Spanish Nights to Ohio Exchanges

West Geauga welcomes Almu

Spanish Nights to Ohio Exchanges

     Many people travel abroad for multiple weeks on vacation, but what would it be like to stay in one place for an entire year ? Almudena Sierra Rivas, also known as “Almu,” is one who has just embarked on this journey from the big city of Madrid (in Spain), as part of a foreign exchange program. She is 16 years old and first heard about the opportunity when the school sent a message to her parents. Through the organization, the state of Ohio was selected for her.

     Back home she has one brother, but here in the U.S. she is living with a host sister as well as her host parents, Randy and Cate Mares. Unlike in Spain, here in Ohio she also has pets: two dogs and one cat.

     Almudena feels that West G is a “very good school” and that the people are very friendly; she has also noticed that students in the U.S. learn subjects differently than in Spain. She loves the American “accent” and is currently trying to learn it. In her free time she plays tennis and also enjoys riding horses, skiing, and playing instruments for fun, like her Spanish guitar. Her goal is to visit Florida and Hawaii while she is here because a lot of people have told her that those places are really cool.

     One of her favorite traditions from back in Spain is “Las Fallas” in Valencia. Throughout the year in Spain, large statues of “typical” Valencian girls, wearing long white dresses with red spots and fliers, are constructed. There is one day of the year when these are burned, and the rest of the week is filled with fireworks and other festivities for people all over Spain to come take part in. She also enjoys the “wine war” in Zaragoza and San Fermin in Pamplona.

     After her schooling is over, Almudena would like to further her education at a college, although she is not sure which one yet. She has the ambitious goal of studying marketing or even working to become an actress.