Today was Sant Jordi which means Saint George's Day. It is a festival in Barcelona similar to Valentine's Day in America. The tradition here is that the boys give girls a rose and girls give boys a book. There were people everywhere on the street selling roses and books!! At school there were no regular classes. Most of my classes today involved making paper flowers to give to the younger children at the school as well as painting their faces during the festival time. The older kids also had games to play with the younger ones to involve them in the festivities. Even though school was crazy, my teacher is awesome! She speaks English all of the time in the classroom, and she is originally from Atlanta! We teach english, science, and art. I did get to see an art class today, and the girls were learning the proportions to draw a human face. Once the instruction had been given and they started to work, there seemed to be no structure. It is not like at home where everyone sits in their desk and works in silence. The girls were very loud, up moving around, singing songs, and constantly coming up to talk to the teacher. I experienced many other cultural difference at school as well! The boys and girls are always separate during class and only interact with each other during recess and lunch. Also, there are no lines in the hallways and the children are allowed to talk whenever they are walking to their classrooms. I kept waiting for someone to tell them no taking in the hall, but no one did!! For lunch, we were out of school for an hour and a half. I went out with two other girls from school, and it was an experience for sure! The waiters were laughing at us because our Spanish was not the next, and one girl never even got her food!! Also, they never brought us a check. We had to get back to school, so on our way out they sat our check on the counter by the door. We have been told that waiters here do not expect tips, and that Spanish people take a long time when eating. They like to sit and relax after meals, so checks are not brought to the table quickly. It will be something to get used to!!
After school, I went to the city center with a few other girls. It was so crowded down there!! There were people everywhere as well as vendors and stages for the holiday. It was a great first experience in the city! We rode the metro for the first time and were able to find many buildings and special places in Barcelona. We never even had to ask for help! (Just were constantly checking our map!) For dinner we ate at a pizza place. They had a separate floor on which we had to sit to get service in English. The food portions are so big here! My meal came with two courses and I couldn't finish either one! It was very good though. I had tried some traditional Spanish foods and they have been good so far! I'm looking forward to seeing a more normal school day tomorrow!