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Park School Spain

March 15-16, 2019

We made it! After many hours of traveling, we are all tired but very well-fed! We arrived at the Foundation this afternoon, took a tour, and got to meet a lot of members of the community. We also learned about the Foundation’s philosophy from its founder, Ignacio. We rested a bit and took a short hike to watch the sunset from Sierra Elvira. We’ve been treated to many delicious snacks and are about to enjoy our second full meal! More to come tomorrow when we are well-rested and ready to begin our service projects. ¡Buenas noches!

By Señorita Come, Señorita Cinquegrana, Señorita Offen

March 17, 2019

We had a beautiful day in Granada with blue skies, sunshine, and delicious food! We woke up early for breakfast and spent the morning in groups starting our service projects. All of the groups will rotate through bread making, planting, creating a mosaic, repainting furniture, and crafting this week. We experienced a special treat when a local family invited us for lunch at their home! The paella and the view were spectacular. We sang happy birthday to Myles and had cake. Afterwards, we boarded the bus to explore the city center of Granada. We visited the Capilla Real and had a scavenger hunt (Ms. Offen’s group won!) before heading back to FES for dinner. We wrapped up with a reflection and are about to turn in for the night. ¡Buenas noches y hasta mañana!

By Señorita Come, Señorita Cinquegrana, Señorita Offen

March 18, 2019

When we woke up today we had breakfast with the community. Afterwards, we split into our designated groups and worked in our assigned service projects. Our group worked on the mosaic, specifically the word “Fundación.” We mixed cement and broke colored tiles. We enjoyed this because, well, for one, smashing tiles with hammers is very fun. In the late morning we had a refreshing snack of iced tea and fruit. We finished the letters F U N and we were very productive on other letters, setting up tomorrow’s group to finish. Working on letters was a relaxing experience that enhances our community and gives us time to chat. We went to a lunch and had of a variety of breads, pasta, pizza, and salad, and we also celebrated Katie’s birthday. After lunch we had time to rest and play cards for an hour before heading to dinner and a great view of the Alhambra. Before continuing on to dinner we took a flamenco class. For dinner we had delicious cod, French fries with egg, truffles, and ham, and croquetas. After dinner, we had the privilege of watching 3 professional flamenco dancers perform for us. That was a real treat!

By Charley P., Joey P., & Alexandra H.

March 19, 2019
Today was a busy day full of activity at the Fundación. We worked on many different things such as making cakes for lunch, packaging and labeling marmalade, and working in the garden. After days of hard work, we were especially glad to finish our mosaic! We celebrated and took a lunch break to enjoy soup and salad. We then went to the FES gift shop, which was filled with beautiful items handmade by residents. Afterwards, we formally introduced ourselves in Spanish to some of the people from the community; some of whom we had met and some of whom were new to us. We told them a bit about ourselves, and they shared their stories with us. Not only was it great Spanish practice, but it was also incredibly interesting to learn about their experiences. When our meeting ended, we had fun playing with some of the younger kids here at the Fundación. We then were treated in smaller groups to dinners of delicious cuisines from different countries prepared by FES residents. We danced, ate, conversed, played with babies, and more! Over all, it was a wonderful day and evening.
¡¡Buenas noches!!
By Maya H., Neva G., and Katie T.

March 20, 2019

We woke up to a chilly, overcast morning and enjoyed our usual breakfast with the FES community. We then boarded the bus to head into downtown Granada for our long-awaited visited to the beautiful Alhambra. We met up with our guide, Juan, who took us through all of the various sections of the palace and fortress. We started with the Generalife, which was a place of rest for the sultan and has immaculate gardens. We then went inside the walls of the citadel and visited the Palacio Carlos V. We then climbed  up one of the towers in the Alcazaba and took in the beautiful views of Granada. After, we visited the Nasrid Palaces and learned about how the public, political, and private spaces were used. We were entranced by the elaborate artwork and architectural features. We were excited to see the famous Patio de los Leones. We took lots and lots of photos and were very proud to have understood most of Juan’s explanations in Spanish.

After the Alhambra tour, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch at a local Moroccan restaurant and then had some time for souvenir shopping.

