I MADE IT! Haha after traveling for what felt like forever, I have finally reached my new home in Barcelona! I will try not to use too many exclamation points!
I knew it would be beautiful here, but ohhhh myyyy goodnessssss. The buildings and the people are BOTH gorgeous! The children are so sweet and I love them all haha. We arrived Tuesday morning at 6:30 am Barcelona time (for a reference, I am 7 hours ahead of you guys). My body has been so confused since my arrival.
We were dropped off at the school once we made it to town and our families came to pick us up. My family immediately found me and greeted me in the Spanish way....thankfully our trip coordinator warned us of this when we arrived at the airport. You kiss the persons right cheek and then their left cheek (just like in the movies!). This custom is definitely going to take some getting used to. I think a lot of the Spaniards know that Americans do not normally do that. Because of this, there is an awkward hovering time when I meet people where we decide if we are going to kiss or not. It was already weird enough for me and now I have to worry about accidentally kissing someone when it is not expected of me?! Hahaha oh well, "it's all part of the experience".
I do not know when to sleep or eat....but I am slowly adjusting. I think that the host families were told that Americans eat a lot....they have been offering us constant food and extra portions (it is really funny to all of us). The diet is very different here, but it is good. My host mother made me her "special sandwich" for lunch on my first day. We went to a local shop and bought fresh bread to make the sandwiches. She then put olive oil (they put it on EVERYTHING), tomato paste, and an egg on it and I actually liked it! I am so thankful that I am not as picky of an eater as I used to be (which is good because I have already eaten a few unidentified meats).
My "neighborhood" is really cute. There are a lot of small speciality shops throughout the surrounding blocks. Everything is located so close. Because of this, everyone walks everywhere. I am only one block from the school which is so convenient!!! A lot of the people know each other which I think is cool for such a large city.
My first day at school was Wednesday. I mostly have classes of students who are learning English. For the first few weeks, I will be working individually with students on their English speaking skills. My teacher said that a lot of our students are very interested in business and she wants me to prepare anything I want to share with them. The school we are all placed at is half private and half public. All of the students wear uniforms and it is a catholic school. We began the day with prayer in each classroom. I really enjoyed meeting the students. They have been treating the American student teachers like we are superstars (I might start offering my autograph hehe). I'm not very good at handling so much attention, but the kids are obsessed with having an American in their classroom! We have been told to only speak English to them so that they can practice (no problem with me!). However, many students tried rattling something off in Catalan or Spanish to see if I understood and then they would start giggling. Teenagers haha. I have 13-16 year old students. I have never taught middle school students, so it is interesting to see how they act. Over the course of my first day at the school, my teacher kicked 6 students out of her class. Students act very differently here and I am closely watching how teachers handle their classroom management.
A lot of my students really did practice their English with me.....
"I like you. You are nice. You are cute." < you all should have seen my face, and it happened more than once. I don't think middle schoolers can withhold their thoughts...
"Do you work at Kentucky Fried Chicken?" < thank you Colonel Sanders for making an impression around the world.
"What kind of music do American's listen to?" < you try explaining that one...
I even had students trying to get me to repeat sentences in Catalan. I would not do it because I did not know what they were saying and then they began to beg. That is when I knew it could not have been a good sentence. I finally whipped out my dictionary and they stopped asking...I don't know why ;)
I thought that my college friends were crazy about coffee until I arrived here. EVERYONE drinks coffee. We even have a coffee break halfway through the morning at school! My lunch break is at 2:30 in the afternoon, so I hope I can adjust to that soon haha! It is currently 11:00pm on Wednesday...as I finish this I hear many car horns which means that Barca won their soccer game tonight :)
I hope all is well with you guys in Kentucky!!!