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3 posts from July 2010

07/20/2010

Goodbye Palma!

Today is a bittersweet day; I leave Palma tomorrow at 6:50am to return to the US. I wanted to make one last blog post to recount the experience. Overall, it has been an awesome 7ish weeks here in Palma! The class during Session 1 was interesting and I learned a lot. Also, the homestay during Session 1 was an awesome experience. Antonia and Susan (the main CIEE staff here) have done a really good job of making sure everything has been the best it can be from the homestay placements to the internship and everything in between. During the internship in Session 2 I have really learned a lot. I have not only improved my Spanish skills, but I have also learned general life lessons that I will continue to apply to my professional life forever. 


During the course of the program here in Palma, I have made some really good friends. They include the other students in the program, my homestay señor, and my coworkers in the internship. Even though most of them probably won’t ever see this blog, I just wanted to make a quick shout out to them and thank them for all the awesome memories!


Since this is the last day for most of us who remain (a lot of the people taking normal classes have already left), we spent the morning walking around Palma souvenir shopping and the afternoon at the beach. Conrad and I are going to go to the hotel restaurant to hang out with some of our coworkers before we move out to have a beach fiesta for our last night with some old and newfound friends.


I hope you have enjoyed this relatively short blog and have found it helpful. If you are thinking about coming to Palma, I highly recommend it and know you will have an awesome time! Just be open to new experiences and people and be ready to have the time of your life!


I’m going to miss you Mallorca!

07/13/2010

Viva España! Spain won the world cup, and as I’m sure you heard the whole country went crazy. I was working in the bar at the time, but it was still awesome. I think I could have changed my schedule that day if I asked, but I knew it would be really busy and they needed all the help they could get so I took one for the team.  I was able to see just about the whole game, including Iniesta’s goal at the end. The bar went crazy! One of my coworkers showed me his goosebumps after the goal was scored haha. Then, once the game ended a couple people ordered bottles of Champaign which they sprayed all over the place. Conrad got all of his hours in earlier in the day, so he joined our other friends in a bar to watch the game, which apparently got pretty crazy at the end. Afterwards, everyone went out to celebrate, which is something I have learned the Spanish are pretty good at. 


Other than the world cup, it has been life as usual here; good experiences, good people, good views, and lots of sun and sand. 


As promised in my previous post, I have included some pictures of Hotel Brasilia with this post, along with a picture of Conrad and one of our coworkers Abdul. Enjoy!


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The front entrance


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The interior of the restaurant


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View of the beach/sea from the outside seating area  


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Conrad and Abdul

07/10/2010

Better Late Than Never!

So I have been participating in the internship for about two weeks now, and this is my first post. This isn’t because of laziness, it’s because I have been doing so many different things that I just haven’t had the time to sit down and write about them. I’m going to try to condense the past two weeks into a coherent post that doesn’t ramble all over the place.


First of all, I’m living with another CIEE student, Conrad. We share an apartment-style room and have our own bedrooms, a small stove-top, fridge, and a TV. I work as a waiter and Conrad works in the kitchen. We have two other friends working at a different hotel who work in reception and entertainment, so the jobs are pretty varied. The hotels also try to be as flexible as possible in putting each person in the position that they prefer. The owner of Hotel Brasilia (the hotel that we live in) also owns other hotels throughout the island, so Conrad and I work at a rural hotel called Son Manera some days if they need more help there. (The pictures with this post are of Son Manera. Eventually I will post some pictures of Brasilia too.) This is a nice way to get to see some different parts of the island. We work six hours a day and then have free time to work on our project that is part of the internship, go to the beach, go back into the city, or hang out with friends. We also have free days that we can go on excursions with the entire group to different cool parts of the island. 


For me, the work is the kind of work that you would expect to have as an intern that is here for only three and a half weeks. The enjoyment that you get out of the work really does depend on your interests. I know that Conrad is really enjoying his work in the kitchen, since he eventually wants to open his own restaurants. What I have found is that the people that you work with and the place really make the experience worthwhile, not so much the actual work you do. I don’t want anyone to misunderstand me, I am learning a lot and gaining a lot of valuable experience, but that isn’t what makes the internship fun. The other employees have really taken Conrad and me in like we are all one big family. That may sound corny, but it’s the way it is. I know that the guys working at the other hotel feel the same way. Occasionally we will even go out with our coworkers which is always an awesome time. 


I think that the combination of classes in Session 1 and internship in Session 2 really gives you a great chance to experience the area from two very different perspectives. It’s hard to describe exactly what I mean, but once you come here and experience it, you will know. 


Now I will try to describe a typical work day. I either work breakfast or lunch for 3 hours. Then I have a break in the afternoon when I can go to the beach, go to lunch, take a siesta, or get on the computer. I then go back and work dinner for another 3 hours. After that I’m free for the night. There are tons of bars and discotecas around in the area that are awesome, but sometimes it’s also nice to go and hang out on the beach at night and just relax. Just a side note here: if you come to Palma and don’t really like techno and would prefer to have bars like there are in the US then you are the same as I was when I first got here. But, after a week or so, you’ll love everything about them! I promise!


I have a feeling that this post may have rambled more than I wanted, but I guess that is what you get for trying to put two weeks into one blog post. I hope you have enjoyed it so far and there will be more to come soon! Picture 001
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