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Skinner M.S. Spain

June 8-9, 2019
Hi families! I’m not sure how many hours ago it was that I saw you, but I’m writing this at 9:30PM (Spain time).  After our fun 3:30AM airport arrival, we began the journey to Malaga!  Sleeping was a little tricky on the plane and in JFK airport, so many of us were sleepy as we arrived to our new country. We met Ari and Hailey at the airport and took the bus to FES (Fundacion Escuela de Solidaridad).  Nearly all the students fell asleep on the bus! Sadly, I had coffee along with the airplane breakfast, so I failed at getting a quick nap in.

After getting settled in Casa 7, our house, we spent time getting to know each other and learning about FES.  We met a few residents as we walked through the facility and had a lovely lunch of salad, a rice and zucchini dish, fruit, and bread.  Up to this point everything at FES was awesome, but I think that the majority of us were most excited about the next part…siesta!  We got some much needed rest for the next couple hours. Poor Ari and Hailey had the daunting task of rousing all of us after siesta, and they may have confused us with zombies at that point.  I truly wish I had taken a picture of the post-siesta exhaustion! It was a real struggle!

We pushed through the exhaustion as we learned all about FES from Ignacio, one of the founders.  We learned about the many talleres (workshops) that they have to teach residents skills that can be used later in life.  Next was dinner which led to a second wind.  Regardless of this, the kids are in their rooms quieting down since we have a full day tomorrow and need to adjust to the time difference as quickly as possible.  This is hard since it’s currently 9:40PM and still light outside. After returning from dinner, I did a quick check-in about the food out of curiosity. Everyone gave me a thumbs up or middle, which I see as good news. Thanks for all your support!!

~ Maestra Overton

June 10, 2019
Hey Skinner families,
Today was out first day of work and the group split into smaller groups to do some community service. We Got to do gardening, building a mosaic, painting the gate of the FES, helping out people at a farm and baking bread for the community to eat. We all worked hard and got so much done!  Some of us are meant to be farmers.
It has been cool in the mornings and really hot in the afternoons. There have been a lot of different smells and a lot of cultural foods here we were even introduced  to ham flavored pringles. After dinner we joined the community for what is called a “convivencia” or “sharing” to discuss everyones’ backstory and introduce ourselves to a few community members. Overall the day was full of hard work and we were exhausted by the end but it was a fun and exciting new experience.
-Isaac and Adrain
June 11, 2019
Today we did a lot of amazing things. 1st we worked on our projects. We Continued to make our mosaic, paint the fence, made jam with fresh peaches, did gardening, and made bread. For lunch we had an amazing meal. We had salad, fried fish, rice with seafood, homemade bread. It was delicious!
In the afternoon we went to Granada. It is a beautiful city with rich history and was so fun to walk the cobble stone streets. Granada means pomegranate. We walked around the town for a while and we learned a flamenco dance! For dinner we ate tapas style and it was so delicious! There was fish and pasta and bread and things with shrimp in them. After dinner we went to go watch a professional flamenco dance and it was very entertaining. There were two singers, two dancers, and a guitarist. Granada was a very beautiful city both during the day and at night.
-Jameson, Lilly, Aidan
June 12, 2019
Today was a fun filled, packed day! We started off the day with finishing our community service portion of the  trip, and took a trip to the pool to cool off. We played a game of futbol (soccer) at the local soccer field, then we did something different than usual for dinner… We were split into groups according to the home continents of the people living in the foundation, such as Africa, Latin America, Morocco, and volunteers from around the world. Then, we ate a dinner similar to a traditional dish from the assigned continents. We all ate with people from these parts of the world in their homes.  Even though we didn’t understand everything the people sitting near us were saying we were able to pick up enough to have a conversation and get to know a little bit more about the people who live at F.E.S. Overall this day was a super fun experience!
-Abby S. and Abbie L.
June 13, 2019
Today we woke tired but ready for the day. We ate breakfast and set out for the Ahlambra – the 13th century Moorish city and palace. We visited where Columbus asked for permission to sail the seas and where the king’s bedroom was. We also toured the top of the Alhambra. As we got to the top of the Alhambra we got a beautiful view of Granada.  The gardens were stunning. We got tired of walking so many steps throughout the day so we made it all the way down. When we got done with the Palace we walked a little longer and stoped off to do some shopping and get some lunch. We went to a Moroccan restaurant and it was delicious!  Even though lunches were really good we couldn’t finish them because it was so much food. After lunch we got onto the bus to leave to go to FES.
For our last night at FES the community threw a despedida party.  There was dancing and hamburgers!  We each got a thank you card from the director, Ignacio, and a few of us said a small thank you speech in Spanish!  It was a blast and we are ready to fall into bed before leaving for Córdoba tomorrow!
-Ellie and Sofia
June 14, 2019
We said goodbye to our new family and friends at FES early this morning.  It was sad to go, yet we were excited for the new experiences to come.  After a 2 hour bus ride, we arrived in the beautiful city of Córdoba.  We walk across an old Roman bridge to visit the Mesquita – or the mosque from the time of the Moors.  It now serves also as a cathedral and it powerful and grand inside.  We ate a fantastic lunch of fish and meats then hopped back on the bus to drive 2 more hours to the riverside city of Sevilla.  It is stunning here.  We are staying in a hotel will tile lined walls and a fountain in the middle.  We acted like Spaniards as we ate tapas, gelato, and walked around the streets late into the evening.  We are exhausted and ready for more Sevilla tomorrow!
June 15, 2019
Today was a blast! We went and toured the Alcazar, had a cooking class, toured the cathedral and best of all went to the place where Sergio Ramos was getting married. (The cathedral that we were in earlier that day). We weren’t able to see him but we were able to see pictures! I prayed soooooo many times to see Sergio but it never worked. During our cooking class we made paella and it was delicious and so fun to cook for ourselves.  All in all, it was a blast.  We even went shopping and had ice cream. I can’t thank you parents enough for letting us go on this trip. We ended the day watching the sun set by the river and dancing around and laughing like crazy.  It was a blast so far for everyone.
– Aidan
June 16, 2019
This was our last day in Spain and we are so sad to see this trip come to an end, yet excited to get home and share about our experiences.  We woke up once again in our luxurious hotel in Sevilla and ate a delicious breakfast of fruit, breads, and cereals.  We walked to Plaza de Espana to do closing reflection activities and some final shopping. Everyone shared that they had grown a lot on this trip, learned that they really enjoyed service work, and love speaking Spanish. We had a great Italian lunch and then took the bus to the costal city of Malaga. We had a final three course dinner with live flamenco entertainment.  Some of us even got pulled onto the stage!  We ended the evening with a stroll through the beautiful city streets. This trip has gone by so quickly. We have become so close and we love Spain. Now to bed to get up at 4:30am to fly home!