Our students had busy weekends with their host families! Activities, food and fun!
Meg – This weekend in Spain was all about having a lot of fun with old and new friends! Saturday, my host student and I met up with our friends from Porter’s and Laude to eat lunch at Mala Burger, followed by shopping in the center of Jerez. After a fun-filled day Saturday, Sunday held more in store. For lunch, my host student held a barbecue at her house. Everyone ate loads of bread, pork, and chocolate while sitting by the pool. Afterwards, the group of us walked to the beach and watched a beautiful sunset, the perfect way to end the perfect weekend.
Ashley – This weekend started off with my host sister Lydia and I going to the movies. We met up with six of her friends and saw Unfriended: Dark Web (a horror movie) in Spanish. The movie was good, although it made for an interesting walk back home after.
On Saturday, I took the opportunity to sleep in and enjoy a little downtime before a day full of walking. Seventeen Porter’s and Laude El Altillo students walked around historic Cadiz. While Lydia lives in Cadiz it has expanded over the years. It was a fascinating bus trip as I watched modern Cadiz slowly transform into old stone buildings as we made the trip. The buses alone were an experience. They are very clean and every time the open the doors the bus tilts so it is easier to get on and off the bus.
I got home with a little time before dinner and snacked on almonds and Parmesan. Dinner was vegetable soup similar in both taste and texture to butternut squash bisque. For dessert I had arroz con leche which is rice and milk with a little bit of cinnamon on top and it was delicious.
Sunday morning I had a breakfast of churros with my host family and then attended mass with Lydia’s mother which was a great experience. The mass was similar to ones in the USA but it had slight differences, one of which was the fact that this service had a live “band” with guitar players and drums. The rest of the family met us outside of church for a day out.
Our first stop was Vejer de la Frontera or as they referred to it a Pueblo blanco (white town). On the way to Vejer, Valeriano and Vanessa (Lydia’s parents) told me about everything we drove by. I saw shallow pools of water which I found out evaporate leaving salt behind which is harvested and sold. In fact, when we made churros earlier in the week as a group we used salt from Cadiz. We continued the drive and drove across a narrow strip of land with water on both sides. It was not much wider than the road and they informed me that it was the only piece of land connecting Cadiz to mainland Spain. Cadiz is classified as a peninsula as a result of that narrow strip of land, instead of an island.
When we made it to Vejer we walked through a park and spent time just being present strolling through the streets. They call it a white town because all of the buildings are white. We stopped for tapas, which were delicious, before continuing to explore. For tapas I had nachos that had amazing cheese on top and I tried a cheese local to the region called Payoyo. We then stopped for lunch. Lunch continued the trend from the rest of the week and had yet another amazing meal.
After lunch we went to our final destination of the day: Conil de la Frontera. It was almost like a ghost town. They brought me there because of the beach but explained that the town is a summer hotspot. Very few people live there year round.
I have spent a lot of time wandering through small stone paved streets and looking at the ocean this weekend. It was full of good food, lots of walking, and the company of amazing people from both Spain and Porter’s.
Freya- This past weekend has to be one of the most adventurous I have had in the past few months and can probably top the amazing winter break I just had.
Our generous host students have been trying their best to keep us occupied with fun and eventful things since we arrived. Every day after school, there was something new and exciting: exploring the city center, going to the mall, etc. Even though our trip to Seville was still fresh and the excitement had not worn off, we were already on our way to explore another city – Cadiz.
So that was how Saturday started. Got on the train, off the train, and there we were in the beautiful small coastal city. Our Spanish friends brought us to the commercial area of town. The architecture seemed less refined than what we saw in Seville on Friday, but the colorful facades of buildings, liveliness of the streets, and the beautiful local shops in the corners were no less magnificent. We had two hours before congregating for lunch, so Sarah T. and I spent the time visiting La Caleta beach. The view of the Atlantic was glorious. Coming from a city on the Pacific coast, I was still stunned by what I saw. Up close by the shore, the water seemed playful yet peaceful; however, looking farther away, I could only see where the ocean met the sky. I gasped at the beauty and power of nature.
It was only a little bit past noon when we arrived at the beach. There were few people walking around, which gave us the perfect time and location for an impromptu photoshoot. While documenting the moment. we had a great time talking, running, jumping, and just simply having the most fun ever. It is only the day after as I am writing this, but it will surely be one of the very memorable events in my life.
Time flew when we were enjoying ourselves in nature. We had to quickly run to meet the rest of our group at a restaurant. Nevertheless, after lunch, the whole group decided to explore the beach, so I had the chance to experience all the fun again. This time, we stopped at some different places, and I noticed some different things. For example, there were lots of cats on the shore playing and sleeping alongside seagulls.
On Saturday Macarena and I went out to lunch with the rest of the group at a nice burger place in Jerez. After that we went to the city center of Jerez and ate some more and went shopping! On Sunday the group went to Manuela’s house which is very beautiful. We had a bbq lunch cookout and had a lot of fun! We stayed there all day and watched the sunset. It was a very relaxed, but fun weekend.
We enjoyed our weekend with our host students doing what they usually do
during their regular weekends. On Saturday, we started our day around 3PM.
One thing I have noticed is that their days start later than ours and their meeting
times are lenient. We originally have planned to meet at 1PM but ended up
meeting at 3PM. We had lunch at a Spanish style burger place and walked to
the central city plaza. There, as a group, we sat at a café to drink coke and split
up into small groups to shop. I went shopping with Audrey and Meg and we
explored the whole city center. We each got something that we liked at Zara.
Afterwards, we all walked to a park nearby and talked with friends from Laude
and people from other schools as well. On Sunday, some students from Laude
and Porter’s gathered at Manuela’s house located in Sanlúca, which is about 30
minutes away from school, to have a barbeque party. We had really good
bread, cheese, jamón, potato tortillas, and steak. After eating, we played
Spanish music, danced, and talked until the sun started setting. We all walked
to the playa de La Jara, a beach nearby, to enjoy the sunset. I brought my
camera and took many pictures of the sunset and my friends. This weekend
was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life especially because
things like gathering at a park or enjoying the sunset at the beach is not what I
normally do not do when I hang out with my friends in the States or in Korea.
Emerging myself in the Spanish high school culture was interesting and fun!