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5 posts from November 2012

11/29/2012

Lessons, by Hannah Johnson, Fall 2012 CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Hannah johnson perfil

School: University of Iowa

Semester: Fall 2012

Follow my blog: https://onewomanseeking.com 

Pictures to come soon (I promise) but, first a list of somethings I learned today.

  1. Sometimes swimming to an island off the shore is a good idea, sometimes there are sharp rocks, but it is still a good idea.
  2. Sunscreen is a must, tell your friends. Seriously sometimes they burn and it looks painful.
  3. Sometimes in Spain women don’t ware tops at the beach. Ok… maybe it happens a lot. Get used to it, just be careful when taking pictures.
  4. Political protests sometimes lead to your bus being rerouted, but sometimes it means there is good music  for free as you walk home too.
  5. The key to my apartment goes in the opposite direction as the one in the US. Oh and when you switch from mumbling angrily in Spanish to swearing in English, people notice.
  6. You hit the button for the floor you are on not the floor you want when you are calling the elevator. If you hit the floor you want it goes up there instead. Oh and you have to manually open the first of the elevator doors.
  7. Sometimes Spanish families talk loudly and all at the same time, this does not mean that they are mad. Seriously you probably did not say anything wrong.
  8. Massive groups of motos in the street at night are confusing, loud, and awesome to watch from your balcony.
  9. Spaniards drive like they all own the road, fact. Watch where you are walking.
  10. Oh Ya one more for a round 10 of todays lessons. THIS ISLAND IS FRIGGING BEAUTIFUL!

Did you learn anything today?

__________________________

 

Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/155911482876 & blog: https://study-palma-all.ciee.org

And our official websites:

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/liberal-arts

 https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/business-tourism

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-language-culture

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-internship-program


11/27/2012

My first sunset, by Hannah Johnson, Fall 2012 CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Hannah johnson perfil

School: University of Iowa

Semester: Fall 2012

Follow my blog: https://onewomanseeking.com 

Last night after we reviewed our orientation schedule we went for a short walk around Palma’s old town. This is the view from the old breaker wall in front of Palma’s famous cathedral (more on that later). We were at the reflection pool, just in time to watch the sun set over the part in front of the harbor. I felt and continue to feel so blessed to be here in Spain.

Sunset

Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/155911482876 & blog: https://study-palma-all.ciee.org

And our official websites:

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/liberal-arts

 https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/business-tourism

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-language-culture

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-internship-program

 

11/20/2012

Jet lag, it exists, by Hannah Johnson, Fall 2012 CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Hannah johnson perfilHannah Johnson

School: University of Iowa

Semester: Fall 2012

Follow my blog: https://onewomanseeking.com 

Well, It is day two (september 14, 2012). In Spain it is about 8:20 in the AM and I am sitting in my hotel room. I can’t say that I feel the most rested of all of the days in my life but I am certainly doing better than the other year long student L (I have not asked her permission to add her name to my blog so we will just stick with first letters of her name), who flew in from Seatle yesterday and did not sleep on the plane. Jet lag, it exists.

Jet lag 2I was fortunate to meet up with P, also from The University of Iowa, at the Chicago airport as we loaded our plane to Madrid. While we didn’t get to chat a lot before or on the 8 hour flight to Madrid, it did pass the time during our 4 hour lay over in Madrid.

From Madrid it was a short hop to Mallorca, almost exactly the time it takes to get from Minneapolis to Chicago. I am going to be honest I slept most of the time on this plane ride as my internal clock said it was time for bed, but I did get to see us leave the coast of Spain and fly over Mallorca. Sometimes screaming babies are a good thing.

Getting to our hotel was easy enough once we found our GA who will be called SpaL (her name also beings with L). Our hotel is beautiful and modern. We had about four hours to settle in, call home (only .o1 cents a min on GMail), take a shower (once we figured out how to get the lights in our room to work, it is a long, funny and embarrassing story I MIGHT tell you one day, and finally, gloriously, sleep in a bed).

Now it is time for breakfast, more on orientation and my host family later today after I meet and move in with my host family. GASP! I am terrified and excited all at the same time. Have you ever lived with a host family, what was your experience? Would you do it again? If not, why?

Jet lagThey do this brilliant thing in Madrid, they color-coat their ceiling so that it is easier to find your gate, i.e. J is yellow and H is red.

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Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/155911482876 & blog: https://study-palma-all.ciee.org

And our official websites:

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/liberal-arts

 https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/business-tourism

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-language-culture

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-internship-program

11/13/2012

Noche de San Juan, by Emily Southmayd (CIEE Summer Palma de Mallorca)

Emily bajo el agua

Name: Emily Southmayd
School: The Pennsylavnia State University
Semester: Summer program Language and Culture 

Last night in Mallorca was "La Noche de San Juan", which is a festival-type night that celebrates the summer solstice and the shortest night of the year.  It's hard to explain, and I still don't fully understand the details behind it, but it's basically a night of fire.