Our time at FES concluded with a community-wide goodbye party that included music, dancing, good food, and lots of laughs. Each of us had a chance to thank the residents for this experience (in Spanish!) and to receive a small memento from FES. We are so grateful to have been welcomed so warmly into this unique community this week. We have made many memories that we will not soon forget. Tomorrow, we’ll be up bright and early to head to Sevilla via Córdoba. ¡Buenas noches!
By Señorita Come y Señorita Offen

March 21,2019

Today, we had an early breakfast at the Fundación. After saying goodbye to our friends there, we were on the road by 8:00 A.M. We drove for a few hours to Córdoba, where we were able to visit the Mezquita. It is a beautiful structure that was first built as a Mosque but was later repurposed as a Cathedral. Now a popular tourist attraction, the Mezquita is a very large building composed of hundreds of arcs and pillars. As it is still used for worship today, we were able to hear the organ music echoing through the expansive space. We did a scavenger hunt while inside, where we found a special pillar with an interesting backstory, a marble statue of a bull, and a “magical” fossil in the shape of a star that was said to grant wishes. We concluded our time in Córdoba with a beautiful walk through the city and a delicious lunch with three courses. After another bus ride, we arrived in Sevilla, where we checked into our hotel and got settled. Afterwards, we visited the Plaza de España, where colorful fountains and gorgeous buildings made for perfect photos. To end the day, we ate dinner at Taberna Coloniales, where we were able to chat and eat some delicious Spanish dishes. Overall, while today did include lots of travel, we were able to visit some amazing places and see some unforgettable things. ¡Buenas noches!
By Madison M., Aaron C., Justin L.

March 22, 2019

¡Hola! Today was an extremely fun day filled with action and adventure. In the morning, we got to wake up at 8:30 – slightly later than our usual 7:30. We had a breakfast of croissants, Nutella, and more at our new hotel, Hotel Simón. After breakfast, we did some group activities and reflections by the Guadalquivir river, which flows through Sevilla. ¡Qué río más grande! From there, we walked across the Triana Bridge to el Mercado de Triana. We took a tour of the market, which consists of fruit stands, fresh fish, Iberian ham, and much more. After learning about and exploring the market, we took a cooking class where we made (and then got to eat!) delicious gazpacho and paella. After lunch, we came back to the hotel for a little rest. Then, we went on a guided tour of the Alcázar and the barrio Santa Cruz. El Alcázar is an ancient fortress built by Peter the First, and Santa Cruz is the old Jewish neighborhood of Sevilla. After our tour finished, we went to have a snack of traditional “churros con chocolate”. Then, we went to the Metropol Parasol, a modern piece of art which is an enormous wood structure that looks like mushrooms (and is also known as “Las Setas de Sevilla”). From the top of this structure, we were able to see all of Sevilla during the sunset. For dinner, we split up into three groups and all found different restaurants to enjoy. We met up after for ice cream to end a wonderful day! ¡Buenas Noches!

By Nik K., Rohan K., and Theo L.

March 23, 2019

On our final full day in Spain, we woke up after breakfast but it was luckily still waiting for us. This day would be filled with history and culture, as we were going to visit the Catedral de Sevilla. First, however, we walked to the Parque María Luisa, where we had time to play and reflect upon the trip. At the Catedral, we saw the tomb of Christopher Columbus and climbed up 34 ramps to get to the top of the Giralda, the old watch tower of the Catedral. After seeing the Catedral, we walked around and shopped as this was our last day in Sevilla, and then we went to have lunch. The lunch was very delicious and included tortilla de patatas, a Spanish omelette with potatoes. We had many other tapas like patatas bravas, ham, and peppers. Then we had a nice walk and went back to the hotel to get our luggage before boarding the bus. We drove to Málaga, where we stopped at the hotel and got dressed for our last dinner in Spain. At the restaurant, we ate delicious food and watched a flamenco performance – some of us even got to dance in it! After dinner, we took one last stroll through the streets of Málaga before heading back to our hotel, as we have to leave early in the morning for our flight to Dublin. Goodnight and ¡hasta mañana!

~Alex T, Zoë P-M, Grace L, Myles B and Henry S