Our last week in Cádiz!

It’s hard to believe that our time in Cádiz has ended! It’s been a month of new experiences, new friends, and great memories. On Wednesday we had a picnic at a hacienda in the countryside with a small bullring. Some of the students went into the ring to try their hand waving the bullfighting cape….against young cows, of course….no horns!  Afterwards we ate and danced!

In class, the students finished up their video documentary and took their final exam. Thursday and Friday allowed the students some free time to spend with their Spanish families and say their goodbyes, as well as to visit any favorite spots in Cádiz for the last time. Last night we had our final dinner and celebration with our Spanish host families, professors, and activities teachers. It was a beautiful evening.  We’re sure the students are looking forward to seeing their American families again, but we’ll be sorry to see them go! It’s been a great group and a great month here in Cádiz.

Our last week in Nerja!

Our last week in Nerja was quite busy! We completed our last day of class having churros and chocolate with our profesores. The students studied and took their final exam in class and in their  evenings activities they finished their ceramic sculptures, went scuba diving, and learned how to make paella (Spain´s most traditional and famous rice dish).    On Thursday we went ona surprise trip to a spa complete with saunas, Turkish baths, jacuzzis, and pools. Needless to say we had a great time!  After a day of relaxing and being pampered, we all dressed up nicely for our final party with the Spanish families. It was a special night as we remembered all of the good times we spent in Nerja together. On Friday the students had one last day to spend with their family and friends, take pictures and buy some souvenirs to remember their time here. We’re sure the students are looking forward to seeing their American families again, but we’ll be sorry to see them go! It’s been a great group and a great month here in Nerja.

Conil into the home stretch!

It’s hard to believe that our time in Conil is coming to an end! It’s been a month of   new experiences, new friends, and great memories. Yesterday we had a picnic at a hacienda in the countryside with a small bullring. Some of the students went into the ring to try their hand waving the bullfighting cape….against young cows, of course….no horns!

Tonight we have our final dinner and celebration with our Spanish host families, professors, and activities teachers. There will be a special video documenting the program in Conil and most likely some dancing!

Friday the students will have time to spend with their Spanish families and say their goodbyes, as well as to visit any favorite spots in Conil for the last time….beach, anyone? Saturday morning we leave at daybreak to make it to the airport in time to catch the return flight to the United States. We’ll send an e-mail to all parents once the group flight has left Jerez.

We’re sure the students are looking forward to seeing their American families again, but we’ll be sorry to see them go! It’s been a great group and a great month here in Conil.

Nerja travels to Málaga!

On Thursday the students had a blast as they plunged under the water with their scuba class. Their ceramic creations are coming along nicely in class and our game of beach volley ball with the Spaniards was lots of fun.

On Saturday we went to Marbella, a beautiful city along the coast. We walked around the historic center, along the beach and visited the town hall and one of the older churches. The students went on a scavenger hunt to discover some interesting facts about the city. On the way back to Nerja, we stopped in the glamorous resort town of Puerto Banus. The students were very impressed to see all of the expensive cars lining the streets and the elaborate yachts in the port. Afterwards we stopped in the large shopping center to get a few souvenirs and take advantage of the summer rebajas¨ (sales).

There is a lot to look forward to in our last week. In class we are letting our creativity flow as we finish our Libro de Verano (a student-created booklet commemorating our time in Nerja). A sort of yearbook, the Libro de Verano contains pages on activities, excursions, local culture, and other important aspects of our summer. It’s always exciting to see the unveiling of the final printed copies, which are revealed at our final dinner.

More to come…stay tuned!

Cádiz Concerts!

After Gibraltar, the students were back into their normal routine of classes and activities.  Some met up to have coffee and chat with their teachers, while others called the local assistants to spend time with them on the beach. The students are using every opportunity they have not only to practice thier Spanish but also to get to know our wonderful staff a little bit better.

