Spanish students left lasting memories

(Video by Lizzi Clayton, Gazebo Assistant Editor)

By HADLEY NEAL, Gazebo Staff Writer

If you didn’t notice, for the past two weeks, Stratford had some new students.

These students are kind, funny, and, oh yeah, they’re from Spain. The 18 Spanish exchange students lived with Stratford families for two weeks, and they left Macon on Friday.

Each visiting student followed the normal school schedule, and attended all of their host’s classes. Of course, their favorite has been Spanish.

“It is just so easy to understand,’’ said Irene Gonzalez, of Valladolid, Spain.

Some pairs of students, like freshman Hannah Lovett and her exchange student, Esther Carrera Elvira, grew extremely close.

Lovett and Elvira had been emailing and skyping for about one month before Esther arrived in America. Lovett took her exchange student everywhere — from Piedmont Park’s Music Midtown, to see Moon Taxi at Macon’s Cox Capitol Theater, to Skyzone, and to their church service, as well.

Esther said she has thoroughly enjoyed being in Macon.

“My favorite part is all of the wonderful people I have met in America, the students here are all so nice and welcoming,” she said. She tried new foods during her stay in Georgia, the best in her opinion being macaroni and cheese, and “anything from Moe’s.”

She enjoyed playing volleyball and telling jokes. She and her host family’s personalities worked well together.

“I am almost 100 percent sure my family likes her more than me,’’ Lovett said. “She is such a positive influence, and with her here I have learned a lot more Spanish, I have learned how to share, and My mood has been way better.”

All of the host families were sad to see their visitors go, and even the students who didn’t host are upset.

“I am going to cry so much when Maria leaves. I’m just not ready to let her go,” said sophomore Ashlin Jackson.

The people from Spain added a light to Stratford’s hallways, and the students themselves are not ready to go home.

“I wish I could stay forever”, said Marina Labrador.

Exchange students from Spain enjoyed Stratford’s big win over Lincoln County last week. (Photo by KAITLYN NEEL, Gazebo Staff Writer)