Sunday, May 25, 2014

First Week Survivors

¡Feliz domingo!

Cheers to surviving our first week at the internship! It's been such a long, but rewarding week! Since we arrived on Monday, we were thrown into the chaos at work. I've worked a lot with course registration, course evaluations and creating the folders given to interns and students. Although it can be stressful, I love my internship, mostly because I love the people I work with. Everyone is so wonderful and friendly. Everyone has put their heart and soul into this company and you can tell.

My morning commute isn't too shabby either:
We had a little celebration with everyone on Friday after work on the roof terrace of a local hotel. It was so nice! The director and one of the other coordinators had their kids with them. Needless to say, they were the entertainment of the happy hour. As a thank you, Rich (our director), gave each of us interns 3 free coffee vouchers at the café we always go to, and a voucher for a free meal at a local restaurant.
Cava celebrations
The view from the terrace
They're only about 2 months a part!
Wednesday night my roommates and I grabbed a beer with Monica, our co-worker and new local friend. We talked about Spanish and English idioms which was so cool. We taught her the "she sells seashells down by the seashore" and she could not do it. She taught us "Tres tristes tigres tragaban trigo en un trigal en tres tristes trastos" which was equally just as difficult for us! Afterwards we went to the movies to see The Grand Budapest Hotel because it was only 4 on Wednesdays. The movie was in English with Spanish subtitles. It was really good!
I really love all of the graffiti here

On Thursday, I assisted with one of the many upcoming airport pick-ups. It's so interesting to see the other side of my study abroad program. Everything seemed to work seamlessly for us students because of all the hard work that happens behind the scenes. I accompanied 3 enthusiastic interns from Texas to their apartments and then showed my last group their apartment (which is nicer than mine). I also showed them around their neighborhood a bit and showed them how to work the metro system. It was awesome to get out of the office and make an impact on the beginning of their time in Barcelona.

On Friday we held orientations for two large groups and then set up a paella lunch for them down by the beach. I got my first taste of how it will be as a teacher taking my little students on field trips. It was so stressful getting there. We had a group of about 60 or 70 students all taking the metro (and switching lines) all together. Luckily we made it! The lunch was wonderful, but most of it was seafood which unfortunately is not for me. I ate what I could and when the paella was delivered I did extensive surgery on mine to remove all of the teeny-tiny shells, shrimp and other crustaceans. Once I'd finally removed all of the seafood, the waiter came over and brought me a vegetarian paella.


Afterwards, I walked the entire pier along the beach. My body forgot how much walking I do here so I started to develop shin splints. I like to keep track of how far I walk each day and I'm always amazed! Since I walk so much, I decided that I would look for a second-hand bike. I've wanted a bike for so long, even in the states. I finally found one off of a website similar to Craig's List. I brought my ex-marine roommate with me as my security guard when we went to pick up the bike. It all worked out great! I rode to the bike to the bike shop and bought a seat cushion, a basket and a lock. It was without a doubt the best purchase I've made here! Now, instead of buying a €100 metro pass, I bought a €40 bike! I rode it all around yesterday taking pictures and enjoying the city; it's definitely my new favorite past time. Some pics from my first bike ride:

so this is a bank...
Representing SCSU!

The average workday I walk (or ride) about 5 or 6 miles. On the weekends, its much much more.
No gym membership necessary!
On Friday night we went to Plaça del Rei to watch traditional Catalan dance. It was amazing! There was a huge band and a children's choir. People gather in that beautiful plaza every Friday to dance and have a good time. It was so much fun and so fascinating. Afterwards we went to a bar with one of our co-workers Monica, a local, and her 2 roommates. We had so much fun talking about American culture vs. Spanish/ Catalan culture. We taught each other funny sayings, curse words and much more. We were very amused by how much they struggle to pronounce the words "beach" and "bitch" ; they pronounce them both as "beach" and can't hear the difference.

On Saturday night I was thrilled to meet-up with my roommate from home, Brie! It worked out that we were in Barcelona at the same time. She was here for 5 days and then headed off with some friends to Italy for a week. We went down to "the American clubs" on the beach. We never really go down there much anymore since they're way more American than Spanish and they're filled with tourists (and pick-pockets). We had a great time and I even saw Aashi -a club promoter who became friends with us last time we were here.

Here's some pics of my apartment. We have 3 single bedrooms and one double bedroom. The boys were kind enough to let me have my own room. We live 5 minutes from La Sagrada Familia
My bedroom 
1 of the 2 bathrooms. please tell me how I'm supposed to shave my legs in that shoebox of a shower.
No that is not a dishwasher, its the clothes dryer.... 
View from the balcony 
Living room 
The dog across the way is the closest thing I have to a pet here.
I've named him Oscar.

I'm having such a great time here, I can't believe I'm back!

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