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St. Andrew’s Spain

November 17, 2019
Today was a lot of fun. Some of us were nervous about trying new foods and being in a culture we were not accustomed to. However, there was no need to worry. We all got to walk through Málaga at night and try different tapas. Yesterday was a really cool intro to the diet and culture in Spain. We are excited for what’s ahead!

– By Sacheen and Hartman

November 18, 2019

This morning a couple of us had jet lag, but we are all feeling pretty good now. We visited two different cities, and we were able to experience the different cultures and got to see the beauty of them. In Frigiliana, we split into groups and explored the city through a scavenger hunt that required us to interact with the locals. After we visited Frigiliana, we went to Nerja for lunch. While waiting for lunch, we all skipped rocks along the beach and had a lot of fun. We ate with a view of the Mediterranean Sea. Then we walked up to the balcon Europa to see an amazing view of the coast. After having free time and eating ice cream, we boarded the bus back to Málaga for dinner at Alea. Overall, it was a fantastic day.
– By Emerson, Ashlynn, Christian

November 19, 2019
Today we left Malaga and headed to FES. The space is artistically decorated with art of people who have lived there and other people like volunteers who have spent time there. The first people we met were Dora and Ignacio. They explained their story, the work, and the mission of the fundación. We got to spend time with the people living there by sharing meals and playing futbol. We had many chances to practice our Spanish and to improve with people who are trying to improve their Spanish as well. We all felt out of our comfort zones, but we owned it  and cannot wait to be more interactive in this community.
– By Sacheen, Harrison, Rece

November 20, 2019

This was our first day to wake up and have breakfast with the FES community. After breakfast, everyone split up into groups of 3 to go to certain stations. The stations included gardening, ceramics, kitchen activities, mosaics, and placing tiles. In these activities, people were able to communicate with Spanish, French, English, and without language. Harrison was able to speak French and make a new friend. During lunch we spread out and were able to further bond it other community members. With our free time afterwards, Chris got a fresh cut from ismail and he looks swagalicious. A few members climbed a mountain and saw some magnificent sheep. Then we went to the casa africana and were able to share and listen to each other’s background stories. Hayes spoke mandarin and Abby sang beautifully, successfully impressing all those around. We were able to introduce our culture to those staying at FES.
– By Abby, Audrey and jack

November 21, 2019
Yesterday we began with service work. each group is rotating among different stations, and therefore helps every facet of the community. We help with cooking, gardening, construction, and decorating, but our most important job is forming relationships with the people who live here. After lunch, we went to Granada city to explore, take a dance class, have dinner, and watch a flamenco performance. We visited an old mosque and learned about Muslim culture. We went to a panadería and got desserts, then some student bought gifts for friends and family at home at a local shop.
– By Cole, Anna and Christopher

November 22, 2019

Today we spent another day here in the Foundation. Our day started with a community breakfast and went to our work stations for the day. The Moroccans at the bread-making station taught some of us how to write our names in Arabic. The foundation is a truly multicultural space, and we learn so much more than just Spanish. After lunch, we had free time to work on homework or explore by ourselves. Some of us climbed the nearby mountain and went all the way up to the second highest point. It was extremely beautiful. If you climbed to the nearby ruins, you could see great views on the countryside. We watched a movie that taught the value of accepting everyone no matter what they look like or what they can understand; everyone is a human and deserved respect. For dinner, we were split into small groups and ate in different houses. Each house has a different culture and cuisine. There were four houses: Moroccan, African, Latin, and a house of volunteers. Music was a big part of each dinner, and the party continued in Casa Africana afterwards. There was a nonstop flow of people into the house, and we danced to music from all over the world. It was unforgettable experience that we will remember fondly for the rest of our lives!
– By Dylan, Jackson, Simone

November 23, 2019
We all started off the day with an extra hour of sleep due to breakfast being moved back to 9! After a few days of rain, today we were blessed with blue skies. we all broke up into our groups and helped throughout the community. The Mosaic group was even able to finish our ongoing project! Following our volunteering period, we took part in an emotional ceremony where we placed the tiles we made this week into the new patio. Then, we had a serious discussion about the differences between the St.Andrew’s community and the FES Community, and we talked about how we can work to improve our communities at home. To end the night, we celebrated Dora’s birthday with a party where we danced with people from all over the world!

