Our visit to Colegio Maria del Valle in Sevilla has been the highlight of the trip so far. Simon, Ashley and Elio’s write about the day below. See the photos and watch our very own Michael Keehan perform for everyone.
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Yesterday we got on our bus and drove to Colegio Maria del Valle. We were taken to the theater and split up into smaller groups to be taken on tours around the school by students. After the tour we went to classes where we could meet our new Spanish friends and practice our spanish speaking skills. Class was followed by a long break, which gave us more time to socialize. During the break there were many activities to do such as soccer, baseball, volleyball, music, dancing, basketball, and just hanging out. Tables covered in food were then layed out for us to have for lunch. The food was new to us and very delicious. After our lunch we climbed back onto the bus and headed to the hotel to unwind and enjoy some free time in the downtown of Sevilla. All of us made sure to clean up during our break because we had to get ready to be picked up by the families of the Spanish students we had met earlier as we were going to their homes for dinner. We were split into partners and paired with a Spanish family. My partner was Robeil and our family took us to there house and fed us very well. We watched soccer with them during our dinner and used our Spanish to explain who we are and what our lives are like in America. Our friend had two sisters that are both in college. They were very excited to meet us and asked us a ton of questions. The family took Robeil and I on a tour of the city because they felt we hadn’t seen enough of Sevilla. They took us to a hill where we could see all of Sevilla. It was an amazing vista. They brought us back to the house because the night was coming to an end. We exchanged gifts and talked a little more before leaving. I found out that both of the sisters knew my older brother and his friends because they were both at the school when my brother’s class from Stuart Hall came on the same trip. She was already friends with him on Facebook. The mother of the family and our friend drove us back to the school. At the school we all said our goodbyes to all of our newly found friends. We climbed onto the bus once more and waved to our Spanish friends from the windows as we drove off. I personally had a great day and was happy that I really got the chance to use the Spanish skills I have been working on for years. We all made new friends that we will remember for a very long time. This was certainly the best way to end our stay in the beautiful town of Sevilla.
Simon Ray Goldsmith – ’13
As we entered Colegio Maria del Valle we were warmly greeted by the students and a beautiful tile portrait of Madeline Sophie . The atmosphere was both warm and inviting; the students spoke both Spanish and English, we sang with them, and watched a presentation about the history of the town. During the welcoming two students preformed a flamenco dance for us. Throughout the day, I was entranced by the culture and I was able to use my Spanish skills to communicate with the spanish students. After we were split up into groups, we went on a tour of their beautiful campus. Walking through their wondrous halls gave me a true sense of attending the school. For lunch we had tapas and cake for dessert. Visiting Colegio de Maria del Valle was a very enriching and rewarding experience.
Ashley Latham – ’14
Yesterday, after an early morning wake up call and a hearty breakfast, we all packed on a bus and drove to Colegio Maria del Valle. This is our sister school in Sevilla, Spain. We were greeted warmly immediately, As we walked through the front doors to the auditorium, music was blaring and all of the students were clapping and cheering in anticipation of our arrival. When we sat down in the back of the room, the cheering ceased and some of the student body introduced us. We watched a powerpoint presentation about the city of Sevilla and we we’re all astounded by the beauty of the city. Two of the girls from the school then performed a traditional spanish flamenco dance. We split into small groups and went on a tour of the school. My group was paired with a few girls and a boy named Nico, who I thought was going to speak very limited English. As it turns out, he spoke very fluent English and had a Scottish accent that, “wasn’t as heavy as groundskeeper Willy, but was still an accent.” During the tour, we we’re bombarded by kids from the school, constantly coming up to us and saying hello. We then went to classes of about twenty students studying English and had a conversation with them about us and our life in America. They were all incredibly excited when they heard I owned a car. After a little more conversation, we broke from the formal classrooms and went outside to hang out. The weather and the complex were incredibly nice. A couple of my friends and I played an impromptu soccer game with some of the Spanish kids and, amazingly enough, we won! After playing soccer for a while, Connor, Andrew, and I went off to talk with the boys and girls who attended the school. They were all incredibly warm and friendly and I now understand why foreigners love Spain. We all gathered again and went to play baseball and take pictures. I have never taken so many pictures in my entire life. At night, Nico and I were paired with a Spanish family who took us around Sevilla. We spent a lot of time in the Centro Commercial, looking through all the shops. Afterwards, we went back to their house and met their family. The family invited their neighbors, who we had met previously, and had dinner. The food the mother made was delicious. We had all kinds of traditional Spanish food. We then exchanged gifts with their family and watched Nacho Libre in Spanish. We said our goodbyes to their family and drove back to the school. We got back on the bus and all of the people were waiving goodbye from the sidewalks. We arrived back at the hotel and crashed for the night. Meeting the kids at the school in Sevilla was an amazing experience and I’m sure that everyone on the trip would agree about the experience.
Elio Casinelli – ’14