<![CDATA[Barcelona, Spain - Blog]]>Sat, 19 Dec 2015 05:32:10 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[My Last Days]]>Sun, 06 Dec 2015 20:22:38 GMThttp://courtneyhuffspain.weebly.com/blog/my-last-days
My days at Barcelona are coming to end (tomorrow's the last before my entire day of traveling). This weekend, my family was awesome and took me and the girls are some adventures in Barcelona and a little north of Barcelona.
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First stop, a walk up a small mountain next to the final mountain we were to visit. The kids had tennis practice, so we took the time to see a beautiful view of Barcelona city. Unfortunately, it was foggy, so it wasn't the "best" view we could have got, but it was still worth it. Plus, it was nice to take a little hike up a mountain after all the food I have ate while here. I needed to work it off a little bit.

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In order to get to our next destination, we got to take the last tram available in Barcelona, and then a train(-like thing). This was fun and unique considering we have been traveling by the metro for most of this trip.

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Our second stop was Tibidabo Mountain. On top of the mountain, there is a big catholic church along with a small amusement park (which is actually big for those living here in Barcelona). It was adorable to see! On top of that, we witnessed the end of a wedding, which is not something you would see every day. Overall this was a fun experience.

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Our third destination (final destination for Saturday) was the beach. In only a few minutes, we traveled from the top of Barcelona to the bottom. We ate at a seafood restaurant by the beach, where I safely ordered fish and chips. Again, it was a good experience, and we finally made it to the beach!

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Our first stop on Sunday was the Llafranc Beach in Llafranc, Spain (go figure!), which is a little north of Barcelona. It was very beautiful, and we had beautiful weather! Next to this beach, we ate a lite snack before driving to our restaurant for lunch.

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After our snack, we traveled to Peratallada Village, an only medieval village where the Castell-Palau Castle is located (shown in the picture). We were hoping to go in the castle, but it was already closed for the day. On the bright side, we were able to explore the village. The streets were all stone of different kind, and all the walls were stone as well. This is were we at lunch (at La Roca), and then ventured to our final destination for the weekend.

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Our Final Destination was an old Iberian Village, Ullastret, near the Peratallada Village that we first visited. All the buildings and walls were completely gone at this village. All that we left was the foundation. It was very interesting to see and walk on the old roads there were from thousands of years ago. (I apologize for the poor quality of the picture, it was dark when we arrived).

Tomorrow (our final day), the girls and I will do a little bit more exploring and packing... Please continue to pray for our travels!
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Packing to go back home is just as hard as it was to pack to come to Barcelona... The struggle is real!

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<![CDATA[Final Days at School]]>Fri, 04 Dec 2015 15:46:52 GMThttp://courtneyhuffspain.weebly.com/blog/final-day
My student teaching days in Barcelona have come to an end. I had to say goodbye to all the students, and I was able to give them my gift (a pencil). They were so excited, one boy said, "I will never sharpen this!" They were so cute. I'm going to miss them, but like one of the teachers said... As a teacher you just have to get used to saying goodbye to your students. Every year you get new ones.
I've had a great experience here, but I am excited to return home.
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<![CDATA[School...Math...Me...]]>Tue, 01 Dec 2015 15:33:11 GMThttp://courtneyhuffspain.weebly.com/blog/schoolmathmeThe students that I have here in Spain have been great. Aside from some of the boys constantly getting in trouble, kids seem to be the same no matter where one goes. They just speak a different language. Today during English class, I had the opportunity to share with the students the difference between "their math" and "our math" (in America). Because I am going to be teaching Math in America, my teacher here thought it would be a good idea for me to prepare a math lesson for the students here. The 5th graders are old enough to where they can handle (and are interested in) the differences between the two countries because they know enough to where they won't get confused.

First, I was with the girls. Prepared, I had different cards for the girls to explore various word problems in groups. Instead of using the cards, the lesson turned into just comparing the difference between the two "maths". For example, in America we write "9.56," but here in Spain (Europe) they write "9,56". (They use a comma instead of a decimal). Then, I talked to them about the differences with our notation of division, and the students for fascinated and it allowed me to teach them new vocabulary. I had to stop myself sometimes and write words on the board so that they knew what I was saying and could associated words with sounds (especially since I have a difference accent).

After I talked with the girls, I was able to do the same with the boys class. They were just as interested, but asked different questions. I was able to talk with them about the differences in the structure of classes and classrooms in America rather than how it is here in Spain. The boys were engaged, and I greatly enjoyed this lesson. (Plus it kept the boys out of trouble, and trouble happens a lot with these boys.)

