28 Jun Absolute Scholarship - Makayla Peterson - My Best Experience So Far
The Barcelona Program has been a dream come true to say the least.
From the culture, food, language and customs I have learned so much over this past month. Not to mention, I’ve gotten a chance to brush up on my Spanish. On my way from the airport my first day, I couldn’t believe that this would be my home for the next month. I had pinch myself a few times to make sure it was real (but to this day it still feels like a dream). Day three in the Barcelona Program we went on a city tour of Catalunya specifically Las Ramblas and once again I was in awe. The architecture of various places in Barcelona is stunning to say the least. Not only that but the historical elements of this city are truly fascinating. From that day, I knew that I could see myself living in Barcelona in the future.
The first day of my internship I was a bundle of nerves. I worked for a non-profit organization called APSOCECAT who serves the deaf-blind community. My job was to research how dance can improve the lives of deaf-blind people and strategies and methodologies for introduction. I arrived at the office, greeted my boss and my fellow co-workers and was given a tour of the office. After that, I was off! Researching consumed most of my time at the office as I wanted to compile as much information as I could before creating a guideline to present it to my boss. Upon completion of this research I felt so accomplished.
"I was able to come up with a strategy for introducing my passion of dance to a new community. It was a truly humbling experience."
Outside of the office, I spent my time soaking up the Barcelona sun, visiting different places and artifacts and of course trying their cuisine. La Sagrada Familia and Tibidabo were definitely my two favorite excursions. From the top of our hotel, we could see the beautiful church, but that could not compare to seeing the beauty of it up close. When I went, all I could do was stare. Now the view of Barcelona from Tibidabo... I’ve never seen anything like it. It took my breath away and provided me with this instant sense of calm and relaxation. Again, I pinched myself to be sure this was real and not a dream. I could’ve have stayed there and watched the forever. In more ways than one, Barcelona reminded me of my home New York. They had an active nightlife and you could find a plethora of food options- from sushi and ramen to burritos and burgers, I fell in love with the city more and more every day.
Reflecting on my time here, the one thing I can say is I wish there was more time because this past month has flown by so fast! The Absolute Program has given me a tribe of people from various countries and states. I have made some great friendships that I can only hope will last after we leave Barcelona. This is an experience that I will remember forever.