Rain Cannot Stop the Fun

Klasse 7 enjoys sightseeing, museums, and school visits

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In spite of the unusual weather in San Francisco and Palo Alto, the students are enjoying their sightseeing, educational, and school visits. On Wednesday the students again grabbed umbrellas and raincoats and headed for the city.

Visit to United Nations Plaza, Civic Center, City Hall

They were welcomed at the San Francisco City Hall by Ellen, an elderly but energetic guide. Ellen showed some of the highlights of the city hall building, including a visit to the Mayor’s office (he was not in, but we met his secretaries).

De Young Museum Visit

Then it was off to the de Young Museum, which showcases a number of American and South American exhibits. Several of the students commented that the Mayan and Aztec art was quite “Scary”, and I agreed with them. The audio tour was helpful in describing the different exhibits and types of art. The students all visited the tower of the museum, which provides a 360 degree view of the city, to have their photos taken. These photos will be given together with a thank you card to the host families after the Farewell Party on Thursday. The students split up after the museum, their choice: continue touring the city or to to do some shopping. Can you guess where the majority of kids went? (it was raining, so maybe that is the main reason). I have been very impressed by this group’s shopping stamina, I have to say.

It’s Showtime on Thursday

On Thursday the students prepared all morning for their “Farewell Program” for the host families. Each class prepared a marvelous presentation: A performed a medley of songs, B prepared a funny word pronunciation game, and C did a Quiz Fact Game Show. Rafael created a wonderful movie for the grand finale of the program – 8 minutes of photos and comments set to music. The host family really enjoyed it and I’m sure that the home families will as well! 12 of the students hosted and shared their personal thoughts about the trip – they were amazing; very poised and speaking from the heart. The teachers were very proud of them, and so were the local leaders, Kirsten and myself.

Personal Computing Museum – Sponsored by Bill Gates

Ok, Bill didn’t give us a personal tour, but we did get to see him talking about Microsoft. After ending our practice, we headed to the bus for a wet ride to the local PC Museum, just outside of Palo Alto in Mountain View, home of Google, Symantic, and many other Internet companies. The kids enjoyed playing the “ancient” computer games like pac-man, pong, and more. There were many interesting video clips featuring the start of IBM, Palm, HP, and of course Microsoft.

Google Bound

The museum was the perfect segue into tomorrow’s (Friday) Google Tour, which came about very fortunately just a day ago. Several of us had been working several different angles to get a tour of facebook or google, and one of our Host Mom’s (one of the first 100 google employees) was able to call upon a friend to give the tour! This is certainly a very rare opportunity for groups like ours, and the kids are very excited. Caroline is baking a cake in the shape of the google logo to present to the tour guides.

Shadowing Day

The Palo Alto High guests were greeted with Paly “Pride” T-Shirts and green beads in honor of the Paly Viking championship football victory last fall. The Gunn guests were invited to enjoy a special International Lunch at Gunn today – an amazing assortment of foods will be offered from around the world. The event is a fundraiser to help victims of the earthquake/tsunami in Japan.

Ready for the Weekend

Host families are preparing for one final weekend with their students. There are plans to attend some sporting events, baseball at Stanford and Pro basketball, some trips to the mountains, to the beach, and some good old movies. Laser tag is also a popular indoor choice. We’re excited about bringing Emmanuel to ski. There is record snow in the mountains – but the road is supposed to open at noon, so we’ll head up to Tahoe in early afternoon. The boys will “skip” one class so we can beat the rush hour traffic. Enjoy the weekend, I’ll write the final blog on Monday.

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Return to the U.S. this summer with ECI!

Want more opportunities to improve your English and explore California? Then enroll in one of our summer immersion programs for European students. You’ll find all the details on the Edu-Culture International, Europe website.

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