Today was such a successful day! I'm going to miss these kids!
One more week and I will be returning home.
#MiddleSchoolMathEducation
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<![CDATA[Sagrada Familia]]>Mon, 30 Nov 2015 19:00:23 GMThttp://courtneyhuffspain.weebly.com/blog/sagrada-familiaAlthough I got to see the Sagrada Familia from the outside the first night I arrived in Barcelona, the girls and I went today to see all of it. The best part was climbing through the towers. I was having so much fun, and we saw a good view of the city. (Pictures are below)
This building has taken many years to build, and will take many more (which was the intention). It has Jesus's birth on one side and his crucifixion and ascension on the other side. The things people need to know is that Jesus came into this world and took on ALL of our sin for us. He died and rose again... He DEFEATED death! Because of Jesus, we have the choice to spend eternity in Heaven instead of Hell, and I am more than thankful that Jesus has saved my soul. This building is a reminder of the love God has for us if we will just trust in His Son and what He did for us all.
During this experience abroad, I have constantly been thinking on the Lord and his role in my life. We have gone on many "excursions" and had some interesting experiences (Paris), but through it all I am comforted by the fact that when I die I know that a mansion is prepared in Heaven just for me! Thank You Lord!

I hope you all enjoy the pictures!!
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<![CDATA[Mountains and More]]>Sun, 29 Nov 2015 21:43:22 GMThttp://courtneyhuffspain.weebly.com/blog/mountains-and-more
This weekend we all went with one of the host families to their mountain house in the Pyrenees Mountains. Along with the beautiful view, we got to do some horseback riding in the mountains and it was so beautiful and peaceful. Couldn't have asked for a better weekend! The family was great! The kids were fun to play with! And it was so nice to get away from the city and see some real livestock again. It reminded me a little of home (minus the mountains). This was definitely not a touristy attraction.
After we returned home for the weekend, we still had most of Sunday to do some exploring. We went to the Gothic Quarter and the Picasso Museum. Thankful for the safety the Lord has still provided for me during this great adventure. And I ask for prayers for this last week. It has gone by too fast!
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<![CDATA[Thanksgiving In Barcelona]]>Thu, 26 Nov 2015 17:33:35 GMThttp://courtneyhuffspain.weebly.com/blog/thanksgiving-in-barcelonaIt is far from Spain's traditions to celebrate Thanksgiving day, but the school we are at has had many American student teachers, so we were constantly being told "Happy Thanksgiving," or "Congratulations!" It was so funny because most of them really don't understand what it is all about (they don't celebrate it, so that's understandable). Fortunately, I was able to share with some of my classes the reason behind our Thanksgiving Holiday. (We give thanks to God for all the many blessings he has given us, and most importantly his free gift of his son so that we don't have to go to hell! Thank You Lord!!) I was able to share with them the Pilgrims and Indians and how they came here to America. Afterwards, we made a turkey! One for the boys, and one for the girls. They had a blast! (I also played The Macy's Day Parade from 2013 for the girls.) They really enjoyed seeing everything that we do. These kids are so sweet!
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 THE BOYS'S TURKEY

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THE GIRL'S TURKEY

After school, I had to see what my family was up to. FaceTime works wonders. I also got to see North Hardin High School marching in the parade. Miss my family, but it's only 12 more days till I will get to see them again!
Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!!!!
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<![CDATA[When In Rome!]]>Sun, 22 Nov 2015 19:23:06 GMThttp://courtneyhuffspain.weebly.com/blog/when-in-romePicture
   




 As soon as we arrived to Rome we started our adventures.   First stop = The Trevi Fountain, and one cannot visit it without throwing in a coin. It was very pretty to see at night! It was all lit up, and we didn't have to see it when it was pouring down rain. Our plan worked out great!

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After finding our hotel and getting a good night's rest, we started our Saturday morning at the Sistine Chapel. This turned out to be good because we only had to wait in line for about 30 minutes. When we left, the line was much longer. The chapel was filled with many paintings, and patch work from where some places are starting to crack. It was interesting, and nice to be able to say I actually saw some of the paintings in real life (you know, the one's we learned about in school). Although, our adventures did not stop there.

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After a little trouble maneuvering the transportation system, we finally arrived at our next stop, the Spanish Steps. Unfortunately, they were under construction, so we didn't get that "pretty picture" with them.
But... I did get a pretty picture of the little fountain right in front of it! (See picture below) 

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Next stop... Pantheon. I hadn't really realized what this was before, but the building itself was cool to see!

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Next, my FAVORITE!!! The Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheatre!! I could have spent the whole day here. It was so pretty, and so cool to see. Unfortunately there was construction everywhere, but to sit there and imagine what all went on in that theatre was fascinating. Nothing else beat this stop!
After a long day, we ate some fabulous Italian food (SO GOOD!!!) and went back to the hotel for the night.

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The next morning, we woke up hoping to see a little more of Rome, and as a bonus we took a horse drawn carriage! It was beautiful and so much fun! It was a wonderful ending to our trip! The guide stopped to let us take pictures, he let us get out whenever we wanted, and pointing out areas that I never would have known about on my own.


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Arrivederci Roma!
It was fun while it lasted!!

