Thursday, December 15, 2011

School Experience!

A not so terrible, but extremely unorganized video blog about what it's like teaching in my school.

I forgot to mention that I feel completely at home in the first grade classes, so I feel like kindergarten or first grade is where I want to teach when I come back to the States. I love talking to them, and how excited they are about everything. It's the same things I love about teaching my 6 and 7yr old summer camp classes. (By the way, I'm totally bummed that I can't work that summer job for the rest of my life. This is my last summer...probably.)

Here are some pictures of the turkeys my 2nd graders made for Thanksgiving, and one of my first grade classes.

I love how different they all are, and especially the rainbow turkeys. Because it's always more fun to be thankful when your turkey is part of the celebration. Here's some of my first grade kids.

Happy (late) Thanksgiving and an early Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Let's talk about food

So, I made a video about a recent shopping trip, and now you can all see what I eat every day. It's not fancy, and is mostly like college food again, but it works. Today I spent 6 euros on my feel better food (bread, cheese for grilled cheese, chicken ramen, yogurt, water, and some chocolate). It was pretty awesome, and makes being sick a little bit better. Having internet here to watch TV shows on is pretty much like Netflix, so that's awesome too.

Sorry for moving the camera too fast! I'm still getting the hang of filming myself.

Accion de Gracias...otherwise known as Thanksgiving

**This was a draft that I got distracted from finishing earlier**

I now have internet in my piso, and as much as I'll miss teaching the man at the internet cafe English, I am THRILLED. Love being able to communicate with people whenever I want!

I also love getting mail here! It makes my day when I get a letter, and any that I get I hang on the door of my closet. It's now the door of fame, and if you want to be on it, send me a letter. Or a postcard. Or a picture with some stamps. Or a care package. Anything!! If you want the address, let me know. Or, if you want to see that I am alive and well here, feel free to Skype with me!

Also, Thanksgiving here was completely successful! I gave presentations about American Thanksgiving to my 6th grade English classes, and then made handprint turkeys with my first grade English and a 2nd grade class. We wrote what we were thankful for on the fingers.

So American! I love this class

Saturday, we had the Roquetas Family Thanksgiving Dinner. It was pretty awesome, considering most of us had never cooked large amounts of food like that. I made mashed potatoes, and helped with 2 chickens, and made gravy from scratch with Jess, which was way more successful than our attempt to make spiced cider from scratch. I'm learning to cook without recipes....Tom, this is a huge deal! I forgot to take pictures of all of that though, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

All the girls at dinner.

Mi familia. I love this group of people.
The night was so fun. Talking, eating, laughing, drinking, eating, laughing, hanging out. It was exactly what we all needed, and made me a little less homesick. Getting to talk to my parents on the phone on actual Thanksgiving was definitely the highlight of it though! I loved getting cards from my mom and brother too!

PS: Aunt Betsy, I got your card, and I loved it and the pictures! I'm writing you back once I have paper here that's not graph paper ripped out of my notebook!

Love you all!

Amsterdam, with a little Malaga to start it off.

Since we had a long weekend, I met up with my friend Amanda to go visit Amsterdam. (Yes, I know we should have picked a better time since it's super cold there) Since we don't live that close to each other, we decided to meet in Malaga the day before our flight left from there. Malaga was amazing! It's on the southern coast, so we had pretty nice weather, and the city was decked out for Christmas! Compared to Amsterdam, it was about a million times  better, which was actually a little depressing. Amsterdam, I had high expectations for Christmas kinda failed. I could tell you a long story about everything we did, or I could show you some of my 300 pictures and then elaborate. One of those is easier, so that's what I'll be doing!

Since we had most of the afternoon, and all of the evening in Malaga, we did lots of tourist stuff. We visited the Cathedral, which was gorgeous as usual. I love walking through old cathedrals. I find them so calming and I always feel close to God in them. I stopped to say a prater and light a candle for Tom and his master's thesis, which seemed to work out well for him since he's defended it and is done!!

La Pieta in the cathedral. So cool.

I love orange trees. This is the pathway up to the Alcazaba.

In the Alcazaba. Ignore the crazy hair.

Malaga, I think I love you. (View from the Alcazaba.)

Christmas decorations as far as you can see. LOVE.

Rijksmuseum. And the park. 

Heineken Brewery. 

Fries with Mayonnaise. 

My delicious fried apple ball. I forget the Dutch name, but I love it.

Dam Square. I love the architecture. 

On our walking tour of Amsterdam.

This is Amsterdam. Lots of bridges, bikes and cool buildings.

Faro. I love this place.

Hidden garden in the middle of Amsterdam.

Anne Frank house. I want to smile, but felt weird. 
 Getting to tour the Anne Frank house was definitely the highlight of the trip! I've wanted to go there since I've read the diary, and after learning about the Holocaust, it was even deeper and more meaningful.

Our Lord in the Attic church.
 This church is amazing. It was a secret Catholic church from when Catholicism was outlawed in the 1500's (I think). This wealthy man built it in the attic of his house and 2 others and it has an organ and room for 300 people I think. I have so many pictures and things to talk about from this place. I loved this museum.

Heineken Brewery. Notice how I'm not standing in the bike lane.
I loved Amsterdam. I have more pictures, but I forgot to take pictures of important things, so here's the rundown of what we did.
Saturday: Heineken Brewery, walked around Amsterdam, explored 2 Christmas markets, and ate delicious food.
Sunday: Walking tour all over historic parts of Amesterdam, Anne Frank House, Van Gogh museum, Red Light District tour
Monday: Rijksmuseum, Diamond Museum, Our Lord in the Attic museum, shopping.

We left Tuesday morning super early (6:55) , and then immediately traveled home when we got to Malaga. I got home at 5:00, so it was a long day full of bus rides, but totally worth it! Amsterdam, I love you and I'm coming back for sure!