June 24, 2017
Hola desde España! After a long day of traveling, delays, and settling in- we’re finally all here (25 in total with staff)! We ate together in our home base at one giant table! Our dinner consisted of family style salad, pasta, bread, and melon! After dinner we had a “snowball fight” as one of our icebreakers! Everyone is settling in nicely and getting some much needed rest for our first full day tomorrow! Viva España! Sincerely, GLA Spain
Feliz cumpleaños Emily G!! Today we filled the day with a walking tour, paella lunch, flamenco class, and orientation! We walked around the city and saw ruins, the city gates, a few cathedrals, and the central market. Of course, we had to include ice cream in the tour as well. After, we had the traditional lunch of paella- or as locals call it “arroz con cosas.” We learned the game shipwrecked- an ongoing game that involves calling commands and doing funny actions! The afternoon consisted of a flamenco class where most of us embarrassed ourselves but some proved to be naturals! We ended the day with our orientation and a delicious tapas dinner. We celebrated Emily’s birthday together as well! It was a full and productive first full day!
June 27, 2017
The group started the day at 8:30 by the group leaders (picked randomly each day by the mentors) knocking on each door and waking everyone up. For breakfast was bread and a tomato sauce, a spanish delicacy. Once finished, the group went up to the common room and made “the being”- a contract of values our group plans to uphold. Then, we began our day trip to the local market in the city of Carmen. The market is open from 7 am to 3 pm and is indoor. Inside, most of the shops were mostly consisted of meat, cheese, and fruit. However, they sold knick knacks like magnets and fans and fidget spinners, ha ha. After the market we all went to our first spanish class where the señora placed us all into different classes based on our experience with speaking the language. Walking back to the hostel, we passed beautiful architecture, which you can only see in Spain. Once back at the hostel, lunch was served. Lunch was Patatas Bravas- potatoes with a delicious aioli and, surprisingly, the best chicken wings ever. After lunch, we had siesta time. In the afternoon, we had an activity called the value line where a pair of opposite words were read and we (the students) got to choose which value we most identify with. Our day finished off with our first official Spanish classes and an ever delicious dinner made by our hosts, Juan and Theresa. – Allison and Joshua
June 27, 2017
Our day started off with breakfast, followed by an orientation to community service. This was so interesting and we learned the basis of our service and how things work. We learned about the curriculum and what the school values are, which is incredibly important to our work. We learned about the book they are reading, about a Palestinian woman traveling the world. After this we went to Spanish class, where our group split up into levels. The higher class used their speaking skills to communicate ideas to each other. The speaking really helps to improve our speaking skills so speaking with the children will be more natural. After a delicious lunch, we had a relaxing siesta. We then went to a welcoming party at the service site. Then we went to school and took another Spanish class and improved our Spanish speaking skills. Then we slowed things down by having mentor meeting where we discussed our life stories and why sharing our stories are an important part of being a leader.
Written by Alvaro and Darcy
June 28, 2017
Today we started the first day of service with the children. The morning group arrived and did ice breaker and introduction games so both us and the children can get to know each other. The children were as eager to learn english as we are to learn spanish. After everyone got to know each other, we taught dances such as “Cotton Eyed Joe” and “YMCA”. Then, we did an activity with Chris where some people couldn’t talk, some people were blind, and some people had no restrictions to learn about leadership and then we went to our spanish classes. – Chloe
June 29, 2017
Today the leaders of the day, Fedora and Eva, woke everyone up and made sure everyone was ready for an awesome day!! After wake up we went down for breakfast which was toast with the topping choices of butter, jam and tomatoes along with water, coffee or tea️. Finishing up breakfast group A headed to service. We had an amazing time playing games with the children! We played games like pato pato gonzo (duck duck goose) and practicing our Spanish skill along with teaching them more English. During that time Group B did a leadership activity where the group had to get an item out of a circle using only ropes and only specific people could hold the materials, talk, and see. The group learned to work as a team and how every member was important and vital even with the disadvantages (like being blind-folded). Once group A finished doing their service it switched and group B had their turn with the kids. Group B played charades with the kids and they started watching a movie, Hugo, and sang some songs with them because one could play the guitar. The rest of the day we brainstormed games that we could play with the kids and help them improve their English. After brainstorming and a greatly needed siesta we went to Spanish class. When we were walking home (the hostel) we stopped for ice cream and it was very special for Sammy because there was a gluten free cone!! The ice cream was really good by the way ️when we got home we had dinner and it was delicious. For dinner we had delicious Chicken and fries. Finally wrapping up our day we had a quick meeting then free time and SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPP!!!! Hope you guy are doing great!