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<![CDATA[Updates...]]>Wed, 18 Nov 2015 21:51:40 GMThttp://courtneyhuffspain.weebly.com/blog/updatesMy days have started to run together while I am here. I can't believe it's practically Thursday already! This week as flown by as well. By tomorrow night (Thursday night) I will have to be packed and ready to leave for Rome after school on Friday. The time is flying! I am missing my family at home, but enjoying the moments I am having here.
Most of my classes are boys and only one class is girls, which I haven't got to see much. Boys are crazy, and are completely different from girls, but they're also different within themselves. I have 2 4th grade boy classes and one 5th grade boys class. The two 4th grade boys classes are almost like night and day. One is a very talkative class, although they are fun and like to ask me questions (which I enjoy because it helps me to get familiar with their accents), and the other is very quiet. They like to do their work in silence. I find something very funny during the classes... When a teacher is in the front or preparing something before presenting it to the class, the students surround the teacher. And it's such a normal thing. The students crowd around and ask many questions and are extremely nosey, but it's the culture of how they runs things around here. I have enjoyed getting to be a part of this experience. Although, I have really come to find that teaching English is not my best subject. There are so many particular vocabulary and usages of words that I can't even remember. I am good at trying to get them to understand words (because some of their classes, apart from the English class, is only in English... including the workbook and exams). They learn new English vocabulary outside of their English classes.
The boys at my house have been warming up to me, and I have really enjoyed it. I have been very tired lately, which I can't figure out why because I have been sleeping very well, but playing and talking with the boys is something extremely important in order for me to help them with their English and allow them to hear how English sounds where I am from. I have been very interested in their math homework as well, considering I am a math major and I don't get to help teach in a math class here. The way they do division is so different! The way they use decimals (periods) and commas are opposite. I can only imagine what it would be like for a child who moves from one country to another (like to the U.S.) who has learned one thing, but then is taught something completely different. On top of a possible language barrier, they could be confused on just the placement of the division sign. This is something I can really take back to my future classroom, and I am excited that I am still able to see how things in other subjects even though I am unable to help teach in that subject during the day. (This is a huge positive of staying with host families, as well as the other many advantages it has.)
I am enjoying my stay here, but missing my family and friends very much! This week (and almost a half) has gone by so quickly, but it still feels like a long time before I get to see familiar faces again! I have been praying for those at home, and appreciate the prayers for me and my safety while I am over here! I thank God for blessing me with such caring family and friends!
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<![CDATA[Our First Weekend Continued...]]>Mon, 16 Nov 2015 17:18:48 GMThttp://courtneyhuffspain.weebly.com/blog/our-first-weekend-continued
We ended our weekend very well. For our Sunday journey, we visited Parc Güell. We were able to the city of Barcelona from a distance as well as some of God's beautiful creation. While we were there, we visited the Gaudi Museum, of the man who designed many places in Barcelona (including the Parc Güell). He originally wanted it to be a neighborhood with 60 homes, but there wasn't enough room for that. There are only two houses at the Parc, one of them including Gaudi's House (which was the museum). I really enjoyed walking around at the Parc as well as around the streets of Barcelona as we tried to find the place.
We are finally getting the hang of things. We have figured out the metro (a little) and the buses (a little). Lets just say putting three heads together instead of one works a whole lot better! We haven't got completely lost yet!
I had my first full day of school Monday. (This means there weren't many "Work at School" hours or "Coordination" hours. I was in classrooms today actually helping out. I have also come to find that I need to work on some of my grammar. LOL. Being a math teacher is a little different from a English and Science teacher. The kids are fun and wild, and it's very different the U.S. Although, it's very enjoyable. Tomorrow we will have fun all day at school, and some the kids want to play a match against me in soccer (fútbol). I can't wait to see if that will actually happen.
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<![CDATA[Our First Weekend]]>Sat, 14 Nov 2015 23:20:12 GMThttp://courtneyhuffspain.weebly.com/blog/our-first-weekendOriginally our plans were to enjoy an eventful weekend in Paris, but apparently God had a different plan for this trip. Thank you Lord for protecting us while we still made the mistake of departing. When the attacks happened in Paris, the Lord had his hand in keeping us from entering Paris. Our flight (of course) was delayed a little bit and did not depart at the exact time it said it would (seems rather common). Therefore, we were still in the air when everything started. As soon as we landed, we starting hearing some bad news and became concerned. Fortunately we got a hotel that night at the airport and returned safely the next day.
Through this time is was a blessing to have all of our host families concerned about us and our coordinator that is here in Barcelona. Also, it was a blessing to be able to contact our family at home. They knew our travel itinerary for the weekend, so they knew we were headed to France.
Prayers for France as well! Prayers for the family of those who lost a loved one, for those who were injured, and for those who will never forget everything they saw.

With all of this chaos, the end is near, and the Lord is coming back. Are you ready?

"..from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Galatians 1:3-5
"Moreover, brethren I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved...how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4
"For he hath made him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 2 Corinthians 5:21
"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself...In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace...in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" Ephesians 1:5,7,13
"Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins"
Colossians 1:13-14

Although we were disappointed with our change of plans, God had another plan for our adventures here in Europe. Upon returning, we went to The Magic Fountain of Montjuic where we were able to watch a beautiful fountain/light show (See pictures below). After that we ate at a nice little restaurant and returned safely to our host families! I'm ready for another excursion tomorrow!
P.S. I ate an octopus for the first time today...
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