This is a short interview that briefly explains how the students at Bambakofi Academy taught me what true happiness really is. I’m forever thankful and whenever I’m down I can think of the people I met and that image will always bring a smile to my face.
Posts Tagged ‘Lugano Study Abroad’
Tags: Bambakofi, Collin Medford, Happiness, Kenya, Lugano Study Abroad, Virginia Tech
Tags: Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona, Barcelona vs. AC Milan, Collin Medford, Europe, La Sagrada Familia, Lugano Study Abroad, Picasso Museum, St. Christophers hostel Barcelona, Study Abroad Lugano 2013, top cathedral in europe, Tourism, Toursism Spain, traveling, Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech Study Abroad
I’m not going to sugarcoat this post because I’m busy with schoolwork and I’m preparing for my trip to Kenya in four days. I’m making an ambitious move and creating a documentary/promotional video for the NGO that our Lugano group is creating. Right now, most of my time is being devoted to creating the script and the story that I want to portray. It’s a huge undertaking, but I would have regrets if I didn’t document our time there. I will update you on this project before I leave.
Day 1: We checked into St. Christophers Hostel around noon and the AC Milan vs. Barcelona game was that day so the guys and I went to the Nike Store. They all bought official Barcelona jerseys with Messi on the back. I’ll admit it, they were dope, but I wasn’t going to the game so I bought a Barcelona hat instead. That night, we went to a local bar to watch the game. There was a group of 15 of us and we ended up getting front row seats on picnic like benches in front of the big screen projector. It was perfect and Barca ended up winning 4-0, which made for an unreal atmosphere. Fans were drinking, singing, chanting, and embracing each other’s company.
Day 2: It was pouring down rain the entire day. I made the most out of it and went to the Picasso Museum and then took the subway to La Sagrada Familia. I loved the Picasso Museum and remember feeling very inspired after seeing his work. It just goes to show what humans are capable of if they work hard and dedicate their whole life to something. La Sagrada has been my favorite cathedral so far. Poney up the Euro and go inside, it’s magnificent and unlike any cathedral I have been to in Europe. Antoni Gaudi outdid himself and his influence is seen throughout all of Barcelona. I didn’t get to see his other works in the city, which I regret, but If you like the weird different “Gaudi” style, visit his other famous sites such as, Park Guell and La Pedrera.
Day 3: I walked around by myself this day. I wanted to rent a moped, but when I arrived at the rental place it was closed. I was annoyed because it took me an hour to find the place, but was content with just walking around. I sat in a plaza for a couple hours right by the water and had pizza and beer. I walked along the water for a while and then went on the Transbordador gondola ride. It was a convenient way to get from the beach to Montjuïc and provided unreal views. I would consider this a tourist trap because I thought it was overpriced and you can get a similarish view from the top of La Sagrada.
In short, that was my Barcelona trip. One of my top three cities I have been to so far. If you study abroad Barcelona is a must go destination.
Tags: Alcazar de Sevilla, Collin Medford, Espana, Europe, Flamenco, free walking tour, Giralda Tower, Lugano Study Abroad, Lugano Switzerland, Metropal Parasol, Plaza de Espana, R2D2, Ronda, Seville, Seville Cathedral, Spain, Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones, Studay Abroad, talking spanish abroad, The Living Roof Hostel, Torre del Oro, Toursism Spain, traveling, Virginia Tech
I brushed up on my Spanish the past week after visiting Seville, Ronda, Barcelona, and Florence.
My friend Kramer and I spent the first three days of our ten-day break in Seville. We flew out Friday morning, which required us to leave Thursday night for the Milan Airport because the Italian trains stop running at 1:00AM. Although it was a bit of an inconvenience waiting in the airport, it was our only option since the cheaper flights are usually early in the morning.
We touched down just after nine and made it to our hostel, “The Living Roof” about an hour later. They had a very friendly staff and it’s in a great location. The rooms were meager in size, but the shower was elegant and our room was situated on top of the roof. Technically, I guess you could say we had a penthouse suite. Overall, a good price for the amenities and I would recommend it, but I’m sure there are other fine accommodations in Seville.