Cathedral at night

We went down to the Cathedral where there were SO many people of all ages and more fireworks and sparklers than I have ever seen.  There were drummers and people were dancing everywhere.  Several people were dressed as demons carrying flaming sticks and sparklers into the crowds (so scary in my opinion but others were embracing it).  People who were far braver than any of us Americans would run towards the sparklers and jump and dance around them and jump over the flames, supposedly cleansing their spirits, while we all ran in the opposite direction when they came towards us, trying to cover our heads and arms to avoid the falling ashes.  At different points, fireworks would suddenly be set off directly over our heads...it was incredible.  I have never been that close to fireworks before-and probably for good reason, it can't be very safe, but here they don't seem too concerned. 

San juan 1

San juan 2
San juan 3
Afterwards, walked down to the beach, where the celebrations were continuing with bonfires and more camaraderie.  Some were swimming in the sea and others had pitched tents and would be spending the night on the beach.  While we wouldn't be sleeping on the sand for the night, a few of us did take a little dip in the Mediterranean (so warm at night might I add).  Then, as part of another Noche de San Juan tradition, we wrote down our regrets for the year passed and our hopes for the year ahead on pieces of paper.  We dug a hole and there we burned our regrets.  Then, after soaking our papers of wishes in the sea, we threw them on top of the burnt-out regrets and buried them all in the pit.  It was really a fun way to reflect on the year and participate in this new culture.

San juan 4
There were moments during the night, especially during the fireworks as I was seeing sparks in all directions, watching the demons run around with their torches, and listening to the incredible drum music when I thought, "How is this allowed?"  I knew in the US that we, the public, would never be allowed with hundreds of feet of these explosives.  Imagine the lawsuits!  Because people do get minor burns, and several of my friends have little holes in their clothing from the falling ashes.  Never ever in America would this be possible.  So why here?  

And then it dawned on me..

Why wouldn't it be allowed?  Who in this world decides what is and isn't right?  And where it is and isn't right?  I've always been one to follow the rules.  I think I know what's right and wrong, but then again, it's only what I've been told that obey.  My parents, my teachers, the government--with laws and whatnot--they're the ones who have always guided my obedience.  But here I am, in a different country, and everything is tilted on its side.  Things that I've always just regarded as set in stone are suddenly not so black and white.  The world is wide open, and we can question how life should be lived.  If people want to light sparklers and dance around the flames at their own risk, why shouldn't they?  If it is what they believe in and what they want to do, who is it harming?  

So anyway there's my big epiphany for the week.  It was just a really eye opening realization for me, and it may be one of the biggest lessons I take back from my whole study abroad experience.  The whole night, aside from being fun and insane and scary and exciting all at once, was an incredible way to experience even more of the amazing Spanish and Mallorcan culture.  Definitely una noche que no será olvidado :)

Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/155911482876 & blog: https://study-palma-all.ciee.org

And our official websites:

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/liberal-arts

 https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/business-tourism

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-language-culture

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-internship-program

 

11/06/2012

Parque Nacional de Cabrera, by Emily Southmayd (CIEE Summer Palma de Mallorca)

Emily bajo el agua

Name: Emily Southmayd
School: The Pennsylavnia State University
Semester: Summer program Language and Culture 

Today we had an excursion to Cabrera National Park and it was quite a day!  We started with a bus ride to the town where we went kayaking, then took a ferry for about an hour to the island of Cabrera.

Cave swimmingCave Swimming

On the way there though, we stopped at a cave where we got to swim for a bit.  It was AMAZING.  The water was so clear we could see all the way down to the bottom, and it was really deep.  When we got to the island, we hiked up to a castle and got some great views of the water around us.

Our first snorkeling site of the day
Our first snorkeling site of the day

Then, we walked down a trail for a while and found a little beach, so of course we took out our snorkeling gear.  We got to see a ton of fish, seagrass beds, etc...all the things that we've been learning about in class.  Then, after a picnic lunch of bocadillas (yum, again) from our madres, we went down to another beach and snorkeled some more.  Many more fish (some pretty big ones!), more seagrass, sea sponges, a sand dollar, and starfish!  We boarded the ferry around 3 to head back to the mainland, and when we got there we went to an aquarium and saw even more fish, lobsters, starfish, etc.  It was an awesome, if tiring, day--all of our excursions are such a great time.  Now just waiting to see what the night has in store :)

  And of course, a snorkeling pic

And of course, a snorkeling pic :-)

Visit CIEE Palma de Mallorca facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/155911482876 & blog: https://study-palma-all.ciee.org

And our official websites:

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/liberal-arts

 https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/business-tourism

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-language-culture

https://www.ciee.org/study-abroad/spain/palma-de-mallorca/summer-internship-program