Explore
Questions/Comments?Contact Us

19 posts categorized "Flo Fusco"

Life of a Teacher

Week one and a half completed. I don't have any gossip about the teachers or the students. So far, no drama. Shame, I love gossip and drama.

Below is my walk to school in Valdebernardo, Madrid. 

IMG_3915

In the background is my school, IES Valdebernardo. I wasn't too creative with this shot. 

I'll admit, thinking back on my high school experience, I thought I'd be intimidated to introduce myself. I realized pretty quickly that talking to a bunch of thirteen year olds is easy when they have no idea what you're saying. Crisis averted. 

The most fun I had was answering questions. I forgot what teenagers consider important. I've compiled a series of the most popular questions that got thrown at me, and my answers. 

  1. Do you have a boyfriend? Nope. 
  2. Have you ever met a celebrity? Nope. 
  3. How do you say "Johnny Depp?" Johnny Depp.
  4. Do you play Pokemon? No, but I collected the cards when I was little.
  5. What's your favorite Pokemon? Magnemite. 
  6. Do you like Harry Potter? Yes. 
  7. Are you from London? Nope. 
  8. Whats your favorite color? Yellow. 
  9. How long have you liked your favorite color? Since I was little and I asked my mom to paint my room yellow.
  10. What do you eat on your pizza? Chicken and pineapple.
  11. What's your favorite football team? Leicester City.
  12. Do you like Justin Bieber? I do.
  13. Who is your favorite singer? JUNGLE, it's a musical group. 
  14. Why do you like Spain? The buildings are different, and the culture is welcoming.
  15. Why do you like teaching? Because you kids make me smile.

After class a quiet student in the back of the room brought me this: 

IMG_3917

He said, "your favorite." Got to catch them all.

Live Large and Sparkle,

XO,

 

Flo

5 Things to See and Do in Segovia, Spain

What I love most about Madrid is the transportation system. A twenty-five minute speed train for eight euros takes you right to Segovia. Being a chica on a budget, this is exactly what I did. 

Right off the train you are instantly hit with a potent smell of cow dung and a view of the mountains. In a weird way- breathable and refreshing. Madrid city life can sometimes take away one's sense of location.

Segovia is a small and incredibly old city in Spain. It takes about fifteen minutes to walk from one end of the center to the other. Turns out, there's a lot a person can do with this time.

1. ALCAZAR DE SEGOVIA

Take a walk through this historical masterpiece. The Alcazar De Segovia has inspired multiple Castles in Walt Disney classics such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White

IMG_3857

On the thirteenth of December, 1474, just a handful of centuries before Taylor Swift was born on the thirteenth of December, 1989, Princess Isabella was crowned Queen. 

IMG_3856

2. CATEDRAL DE SEGOVIA

There are moments when a work of art takes your breath away. For me, this was the Cathedral of Segovia, constructed in 1525 and the last Gothic cathedral to be built in Spain. I took snapshots from high angles, low angles, frontal views, selfies, portraits...the works. Then I moved to Snapchat.

IMG_3855

3. ACUEDUCTO DE SEGOVIA

The Segovia Aqueduct is an architectural wonder. It was built by the Roman Empire at the end of the first century, and stands based on a technique of balance, not a drop of cement or mortar. There are a total of one hundred and sixty-six arches. The Segovia Aqueduct was in use until the nineteenth century. 

IMG_3868

4. COCHINILLO ASADO

Lunch. Segovia's roasted suckling pig is world famous. 

This dish is a three week old baby pig, cooked crisp- but not greasy- a perfect golden shell. It comes with the head, the legs, everything attached. Similar to the ending of the movie A Christmas Story when the ducks head comes out on a plate at the Chinese restaurant, "It's smiling at me."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTq20prt0K8 

I am not an animal-activist-lover kind of person so none of this is a bother. I will argue the Segovia suckling pig is now one of my favorite dishes, next to the barracuda and coconut rice from Tofo Beach, Mozambique. 

5. SELFIES CON AMIGAS

...And of course, taking selfies with besties because we basic and we know it:

IMG_3863

 

 

La Latina: New Barrio

I have three brothers, two of them own a Go Pro Hero Plus. I somehow managed to convince the younger of the two to loan me the device for a year. I guess this confirms they love me.  

The Go Pro has always intimidated me. It's not a touch screen, which slightly blows my mind. No touch screen generally means, "I am ancient. I was invented alongside the light bulb." 

I got over this fear. I whipped that thing into shape within a matter of minutes, 4:56 was the exact length of the YouTube video. Now I'm an expert. 

This excites me. For the longest time I've been hashtagging my Instagram posts with "#GoPro," when it was really just a disposable, or a photo from my cool roommates camera roll. 