~ Fedora (like the hat) and Eva
June 30, 2017
Bueños Dias! We started the day by meeting our Spanish school students and driving to an animal farm. We saw and took pictures of the baby pigs, emus, goats, donkeys, and sheep. Next, we drove to a dock, to cruise around around rice fields, with the kids. We then said goodbye for the weekend and headed back to the hostel for lunch and a change of clothes for the beach! At the beach, we shopped, swam, and tanned all while enjoying the perfect Spanish weather. Then we went to our daily Spanish class and finished up the day with McDonalds before dinner!
-Emily G and Liam
Today we started our morning off with a walk to the Catedral where we walked up a long flight of stairs (about 207 steps) but was worth it when we reached the top and saw the beautiful view. As we were at the top admiring the beautiful city of Valencia, we were taken by surprise when the church bells right above us began to strike at the top of the hour. Then, we walked to Torre Miguelete where we walked to the top and enjoyed more views of the beautiful city. After taking pictures, we walked to the main plaza of downtown Valencia and enjoyed coffee and tapas at a cafe.
After lunch, we had an hour and a half for a siesta! It’s always quite nice to have time to rest in between activities. Then around 4:30 the group had a short meeting to evaluate the overall performance of the program, which was nice because it allowed us to give feedback that can be effectively used for the rest of the trip. After that, we hopped on the bus and headed over to L’Albufera. Although we had been to the site before (the past Friday, to be exact), the experience was fresh and lovely as we enjoyed a calming boat ride with fartons and hot chocolate. The fartons tasted a bit like a croissant and the chocolate had a pudding texture; combined, they tasted fantastic. We returned home around 8 and in an hour had our final meal of the day, consisting of stuffed chicken and potatoes or artichoke and gazpacho. The day was wrapped up with a short meeting after dinner, and the lights were off by 11:30.
Written by Harris and Madeline
Before service, Group B brainstormed a variety of activities do do at the camp with the kiddos and collectively complied a list of vocabulary we could teach them. This basic vocabulary ranged from colors to animals to sports. At service, we split up and played with the kids in smaller groups before all eating together. After assisting with cleaning the lunchroom and playing some more, we came together and played “Where the wind blows” with (almost) all the kids. This game allowed us to get to know the campers better. Once the game ended, the campers divided themselves by age where they made camels out of paper, felt and egg cartons. This activity was facilitated by Jarit staff and we all participated, assisting the kids as well as making our own camels. Then, the service day came to an end and was followed by siesta, a trip to Starbucks and Spanish class. – Indigo
After our daily traditional breakfast, group A jumped right back into service. Through our summer camp with Jarit, volunteers got to further teach the kids English through games such as: hang man, songs, sports, and many more creative ideas. We ended our service with 3 thrilling plays, each encompassing an evil king, and a good princess. The work of our GLA students continued at home base where everyone contributed to make games for the following weeks at the summer camp. Some of the games included bingo, charades, fortune tellers, and memory matching. Our night continued to a relaxed evening where some ventured to the cultured Starbucks as well as Dunking Donuts before or after our Spanish lessons. To top the night off, students enjoyed muscles or tortilla, a traditional Spanish dish made of ……..
July 4, 2017
Yesterday, Wednesday July 4th, we had an early wake up call at 7:15 to get ready for service. We all went to service together and took the kids on a field trip to a park nearby. While we were there we played games, sang songs, and danced with the children. We returned to the hostel at 1:15 and had a nice American meal of Mac n cheese to celebrate the 4th. In the afternoon the group had an opportunity to go shopping. There were many stores for all of us to buy different types of things. After shopping, we went to Spanish class where we learned about immigration and had a debate. After Spanish, we went to a presentation about immigration in Spain. It was very helpful and it opened our eyes to things we might not have known before. Finally, we went out to dinner in a beautiful outdoor market where there were many restaurant options for us to choose from. Overall, it was a very fun and busy day.
Written by Samantha and Emily B
July 5, 2017
Today we switched volunteer shift times, so group B was in the morning and group A was in the afternoon.
In the morning, we had 2 group activities where we played “sharks and minnows” and “kickball”. It was super fun and we bonded with the kids really well. After the games, we sat in a circle and reflected about nomads in the desert.
