How did you spend your summer? Swimming and bicycling? Working?
For Syracuse High School Senior Jay Gould, he took the opportunity of a lifetime. He explored Spain for five weeks with foreign exchange student Inigo Moral. Moral hails from Valladolid, Spain.
Last year, the Gould family took Moral on several trips to Denver, Kansas City, Lake McConaughy in Nebraska, and the mountains of Colorado.
Gould had hoped to spend a year in a Spanish speaking country, wanting to learn Spanish his whole life. “A lot of my friends and their families speak Spanish, so I really wanted to learn the language. I like the people and I love the food!”
He considered traveling to South America, Chile, or Argentina, “But nothing compares to immersing yourself completely in a language where you are forced to speak it, read it, and where everything is in Spanish,” said Gould, “When the two arrived last fall, the thought occurred to me, maybe I could go to Spain!”
“Inigo’s parents appreciated our hospitality, and agreed to let me come,” said Gould. The boys flew into Madrid and traveled two hours more to get to Moral’s hometown. The two spent a few days recuperating from the trip and did a little sightseeing.
The weather is Spain was like Syracuse, hot in the summer, “But no one has air conditioning, or clothes dryers,” said Gould. Cars were different too, “They all had manual transmissions and I did not recognize any car manufacturers, except for Renault, which is where Inigo’s father worked.”
Gould said, “My plan was to go to school, go to the gym and lift weights after school. When Moral returned to his routine of high school classes, Gould attended a Spanish language school. “There was women from Guyana, Thailand and Morocco. They were learning Spanish because they were living in Spain,” said Gould,” I was the youngest in my class, the rest were in their thirties.”
“Everything was in Spanish and my teacher did not know English, only French and Spanish. It was a little intimidating at first, but my understanding got better as the time went on because I had to communicate all summer in Spanish,” said Gould.
“I would go to school, then when school was out at 2:30, Inigo, his brother and I, wherever we were, we returned home to have lunch with his parents. Everyone eats lunch together, then it is siesta time! Everyone naps in Spain.” Their dinner hour was at 9:00 PM then off to bed. ‘We ate a lot of seafood, and the bread is amazing.”
Gould was able to speak some English with Moral’s family. “They would speak some English sometimes to help me relax a little bit, because they knew I was stressed speaking Spanish all day every day.”
Gould became immersed in local culture, the language, and seeing architecture.
They visited the expansive medieval Alcázar palace and the famous Segovia aqueduct, “The roman aqueduct, was beautiful,” he said, “The most we traveled in Spain was about three hours away. If you travel eight hours, you would be in a different country. Here in America, you’re in a different state.”
Weekends they spent visiting some popular tourist attractions. “The architecture is incredible in Spain, each city has a huge cathedral, which were both old and beautiful!” said Gould.
The two also attended a weeklong basketball camp in northeastern Spain. “We went from 8:00 AM to 11:00 at night! Basketball there is more physical, sort of like street basketball here. They do not care about the small things like traveling, or hands all over you, that’s normal for them,” explained Gould, “I had to be more aggressive.”
One highlight for Gould was participating in the celebration of Saint Antonio in a city about 15 minutes away called La Flecha. “Each city has their own saint designated that they celebrate,” said Gould, “The celebration continues all night, food, live bands, and thousands of people all packed together like sardines.”
The most fun part of the celebration for Gould was participating in the running of the bulls. “The roads are narrow, and they lined them with metal fences, leaving spaces between each panel so you could jump in and jump out,” he said, “The bulls are not special trained bulls, they are wild.”
“There were hundreds of people running either behind or behind the two bulls. I ran behind, and we all chased them into an arena then everyone was running around playing with them, taunting them with the red cloths, playing matador.”
Gould explained the arena was similar in size to the Herndon Gym. “When they are finished, they bring in tame cows with bells on them which calms the bulls, and they lead the bulls out of the arena.”
Gould communicated with people back home via WhatsApp, on his phone. “I had no idea what was happening in the United States, but was thankful to connect with everyone each night. I did get a little homesick on July 4th when all of my family was together, over there it was just another normal day.”
