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Jul 4 / Brandon Shamoun

Last Night! :(

So this is it – the last night in Spain.

I’m really gonna miss all of the adventures I had here.  All the friends I met, the culture I became a part of, the food, the celebrations, everything.  Our flight leaves at 7:10am from Madrid, then we have a 4 hour stop in Paris.  From there, thereçs a 9 hour flight back home to Detroit.  Everything went by so quick even though Barcelona seemed like a long while ago.  I think I definitely improved on my Spanish speaking skills, and hopefully this will continue so I can pass the MTTC and OPI exams so I can be a certified teacher.  After being here, I hope to some day come back, either as a student, tourist, or even a teacher teaching English as a second language to spanish speakers to improve my skills in all.

See you in Detroit!

– Brandon

Jul 2 / Brandon Shamoun

Catching Up: Córdoba, Madrid Pride, España vs. Italia Game, & The After Math

This post is gonna have a lot – beware!

A few days ago we went to Córdoba, which of course was beautiful. We went to a huge, old masque, but it is now a catholic church. I attached a picture below. We also went to an old palace which was amazing because we got to go up to the top of a tower and look out into the city. Very neat and historical backgrounds in both, and in all I learned a little bit more from each one of them. From there we just roamed the city, shopped, eat, etc. All went well… for the most part…. I actually got into a little argument with a gypsy there because they were harassing two teenage girls for money after she stopped and told them their “future” based off leaves. The girls didn’t know Spanish, so I basically told the gypsy to level and asked the girls of they were okay. They were pretty glad I came in and intervened. Though, the gypsy then started following me and yelling at me. I just ignored it and went on. I don’t really know Spanish curse words or slang, but my friend next to me did and she said it was pretty bad. Though in all, I think I did the right thing. Pretty intense experience there, but I’ll remember it for a while.

The same day we got to Madrid, the gay pride parade was going on in the main plaza. My friends and I went, and it was really fun! Took tons of pictures, met a few people, had some good food, and experienced something different like never before. It is Europe’s biggest pride parade, and about 2 million people were there. I attached a picture of one of the busses.

Yesterday, the Eurocopa final game went down versus Spain and Italy – what a game! Spain won, 4-0! The experience I went through during and after the game was crazy to the extreme! Streets were filled with people all night, people in the plaza fountains going crazy, flags, fireworks, paint, everything! It was so awesome to be there at this moment in time. My friends and I met lots of people during this.

The after math of the event, today, was a huge parade down a main street in Madrid. We didn’t know there was going to be a parade, but we were at the right place at the right time. From what I heard, there were literally about 3 million people there at this celebration that went on from about 4 until 11, then all the after craziness happened. It was fun, but we had to leave early since the last train back to the dorms left at 11:30pm.

Well, now I’m off to bed. I need some sleep for Toledo in the morning. I’ll update soon!

Thursday is coming too soon! 🙁

– Brandon
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Jun 27 / Brandon Shamoun

Sevilla!

I think I’m gonna melt soon…

It’s crazy hot here, but it’s a litter cooler today with it being about 100 degrees. Sevilla has treated us all well. So many different things to see and do here. I stopped by a shop right around the corner and found some kids books that were on Disney movies, but in Spanish for 0.75 €! I bought a bunch of those along with some souvenirs here and there. I hope to go out to the cathedral today and learning about some history of Spain which includes tons on Christopher Columbus.

Also, there food here in Sevilla is interesting, but still good! There’s lots of sea food restaurants everywhere you turn, and being a vegetarian can be hard here and there. I figure it out for the most part. Below are popular menu items that I ate the other day, one being mushrooms and one being patata bravas . They were pretty delicious!

Tomorrow we are off to Cordoba for the day!

– Brandon

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Jun 27 / Brandon Shamoun

Granada!

¡Hola!

Today we went to Granada, and for the most part we just went to La Alhambra. It was insanely hot there, but the views were magnificent. I don’t have much time to write anything, and the wifi is going in and out, but I’ll try to keep updating periodically 🙂

Leave some comments!

– Brandon

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Jun 24 / Brandon Shamoun

Barcelona!

Sorry for taking long to post! I’ve been so active and busy here in and around the city! Though, we are finally here in Spain after the long airplane ride. Actually right now we are on the high-speed RENFE train to Sevilla. This trip so far has been a blast! Met a lot of new people from Barcelona, Norway, Canada, another parts of the US. The culture and historic architecture is phenomenal. There are a lot of differences, but there are accustomed to the tourists there I guess you can say. Mostly everyone speaks English there, so you can get to where you want to go and order what you want pretty easily. Though, in trying to practice my Spanish as much as I can. That alone is pretty hard because the Spanish they speak there is Catalán, which is more of a mixture of French and Spanish.

My group and i went in a double-decker, two hour city bus tour which was really fun. We went on the teleférico, which is a suspended cable car that shows you an aerial view of the city. We went to museums, walked the main strip, La Rambla, shopped the Corte de Ingles – it’s just crazy awesome!

I do have access to a phone, so feel free to Skype me and I can give you a call from there (I can only call out). I’m about to pass back out on the train and get some rest for about another 2 hours before we make it to our destination. Below is a picture of some of us at dinner outside at a restaurant Friday night. 🙂

– Brandon

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Jun 20 / Brandon Shamoun

Class Overview of Movies – HW Entry #1

Wow! One More Day!

These last few months have been crazy leading up to tomorrow’s departure. I’ve learned a lot with technology, being around groups of people, the culture of Spain, their language, etc. I’ve done lots of research of what I should see and where it is. In one of the movies we’ve watched during our seminar classes showed the Alhambra palace. This building is located in Granada, and I definitely plan on seeing it! I have a picture below that I found below. Once I go, I’ll try to posting one from Spain. After some research front the video and looking online, I found out that these types of palaces were built for the last Muslim Emirs in Spain. Every rein wanted to building their palace bigger and better than the last. This is one of the many things I plan on seeing on the trip!

Next time I’ll be on here will be when I’m writing from Spain… WoooHooo!

– Brandon

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UPDATE: The second picture is the picture I took of the Alhambra.

Jun 16 / Brandon Shamoun

The Countdown Begins!

5 More Days!

I can’t wait for this awesome experience! Thanks for coming to my blog page and joining me on this experience, virtually. I will be leaving for Spain on Thursday evening. From there, I’ll hopefully update this daily (somewhat) because we get to use the iPads in support of completing our assignments thanks to the College of Education at Wayne State. I will be preparing to go to Spain by reading e-books and watching different movies pertaining to the culture and numerous popular attractions within the country. Alongside learning about the culture in Spain, I will also learn more about the language, which will further benefit my studies in Spanish Education. Overall, these next few days are going to filled with excitement and hectic planning all at the same time!

Hopefully you’ll leave some comments below, and join me on some Skype (brandon.shamoun)/Google Hangout sessions when I’m there!

– Brandon