Elena Ramey

Escape to Madrid

For my comunidades, I listened to a podcast called "Escape to Madrid" from the Notes From Spain website. The podcast is about a man, Ben, who is living with a Spanish family in Madrid. He talks about his experiences here and what he does in his free time, as well as explaining how he teaches English to the children he's staying with for 3 hours every day.

What I Learned

From listening to this podcast, I have learned about living abroad in a Spanish speaking country. I learned about how Ben spends 3 hours a day teaching the children of his host family english, but that he eventually moved out of the host family's house due to a disagreement with the mother. The expectations are different in Spain than they are for Ben in Great Britain, with the disagreement with the mother and the fact that the parents smoke openly in the house.

How I can apply this in the future

After listening to the podcast, I know more about spending time abroad through travel programs. If I ever take time to study or work abroad, I know I need to be careful and mindful about the family I choose and the location to stay at. I can take into the future that living, working, or studying abroad is a great opportunity.

Sin instrucciones

For my second Comunidade for the semester, I watched the movie "Sin Instruciones". This movie is about a man, Valentin, who finds out he has a daughter, Maggie, by the mother handing him Maggie and leaving.  Valentin moves to Los Angeles from Mexico for his job as a stunt man, and to find the mother of his daughter.  The movie is about him raising Maggie and how his plan to find the mother backfires on him when the mother wants to take Maggie back.

What I learned

By watching this movie, I learned that Spanish movies can be very similar to movies we watch here in America.  Though the movie included much Spanish speaking and some Spanish culture, the movie is funny and follows the criteria of a movie I could normally watch. 

How I can apply this in the future

I can apply this to the future when in a situation where I have to watch a movie that I may not be interested in right away.  Knowing that the movie is a Spanish movie and that I have to watch it for school, I thought I was not going to like it at all before watching.  The movie actually turned out to be good and I really enjoyed it.


For my third comunidades, I went to the restaurant Sangria with some of my friends for dinner.  The tapas that are served are small dishes and we to share.  We ordered the cheese plate, which had 3 cheeses I was unfamiliar with accompanied by some sides such as Fig and honeycomb.  We also ordered fried calamari and Mediterranean flat bread. We also decided to order the ham and chicken croquettes, which I had never heard of or tried before.  

What I learned

By going to Sangria, I learned that not only is Spanish food different than American food, but it's also very different than the Mexican food I am use to.  I was expecting the restaurant to have the Mexican menu I am familiar with, but I was surprised by the items on the menu when we went to eat.  I learned that tapas were small plates of food.  The waiter explained this to us and recommended that we order more than one thing when we tried to order just the Croquettes.  I learned that foods from different Hispanic countries and cultures are very different.  

How I can apply this in the future

I can apply my dining experience at Sangria to the future with my knowledge that Hispanic cultures and countries are very unique in various different aspects. Throughout my years in Spanish class I never fully understood that even though multiple countries may share a common language, their cultures are still very different. I repeatedly make the mistake of incorrectly referring things directly to Mexican or Spanish cultures, never really thinking or worrying that there is a huge difference.  Since I was able to experience something of Hispanic culture that was unique to the Mediterranean, I better understand how much of a difference I have been overlooking. I can now use this to help me avoid the mistake of thinking all Hispanic cultures are the same.


The two most interesting things I learned about the Hispanic culture this year would be how different each hispanic country is from each other and learning more about spending time abroad in Spain.  I found it very interesting when I realized how unique the different hispanic cultures are because they share a similar language, yet are still very different from each other in multiple ways.  The podcast was also very interesting to me because I was able to learn more about living abroad in a spanish-speaking country. This was interesting to me because it is something I want to do in college, so learning more about it was a good experience for me.  

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