martes, 28 de abril de 2015

Day 15 - Farewell

By Mrs. Virginia Lima

Today we are 52 kids and countless number of teachers and families tying to express how thankful they feel for such an amazing experience.

As we say goodbye after four heavenly weeks together I am so proud of what our two schools have accomplished. Thirty years ago neither Getxo nor Scituate High could have imagined such a strong bond.

This cultural exchange and language immersion is a life-changing experience for the families, the teachers and, especially, the students. We all learn so much about each other, the world and our languages. Our students now understand the joy of exploration and adventure. They have been motivated for years to learn a new language with the hope of participating on the Getxo-Scituate exchange.

I don't think they knew how much fun they would have and how much love they would feel. 

For me, this has, undoubtedly been the best of my teaching career.

Hugs and kisses to all!

lunes, 27 de abril de 2015

Day 14 Family Party

Time is nearly over, but we have to celebrate many things. 
Everybody is happy
There are too many reasons to feel good and glad, and proud of the things done together.

domingo, 26 de abril de 2015

Day 13. Cabárceno, Santillana del Mar, Santander

By Robbie and Kate Conley

Today was a very eventful day, visiting a number of beautiful places. First, we went to Cabárceno, to the zoo and saw a lot of cool animals including rhinos and gorillas. Everyone especially liked the bear fight and the seal show.

Then the group went to Santillana de Mar. Most of us stopped and got some delicious ice cream.
Everyone took a well-needed rest so we could fully enjoy our visit to Santander. There, we had a chance to walk around the area and see animals on display as well as walk to the Palace of La Magdalena.
All in all, a busy but great day to help round out the trip. It was great to venture out of Bilbao with the Scituate and Getxo students together
We are all very excited to enjoy dinner with our families before heading to a discoteca later tonight. ¡Viva El Pais Vasco!

sábado, 25 de abril de 2015

Bilbao - Fine Arts Museum and Boat Ride

By Dylan and  Zach

Today we took our third trip to Bilbao to visit the Museum of Fine Arts and take a boat ride on la ria through the center of the city. 
After walking to school we met in our group to join our students in their first class. I (Dylan) was with Eneko, and I had Euskera. In Euskera, we took a quiz about world languages and learned a song in Basque called Txoriak Txori. I (Zach) was with Ander, and we had Economics. We talked about government intervention in the economy and it was really interesting. We compared the economic systems of Spain and the United States and how they are different.

After class we went to the metro to get to the Museo de Bellas Artes in Bilbao. There we split into two groups and took a tour to see various exhibits of contemporary paintings, multiple sculptures, religious paintings and even fashion from the 1950s. 

After we left the tour we went to take a ride on a bilboat on la ria. We got to see the many parts of Bilbao and observe how the city has grown and developed from a factory based center to a more modern city.
Once we finished our boat ride we finally went to Casco Viejo where we shopped around and waited for our kids to find us. 
Third times the charm in Bilbao; 
the trip with the group was really fun and everything was amazing.

(Pictures to be uploaded)

jueves, 23 de abril de 2015

Day 10: San Juan de Luz and San Sebastian

Nicole Grace
We started the day with a two hour bus ride and we stopped first at San Juan de Luz. We passed the border from Spain to France at 10:30. When we got there it was raining and some people brought raincoats and/or umbrellas while others did not. 
After, we left France at 12 and started heading to San Sebastián to go to the aquarium. When we got to San Sebastián, the sun came out and it became a beautiful day.
First, we went inside the aquarium which was extremely cool as there were multiple different kinds of fish. After, we had 2 hours of free time so we walked around and went to the San Sebastián beach. The day started off gray and rainy, but when the sun came out it became a perfect day. Kaitlyn Capprinni, Maddie Ryan, and I found Baterìa de las Damas and we walked up an amazing mountain trail that led us to Gaztelua Castillo which had the Sacred Heart Statue on top. It was the most beautiful view I have ever seen in my entire life. Even though there were numerous stairs, it was absolutely worth it. 
There are no words to describe the beauty that we just saw.