In the afternoon, we helped to clean up the morning group’s activities. Everyone did a wonderful job putting away the sand and glue. After that, we helped to clean the children’s hands and ate our packed lunches with them. After lunch the professors organized a water fight. It was a fun day! In the evening, a group of us had cup noodles during free time. After that, we had our daily Spanish class.
July 6, 2017
¡Buenos días! We started off the day volunteering at the school and participating in a team building exercise at the hostel. The exercise involved working together to figure out how to escape from a maze (both groups made it!) Later, we talked with the mentors about our Capstone Projects and the progress that we have made and hope to make within the next week. For dinner our host showed us how to make a Spanish dish call Paella. This dish is mostly composed of rice and chicken with many added spices for flavor. Many liters of water is poured into the pan and is cooked until all of the water is evaporated. A drummer native to Valencia came in and gave us a show while we were waiting for the paella to finish. He showed us how to play his drum and different rhythms and sounds the drum can make and also how to clap according to the drumming to add suspense to the show. We ended the day with a trip to get gelato and packing for our trip to Barcelona!
Written by Sydney and Luke
July 7, 2017
The day began with breakfast at 9 am as opposed to our usually 7:45 because of volunteering. Then, after picking our roommates for Barcelona, the crew heads out for the day of service. The excursion today was going to a local park and playing with the kids. Once finished, everyone went back to the hostel, got their money and went shopping (Samuel and staff had a little too much fun at the vintage shop) for the free two hours before lunch, which was at 2. The crew had a little bit of time to chill and pack before leaving for Barcelona at 4. The bus ride was a long 4 hours, however, everyone made it feel shorter because of all the singing and laughing occurring on the bus. Arriving to Barcelona at 9, roommates were announced and we all put our bags into our said rooms and headed to dinner. When dinner ended at around 10:45 pm, the crew went back to the hotel and relaxed because of the long day we all had.
We started off the day enjoying breakfast at the hotel. Then we went to some architecture created by Gaudí. Then we toured it and took pictures. Then we went to The Cathedral of the Holy Family, or La Sagrada Familia. The tour was amazing telling us how they interpreted some of Gaudí work and kept some true to him. Then we went on a hidden tour learning about Barcelona’s past and the essential places for the homeless so they can survive. We wrapped up our day eating a wonderful meal and then falling asleep back at the hotel.
-Written by Stassi and Darcy
July 9, 2017
Today was our last day in Barcelona. We started the day with breakfast and headed out to Camp Nou where FC Barcelona plays. There, students took a self guided tour of the entire stadium (even though the field was covered with grass). Then, we went on the bus and stopped to eat lunch at a rest stop where we could also buy snacks for the long bus ride ahead of us. After that we did the cross the line activity, which was a GLA activity where a prompt was read aloud and students stepped forward when the prompt applied to them or someone they know. The game was hard for some people because difficult prompts were read aloud.
-Chloe and Eva
July 10, 2017
Today was just like all of the days that we told you about before … AWESOME!! I’m not going to include the waking up, breakfast and they daily schedule. As usual we had service and then we went to the Horchata museum and saw baby goats and ducks. Also we drank horchata. Then we went back home and had dinner. Then a few of us went out for late night gelato. I am sad to say it, but the trip is coming to an end and make sure you are in touch with your child and talk about flights. See you soon ️
~ Fedora and Emily B
Our final day in Valencia was bittersweet. We began the day at service where we played the kids’ favorite games, had a water ballon fight and finished with a goodbye circle. We are so sad to be leaving our amigos here in Spain. After our “despida” we went back to the hostel for lunch where Theresa and Juan treated us with macaroni and cheese! Then, we went to the beach for the late afternoon. The water was very warm and it was so fun spending quality time together in the sea. After the beach we returned to the hostel for an asombroso flamenco show! To say our goodbyes to each other, the mentors lead an appreciation circle. In this activity, we created a circle, with everyone facing outwards so they could not five people in the center. The mentors would the read a prompt and the people in the center would tap anyone to which they felt prompt applied to (ex: tap someone on the shoulders who has made you laugh). After about 7 prompts, the people in the center would switch. Once the activity was finished, we had an “open appreciation” where we could recognize all the good things we did for one another in front of the entire group. Then together, we made one final trip to the local gelato shop before (some of us) went to bed. All in all, it was a really great trip and we are all pretty happy-sad to return home. :’)
– Indigo and Maddie