xoabbiereed

Joined June 2018Living in: Arlington, TX, United States
  • Day11

    Week 2 & Barcelona

    July 2, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 79 °F

    SO

    First week of classes was rough. Very rough. There’s a language barrier with several students, and those who speak English well are older and have some attitude towards anyone who wants to tell them what to do.
    However. By the end of the week. The kids were obsessed with several things I’d taught them and started yelling “YEEHAW” when I’d walk in the class. Progress. They also performed in our weekly talent show and it almost made me feel better about what they’d put me through all week.
    Almost 😏
    Luckily Barcelona was planned for the weekend and when I tell you I needed it... I needed it. We took the train at 9 am from Madrid and arrived at noon. We checked into our hotel where some friends that work at INESLE with us were also staying. We all got changed, had lunch, and walked down Las Ramblas before taking the metro to the beach. We all fell asleep in the sand and didn’t leave until 7:30.
    We had a little bump in the road that night. While we were out at the beach, someone broke into my coworkers’ room and robbed them. Nothing important was taken luckily. My friend Ceci said she realized how real God must be since she went back for her passport prior to leaving. We were planning to go explore some more but everyone was pretty shaken up so instead we got pizza and hung out at the hotel together.
    The next morning at 11, we checked out. We got breakfast at Dunkin Donuts and took the metro to Park Güell (and by “took the metro” I mean I nearly killed myself and lost both knees trying to climb all the way to the top). We looked around for a bit but didn’t get to go where we really wanted, which is the more colorful part of the park that coincidentally was a filming location for the Cheetah Girls 2. I’m not saying that’s the only reason I wanted to go... but Amigas Cheetahs forever right?
    After Park Güell we went to the Sagrada Familia. We were short on time so we didn’t go in but that’s okay. I felt pretty uncomfortable being there anyway considering I’d been told several times within the hour I was there to hold on to my stuff carefully because of people trying to steal stuff. That wasn’t s fun feeling. But I can confirm: Burger King here is much better than the US.
    We dropped our friends off at the metro station so they could get to the airport early to catch their flight. Our train didn’t leave until 9 pm, so Lucy and I went to Camp Nou to tour the soccer stadium. Even for someone who doesn’t necessarily know about soccer, that was pretty cool.
    We got our things from the hotel lockers and took the metro to the train station. We got back to Lucy’s house around midnight, which was insane considering we spent today with 180 kids at an Amusement Park. But now I feel gross and I’m very tired so... see you in a week!
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  • Day8

    Week 1

    June 29, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 84 °F

    I realized quickly how it wouldn’t be so easy to update every day. I’ve been very busy and very tired so I haven’t taken notes or taken too many pictures but here goes.
    Orientation began Wednesday, so the majority of my week has been spent at the school learning my way around and my responsibilities as an English Theatre teacher.
    Classes will begin Monday. At no point can any of the teachers speak Spanish to our Spanish students. This program is about total immersion, which means every subject being taught (theatre, dance, music, arts and crafts, creative writing, etc) will be in English.
    The school I’m at is called Colegio Santa María La Blanca. It’s a catholic school, is very big, and I get to use a fancy fingerprint security system to get to my classes. That means I’m important. I’ll be in charge of students ages 6-14, all of whom speak English at different levels, with one student who has multiple disabilities that have taken 80% of his eyesight and confine him to a wheelchair. I have to consider all of this in all of my theatre lessons, which is causing me some stress because I have to replan some things.

    Anyway, here’s some things I’ve done outside of the actual reason for me being here:
    • Went to the biggest flea market in Madrid
    • Ate octopus, oysters, and other stuff (I’m looking at you, Bob. Photo for proof.)
    • Bought Spanish pants. They’re very comfy.
    • Spent way too much money on fruity pebbles and Dr. Pepper
    • Learn to say the word “apron” in Spanish.
    • Broken and fixed a nail.
    • Ate some delicious sandwiches and fries.
    • Been very, very, VERY American.

