• March

    Spain: Day 11

    Olivia Rocamora | Monday, March 11, 2024
    Tonight, I write to you all with deep gratitude that we are completing our eighth Weber Spanish immersion program healthy, safe, and inspired. Our suitcases are bursting at the seams with souvenirs, we are in a bread and dairy coma, and we haven’t stopped laughing because that is what we do when not weighed down by responsibility. This trip, we remember that at the end of the day, we are human beings, not human doings.
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  • Spain: Day 10

    Olivia Rocamora | Sunday, March 11, 2024
    Hola Familias!
    Today was our second full day in Madrid. It was a chilly but sunny day as we took a walking tour through both historic and modern districts of the city.
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  • Spain: Day 9

    Olivia Rocamora | Saturday, March 9, 2024
    Hola familias!
    We arrived in Madrid ❤️.
    One major objective of our time in Madrid has been to establish contrast. Just over a week ago, we were sitting around a hearth on a farm. And yet here we are now walking through streets packed with people and lights and music. Both experiences are beautiful, and the importance of this statement lies in the word "both."
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  • Spain: Day 8

    Olivia Rocamora | Friday, March 8, 2024
    Hola familias!
    Curl up on a couch and read our adventures from today, which deserved a more detailed update. I appreciate you following our stories!
    This morning, we woke up to snow. I have never seen such cold weather in March in Spain, but if the weather is the worst part of this trip, then no pasa nada.
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  • Spain: Day 7

    Olivia Rocamora | Thursday, March 7, 2024
    Hola familias!
    Our day began with an unforgettable wake-up performance from the Casa de Chicas. You can’t have a bad day after that.
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  • Spain: Day 6

    Olivia Rocamora | Wednesday, March 6, 2024
    Hola a todos!

    Tonight’s blog update is long, but I promise it’s worth the read. For this update, I decided to hyperlink photos and videos throughout the narrative.

    We are staying in three separate houses/hostels 50-100 ft from each other in a small pueblo called Simancas, population 5,000. Simancas resides 20 minutes from the Castilla y León capital Valladolid, population 300,000, and it is nestled at the convergence of two rivers, the Rio Duero and the Rio Pisuerga.
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  • Spain: Day 5

    Olivia Rocamora | Tuesday, March 6, 2024
    Our day consisted of driving out of Galicia with its views of livestock zigzagging across green hills and driving into Castilla y Leon with its dry and dusty paths, its flat wheat fields, and clustered pine trees. It's fascinating how a country just a little larger than the state of California can showcase such a spectrum of climates, cultures, and languages, and I am grateful our trip will explore the diversity.
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  • Spain: Day 4

    Olivia Rocamora | Monday, March 5, 2024
    Today, we drove to the highest cliffs in Europe, learned to sew fishing nets with rederas (women who make nets for local fishermen), sat and chatted with kids in a local elementary school, ate a huge lunch with a bread roll the size of my head, and hiked to a small, sleepy pueblo (San Andres de Teixido). To say it was an incredible day is truly an understatement. We filled our stomachs with fresh food and our minds with fresh memories of connection with locals and each other. There are two moments from today that I want to describe, and then I will let the kids who didn’t write yesterday take a moment to talk about their impressions from today.
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  • Spain: Day 3

    Olivia Rocamora | Sunday, March 3, 2024
    Today we traded stone houses and livestock for bagpipes and pilgrims as we explored the narrow streets and gothic architecture of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia’s capital. Santiago serves as the finish line for hikers from all over the world who embark on a pilgrimage that begins as far away as France.
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  • Spain: Day 2

    Olivia Rocamora | Saturday, March 2, 2024
    The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain. And on Galicia.

    The rainy morning began with a Juanito-Olivia Chaperone Team Tradition: waking up the kids with song and dance. We write about the trip as it takes place (An aside: John and I went to college together and sang in the choir, and we will do anything to relive our college days and sing kids into submission…). Two years ago, Juanito packed a traveling piano to “up our game,” and the kids gave us five stars.
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  • Spain: Day 1

    Olivia Rocamora | Friday, March 1, 2024
    Bienvenidos a Monfero, Spain, a quiet (and today, rainy) pueblo in Galicia with green hills dotted by cows and sheep and clusters of fog in no hurry to move. Most people’s first taste of Spain is intense: car horns, bright lights, and wading through narrow, saturated streets. Those things aren’t bad; we’ll get there! But for now, we begin “en el medio de la nada,” as they would say here. In the middle of nothing. As educators, though, we know that where there is “nothing,” there is actually everything.
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  • February

    Spain: A Pre-trip Reflection

    Olivia Rocamora | Thursday, February 29, 2024
    What distinguishes Weber’s Spanish immersion travel program is its focus on every country’s greatest monument: people. The gallegos with humidity-tossed hair who strum, sing, and clap their ancestors’ traditions alive. The husband and wife nature guides who seek refuge in the remaining foliage of a precarious planet. The flour-dusted bed and breakfast owner whose smudged apron reads like a newspaper. The senior citizens dotting park benches with worn down shoes from years of shuffling along cobblestone. The rosy cheeks of school children in a windy town that teeters on cliffs facing the Atlantic. A world-class musician who drops his hand-carved instruments to lean over his bubbling pan of paella to exclaim, “Mas que la música, me encanta cocinar. Me encanta compartir.” More than music, I love to cook. I love to share.
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  • January

    ABIPE 2024: Post 5

    Bernadette May Beaver
    Good morning from day four here in the beautiful city of Warsaw! Today after breakfast, we drove to the Taube Center for a screening of "The Zoo-Keeper's Wife." 
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  • ABIPE 2024: Post 4

    Bernadette May Beaver
    Some of us attended Nozyk Synagogue for morning services - and one of our seniors, Daniel Katz, even had the honor of being asked to do hagbah after the Torah reading! 
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  • ABIPE 2024: Post 3

    Bernadette May Beaver
    Our first stop of the morning was a visit to one of the biggest and most historic Jewish cemeteries in Warsaw. The tombstones were haunting, but also beautiful, with all the moss on the ground and snow falling around us.
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  • ABIPE 2024: Post 2

    Bernadette May Beaver
    Our first stop of the morning is at the POLIN museum of Polish-Jewish history, and it’s here that I want to pause and recognize how lucky we are to have Dr. Rachel Rothstein as our trip leader. Rachel was actually a part of the creation of this museum when she was studying in Poland on a Fulbright scholarship in 2011-2012.
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  • ABIPE 2024: Post 1

    Bernadette May Beaver
    Welcome to Warsaw! We all got our room keys and had a little time to freshen up, and now we are in a beautiful common space in the hotel for our orientation.
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Back 2024
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