– By Hayes, Hartman, Vitor

November 24, 2019
We started our day by eating breakfast in the cafeteria as usual. After around 9:30 we boarded the bus to the city of Granada to explore The Alhambra. We started our tour in the Gardens and continued into the three different palaces. We walked to an authentic Moroccan restaurant for lunch. After lunch, we had time to explore Granada. Many of us stopped in local shops to buy handmade souvenirs. Then we boarded the bus to go back to FES. At the foundation we wrote letters to people who had a meaningful impact on our stay at FES. After writing our letters, we had time before dinner to figure out a performance for the people of FES and decided on singing a song from the St. Andrews choir. At dinner, the people of FES made us hamburgers and we got to perform our song for them. We then had a party and got individual gifts from the FES people and got to have some goodbyes.
– By Christian, Ashlynn and Emerson

November 25, 2019
We started off the day with a final breakfast at FES. After breakfast, we said our final goodbyes and boarded the bus to Córdoba. In Córdoba, we visited a mosque that had Islamic as well as Christian features to it. Then we ate lunch, explored the city, and shopped for an hour. Then we boarded the bus for Sevilla where we ate tapas for dinner. After dinner, we finished our day with ice cream.

November 26, 2019
We started the day off at 9 with a delicious breakfast. We had a tour guide show us around the town hall and the pretty Christmas lights that were lit up early. She explained some of the ancestry of the city of Sevilla including the Jewish quarter. After that tour, we went on another tour of the palace of Alcanzar. There were many paintings of previous Spanish rulers like King Ferdinand III, which we learned about as well. The palace had some seemingly Muslim and Jewish architecture, but it was a Christian palace. We went to lunch and had wonderful food such as paella, pasta, chicken, custard, and more. Then we went back to the hotel for a bit to drop people off if they didn’t want to shop for the next two hours. Everyone got to split up into small groups and explore the stores of Sevilla. People found many unique European stores which had stylish clothes. Stores such as H&M, Bershka, and Zara were some of the favorites. Then we went to the hotel to do journal. Afterwards we left to dinner to celebrate Carlos’ birthday. We ate pizza, pasta, and ice cream.
– By Audrey and Abby

November 27, 2019
On our last days of the trip we had plenty of opportunity for adventures and new experiences. In the morning, we woke up for a hearty Spanish breakfast in the lobby of the hotel. Afterwards, we headed to a 200-year-old market to learn more about Spanish history and food culture. We then made gazpacho and paella with an experienced chef. It was, to say the least, delicious. After eating we explored the city and its historical and cultural richness. We visited the cathedral climbed to the very top of the bell tower to see an amazing view of Spain. We also visited a museum which displayed the history of the first circumnavigation of earth. Later, we road in small boats in the channel of Plaza Espana, where an inter-group marine battle broke out. Finally, we split into two groups and visited restaurants of choice and came home for last night with full stomachs and full hearts.
– By Christopher, Anna, Cole

November 28, 2019
Today was the final day of our two week adventure in Spain. It was bittersweet to return to the city that started it all! The highlight of the the day was our picnic in the park, and a visit to the Picasso Museum. Not only have we grow closer as group over these 12 days, but we’ve learned what it means to be a community. Our time at FES taught us the importance of strong leadership, accountability, and acceptance; we plan of bringing back these lessons to St. Andrew’s. Each city showed us different aspects of Spanish  culture such as religious diversity, flamenco, traditional paella, and Picasso. At the beginning of the trip, we discussed the reasons we signed up, and tonight we decided how we use this experience in the future. This trip was a unforgettable experience, and we will cherish the memories made and lessons learned forever.
– By Simone, Jackson, and Dylan