I took the G.P. Hero out for a spin in my new barrio: La Latina. Take a peek! These photos were taken around sunset, giving the old neighborhood a little spice. The cute streets, colorful brick walls, and dancing spaces made me smile. I think you will smile too. 

IMG_3615

IMG_3614

IMG_3584

IMG_3616

Remember Chicos y Chicas, Live Large Y Sparkle!

XO,

 

Flo

The Problem with Vintage

I moved in to my new apartment on September ninth, right on schedule. As relieved as I am that the apartment search is over, I can't say its been easy. 

The majority of my daily routine revolves around a 2011 MacBook Pro. Turns out I haven't updated its software since 2013, which could have lead to this current crash and burn. How do I know this? Because the Genius Bar told me after That '70s Show wouldn't load on Netflix. 

 It was a devastating process. I only knew of one Apple store in the center of Sol, Madrid's version of NYC Times Square. I arrived at 9:30 a.m. My name got put down for an 11:30 a.m. appointment. I went home, came back; turns out I was accidentally scheduled for 11:00  a.m. and since I "missed it," my appointment was canceled. I pouted in the corner for about another hour and half waiting for my painfully rescheduled time slot. The only perk was this hottie of an Apple Genius helping the customers at my table (wish he spoke English, wish I spoke Spanish). 

My computer got wiped clean. I have no pictures, no Microsoft, no music. Now my mouse does that weird thing when you scroll down but the webpage moves upward. The "exit" buttons on all the tabs are on the left and not the right. The desktop has this vague ocean picture that looks like a knock-off National Geographic Instagram pic. 

The pictures I could not post today are what I will be making up for in the next couple days. I'm taking out the big guns: Go Pro. And remember: Always Time Machine. Lesson learned. 

Live Large and Sparkle,

XO,

 

Flo

Hemingway

Old Man and the Sea

The Sun also Rises

A Farewell to Arms

A Moveable Feast

Islands in the Stream

Garden of Eden

For Whom the Bell Tolls

These are the novels I have read by Ernest Hemingway, in order. I have four left to complete before I move on to his short stories. 

This past Sunday, 28 de Agosto, life became real-world Hemingway.

Running of the Bulls

Rob

In San Sebastian, Spain, it was time to celebrate Saint Sebastian. The fiesta lasts all week. Every day at 11:00 a.m. men and angsty teenage boys line up in the streets, the bulls behind them. The gun goes off and everyone just... runs. Cow bells ring, people with Saint Sebastian hankies tied around their necks scream, and I just stood there with my phone on the ready trying to cut the line. Maybe cow bells weren't ringing, could be an American thing I added to the memory. 

The noise gets louder as the runners and bulls get closer. Being my first time, my heart was pounding harder than the approaching footsteps. Running of the Bulls is a cultural tradition written throughout generations in classic literature such as Hemingway's, no one can prepare for that moment.

Race

When the runners and bulls passed, it was not intense and it was not scary. It was hilarious. The bulls had an aura similar to that of the house dog back home, Sadie the Golden Doodle. All I could picture in the street were a bunch of scared men running free with a herd of Golden Doodles (half Retriever, half Poodle). Straight into the arena for capea, the men continued playing with Sadie, making her excited, playing with bright colored dress capes. It was all very familiar, minus the horns and the attempted goring. 

Safe to say: I loved it. 

Live Large and Sparkle.

XO,

 

Flo

 

 

 

 

Carbs & Bread

!Hola! Amigos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hablo un paco de espanol!

I have officially been placed level A1 at Tandem Escuela Internacional. Thus, don't rely too much on what I wrote in line one. 

I am in Madrid, Spain, one long Air Europa flight later. I walked straight into orientation all excited, and I was wearing my favorite flannel I bought at Goodwill. It's cool, it has a zipper.

I am meeting interesting strangers in the four week teach in Spain immersion program. I realize people are weird in an incredibly perfect way. I walked through Plaza Mayor de Madrid a couple of times, I took a picture of a famous statue: a guy and his horse. I even made a few nightly Agosto fiesta stops and danced to espanol songs I couldn't sing along to. 

There is one thing that has completely taken over my train of thought. First night of orientation a bread basket was served at dinner. Now, this bread. This bread was an amazing pile of carbs. The top had a diamond cut design, and it tasted like a legend. One small piece at a time. 

Bread1

Looking at the picture, each plate has half a loaf yet to be nibbled. This does not mean we ate only half the portion at this given time. Here comes the best part. Every fifteen minutes, waiters with paella sized baskets refilled the individual bread plates as if it were a glass of water. 

A couple close up shots: 

Bread2

Bread3

My heart broke when I discovered this was not going to be the average day bread roll I ate on an every day basis. I do believe I can find it again.

