Last Days

13 Aug

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted an update. My negligence is due in part to the fact that I became discouraged after working on an extremely long post that magically disappeared. And, the fact that I am typing all of this on my iPhone did not exactly foster inspiration.

Aside from the minor technical difficulty everything else has been smooth sailing, literally. This quincena I was the counselor chosen to attend sailing classes that a couple of the campers elected to participate in. I always wanted to learn how to sail and was thrilled to get the opportunity!

During the first week of class we enjoyed the cool, crisp water and the warm winds on the 595 boats. These larger boats provided a comfortable atmosphere to learn the basics in preparation for the second week where we sailed in the smaller boats which accommodated one or two people and required more skill and sailing knowhow. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and hope to use what I learned in the near future.

As much as I have enjoyed learning how to sail I have equally enjoyed the first stage of learning how to play the ukulele. I mentioned in an earlier post that Irene planned on taking me so I could buy one of my own; however, that plan was abandoned after the other counselors surprised me with with a brand new beautiful ukulele! The gift was completely unexpected and so thoughtful. I was truly touched by the time and thought that each of them put into the gift. They even set up a scavenger hunt with clues to lead me to it and everything. Thank you all!!! Each time I play I’ll think of you and maybe it will help me miss you less! (Emphasis on the maybe!)

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Also throughout the weeks I was gifted with pictures, drawings, bracelets, letters and movies (Amilie and La Vida Es Bella.)

Aside from all of the material gifts, of which I am very appreciative of, I am most thankful for the relationships that I have formed. The counselors, coordinators, and the campers have become a second family. The love and friendship extend beyond our time spent at the camp. I have already visited Amanda and Irene in Madrid for a few nights and plan on many more trips in the future (as well as many visitors!)

A big thank you to all of the campers and my fellow counselors who made me feel welcomed, at home, and loved. So lucky to have you all in my life!

While I am heartbroken to be leaving Spain I am able to find comfort in knowing that my sadness is a reflection of how much I enjoyed this summer.

I am leaving Spain with a better appreciation for music, language, literature, friendship, love, and laughter.

I am excited to get home to my family and enjoy blissful weeks before heading back to Hawk Hill 🙂 I hope everyone else is enjoying their last few days of summer as well!

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The Beach

13 Aug

Finished the book just in time to pass it off to Tony. I recommend the book to anyone interested in travel, finding yourself, or getting lost in the stories of others.

I couldn’t resist sharing some of my favorite passages: ( Along with one more which has been noted in the about section of this blog.)

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Oceanográfic

13 Aug

Photos from an excursion to Valencia’s famous aquarium Oceanográfic.

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Ibiza Party

26 Jul

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Helene and Miglena at our Ibiza themed party! Love these two!!!

Alicante

24 Jul

Saturday we went on another excursion! This time we headed to Calpe, Alicante. Once we spread our towels out and dropped our bags we headed for the floating, aquatic, obstacle course complete with slides, trampolines, and ropes for climbing. Then I took some time to read, relax, and recover. Next, five campers and I went out on a peddle boat with a slide fixed at the center that swept to the side and into the water.

Sun, sand, and saltwater. It doesn’t get any better.

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Ukulele

24 Jul

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Not only did Irene draw this awesome picture for me, but she has been kind enough to lend me her ukulele.

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Each day during siesta time I’ve borrowed her ukulele and headed up to the roof of our building to teach myself.

Also, this weekend we are going to go shopping so I can get one of my own!

La Primera Quincena

22 Jul

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The first two weeks of camp were like a dream. We went to the beach three or four times a week as our camp is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the rolling blue waves and hot sand.

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A few of our excursions to castles such as Peñiscula and Sagunto resulted in sand between our toes and pruney fingers from hours spent in the water.

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We played fútbol, volleyball, and made bracelets.

One of our night time activities was Mundivisión. (Our take on Eurovisión.) Groups were divided up by country, geographic location, or language. Each team had to pick a song, dance or performance to represent their country or the language they spoke. Tony and I worked with the campers from the USA, UK, and Canada. It only took our team a few minutes to decide on the song “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO. Our group moved on to creating choreography and practicing for the big performance later that night.

Italy opened the show with a comedy skit about typical Italian (mis-)behavior. The next county to be un the spotlight was Spain followed by Brazil and France. Then it was team USA/UK/Canada. Our group took the floor and pulled off an amazing performance. They had the other campers and monitors joining in and singing along and clapping to the music. After the remaining teams performed each group was allowed to give out points to the groups of their choice. Three points went to the group they enjoyed the most, two points to the second favorite and one point to the next preferable group. Once all of the points were tallied, it was time to reveal the winners. Team UK/USA/Canada crushed the competition! Tony and I were nothing short of thrilled with our team!

One of my favorite excursions was Aquarama. The water park featured gravity defying, single-person slides, racing style slides, group tube rides, a rope swing, and a tower-of-terror style ride. The latter of which I was reluctant to try but force on by some of my campers and Tony. To my surprise I had a blast and was thankful for the (not so gentle) nudge.

Other highlights included games such as Tuttifrutti, face painting, dressing up, and teaching impromptu yoga classes.

Another special part of the first two weeks was regular visits to the music room in our building. Most days after lunch Cristina (another counselor), Luca and Alexandre (two of my campers) and I would sing and play music. I always looked forward to hanging out and singing especially because Luca is fantastic on the drums and Alexandre is a genius on the piano. Each day we would pick a new song to try out or Luca and Alexandre would make up songs on the spot.

After a few afternoons singing in the music room some of the other campers joined in as an audience. One of the girls from my group in particular, Jimena was very sweet and appreciative of me singing. Each night during rounds, at meal times and during activities she would ask me to sing. She even insisted on getting an autograph (for which I promptly obliged and simultaneously apologized for it not being worth anything. And in her sweetest voice she reassured me that it meant something to her.)

Two weeks of spending every moment together resulted in our group becoming a family. When it came time to say goodbye and I saw my campers crying I couldn’t hold it together. Each of them are so special and I am lucky to know them.

My group of girls from Spain wrote me a very sweet note before they left.

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Also, Jimena took the time to write me a sweet Facebook message.

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Edgar drew me an amazing picture:

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Everyday I am so thankful and happy for this experience. I don’t know any other job where you can travel, go to the beach, visit a water park, tour castles, meet people from all over the world, sing, dance, paint your face, act silly, play games, and laugh until your stomach hurts.

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