Sunday, June 8, 2014

"She was free in her wildness. She was a wandress, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city."

Hey there!

What an incredible week its been! Work has been hectic but good. I absolutely love my internship and the people I work with. One of the projects I do here is create the Cultural Agenda that is sent out to our students each week. It features a new aspect of Barcelona each week, restaurant suggestions and what is going on around the city that week. I really enjoy making it! Also, my blog has been featured on the SAE website which is pretty neat!

Monday was absolutely insane since we had 90 students all arrive, but we got through it! I helped with their orientation and then led the students to the city center where I gave them a tour.

On Wednesday I accompanied a group to their tour of the Gothic Quarter with a guide. I was thrilled to join in because our guide was Olga, my host mom from when I was here studying!! She's so awesome, and it was so good to see her. I'm going to her house for dinner later this month which I'm so excited for since she's an amazing cook -plus I'm tired of eating eggs for dinner every night :P
Reunited with mi madre espanñola
Inside the Gothic Cathedral

Me Goose-ta ;)
Ma doin' her thing
Her tour was awesome and it was nice because even though I was on the same tour last week, it was with a different guide so the tours were very different from each other. It was cool to see Olga in action as I'd never been on one of her tours before. We also went inside of the Gothic Cathedral which I've never actually been in before! That was on my list of things I must do this time around. It was beautiful inside! They even have a little outside area where they have 13 live geese to represent the 13 tortures Santa Eulalia, a 13 year old girl faced. Her crypt is inside this cathedral.

On thursday Ryan and I helped about 20 kids with their phones, as they've had several issues with the SIM cards. It was stressful, but I was able to get a lot of phones working. We can now add SIM card technical support to our resumés.

Afterwards, I brought one of our groups to cooking class. I was excited to take them as this activity is always a favorite for many students, plus I got a delicious dinner out of it! We cooked pan con tomate, gazoacho, tortilla patata, chicken paella and crema catalana. It was all delicious and the students loved it!

Gazpacho is like a thick tomato soup, served cold
Tortilla patata is like an omelet with potato and onion
Crema Catalana is very similar to a crème brûlée but it is served cold 
On Friday we worked a half-day so I was finally able to take a much needed nap after work. I always nap at home but here I haven't been able to at all! That night we had a farewell dinner for one of our interns who was returning to the US in the morning. We went back to La Caramba, the amazing tapas restaurant we went to the week before. Afterwards, we went to my favorite bar called Sugarbar. My best friend Lyndsay and I stumbled upon it last time and it became our spot. It was awesome to be back!

Afterwards we walked over to Pipa, a secret bar I've been dying to check out. Apparently there are a ton of secret bars scattered all over Barcelona. I've researched a ton and plan to discover them all. Pipa is really cool because it is inside of an apartment building, you just have to know which building as there is no sign. To get inside, you literally have to buzz in on a random apartment door. Then you walk up some stairs and voilá, you're there! Pipa (which means pipe) is a very old spot where a ton of famous writers and artists used to go to smoke their pipes. They have the pipes of several famous people such as Salvador Dalí, Hemmingway and even Sherlock Holmes. Johnny Depp reportedly went to Pipa, jumped up on stage and rocked out on the base! It was so cool inside, I felt like I was in a speakeasy! Definitely one of my new favorite places.

Sherlock Holmes' pipe 
Looking onto Plaça Real
On Saturday, Gee and I joined some of our students in volunteer work. It was so nice to give back to the city that has given me so much. We worked with an organization called Confianza Soidaria. They collect donations to help 80 families in difficult situations to get the things they need such as food, shampoo, toilet paper etc. Every first saturday of the month, the volunteers go the the local supermarkets and collect food and donations from incoming people. We helped pass out flyers to incoming customers. It was really cool and we collected a lot of food. We had students at all of the local markets in the neighborhood. The organization is specific to the Eixample barrio, so they only help those that reside in that neighborhood. Barcelona is too large for such a small organization. I was really pleased with the amount of students that decided to spend their saturday helping others. It was also a really great way to practice spanish with the locals!

That night we all got together and went out to one of the beach clubs. Even though I hate going down to the touristy clubs, they're always free. Overall, it was a great night.

Tonight I took students to check out the Magic Fountain at the base on Montjüic. The beautiful fountain is synchronized with music and changes colors.

One thing that is happening right now is the King of Spain just announced he will be stepping down after 39 years. Thousands of people have been protesting the monarchy and want to establish a republic instead. For now, the monarchy will remain as the King passes his crown to his son Felipe. The people of Barcelona (and many Spaniards) do not like the king for several reasons. For me, I don't like him because he used a large sum of the country's money to go elephant hunting -and we all know how much I love elephants! So its a really exciting time to be in Spain right now, I plan to watch the ceremony on TV!

Amusing Photos of the week:

This man is always present in their Nativity scenes. He is supposed to bring good luck and everyone has one.
The playgrounds are so much better here. They even have zip lines!
Also, shout out to my fabulous roommates who always keep me laughing!

That's all for now chicos! Thanks for following my adventures :)

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