My search begins. 

XO,

 

Flo

Packing Fashion

I'm learning a few things. 

If I am going to live and work in Madrid, Spain, I need to dress and look the part. It's not required, I wouldn't mind being a tourist for an entire year and mixing up my 'ir' and 'er' conjugated verbs. That would be silly, and being silly is fun. I have a goal, which is to be as fun and flirty as possible. 

I. Must. Sparkle. 

This reasonable and easily achievable target (if I work hard enough) makes packing complicated. Now that I am almost done with the process, I have drafted up a few steps I took to reach completion. 

Step One: See the clothes in your closet? Put them all on your brothers bed, not your bed; where would you sleep? Lil bro gets the couch. 

Step Two: It is humanly possible to fit those clothes in two suitcases. Fold, refold, and refold until it fits. 

Everyone wants to splurge on something new for their big bon voyage. I consider this the bonus question on a final exam. Can you, or can you not, save enough space in the suitcase for a fresh off-the-rack outfit? The good news: I got this question right. 

Below is my new romper. 

Spain 1

She comes from Planet Blue, 191 Lafayette. Straight out of SoHo, Manhattan. A real beauty from my favorite designer, For Love and Lemons. I don't own a romper. This is my first so I wanted to open with a bang. I see myself walking through the streets of Madrid, adventuring and snapping cool pics for social media. All a while wearing my new romper, of course. 

^I get to make this happen because I got the bonus question right. 

I am going to eat pastries that are too beautiful to be edible, while wearing my romper. I am going to hold a hot loaf of bread, while wearing my new romper. 

There will be plenty of clothes to buy in Spain but every girl needs a little something to spark the fashionable inspiration before cruising into a city like Madrid. 

"Gospel." That's what Coco Chanel would say.

XO,

 

Flo

 

 

One Month

I am home from Africa. Home is Connecticut, USA.

Connecticut is not my first choice state in this country. It is kind of boring but it has it's perks. One being it is a two hour bus ride to Boston, the other being it is a two hour train ride to NYC

I have an estimated four weeks in Hometown, USA to:  

  1. Apply for a Language and Cultural Assistant Visa
  2. Celebrate July 4
  3. Extract four Wisdom Teeth
  4. Learn Spanish and Turn 23 (Due: July 15th)

Four tasks, four weeks. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. I did however manage: three tasks, two weeks (task number four could not be expedited). 

As to not complicate the story, I am going to give a brief synopsis.

I spent one and a half weeks arguing with this pink haired middle aged woman about my background check. Finally got the background check and ran around one full 24 hours getting seals, notarizations, copies, and scans on this piece of paper. 

Woke up: train to NYC Consulate where I dump all my hard work into this obscure mailbox. Train back to Hometown, USA. 

One hour break.

Afternoon: Bus to Boston where friends I have not seen in 365 days pick me up. We cry. We giggle. 

Night: Car drive to Cape Cod. Happy July 4th. 

Four days later: Wisdom teeth extraction. 

Welcome to present time. I could give you more details, but everyone knows the obvious. My mouth hurts. I want my Visa. I want clothes I can't afford from NYC. I love my friends. My mouth hurts. 

I now have about two weeks left before moving to Spain with one task left on my agenda. In five days I need to be Pro Spanish and turn 23. 

Wish my luck! ( I need it).

Here are some fun pics of my friends and I reunited after one year. We get silly. 

IMG_2465

IMG_2524

IMG_2531

The Ending of a Chapter.

Lately, everything around me seems to scream "visa!" I have been getting emails left and right, inboxes from friends, and blog notifications from other writers. Remember: visa Q&A 10:00 AM. Remember: background check ASAP. Remember, Remember. 

My excitement for Spain is too great to express in words. A whole year in Europe with three of my best friends and doing the work I love? It gives off that "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants II" kind of vibe. 

But right now I'm not in Spain and I'm not home. I am in Africa. I have been living in Johannesburg, South Africa since August 4th, 2015. Five years ago I bought a poster of this continent and I hung it on my wall. Now I'm here, and I don't know if I want to let it go just yet. 

I have, almost, exactly one month left to explore the "little things" I know I am going to miss. Recently, I have driven the Panorama Route in the Mpumalanga province, pretended to be a spelunker at the Sterkfontein Caves, and leisurely wandered through our famous Arts on Main market. 

I feel this chapter of my life coming to an end when yesterday I looked at it as my latest adventure. All that is left to do is block out the noise and enjoy every day in the present. Time moves fast enough and the future is coming soon. For now? I am a little Flo in a big country and my life is a true story. 

Live Large and Sparkle.

XO,

 

Flo

P.S.

FLO

Keep Me Updated