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Spain Life in Andalucia 2017

July 18, 2017

Our day started with an 8:30am wake up call then we headed down to a simple breakfast at the hotel where we enjoyed croissants, orange juice, and yogurt. We then walked to La Plaza Mayor, a beautiful square which was formally a market/execution location/ slaughter house/ panaderia (bakery) to begin our tour. The walking tour around Madrid included a brief yet comprehensive lesson of Spain’s fascinating history. Some of our favorite spots included Catedral de Almudena and the beautiful and huge Palacio Real (Royal Palace). The walk ended with a much anticipated stop for churros con chocolate which were, unsurprising, muy muy delicioso.

After refreshing up back at the hotel, we headed out for a close-by lunch spot at Ginger. Directly after we went to Museo Nacional del Prado. There we viewed the art of incredible painters such as Francisco Goya’s collection of dark works among other incredible painters. Next, we headed to the park to create a social contract, a list of mutually agreed upon guidelines for the group to follow throughout the trip. We also played fun team building games such as “human knot”, “red rover”, and “where’s my ducky?” We headed back around the hotel for some free time and all bought matching bracelets with Spanish colors in order to commemorate the trip as a group!

We ended the night with what so far many deemed the best night of the trip. The meal included a selection of shared dishes including ham, mushrooms, tortillas con patatas, chorizo, y croquetas con jamón y queso. We took one last small stroll through la Plaza Mayor and took lots of pictures to commemorate our final night in Madrid.

-Nira and Ava

July 19, 2017 
Our day began with an 8:00 a.m. breakfast consisting of a variety of croissants and juices. We then proceeded on a short walk through the streets of Madrid until we boarded a small bus to Granada. The ride was about 4 hours. On the ride we listened to popular Spanish songs, played card games, and many of us slept through the jet lag. We arrived at the Fundación around 2:30pm and we were greeted by Ignacio, the founder of FES, and Dora, his partner. We put our bags down in our house and went to go eat a delicious lunch that the FES staff prepared for us. We then took a dip in the pool, and played with the children around the Fundación. Around 6:30, Ignacio gave us a tour around the Fundación and we learned all about his dream and how it came true. As the sun set across the mountains of Granada we settled down for dinner of fish, chicken, and tasty rice. After dinner we played some games and danced with some kids outside of the bakery. After a long day we all went to sleep in our house at the FES.

July 20, 2017
We woke up to sunny skies as our first day of service work approached. We all got ready for the big day and had a nice, light breakfast. Ignacio separated us into three different groups with different tasks at hand; baking, cooking, working at the nursery, cleaning the pool, and making a mosaic that would leave our mark at FES. We enjoyed meeting new people and practicing our conversational Spanish skills. We settled down for a delicious lunch around 2:30. We drank lots of pineapple juice that our fellow trip mates produced. After lunch we had a siesta because the heat was stifling. We played some games in our house and took a dip in the pool to cool us off. We got ready to participate in a variety of workshops consisting of: wood working, ceramics, and marmalade making. We then settled in for a small dinner consisting of tortilla de patatas, a traditional dish from Spain. After dinner we played more games and went back to our house and slowly fell asleep after our long day at FES.

-Kyle and Hannah

July 21, 2017
We woke up bright and early to a full breakfast of fresh bread, ham, tomatoes, homemade marmalade and pineapple juice. After breakfast, we met up with Ignacio the director of the FES and he told us our work groups for the day. One station was working in the bakery with Carlos, Ignacio’s brother, who showed us the proper way to make bread with the help of some other groups from around Spain and some of the kids. Another included working on the mosaic where we brainstormed the best way to approach the mosaic. After a long morning we sat down with the community for lunch, enjoyed our bread and prepared to take a well deserved siesta. After hanging out in the pool with some of the Spaniards, we went back to the workshop to continue our workshops from the day before and switch stations. After that we had dinner and went to La Casa Africana to play games before bed.

-Julia and Apple

July 22, 2017
After sleeping in (cuz it’s the weekend) we had a late breakfast and then got straight to work. Today painting was on the list. Some of us headed to Casa 5 to paint some of the walls white. The rest of the groups split up to tackle the bakery again, take care of the kids, tend to the garden, and continue progress on the mosaic. We then ate a quick lunch so as not to miss the bus for our first excursion, Granada! Immediately after we got off the bus, the heat drove us in to an ice cream parlor. After our delicious ice cream, Victor gave us a tour of the beautiful views of Granada. As we climbed up the cobble stone streets, we got a beautiful glimpse of the Alhambra the Arabic Palace on the hill. We made our way to a small restaurant where we had a lesson on flamenco dancing and prepared to watch how the professionals do it.  After a passionate and moving performance, we walked our way back down the hills of Granada to the main streets and caught our bus back with some members of FES who we stumbled upon in the city.

