Spanish exchange

¡Hola! ¿Cómo está? ¿Dónde está el baño? This is just a little taste of what a few lucky students have to look forward to during spring break. No, they are not going to Cancun or to the Yucatan. Actually, in a few days, they will be embarking on a two-week long trip to Spain. "I’m just really excited about leaving the country," senior Michelle Gibson said. "I have never been to another country, so I think it’s going to be really exciting." Last fall, the trip was offered to Spanish 3 and 4 students, with priority going to the latter. In total, there are 18 students going to Spain. Each student pays $1,975, which is a small price for an once-in-a-lifetime experience. "We will first fly into Madrid," said Julie Camara, Spanish teacher and trip co-chaperone. "We will go to the Royal Palace and to the Prado , which is one of the most famous museums in the world. Then, we will travel to Toledo, where they make swords for the U.S. Marines." Camara and Jordan Niedergeses, also a Spanish teacher, will then accompany the students to León, where the Ames High students and teachers will stay with host families. In exchange, students from León will travel to Ames next fall and will stay with host families living here. "Last year, the school we were doing the exchange with had some budget problems," Camara said. "It took us about a year to find another school. We did offer a touring trip last year, but too few students signed up." Luckily, the Spanish exchange trip is back and running smoothly–the trip will begin this Monday. With only 3 days left before the plane departs, many of the students are rushing to get everything ready. "I had to get my passport, which took forever to get because they had to process it," s enior Taylor Schram said. "[Now] I’m just packing and getting everything organized for the trip." While some students are fretting over pre-trip happenings, others are anxious about what will happen once they arrive in Spain. "I’m afraid of not knowing how to say something in Spanish," Gibson said. "I don’t want to sound stupid." Camara has chaperoned the trip in the past and knows of the many anxieties the students have about being immersed in the Spanish culture. "A lot of students worry about living with a host family," Camara said. "It’s kind of funny because when we are on the plane heading back to Iowa, most of the students talk about how living with a host family was the best part." Regardless of their fears, the students going to Spain will undoubtedly have an amazing time. All that is left to do is to wish them a buen viaje and tell them that el baño está a la izquierda . ¡Adiós!