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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Hola from Barcelona- Pre-College Enrichment: Barcelona

Hola from Barcelona!

Can you believe it has been a week since you dropped off your teenagers and
sent them on the summer of their lives?

We have all been quite busy; I hardly know where to start our tale!

First off, let me take a moment to introduce myself since I will be your
Trip Scribe here in Barcelona, Spain! My name is Ryan and I am one of the
360° program leaders.

Let us begin with our very first metro ride here in Barcelona. We took the
metro as a group and travelled to Parc Guell. The part that has impressed us
as the staff is the initiative we have seen them take in wanting to learn
the rail system, the different trains we use and to which stop. They are
getting really good at it! While we travel on the public systems we have
formed groups which we call our, “Travel Groups.” The day the groups were
assigned, one of our trip members, Masoma, declared the group that I lead
was to be called, “Squad”. Sounds silly, I know, but the group LOVES it! The
Squad is made of Masoma, Nikki, Alexis Ch., David, Bram, Alexis Ca, Ricky
and Mollie. We have a good time in our group, and we are currently leading
in points from our daily morning preguntas (Questions).  GO SQUAD!  =)

Let us go back to Parc Guell! It was a beautiful Barcelona day and the
students were able to snap many pictures of the amazing architecture
designed by Antoni Gaudi as well as enjoy their first full day in Barcelona!
The park is located at the top of the hill with a nice view of the
Mediterranean Sea.  Program members Ricky, Nick and 360° staff member Andrew
were showing off their ‘futbol’ skills in the plaza area of the park when
some of the local children started cheering them on and soon joined in the
game themselves. Also that night we went to a restaurant and had our first
Spanish Tapas! Tapas, for those of you who are not familiar with the term,
are a snack or appetizer. Don’t let the word snack fool you; there was so
much food in such variety that we couldn’t finish it all.  The variety was
great and it was a good introduction to the Spanish food we have since

This brings us to our next adventure to the DIR gym is just  fabulous. There
is a large cardio area, great free weights section, large group classrooms
and of course, the pool. Kathleen, Jake and Alexis Ch. have been frequent
patrons of the DIR gym.

Make sure you check out our pictures that are posted
on the SmugMug website from our pool time over the past week!  The huge hot
tub seems to be the favorite hangout so far for Jaela, Sarah and Ally. Jonah
and Andrew had a lot of fun having their pictures taken with an underwater

Another highlight of the program so far for the students was definitely our
trip the Barceloneta, the beach on the Mediterranean Sea. The program
members formed their own small groups and headed off for lunch at the beach.
We have all really bonded in the short time we have been here. There have
already been some friendships made that I’m sure will last a lifetime. Not
only did we try to catch a tan, but some also went swimming in the sea and
played some beach volleyball .  Of course, we cannot forget that our beach
day was EXTRA special because it was Amanda’s 16th Birthday.  After getting
home from the beach, the program members went to get spiffed up for Amanda’s
birthday dinner at a posh restaurant near our residence where we had some
great food and birthday cake.

Starting on Monday was our first week of Spanish class and afternoon
electives. We have a few different levels of Spanish speakers on the program
and have grouped them accordingly.  The professors use only Spanish to
communicate with the students.  They are truly being immersed in the Spanish
language and they have really been enjoying it. It has been nice to see the
change the students have made into speaking more Spanish with each other and
the staff now that school has started.

As for the electives, the fitness
class has started off well.  Badr, Ahmad and Mohammed learned a bit about
the F.I.T.T. Principle and a bunch of different exercises to target each
muscle group. Community service has also been a hit.  Steven came back from
the first day with a huge smile on his face when asked about his time spent
with the local children. The photography students have been eager to show
off their photos they have taken; Ellery in particular has been snapping
pictures left and right.

I know that was a lot of information all packed into one scribe.  Be on the
lookout for pictures and the next scribe post from our weekend trip to

Until then, Hasta Luego!

The Westcoast Blogger