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All Posts By

Dale Aalbers

Dance with me

By | 2016, Europe | No Comments

During our European learning adventure, I had so many different firsts in terms of experiences. Some of these included dancing and singing barefoot in the rain, falling in love with museums and artists, utterly being disturbed by some art while also developing a love and attachment to these places, peoples and cultures. I really cherish opportunities to interact with people, so I will share an experience I had in Agny, France.

While we waited to enter our new hostel, there were a variety of young people around. I later learned that they were preparing to counsel at a camp. As we sat or stood near a stairwell, we watched the youth work on a dance routine. Personally, I really enjoy dancing to music and I was missing this form of expression, because my previous travel semester to Asia was filled with music and karaoke. So as I was trying to copy their actions from across the small parking lot, I was invited to come over and join in. As I walked over there, I expected to participate in their routine, but was told to stand across from them as if they expected me to teach them something.

I don’t know how it exactly happened after this point, but someone started the music and I began putting moves together. Normally I don’t lead a dance, but it was lots of fun as I made actions up on the fly. Dancing back and forth, I looked over to the stairwell and saw my classmates smiling and videotaping the group that was following. Some of the many moves included in this dance were from the dance preformed during the Indian meal flash mob. After finishing the song and having run out of ideas, I walked back to my fellow students, grateful for the opportunity to interact with local people. Later, as I watched the youth, they tried to imitate the dance and show their friends. I thought to myself, “maybe they think I taught them an official dance.” This was a unique experience, and one that I will cherish.

Same same but different

By | 2016, Europe | One Comment

After arriving in Barcelona, we unpacked and had a wonderful 3 course supper. On Monday morning we took our daily bus into the city center to explore and learn about Barcelona. This form of transit was quite different compared to our ‘tube’ Underground experience in London, as a bus isn’t quite prepared for an onslaught of 25 extra people. Nevertheless, we jammed into the bus and headed into Barcelona. Personally I love looking at new and unique buildings, and as we traveled this was my first time experiencing this Catalonian city. As we got close to Plaza Espanya, I saw a large circular stadium approaching. I became more and more excited and was in awe, as we approached the home of Barcelona FC, the football “soccer” team’s stadium.

Indeed, I love sports and it energizes me to see where they are played. So as I admired the largeness, colour, and architecture of this majestic building, Stefan spoke to me. He said “Isn’t it beautiful.” To this I responded, ‘Yes.’ There was a moment of silence and then I realized what he was actually talking about. Stefan was looking at the beautiful monument, which was right in the middle of the traffic circle. This became an aha moment for me, as to how we can be seeing and experiencing all sorts of different things. In London, I loved looking at monuments, but here in Barcelona the football stadium was the building that stood out to me.