SPAIN – SURF AND SPANISH CAMP
Living in a new culture can really open ones eyes to the world and being in Spain has shown us many new ways to live. Sharing a home stay with someone from a different country is the best way to fully understand a new culture and pick up the language. We are speaking from experience here in Cadiz!
The first day we arrived in Spain we were very insecure about our Spanish and communicating with our host mom. In Spain, meals are the most important part of building relationships, and by the second or third meal we already felt more comfortable answering and asking questions. Spending time here where the Spanish language is mandatory for everyday life has elevated our own language level very quickly. In Cadiz, people are very inviting, understanding and helpful! The streets in Cadiz are beautiful and full of life. They are also complicated if you don’t know them, and it’s relieving when you can turn to a complete stranger and ask for help! We did this a few times and each time the people were kind and helpful.
Food is the biggest part of the Spanish culture, if you don’t eat what is in front of you the locals will be concerned and eve
n take it personally. There is no time for us to be hungry when another meal is always around the corner. The most challenging part is definitely communicating, but is also the most rewarding. We have learned to be very clear about what we want to ask for because sometimes we have asked for something very simple and the answer took great length to figure out. It can be humorous at times because for something so simple it can become so complicated. Even though we are only half way through this trip, we have already felt ourselves grow so much, not only in the language, but in becoming more comfortable in our new surroundings and new lifestyle. Giving and receiving so much trust in a foreign country has made us feel very secure about where we are. This trip is what we make of it, and it is leading to many connections and discoveries!
Izlin and Charlie
Dear Family,( We wrote a few post cards)
I have had an amazing time so far from the cool, but long plane ride to surfing on the beach. One of my favorite experiences was when I stood up on the surfboard and was riding a wave! The feeling was amazing. The food here is also excellent and all is suburb! I can’t wait to see you guys soon- Maddy
Experiences on the beach by Zinnia
Today is another sandy day in Spain. I, Zinnia, have decided to describe the sights of a Spanish beach, just for the fun of it. To be quite frank, the only reason I have agreed to do this is because my bathing suit is still in my bag. So I am not currently able to swim. I would be, of course if I had changed earlier when I had privacy, but now my only option is to change in public (with a towel wrapped around). “When in Spain, do as the Spaniards do,” says Liz, our trip leader. Despite these wise words, I think I would rather not change under a towel. So, I am left here alone in the sun with a pen and paper, sipping an apple juice generously packed for me in my picnic from my host family. The sand is sandy, as expected. The water is salty, also as expected, just a bit more than the beaches I’ve been to in America. There are a lot of people on Spanish beaches, mostly topless, which can make us Americans feel slightly uncomfortable. Merchants and people selling food search the beach for eager customers. Men selling homemade doughnuts and other Spanish pastries carried in large boxes stop every once in awhile to be swarmed by small hungry children. I myself have bought a doughnut or two and I can say that I approve. Most pastries sell for only one euro, which is an incredibly cheap price considering the quality of the item you receive.
Little kids line the edge of the water digging around in the sand happily. Not far from there, the other Gogi students on this trip have bought a raft shaped like a “sandia” watermelon. They all chipped in some Euros and bought it together, and they are trying to float slowly away to Morocco. They are not going to get there. My dad just went to reel them back to shore. Zoe, Burton and Georgia are the only ones who aren’t recklessly fleeing the country. They are sitting with me and eating a fried chicken sandwich, or should I say fighting over it! It’s peaceful here, especially without the loud hooligans. The tide is getting high now and almost reaching the towels. I think we better move…