Family holiday in Chapel Hill

This year I had the privilege of ending my summer holiday by inviting my younger sister and her two oldest kids to spend a few days with me in Chapel Hill. It was fantastic! We all flew at the end of July into North Carolina only to find that the battery had died on old Helmut. So the next day, after a delicious breakfast at Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe and jump starting the car, we headed out to Audi Cary where they lent us a wonderful Q5 for the day while they changed the battery!

We drove to Raleigh where we visited Ray Price Harley Davidson, with its great drag racing museum. Then we went to downtown where we visited the Museum of Natural Sciences and had lunch at the Museum of History.

During our ten days here we went to church, visited every corner of campus, the Basketball Museum, the Planetarium, the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Wilson Library, the Ackland Museum, Hillsborough with its fantastic Matthew´s chocolates and Ayr Mount plantation, we even went to Duke (shhhh!!) and Durham.

They met some of my favorite people from Chapel Hill: my classmate, office mate, and little sister (in the absence of my real little sister) Alejandra who picked us up at the airport, Patrick my mailman, the folks at Ye Olde Waffle Shop, Missy Julian Fox, the folks at the Ronald McDonald House, Father Bill and Adam at church, the folks at Trader Joe’s, even the High Priest, Professor Frank Dominguez.

The culinary experience was just as awesome, we went to Five Guys, Suttons, Maple View farm for ice cream, Buns for their grilled salmon sandwich, Mellow Mushroom for Pizza, Top of the Hill, Akai Hana for sushi, and the highlight being North Carolina barbecue.

Other highlights were when we played soccer on one of the soccer fields, or when we set up the big screen digital projector home theater to watch Disney’s Alexander and Annie, volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill, visiting the Mall (and the outlet mall), Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target, and of course Walmart, which Jimmy loved.

We had a blast. My niece, infused by the entrepreneurial spirit of the land set up a table on the street to sell her hand-made bracelets. Unfortunately, living in a dead-end street in August meant that she did not have many costumers – although she did manage a couple of sales, the proceeds of which she donated to the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill!

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Southpoint Academy

Last fall I was privileged to teach Spanish at a Kindergarten and Lower School in Durham, the next town over, where that other university is.

Southpoint Academy is the school where my Course Coordinator of last semester sends her son. They needed a Spanish teacher on Thursdays – my day off last semester, and although I was a little nervous at first, I soon fell in love with the kids.

I taught three sections of half an hour each. The Kindergarten class with 17 5 year old students, then a 1st and 2nd grade class with 12 students aged between 6 and 7, and a 3rd and 4th grade class with 9 students aged 8 and 9.

Our classes were very intense and we had a great time learning Spanish! I loved the diversity and enthusiasm of the children! The school is conveniently located across the street from the mall, so after class, if I had time, I enjoyed having lunch and walking around the mall! Another great incentive if the weather was nice was to ride old Rocinante! It was only a fifteen minute ride, but it is better than nothing.

Unfortunately this semester I received an assistantship from the university to be a Graduate Research Consultant for my Thesis Director’s undergraduate literature class, so I had to give up my teaching at Southpoint.

Southpoint Academy

Southpoint Academy