Spanish club shares journey with Rotarians

8 years ago
By Diane Hines
Houlton Rotarian
PT BU ROTARY SPANISH 25 16 17907385Contributed photo/Nate Bodenstab
Houlton Rotarians heard a presentation from Houlton High School teacher Traci Storti and students June 13 on Storti’s Spanish class trip to Spain. Rotarian Julie Delano, left, sponsored their visit to the Houlton Rotary. With Delano are, from left, Traci Storti, Amira Abouleish, Sam Astle and Nathan Bouchard.  

HOULTON — The Houlton Rotary Club enjoyed a presentation at their July, 13, luncheon meeting by a group from Houlton High School who traveled to Spain for 11 days over the April vacation. The speakers were Traci Storti, Houlton High School Spanish teacher and students, Amira Abouleish, Sam Astle and Nathan Bouchard.

The participants in the voyage were Storti and Dan Hodgins (chaperone) and 13 students who had been studying Spanish at HHS. They met up with students from schools in Massachusetts and Vermont and flew to Spain together.

The group left from Bangor airport and arrived in Barcelona to spend the first two days before proceeding to Valencia, Granada, the Costa Del Sol, Seville, Cordoba and Madeira. Storti and her students went to Spain for the immersion experience to be in a country and speak the language to the natives. They were struck by the different dialects in each city they visited and realized that Spain wasn’t all that different from America where there are also regional accents.

They visited different historical sites, but one of their favorites was La Alhambra, built by the Moors as a military fort. The Alhambra became the residence of royalty and of the court of Granada in the middle of the thirteenth century. Beautiful architecture and a strong Islamic influence in its design was kept intact when the Christians took it in 1492. The students were struck by the fact that the Christians honored the Muslim design.

Amira Abouleish loved the visit to the Gypsy home and, as a dancer herself, admired the gypsy dancing performed in a long hall. The hall was called a cave with chairs on each side. Gypsy dancing is very passionate and is a predecessor of Flamenco dancing.

The group agreed that they met lots of new friends and shared the impact to their lives. Sam Astle will be majoring in linguistics and enjoyed the experience of speaking Spanish to the natives. Abouleish will be studying in Canada and would like to travel. Nathan Bouchard would also like to travel more. And Storti encouraged global travel as a good way to grow. She would also like to see another trip to Spain with more students able to partake in this travel in 2018.