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4 posts from April 2013

04/23/2013

National Sibling Day, a glimpse of what happens daily in this house, by Sunny Shih, CIEE Palma de Mallorca

Sunny shih cathedral

Name: Sunny Shih 

Semester: Business and Tourism Spring 2013

School: George Washington University

Happy Sibling Day everyone! May everyone have a wonderful day with their brothers and sisters, same mothers or not. I am an only child at home, the apple of my mom’s eye, and forever the guinea pig of their parenting methods. To my parents’relief, I turned out somewhat normal, in spite of only-child stereotypes.

Here in Mallorca, I have two siblings in my host family. Andreu is turning 8 soon, and Caterina is 4. It’s awesome being the oldest, these two follow me around like I am the coolest person they have ever met. And I never get castigada, either, because I have more years of experience playing the game. I’m glad that they are comfortable around me now; I am always asked to play, even though I never win at Pokemon cards. Read below for the things that happen in this household:

1. Gangnam Style. I swear that this family-student pairing is meant to be; I finally found someone who is more obsessed with Gangnam Style than I am! Andreu doesn’t walk, he does the horsey down the street while yelling oppa gangnam style. It is his all-time favorite song.

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2. They fight to sit next to me during dinner. I have never felt so popular in my life. Most of the time Caterina loses, so she whines until Carmen (my host mom) pulls up an extra chair on my other side. 

3. They’re extremely curious about my culture and my background. One of my first nights here, Andreu asked me to teach him how to write my name is Chinese. I was very impressed: 

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4. Arts and crafts happen a lot here. One time, Andreu made a giant ant out of clay, and then showed me a picture that he drew of a guy vomiting, urinating, and defecating at the same time. Unfortunately I only have a picture of the giant ant. Yesterday, we took turns drawing the family; Carmen, Vicente, and I all ended up being trees. 

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5. Daily question: Can I play games on your phone? They whisper it when the parents aren’t around, because usually they’re not allowed to play with my phone. If one catches the other on my phone, he/she runs to their mom and tattles.

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6. They’re not afraid to try new things. Once during dinner, I was given a bottle of Tabasco and another bottle of green hot sauce. Andreu pours both all over his food, then spends the rest of the meal running around in the living room as if his pants were on fire.

7. It’s cute when they sleep. Caterina is the only kid I’ve seen that asks to go to bed because she is tired. One time, she was sulking and curled up under the dinner table, and then fell asleep. Under the dinner table.

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8. Here’s a picture of Vicente (my host dad) carrying Caterina like a sack of potatoes because she was too tired to walk uphill. We were in Estellencs, a town in the Sierra de Tramuntana (UNESCO World Heritage Site) where they have a summer house.

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9. We play the restaurant game with the Hello Kitty kitchen. “Is there anything for dessert?” I asked Caterina. “Yes, we have fried chicken,” she answered.

10. Fashion shows and dance recitals. And serious concerts at church. Last night, Andreu pranced around with his sister’s underwear on his head. Then he added his mom’s jewelry. Then the lipstick. Then the toothpaste behind his ear. Grand finale? Both of them running around the house naked. Caterina performs ballet for me while I eat, and can sing an entire song in English from memory. On a more serious note, Andreu is a part of the boys choir in his school, Colegio de San Francisco. 

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Everyday there is something new in this house. I can’t tell you how lucky I am to have this hilarious family around. Once again, happy Sibling Day, and I hope you give yours an extra hug today!

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

And our official websites:

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

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

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

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

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

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

 

04/19/2013

Bebe, by Hannah Johnson, CIEE Palma de Mallorca

Hannah johnson perfil

Name: Hannah Johnson

Semester: Liberal Arts Fall 2012-Spring 2013

School: University of Iowa

I have been listening to a lot of music lately. Trying to find some new bands that have the sound I am looking for. I have hit my max listening to what I know. The radio here provides nothing really, at all. So I went exploring. I found Bebe. I kind of dig them. What do you think?

 

 

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

And our official websites:

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

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

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

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

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

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

 

04/11/2013

First Post, by Sunny Shih, CIEE Palma de Mallorca

Sunny shih cathedralName: Sunny Shih

Semester: Business and Tourism Spring 2013

School: George Washington University

I’ve decided to blog about my study abroad experience in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Yes, I’ve been here since February, but better late than never. The program I am in is called CIEE Palma de Mallorca Business & Tourism, so fortunately I will transfer a few credits back for my degree while frolicking on a Mediterranean island.

I will be here from February until June 2013. So far, the experience has been incredible. I love the Spanish culture, especially the “no pasa nada” mentality here. The two best things about Mallorca for me is, well, the island itself and all it has to offer—-beaches, natural scenery, and all its glory; the other thing is my host family, a hip couple named Carmen and Vicente, and their two little rascals Andreu and Caterina, age 7 and 4. 

There are 13 other kids in my program from various universities throughout the US. None of us really knew each other from before we came, and it’s an interesting mix of people. We are all placed with a Spanish family here to fully immerse in the culture and to improve our Spanish. Classes are held at the University of the Balearic Islands here in Palma, where pretty much everyone from Mallorca and the nearby islands attend.

Our first month here passed by in a blink of an eye, and so much has happened; I want to recount all of the stories and will do my best to post on this blog often. I am definitely aprovechar-ing my time here. Once June 18 rolls around, I don’t know how I will get myself on that plane back to the US; 4 months seems too short when you feel like you could stay here for the rest of your life.

In front of Palma's landmark, the Santa Maria cathedral

In front of Palma’s landmark, La Seu Cathedral

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

And our official websites:

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

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

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

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

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

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

04/04/2013

Pa amb Oli, by Hannah Johnson, CIEE Palma de Mallorca

Hannah johnson perfilName: Hannah Johnson

Semester: Liberal Arts Fall 2012-Spring 2013

School: University of Iowa 

Pa amb oli

Pa amb oli. If you say it really fast it sounds like baloney, like the sausage. Yet this Spanish staple is far simpler and has found a far surer place in my heart. Pa amb oli means bread and oil in Mallorquin (Catalan). This simple and delicious treat would not satisfy if it were made with what I often consider suburban staples, in the US. The inexpensive, shelf-stable, bread might crisp if toasted but the chemical preservatives would hide the rich taste of whole grains. The crust of sandwich bread could never imitate the crunch of fresh oven roasted, peasant style loaf bread (sold in Spain by its weight). Canola oil, butter or other cooking oils (inexpensive olive oils included here) can not imitate the rich flavor of good olive oil, nor produce the sweet and salty bites of sea salt sprinkled over the top. These three simple ingredients. Bread. Oil. Salt. So simple and so balanced in their flavors might seam dull to an american palate, which is so often flooded with bold flavors, but it is worth your time. Try. Taste the simplicity. Bread. Oil. Salt. Each ingredient rich in its own right, together create the subtle and tender flavors which are a staple in my diet here. Bread. Oil. Salt. Pa amb oli.

 

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

And our official websites:

SEMESTER PROGRAMS:

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

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

SUMMER PROGRAMS:

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

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