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Feb 1 / Brandon Shamoun

Another Month Down!

Day 96 of 219 in Spain.

It’s been over a month since I last posted.  The end of 2014 and into 2015 brought so many new experiences!  I’m enjoying Sevilla more and more everyday.  Whether if it’s meeting new people or just realizing new things that I didn’t before, I feel like the city and I are being more of a better fit for each other.

Starting back to Christmas – I enjoyed my time with a good Spanish friend of mine at his parent’s place.  It was quite similar minus the food differences.  Also, many of the children here get their main gift on the Three Wise Men Day (Epiphany) in early January.  The craziness during this time was pretty much the same as in the States.

Right after Christmas, I traveled to Madrid for a few days to spend New Year’s Eve/Day with my awesome friends, Naomi & Nick.  It was their first time in Europe, so I tried to show them a good time while they were here visiting.  I think they had a good time – I’ll post pictures from our adventure below.

Working has been a bit more exciting as we are planning for Carnaval in February.  It’s a time when everyone in the schools dresses up and celebrates!  This year, the themes range from Mickey & Minnie Mouse to The Wizard of Oz to British guards, to Majorettes (and many others).  I have decided to dress up as a British guard like the fifth graders, so we will see how that plays out in a few weeks!  Also, tomorrow is El día de la paz, or Peace Day, which schools world-wide participate to just acknowledge peace in their school and their everyday lives.  I won’t be here to see those activities (as I do not work Fridays), but it’s been interesting to see classes making collages and prepping for the day.  I’ll post some pictures from my school below, too, as my students are so interested in me taking their picture (with permission, of course)!

With only about four more months left in Spain, I plan on doing a lot of travel within Europe.  I’ve been hunting down lots of cheap flights to Italy, France, other parts of Spain, and possibly London and Germany.  I definitely don’t want this opportunity in Europe go to waste without checking out other cities and countries around me.

Life after Spain update – I have recently been invited to numerous grad schools in the States to interview via phone or Skype for admission and/or assistantships within their College.  I am excited for this opportunity and feeling optimistic about the outcomes.  I’ll keep y’all updated on that!

I'm an official temporary resident!

I’m an official temporary resident!

A message from the King of Spain on Christmas Eve.

A message from the King of Spain on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve dinner.

Christmas Eve dinner.

Taco Bell in Madrid!

Taco Bell in Madrid!

On the teleférico in Madrid!

On the teleférico in Madrid!

Selfie in Madrid!

Selfie in Madrid!

Silly Selfie!

Silly Selfie!

Las Meninas, a painting from 1656 painting by Diego Velázquez at the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

Las Meninas, a painting from 1656 painting by Diego Velázquez at the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

At the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium where Real Madrid plays!

At the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium where Real Madrid plays!

Bringing in 2015 in style in Madrid!

Bringing in 2015 in style in Madrid!

Coca-Cola sponsored the night and celebrations in the main squre!

Coca-Cola sponsored the night and celebrations in the main squre!

The Kilometre Zero starting point of Spain in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid.

The Kilometre Zero starting point of Spain in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid.

Tapas at one of my favorite restaurants in Sevilla.

Tapas at one of my favorite restaurants in Sevilla.

The Three Wise Men Day parade where they threw candy to everyone!

The Three Wise Men Day parade where they threw candy to everyone!

From the top of Las setas, or the mushrooms, in Sevilla.

From the top of Las setas, or the mushrooms, in Sevilla.

From the top of the Torre del oro, or The Gold Tower, in Sevilla.

From the top of the Torre del oro, or The Gold Tower, in Sevilla.

A snap of us in front of the Torre del oro.

A snap of us in front of the Torre del oro.

This awesome peanut butter care package from Katie & Amy at WSU!

This awesome peanut butter care package from Katie & Amy at WSU!

Celebrated that package with this yummy PB & J sandwich (Grape jelly doesn't really exist here, so strawberry it is!).

Celebrated that package with this yummy PB & J sandwich (Grape jelly doesn’t really exist here, so strawberry it is!).

Found this the in Taste of America store, and I bought it for my Spanish friend to try.

Found this the in Taste of America store, and I bought it for my Spanish friend to try.

The third grade class making a collage for International Peace Day on January 30.  This class did it on MLK, jr.

The third grade class making a collage for International Peace Day on January 30. This class did it on MLK, jr.

The students insisted that I take a picture of them!

The students insisted that I take a picture of them!

The fourth grade ecosystem project which had to be presented in Spanish and vocabulary in English.

The fourth grade ecosystem project which had to be presented in Spanish and vocabulary in English.

Another fourth grade class working on identifying the parts of a plant in English.

Another fourth grade class working on identifying the parts of a plant in English.

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