Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fourth of July festivities from across the Atlantic...

This year, we decided to try something new. Instead of having just an apple pie contest (tarta de manzana) in celebration of the 4th, we made it a tortilla (Spanish omelet) and pie contest - emphasizing the idea of cultural exchange that is so much a part of our students everyday experience here. 

As you can see, there were tortillas. There were tartas.  And these pictures do not do the competition justice as there were several more tortillas and tartas added as the families arrived at the park. What you can't see in the pictures is the 32 IUHPFL students anxiously waiting to eat with their host families while our panel of judges tasted each of the foods.

Sara, representing the instructors, and Kennedy, representing the students, in the tortilla testing.
Sara, representing the instructors, and Katye, representing the students, in the tarta testing. 

Needless to say, it was a tough (yet delicious) competition and our judges had some hard decisions to make. Congratulations and ¡Felicidades! to all who entered. The winners for the best tortilla were: 1st Place  - Roberto (host dad to Daniel, you can see his USA-themed tortilla in the photo above); 2nd Place - Ana María (host mom to Neil, a classic tortilla that was not to be missed!) and 3rd Place - Cruz (host mom to Melissa and Katrina, a flavorful rendition stuffed with cheese, ham and jalapeños).

The winners for the best tarta were: 1st Place - Virtudes (host mom to Nathan and Kevin); 2nd Place - Kennedy Lower (our own IUHPFL student!!!!!) and 3rd Place - Flor (host mom to Ian and Conner).

And though there is no event for this (yet), the outstanding efforts of the Otero-García family (hosts to Kennedy, Casey, Veda and Emma) have to be recognized for their significant contribution to the evening's festivities. As bringing a GINORMOUS hamburger or two each year to the picnic has become a tradition, the family had to get creative this year when the local shop that provided them closed down. The result? Spectacular!
And yes, Melissa and I did share with others. There was certainly plenty of the hamburguesa to go around!
If you haven't  yet watched the video clip from the previous post, please do. The students do an outstanding job and Katye's impromptu accompaniment was incredible. We have quite the talented group!  This photo was taken just before they got started.

And now, the part of the picnic that really makes us feel like we are at "home" - the host families. The team and I could not have carried out such a wonderful celebration for our students without them. To them, we can only continue to say gracias.

Marcus, take two. He didn't want to miss a picture with his host mom!

On behalf of Equipo León 2014, I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. For those of you counting the days, less than three weeks remain until the kids are home again!


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