-Julia and Apple

July 23, 2017

Today was the last day to finish up loose ends on various projects. The main goal of the day was to finish the mosaic. The group worked with people from Valencia, Córdoba, and Madrid. After long hours of using cement to insert the tiles in the correct spots, we used white mortar to seep into the cracks, hence making the mosaic more appealing. While the group worked on the mosaic, people also finished up their workshop projects. Soon after, it was lunchtime and we talked and enjoyed it as usual. On a full stomach, the group headed over to Casa Africana to meet up with most people from FES. While we were there, people shared their stories and interests in Spanish. The stories that we shared were very heartfelt and we got a chance to share our hopes and dreams to see if they compared to people of FES. After a little free time, we had a good time at dinner, and it was beginning to get late . Lastly, we talked and played games with the Spaniards to end off the night.

-Andrew and Kyle

July 24, 2017

Today we traveled to the city of Granada. After a short breakfast in the FES we took a short bus ride to the center of the city. After some touring around we  went to the Sacremonte which was where the flamenco dancing usually took place in. Later we went shopping in an old street of Granada filled with little shops crowded with tourists seeking to see the historic street. We learned the art of bargaining and lowered some of the prices to save some euros. Soon after we tapas hopping near the street. Tapa hopping is going to different restaurants ordering tapas and as they are free with drinks! About an hour later we visited the historic Islamic site in Granada called the Alhambra. The Alhambra is a 14th century city built to house the sultan of Iberia used for protection over the Christians to the north who were trying to push them out of Iberian. Due to the mix of cultural ideas seen in Spain the Alhambra reflects this through its artistic architecture throughout its many palaces. The Alhambra amazed all of us. We got to also experience a variety of languages speaking with the locals at some of the shops. After our awesome tour we traveled down back to the city for a short stroll getting ice cream and other treats. We also got to see one of the main cathedrals in Granada. When we traveled back to FES we split up and got to have dinner with different families of the community learning their history and interests.

-Andrew and Kyle

July 25, 2017

For our last full day living at the fundación, Ignacio had something special in store. He and a couple other members of the Fundación took us to a small town called monochil for what would be an unforgettable hike. After breakfast we hopped in the cars and drove to the bottom of the mountain, our starting point. From the very beginning we noticed the  loud humming of bugs and the smell of rosemary and thyme. As we reached certain points, Ignacio spoke to us about the history of the trail. He explained that the farmers would bring their wheat, toss them in the air, and let the wind disperse the grain to populate the hills. About halfway to the top, we stopped at a frigid waterfall where we had a refreshing dip. We continued from there to the peak where we enjoyed our lunches while taking in the incredible view. We hiked and reached the peak.

Later in the evening, we had our goodbye party. Ignacio gave us all gifts and talked about how we contributed to the progress of the fundación. We danced with our Spanish amigos and enjoyed our last moments together.

-Ivy & Julia

July 26, 2017

We woke up this morning with our bags packed for Sevilla and ready to leave the fundación. We said our final goodbyes and shed a few tears as we took our seats on the bus. Halfway through our ride we made a 3 hour pit stop in Ronda, a small Spanish town famous for being split in two by a giant ravine. We enjoyed the incredible views that the town had to offer from our table during lunch. After window shopping for a bit, we continued our route to Sevilla. Upon our arrival we dragged our luggage through the sweltering heat to our new hotel. Once we got settled we took a little stroll through the streets and stopped for a dinner of Tapas. Before returning to the hotel we took a surprise turn and visited the beautiful Plaza España. There we reflected on our experiences at FES and the memories made as we listened to the peaceful nighttime sounds of the sleeping city. Another day, another blog. Look out for a possible final post from Malaga 😉


-Ivy & Julia

July 27, 2017

Hola amigos. yesterday we spent the day in Sevilla. The first thing we did was take a tour around the city, finishing in the Real Alcazar. The tiles covering the walls, ceilings, and floors were impressive in the sheer amount of detail put into making them. Afterwards we enjoyed free time shopping, climbing to the top of the cathedral and celebrating Hannah’s birthday! To finish up this amazing day, we took an elevator ride up to the top of las setas (mushrooms), a large structure overlooking the city.

July 28, 2017

Today was our last day in Spain, and after an early wake up we hopped on the bus and drove to Malaga, where we went to the beach and swam for about an hour before heading to a beachside restaurant for some delicious paella. After some down time at the hotel, we headed out for a quick walking tour and our goodbye dinner, complete with a flamenco show and many desserts.

– Ava and Maddie