch ein kurzer Stop am Civic Center, bevor es dann wieder ab nach Hause ging. Tag 2 der Bus Tour kann kommen!

– Eva-Maria & Annie

Gracias San Sebastian & Hola Madrid!

Our immersion week in San Sebastian has been fantastic! I’ve had the chance to speak to all of the students this week and all have been in agreement about how much fun they have had getting to know their families. Our favorite princesa, Hailey, even celebrated her 17th birthday here in San Sebastian! There have been beach visits, get-togethers, horseback riding, shopping expeditions, big family gatherings, outings with friends, trips to the movies, and most of all a true immersion into family life and culture… and lots and lots of Spanish practice!
Goodbyes to families tomorrow will be bittersweet as the group once again reunites to board the bus for Madrid! Once in Madrid we will check-in to our hotel and then visit the Royal Palace (the White House for the Royal Family of Spain). Students will then have free time for last minute purchases before gathering for our farewell dinner. Monday we say goodbye to Lauren and Sofia who stay in Madrid for a couple more days and the rest of the group head to the airport to take off for home! 
As I sign off, let me say how much I have enjoyed getting to know this amazing group of students. Rarely have I traveled with such mature, independent and outgoing teens! 
Goodbye from Spain!
– Jennifer Brown, U.S. Chaperone, Salamanca 3

A great weekend in Spain

An overnight trip to Sevilla

We had our overnight excursion in Sevilla Friday night. Sevilla is about three hours away from Nerja. I am pretty sure most of us slept the majority of the way there; on a private bus so big we could take over about four rows each. Friday night in Sevilla we walked though town and had a great dinner outside, under some trees near a little plaza in the middle of town, where you can only get to by walking.

Feeling the heat in Sevilla

Saturday the girls felt the true heat of Sevilla everyone had been warning them about. It was hot! I am not sure how hot it got Saturday afternoon, but it was 93 degrees at 11pm the night before. We decided to hire a tour guide for the Alcazar, the Muslim palace in middle of town that fell the Christians and became the major port of all Europe to the Americas. We also toured the cathedral and got to walk to the top of the Giralda bell tower. And to finally get out of the sun, we spent a few hours at the mall next door to our hotel before heading home. Everyone seemed pretty content with that part of the day.

Visiting the water park

Sunday afternoon we went to the water park in a town nearby by bus. It was so fun and refreshing to swim in fresh water. The girls had a blast racing each other down the multiple water slides, hanging out in the wave pool and lying in the sun. It was a fun, sun-filled afternoon! Everyone’s cheeks are a little sun kissed, but we are being very good about applying sun block. It seems there isn’t an activity these girls won’t make the most of and enjoy. Being their chaperone is not only an easy task, but it’s fun!

¡Hasta Pronto!

– Anne Johnson, U.S. Chaperone, Nerja

Lots to learn in Nerja

Improving our Spanish skills at La Escuela de Idiomas

The girls have settled into their classes and the part I like most is that they are in classes with students from all over the world. They are meeting new people, hearing new accents, but what I like most is they now know more people in Nerja because of it. Everywhere we go someone sees someone from class. The girls, “las chicas,” are doing great in school. I have only heard compliments about them and how they are doing great in class. This is the first year I have heard so much Spanish being spoken in the group; it’s awesome!

La clase de cocina or “cooking class”

Wednesday was the cooking class, and las chicas made the traditional dish “Paella” dish. With a little bit of direction, they made a delicious meal. Everyone had a different job to help prepare the food. Some made the salad, some cleaned the prawns (removing heads and all), and others cooked the chicken. It turned out to be one of the best paellas I have tried in Nerja.

¡Hasta Pronto!

– Anne Johnson, U.S. Chaperone, Nerja