Day 9: Bilbao's Town Hall and Guggenheim Museum

Ellie and Gabby

We started our Wednesday by walking with our exchange students and meeting with everyone at the school at 8 am. Then, we rode the metro where two men were yelling at each other; we were entertained for we learned some new Spanish swear words. We finally got off the metro 8+ stops later and arrived in Abondo, Bilbao
We were excited to see the Ayuntamiento because we were able to take a tour of Bilbao's town hall. Although we were tired from the long night before during the tour, we were all very interested in learning more about the significance of the town hall. 
After seeing the beautiful interior of the town hall, we left and walked across a bridge called Zubizuri to visit the Guggenheim Museum. We were all extremely siked to see the modern art and Puppy. Inside, we had the opportunity to see the marvelous statues and structures
In one large room, we were able to walk into these big structures that were so tilted and distorted that we were unbalanced due to its crooked perspective. 
There were three floors to the Guggenheim and we got to see artwork created from gunshots and others of fat ladies. 
After an hour or so, we finished our trip to Guggenheim by devouring some rich and delicious gelato! 
What a day and what an amazing experience! We are still hungry for more! 

martes, 21 de abril de 2015

Day 8: Gernika, Santimamiñe, Mundaka, Bermeo

Kate MacCune y Mondo Kalpin. 

Today we started off at the virtual caves in Santimamiña. Here we were given a 3D tour of the caves because the public is unable to enter due to pollution destroying the paintings of the cave. Next we went to the Museum of Peace to learn about the German bombing of Gernika. We entered a simulation, pretending to be in a civilian house at the time of the bombing. Here we learned about reconciliation rather than vengeance
Next we went to Casa de Juntas, to learn about the Bizkaia government and the symbolism of the oak tree. At the Casa de Juntas (Assembly Hall) we saw the assembly room and the new oak tree planted to symbolized the strength and unity of the Biskaia government

We went to Mundaka to have lunch at the beach. We walked along the beach and sea wall to look at the waves and cliffs behind it. 
Lastly we went to Bermeo to walk around the port and enter the little shops. Here we felt at home in the little sea side town with the small nautical venders. 
We had a great day and great weather to spend a trip along the coast of Spain. 

lunes, 20 de abril de 2015

Day 7: Diputación & Casco Viejo

Maddie Ryan and Katie Irish 

Today we went to school with our exchange partners and got to experience what a typical class is like. The class environment and teaching styles were fascinatingly different than what we are used to in the United States.  
After the first class, the group went on the Metro to explore Bilbao for the first time. When we arrived, we visited the government building of Biscay -La Diputación-  and were given a guided tour. It was very interesting to learn about the history of both the governing system, and the building, and the political heritage of the Biscay region. 
Next we were given a guided tour through El Casco Viejo and were able to appreciate the rich history of this region. The beautiful architecture, and the pleasant streets were outstanding to walk through. 
We also were given time to shop on the Gran Vía and were exposed to more similarities and differences between the two cultures
When we returned to Getxo, we were reunited with our partners and spent time at a beach called Ereaga
We are still in awe of the beauty of this region, 
and cannot wait to spend another week here with our friends! 

sábado, 18 de abril de 2015

Day 5: Welcome Party

Mike and Molly

Earlier this morning, we were able to wake up at anytime before 11. It was the first time we were able to sleep in since we arrived in Spain. Then at noon, we took the metro and walked to La Salvaje. Here, we took a lot of pictures of the cliffs and the beach. At one o´clock, we met  with the other students and went to the surf school.  They gave us wetsuits and surfboards. They taught us basic instructions about how to surf and then we stretched. Next, we split into two groups and got into the water. There were huge waves today so it was difficult to stand up but everybody had fun. After going back to everyone´s houses, we all met at six o´clock for the welcome party at the high school. Here, the Basque students sang a song for the Americans and then the opposite. We then went to the gym to learn typical basque dances. Afterwards, we had an arrangement of different authentic Spanish/Basque foods and drinks. After the welcome party, everybody went home to prepare for las discotecas!

Welcome Party Programme
1. Welcome Words and Anniversary postcards
2. Scituate-Getxo-Scituate, song by the students from Getxo.
3. It's the place to be, song by the students from Scituate.
4. A celebration present: IES Julio Caro Baroja T-shirt
5. Family Picture
6. Basque Dances: To watch them click on the numbers: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 -
7. Family Dinner at the school canteen