On Friday the students were in for a treat as they got to see their very own staff live in concert! Javi, the coordinator, played the guitar, while Adrian, the local assistant played percussion. The students had a blast listening to their awesome funky jazz band!

On Saturday, the students got a chance to see another great musician in concert, Carlinhos Brown. Brown is a highly-regarded Brazilian musician and producer who blends Tropical, reggae and Brazilian musical styles. It´s clear that Cádiz is the place to be for music lovers!

As we enter our last week, students are working on their class documentary projects and looking forward to this Wednesday when they will get a chance to bullfight! Stay tuned for more exciting adventures!

Monkeys, flamenco, Europe, Africa!

It’s been an eventful few days in Conil: levitating street performers, pasta-chomping monkeys, and mind-blowing flamenco dancers…and that’s just for starters! Thursday was Movie Night in the Summerfuel house, which was momentarily converted into a haunted house to enhance the scary movie theme. The students weren’t very scared, however, especially when they recognized their own Spanish teachers in would-be spooky disguises! Friday we went to the Lonja or fishing port of Conil, where we saw fish being unloaded directly from the boats and auctioned off to buyers. Conil is famous for its seafood, particularly tuna, and the fish is sold with a special tag vouching for its authenticity, much like a wine appellation.

Saturday on our excursion we took a cable car to enjoy panoramic views from atop the Rock of Gibraltar, where one can see Europe and Africa, Atlantic and Mediterranean, and endless sky in every direction. We got to spend some quality time with Gibraltar’s famous Barbary apes, who tried to steal our potato chips but otherwise were happy to pose for photos. We also saw some street performers who seemed to float in the air….we still haven’t quite figured out how they did it!

Saturday night we went to a traditional hacienda outside Conil to see a flamenco show: passionate song and dance with intricate hand clapping, dizzying footwork, and captivating melodies. Sunday was a day to relax with our Spanish families and enjoy the beach.

On Wednesday of this week we’ll have a picnic and miniature bullfight in the country as well as a final celebration dinner with the Spanish families. It’s going to be a great week!

Conil gets a taste of Cádiz!

After a day of rest on Monday for the Fiesta del Virgen Carmen Holiday, we were right back into the swing of things. There is still so much to do and see!  After class today we went on an excursion to the city of Cádiz, the oldest continually inhabited city on the Iberian Peninsula. A peninsula, Cádiz has beautiful ocean views on all sides. We visited a “Camera Obscura” at the top of the Torre Tavira, the former home of a well-known merchant family, where we saw all of Cadiz projected on a giant dome for a panoramic look at the city.  Afterwards we had some free time to explore the city and its narrow cobblestone streets. We walked through the beautiful Plaza de Flores, a market that sells every type of flower you could imagine and then we visited the beach. This waterfront area, which resembles Havana, Cuba so much that it has stood in for that city in movies, most notably in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. Right now we´re headed on the bus back home to Conil. Stay tuned for more fun adventures as tomorrow is movie night and Saturday we have an excursion to Gibraltar. Be sure to like us on Facebook!girls in Conil

Cádiz crosses the border!

Our third week started off with a fiesta as we sang “Feliz Cumpleaños (Happy Birthday)” to Ryan during cooking class. In addition to a delicious cake we also made “ensaladilla, ” a cold Spanish salad with potatoes and eggs.The fun didn´t stop there! Today we crossed international borders and headed to Gibraltar, a British colony on the very tip of the Iberian Peninsula that has played a key strategic role in various military engagements over the past several centuries. Today Gibraltar functions as an international banking center and a duty-free haven for shoppers. More importantly for us, however, was the famous colony of Barbary Apes, which we visited after a steep cable car ride up to the very top of the Rock of Gibraltar. The monkeys are definitely fun and mischievous, and we had a great time getting just close enough to take some potos. Some even climbed on top of us so we could get the perfect shot!  Afterwards we had some free time to enjoy the duty-free shopping and have lunch with our friends. Stayed tuned for more exciting adventures….