My favorite day in Seville was on Saturday. I went on a “free” walking tour and my tour guide was awesome, his name was Rafael and he did a great job not only showing us the city, but keeping us entertained while still teaching the history of Seville. We first learned about the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, better known as Seville Cathedra. It’s the largest gothic church in the world and the fourth largest cathedral in the world. As a student, it only costs three Euro to enter and the views inside as well from the top of the Giralda Tower is absolutely worth it. There are only 17 steps to get to the top of the tower because it consists of a series of 35 gently inclined ramps. The sultan ordered to build theses ramps instead of steps so the muezzin could ride a horse to the top in order to recite prayer five times a day. Other sites that I saw during my stay were the Torre del Oro, Metropal Parasol, Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería, Alcazar de Sevilla, and the Plaza de Espana. Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace and II: Attack of the Clones were both filmed at the Plaza de Espana and I walked over the bridge R2D2 wheeled over in the video below!
After three hours of walking around the city, Rafael, others, and myself went to a local tapas restaurant called Ochos Huevos. I had a grande beer, vegetables, and a Spanish style omelet. The food was cheap and filling. By that time, it was almost six and I had a ticket to the local flamenco show. Upon arrival, I ordered a glass of sangria and enjoyed a night of dance and music. Later that evening, I met back up with friends that I had met earlier from the bar crawl, which Rafael was sponsoring. It was a blast. I have never spoken that much Spanish in my entire life. The entire bar was littered with students from Mexico and Puerto Rico and I knew then that it was my destiny to speak as much Spanish as I could remember from my studies. I surprised myself on how much I recalled. I felt as if I had been transported back to my high school Spanish desk with Senor Valez and the verbs and nouns that I once knew magically surfaced from the prefrontal cortex of my brain. This one beautiful girl named Ana spoke to me in Spanish for most of the night. She was from Mexico and spoke excellent English; she was basically my personal tutor for the night. Really cool girl and I was lucky enough to share a kiss with her. I wish her all the best wherever she is.
On Monday, Kramer and I went to Ronda, which is a small city outside of Seville. The sights were absolutely stunning, seriously, drop dead gorgeous and defiantly worth a day trip if you’re staying in Granada or Seville and its only about a two-hour train ride. The pictures below only justify why I want to hike the Camino de Santiago once my abroad program ends.
Check back tomorrow to read about my time in Barcelona and Florence.
Tags: Amsterdam, Believing, Collin Medford, Eiffel Tower, France, Lugano Study Abroad, Lugano Switzerland, Motivation, Netherlands, Notre Dame, Paris, Sainte Chapelle, Study abroad, The Louvre, The Mona Lisa, Tourism, traveling, Virginia Tech
I went to a Bible study today hosted by some of the students I’m living with and it made me happy. I’m making a commitment to rebuild my foundation in faith. It’s not going to be easy, but I have loving friends that are here to guide and help me through these early stages. Almost my entire life I have had this skewed misconception of what it means to believe in God. I still don’t know what it means, but at this point in my career I’m thankful for everything that has happened to me and I’m ready to stop running from God. I’m not here saying that I’m going to be some saint, I just want to be a better person. My spirits are high and I’m ready for the challenges that await me.
Kramer and I decided to do the “dumb” stereotypical holding the pyramid pose. This is the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. Did you know that if you looked at every piece of art in the Louvre for 10 seconds, it would take you 4 days without sleep.
The only selfie I have taken on this trip so far besides for snapchats. I still can’t believe I saw the Mona Lisa up close. Still have no clue what expression is on her face and that is the beauty behind it.
With only Saturday to travel the city we saw Notre Dame, The Gardens, The Louvre, Lovers Bridge, Sainte Chapelle, The Eiffel Tower, and the Basilique du Sacre Coeur. It was exhausting running around, but worth it.
My favorite part of Paris was the Eiffel tower. As a kid you hear about it and know it exists, but to actually see it lit up was truly special.
We’re going to Amsterdam this weekend which will be a trip…..literally. Some of us will be treating ourselves to Amsterdam’s world famous truffle and coffee shops. This will most likely be my only time in Amsterdam so I have to do it right. Check back next week for what will sure to be a very entertaining post.