Brevin Scullion, Parker Cote, and Kaleb McCloud
This past summer, senior Joey Armenta traveled to La Manga, Spain, a city on the southeast coast of Spain, on a foreign exchange trip for four weeks. He went through a short term foreign exhange program called Rotary International. Armenta traveled through this program in hopes of improving his Spanish language in and out of school. “It would be cool to be fluent in two different languages.” Armenta said. “He wanted to travel outside of the US to experience a different culture than ours,” said senior Joe DiDomenico.
In Spain, Armenta stayed with a host family that was provided by the Rotary International Program. “They welcomed me with open arms,” said Armenta. He spent most of his time with the son and daughter of the host family, who are around his age. During his stay in Spain, he met many friends that he still stays in contact today via social media.
Armenta said that our way of life in America differs from life in Spain. Armenta was able to experience the Spanish culture first hand. “We would stay up late and party at night,” said Armenta. Parties would consist of singing and dancing to cultural songs. During the day Armenta and his host family would sleep during the siestas, which are short naps taken during the afternoon. This is a common tradition in the Spanish culture. “Joey described the food as boring and plain. He enjoyed the food much better here,” said DiDomenico. Armenta learned a lot by living through his host family’s life and doing things that they would do on a normal day.
“He came back a different person, in a good way,” said DiDomenico; “he enjoyed his experience there and would love to go back.” Armenta has plans to return to La Manga, Murcia, Spain this upcoming summer.
Wouldn’t one miss home you might ask? Armenta did miss his friends, family and the way of life back home, but he got to experience something that the average person may never do in a lifetime. “He kept in touch with us as best as he could while away,” said DiDomenico. Joey returned with gifts for his friends John Bridge and Joe.
During the four weeks that he spent in La Manga, Murcia, Armenta witnessed a whole new way of life. He not only got to experience the culture, but live through the culture with friends that he will remember for the rest of his life. “He came back a better man,” DiDomenico said.