The flights and arriving in Barcelona were a whirlwind. The flight from NYC to Barcelona was not as bad as I thought it would be, but I was very happy to be on solid ground at 7am Barcelona time. Our group met Kristin, a study abroad coordinator, at the airport and she took us to the school.
Once there, I met my host mom, Patricia, and we walked to the house with all my luggage. Luckily, the house is 5 minutes from the school. Patricia works in marketing and is able to work from home, so she gave me a tour of the house and let me unpack. I am very lucky because I get a room and bathroom to myself, and they have wifi. She told me that she had made plans to show me some of the city with one of her best friends who also had a student teacher staying with her family. She asked me if I would rather take a car or the motor bike to see the city. Obviously, I chose the motor bike!
After an exhilarating ride of darting in and out of traffic, we parked and explored a section of the neighborhood teeming with cafés, shops, and markets. I was reminded to look up as I walked to really appreciate the beautiful buildings. The host moms also treated us to a traditional Spanish potato tapas called bravadas. The potatoes were cut into wedges and had a spicy sauce on top. It was near lunch time, so we walked back to the school to pick up the boys for lunch. Alejandra attends a different school, so Pablo, Jorge, Iñaki, and Guillermo shyly greeted me then we all walked home to a lunch of pasta with tomato sauce and thinly sliced fried chicken tenderloins. Guillermo’s English is very impressive so through his translation and my observations I was able to follow the conversations during lunch.
After lunch, I walked back with the boys to attend an orientation which is when the jet lag and lack of sleep really started to set in. Finally, I got to meet Miss. Mary, the teacher I am assigned to. The host families, teachers, and student teachers shared hot chocolate and cookies at a welcome reception, and Miss. Mary and I really seemed to hit it off. We seem to have similar teaching philosophies, and her English is very good.
Exhausted, I played with the boys, looked up flights to Rome and Paris, and ate a dinner of a traditional Spanish omelet of eggs, potatoes, and onions before bed. It is amazing how I can feel so out of place yet so welcomed in this beautiful culture. I am extremely thankful for this opportunity and looking forward to making the most of it!