HOST FAMILY WEEKEND & FREE TIME ACTIVITIES
Well, believe it or not, this is our penultimate weekend, and the last días libres (free days) the students will have with their host families. Everyone was able to get out with their host families for at least one of it not both days while also mixing in some free time to spend with their new friends going to the beach, shopping, or catching one of a litany of the late-July blockbuster offloading.
Last weekend we had a day-long excursion on Saturday and Sunday to themselves. This weekend they had both days! And, if anyone was left to their own devices or their host families had commitments, us program leaders provided company and activities to do with us.
To the Mountain Village of Valledmossa
Luna and Ella got to explore the lovely mountain town of Valledemosa, considered one of the most beautiful in the whole island, as their host family took them on excursions all Sunday. They linked up with two other students (insert names) and their hosts as well. Though the skies were clear, the sun was piercing, and the humidity was high, they overcame and slowly wandered the old streets and soaked up the views of the mountains and (ES: Cartuja de Valldemosa / CA: Cartoixa de Valldemossa) palace/monastery. The monastery was built in the early 1400s as a refuge for King James III’s asthmatic son, as the town is situated at over 400 meters above sea level and the ambient temps and humidity tended to be lower.
Friday Night Tacos
On Friday night I had the pleasure of taking four students to a local taqueria to chow down. We all got three little tacos and some of us also had a bottle of the classic Mexican soda, Jarritos, a lovely fizzy concoction made with fresh fruit juice.
Betty Kate got treated to the water park with her host family on Saturday the 22nd. There is a nice, family-friendly water park, Aqualand el Arenal, just outside of the city center that is a popular refuge for those seeking cooler waters in the summer!
Janna & Aaliyah invited me to come see Oppenheimer with them on Saturday, already having wanted to see it, I accepted the offer. It did not disappoint and it was nice to spend the morning and early afternoon with them. Even nicer perhaps was the three-plus hours we got to sit in the frigidly air-conditioned movie theater! After the movie, I accompanied them to the shopping area of the old town to hop from one air-conditioned store to another to peruse the racks of threads and just get out of the heat.
Many students have been taking advantage of their free time in the early afternoon before class and on the weekends to put up some shots on the local basketball courts, organizing their own pick-up games and hooping under the Spanish sun.
The Beach, of Course
Surprise, surprise, the beach is a popular spot for the host families to take the students. Additionally, many try to get an hour or two in before or after class during the week.
¡A la casa del campo! To the Country House
Some students were lucky enough to head out to their host family’s home in the countryside to spend an afternoon relaxing, eating, chatting, and soaking up the views and rolling Mallorcan hills and foliage.
Well, there is much more to be said as always, but we try to keep these updates concise. My next blog duties will be to report back about our weekend camping trip in Alcudia.
Alexander E., 17, spent four weeks practicing his Spanish language skills in Palma de Mallorca. Read about his early experiences with language immersion on program.
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