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Students hone skills on trip to Spain

A summer trip to Madrid, Barcelona, and Andalucía, Spain helped nine Greenhills Spanish students polish their language skills while exploring a new country and culture.

Ranging in age and grade, Kaylee Carr-Taylor, Addison Czartowski, Nikki Farahanchi, Nina Farahanchi, Edward Ferrey, Cameron Kabacinski, Sarah Rochefort, Yafa Samaha, Aaron Sandhu, Kaylyn Kabacinski, Zane Brust, together with parents Shadan Ahmadi, Cheryl Brust and Teresa Kabacinski set out with chaperones Elaine Moffat and Ruth Miller for a ten day adventure to the south of Spain, Madrid, and Barcelona.  The trip was a huge success and a lot of fun. 

See a Flickr photo album of the trip here

The Greenhills students who participated in this trip made their teachers very proud of them because of their genuine interest in learning about the sites and cities they visited, their desire to speak Spanish, and their respect for the people they met in Spain, including the other students on the tour, their tour guides, teachers, and parents on the trip.  These students represented both Greenhills School and their country in the most positive way.

Many highlights enhanced this trip.  Each city we visited offered its unique charms. First there was Granada, home of the incredibly beautiful Alhambra.  This spectacular fortress/palace/mosque/garden complex dates from the 9th century and is an incredible example of Muslim architecture that combines the elements of light and water in a stunning way.  It was in Granada that we also had the opportunity to experience a lively flamenco performance of guitar, dance, and song in a gypsy cave in the Sacromonte area of Granada, as well as another technically astounding presentation in the city.  We visited a Moroccan tea house and sampled various olive oils from an olive farm.  Who knew that chocolate ice cream and olive oil was delicious?  Next, we visited the sophisticated city of Sevilla.  Here we walked through the outdoor pedestrian malls, sampled churros and chocolate, and had a dance lesson. We then went to Córdoba, the city of lovely flower-filled patios and the Mezquita, and we toured the Jewish and Muslim quarters.  We then travelled to Madrid, visiting the Prado and the Museo de la Reina Sofía.  We had a lesson about Picasso’s Guernica, and we visited the major monuments in the city.  Finally, we boarded a high-speed AVE train to Barcelona.  Here we saw Gaudi´s amazing Sagrada Familia, Parque Guëll and other examples of his curious constructions.  To finish off our trip we took a bike tour of Barcelona, visited the Boquería market along the Ramblas and had a delicious Basque tapas dinner.  Then we sadly departed for home!

Travel experiences such as these are life-changing for students, parents, and teachers alike.  It is so important for each of us to experience new cultures first-hand and to live all of the things we learn not only from our language classes, but also from all of our classes.  When we experience other cultures we have the opportunity to compare our customs and way of life to others.  Certainly we learn that there are many differences, but we learn that we can be open to other ways of doing things and that people are people all around the world.

Here are some quotes from students who participated:

“I’m so glad I was able to go on the Spain trip this year.  It was probably one of the best experiences I have ever had.  My favorite part about this trip was the new friends I made.“

“Overall this trip has been fantastic for me.  I really enjoyed being part of a different culture, learning and eating different things.  As well as absorbing the view, being able to practice and use Spanish outside the classroom has greatly improved my ability to speak Spanish and comprehend the language.  I was able to use Spanish practically rather than “theoretically” in the classroom.  All the different things I heard, saw, smelled, and tasted I appreciated and wish I could experience more.  The architecture was astounding and breath-taking, one of the most captivating things I saw.  On this trip I was able to become friends with people I wouldn’t have otherwise, and for that, the trip was worthy of every penny spent.  In general, there were no negatives, only positives.  I wish I could stay longer for I loved this trip.”

“I loved the Spain trip!  Everyone was super-nice and fun.  I made a lot of new friends and memories.  As far as the actual trip, that was a blast!  The food was great and the sightseeing was absolutely gorgeous.  We had great tour guides and I learned so much about olive oil, flamenco, bullfighting, flamenco, etc.  We truly saw so much of Spain.”

“This trip has been great!  This trip helped me to improve at speaking Spanish, especially understanding.  I love all of the history we learned and I really enjoyed being immersed in the culture through our meals and activities.”

“I really had a great trip!  I got to meet so many new places and people.  I really learned a lot.  Even though it was a lot of walking it was all worth it because if I had come here alone I would have never seen so many places.  Everywhere we went was great and thank you so much for everything!”

— by Señora Elaine Moffat, Greenhills Spanish Teacher







Saturday, April 24
Open to anyone ages 16 and up. Limited quantities available.
Greenhills is closed for mid-winter break and will return on Tuesday, Feb. 22.