    I’ll update when I’m not dying of exhaustion.
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  • Day2

    Valencia

    June 23, 2018 in Honduras ⋅ ⛅ 73 °F

    Today we woke up and went to breakfast at the hotel’s buffet. I was shocked to see scrambled eggs and bacon. That’s very American but these eggs were less watery and had flavor.
    We took showers and got ready to go, then headed over to the aquarium L'Oceanogràfic. The plan was to spend a couple hours there and then go to the beach, but we ended up spending the whole day there. Not that I’m complaining. We were there for about 5 hours, it was a massive aquarium and I love marine life so I was content.
    We are now about 30 minutes from Madrid where we will call it a night at her house.
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  • Day1

    Madrid

    June 22, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 79 °F

    I flew from Frankfurt to Madrid, all by myself. I put my bag in my bin all by myself. And made it through the Spanish airport all by myself.
    10 points to Hufflepuff.
    Lucy (a friend I worked with, also the girl who got me the job) picked me up at the airport with her younger brother, Gonzalo. We drove to her mom’s workplace so I could meet her, then back to her house which is where I’ll be staying during the week. She gave me a tour and made us lunch, whiskey chicken and rice. It was really good.
    After we ate we went downstairs and packed a small bag of things to bring to Valencia with us, which is a 4 hour drive from Madrid. We put it in her (tiny) car and filled up on gas and snacks.
    The hotel were staying in is artist themed, and by that I mean every room is a different artist instead of just a number and each one has a painting from that artist inside. We arrived around 9 pm and we were both so tired that we just grabbed food (tapas) from around the corner and then crashed.
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  • Day4

    Normandy

    June 16, 2018 in France ⋅ ☁️ 64 °F

    We had breakfast at McDonald’s today. As sad as that sounds, it was interesting to see America’s version vs France’s. They really don’t like ice here. They think it’s a rip off because you get less drink, but we also have bigger cups and free refills. So I’ll let you decide which deal is better.

    We headed to Normandy which was a short drive from the hotel. We went through the Bunkers, saw the mortar holes, and went to the memorial and cemetery. I didn’t have the opportunity to learn the depth of what happened there in school, so it was harder for me to grasp the insanity of it all than for my family. It was a great experience however to be able to see where such an important part of history took place.

    Afterwards, we went to Sainte-Mère-Église (that’s French for “the church where this guy named John Steele’s parachute caught on a spire and he had to hang there for two hours playing dead so the Germans wouldn’t shoot him”) and did touristy things and ate a light snack. That snack was a waffle topped with whipped cream, chocolate, and ice cream. Their whipped cream is called chantilly and is the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Cool Whip could never.

    Now we’re eating dinner at another place on Main St. in Bayeux. I had spaghetti. It was pretty good but the diabetes waffle filled me up so I didn’t eat much. We’re going to bed early tonight because we’ll be leaving early in the morning for La Mont Ste Michele.
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  • Day3

    Bayeux, France

    June 15, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 54 °F

    Didn’t do much documenting today because most of my time was spent in a car traveling from Spangdahlem to Bayeux. I didn’t take many pictures on my phone, so I don’t have any to provide until I can update with the pictures from my camera.

    We left about 9 am and didn’t arrive at the hotel until around 7 pm. We went through Belgium, and I’m sure other places that I missed because I took a great nap. I did wake up in time to see the English Channel. We did make a couple stops on the way to a castle (I considered buying it but decided it was too under my budget) and a chocolatier. I ate a pomme caramel and we freaked the poor woman out with our American verbage.

    We’re staying in a hotel close to the Bayeux cathedral. We got to look inside for about one minute before we were asked to leave because we came in after closing time, but it was still nice (pictures to come). We ate dinner at a place near the cathedral. The food was alright, but I was highly disappointed in the frenchlessness of the French fries. We came back to the hotel after because although it was still light out, it was around 10 pm and everything was closed.

    Not much else to talk about from today but I had to update because the app demands that I tell you I’m in a new country. So this was a very long way of me telling you “I’m in France now”.

    Heading to Normandy tomorrow!
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  • Day2

    Germany

    June 14, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

    Landed at 9 A.M. Germany time (2 A.M. Abbie’s-body-time). First thoughts: everything here is much greener and much quieter. Also plane food is not as bad as stand-up comics say it is.

    We drove 2 hours to Spangdahlem to meet up with our sixth vacation-squad member. Everyone was very happy and smiley and pretending like it hadn’t been almost 24 hours since we’d last slept.

    Our hotel is in a close-by town called Dudledorf (lol I know) and it’s the cutest little town. If you asked someone to imagine a town called Dudledorf, they’d imagine this. We ate dinner a cute little bistro just a short walk from the hotel. Not the most eventful day but I’m going to sleep like a baby tonight.
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  • Day1

    DFW International Airport

    June 13, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 95 °F

    Left my puppy family behind to meet up with my “real” family. I only cried a little.

    Photos courtesy of Bob Crowder. Included is a Behind the Scenes shot of my grandma trying to repack me because my suitcase was 5 lbs over the *free* limit. It worked. I was spared $100.

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