viernes, 17 de abril de 2015

4th Day: Welcome to Getxo

by Sophia Coleman & Julia Blacker

Today we had so much on our excursion. First, all of the American students went to school with their Basque companions and when we arrived, we were met by roses from a student who goes to the school. Then, the principal talked to us about the exchange and was very enthusiastic about us being there. After, we left our partners we walked to the town office where the Mayor of Getxo talked to us about the government and we got to ask questions about Getxo. We sat in the seats where representatives sit which was very cool to see how Getxo is run. 
Then we walked along the shore in the rain heading towards the Vizcaya Bridge that suspends cars across the water, which we all thought was beautiful. It was downpouring but still fun and a beautiful place to be, even when we were running from cafe to cafe to hide from the rain. We got to the bridge and we ate our lunches before going up. We took an elavator up to the top and walked across. The view was amazing and was such a great place to have been able to go to. 
After, we were all wet but still having fun, we went to cafes and had some good laughs. Our picture was taken in front of the bridge and was put in the newspaper. How cool is that! Some of us even spine to the writer to talk about how excited we were to be there. We then headed back to the school to spend time with our partners for the rest of the night. 
Today was an amazing experience and we loved every second of it.

3rd Day: Madrid - Segovia

By Jackson, Lindsey and Taylor

Although we were still tired from the long plane ride, we were stoaked for the day to come. Some of us accompanied Carlos and Sra. Lima to the Egyptian temple in Madrid. Here we learnt about Spain's involvement in helping to move the temples of Abu Simbel, for which Spain was presented with that temple, while others enjoyed free time in the city.
The bus for Getxo left at 12:15 p.m. Most of us slept on the bus. However, the thrill of being reunited with our exchange partners prevented this from being a reality.

About 42% of the way to Bilbao, we stopped in the historical city of Segovia. Other than the rain, the expedition was superb. Every American was flabbergasted with the rich history that the city possessed. Most of us braved the spiral staircase to the top ot the watchtower.
From Segovia, we left to finish the last part of our ride.
We took a pit stop at a small hotel in Lerma, a small city near Burgos. Then, we got back on our bus to finish the trip and finally see our partners and meet their families.
We're almost there and everyone is anxious and nervous to speak a lot of Spanish.
We can't wait for all the adventures this week!!!

miércoles, 15 de abril de 2015

Madrid 2nd Day: El Buen Retiro, Reina Sofía, El Prado y Cardamomo

Madrid, 2nd Day, by Grace and Bridget

After we woke up and had breakfast, the group walked to El Paque de El Buen Retiro. It was a beautiful park and we wished we had something like it in America. All the students went on boats in the water, and we ended up racing the boats (Bridget won, but Grace was the best rower). Then we explored the park and the wonderful statues. We were all so happy because the weather was amazing and we we're having so much fun together. Then we walked to the Reina Sofia and on the way we saw a lot of people exercising and walking around. We went in the museum and saw Guernica and we we're excited to see it because we learned about it in school. Then we looked at the other, but we didn't really understand it. The sculptures were very confusing. After that, we saw Atocha train station where they memorialize the March 11 attack. It was interesting to see, but we we're sad to hear the story about the attack. Then the teachers let us roam free and we had a wonderful time exploring. We ate tapas and bought different things and got to talk to some people from Madrid. 

Then we went to el Museo de  El Prado. We saw paintings like Las Meninas and many paintings by Goya and Velazquez. We liked seeing more paintings that we studied in class and we're interested in learning the back stories of the art. Then the group dispersed to eat dinner. When we met at kilometer 0, we went to see a flamenco show. We all loved the show but it was so different than anything we had ever seen before. It was impressive the way they could move their feet so quickly. After the show we ran through the outing rain back to the hotel and went to our rooms to sleep. 
Overall it was a fantastic day; we learned so much about the culture and had so much fun!

martes, 14 de abril de 2015

Student Exchange First Impressions

First Impressions, by María Garman and Erica White

Después de una larga noche viajando en avión, ¡por fin llegamos en Madrid! Cuando empezamos nuestro viaje en el autobús hasta el hotel todos estaban emocionados por estar en una ciudad tan bonita. No tuvimos mucho tiempo para relajarnos, y tan pronto como pusimos el equipaje en nuestros cuartos anduvimos por las calles de Madrid. Visitamos a la Puerta del Sol, la Plaza Mayor, y al Palacio Real. Todos los sitios son tan hermosos y llenos de historia. Nos interesaba que los españoles supieran fácilmente que nosotros somos americanos. También vimos la belleza de la arquitectura antigua de Madrid! 
Aunque estemos muy cansados, no falta la emoción para el resto del viaje!!