His five weeks in Spain came to an end and he traveled to Germany, to visit Lennart Niemeyer. Gould has wanted to see Germany and said it was green and beautiful. He was surprised by how much farmland there was there. “It reminded me of the United States. They raise wheat and corn, I wasn’t expecting that,
Niemeyer taught Gould a few words in German, the first was I have no change, “Because there is a lot of homeless people there,” said Gould.
Gould is grateful for the opportunity he had to make the trip possible. “I’m forever thankful to have met Indigo’s family and for everything they did for me. The thing I enjoyed the most from my trip was all of the relationships I built while I was there and all of the people I met. The friends I made, Inigo’s family, and my teacher and classmates.”
Gould is a few weeks into his senior year at SHS, playing football, and looking forward to basketball and baseball. His future plans include going into real estate in Garden City. “I am mentored by a good realtor who does not know Spanish and by knowing Spanish I could help that population,” said Gould. He hopes to return to Spain in a couple years to visit. “My time there was well spent, I definitely understand more, I’m not fluent yet, but I’m learning more.”
Last Thursday, the Hamilton County Fire Department held their Fireman’s Appreciation Dinner. County Fire Chief Ed Baker and four other firefighters retired. Years of service awards were announced and those recognized were Ed Baker who has served Hamilton... [More]
The 2023 Kansas State Fair began September 8 and continues through September 17, 2023. If you are headed there this weekend, you may want to check out the 4-H building where many local 4-H youth will have their work on display. To be eligible to take non animal exhibits... [More]
Fall sports are in full swing and Bulldog fans had an opportunity to cheer on cross country, golf, cheer, junior high and high school volleyball and football, all in the same week. Junior high and high school cross country travelled to Goodland Thursday August 31,... [More]
Pictured L to R - Carlos Huato, Antonio Banda, Sally Catlett, Griselda Sigala, Erica Rodriguez, Frank Garcia, Shelby Hernandez/photo by Michele Boy
Stella Simon wakes each morning in her bedroom to a wall of trophies, medals, and ribbons. Fourteen All-Around Champion trophies, 193 medals, and 6 ribbons. There is more if you count participation trophies and All-Around medals. The Syracuse Journal has been following... [More]
Country singer Clare Dunn will headline a benefit concert at the Prowers County Fairgrounds Arena on Saturday, September 2nd to help with recovery efforts after an EF-3 tornado destroyed the home of John and Myrna DuVall. Dunn who grew up in Two Buttes has plenty of Syracuse... [More]
1971 SHS graduate, Grace (Boy) Donecker, retired from a 32 year career in nursing, but the path was not a straight one. “I was never going to be a nurse. I hated needles!” Grace grew up just south of Syracuse where Dave and Jenny Schwieterman live. Gordon and Lois... [More]
The wheat harvest of 2023 will go down in history. For ending in August, for testing for sprouting, and for heavy rainfall. On Tuesday, August 1, Ken Keller is harvesting wheat. I caught up with him driving to his last quarter before the predicted rains come in. Keller... [More]
At the funeral of a friend’s father this week, the priest said something that has stuck with me. So often at funerals I think the focus is on the glory of Heaven and what joy there is. But it is rare we stop and discuss the emptiness that is left behind. During his... [More]
I am home from State Fair. A little excited, a little behind, a little tired, and a little sore. I walked almost eight miles the first day. I feel like that is worth noting. To all the show parents out there, I see you. When I got back, a few situations arose with... [More]
Here we are in September. I thought the summer flew by. Well, hang onto your hats, I feel like this week I was strapped into a rollercoaster speeding down the track. It’s not all bad but it is crazy. We spent a couple hours helping sort cattle this weekend... [More]
Here we are at the end of August. School is underway, the first home high school football game is tomorrow. Fall is in the air. It’s just an expression as temperatures are predicted to be in the upper 90s. I haven’t slept much lately. In the wee hours... [More]
A former owner and editor of the newspaper dropped by my office the other day. She is beautiful, smart, fun, and so vibrant. We talked about her life. She is busy. She is active. She is involved in her church, in her community, in having fun, and keeping active. It... [More]
Last week there was a New York Times article about farming in Syracuse Kansas. I read it and was impressed. The writing surpassed anything I am capable of at this time. It bruised my ego a bit. My confidence was taken down a couple notches. I took a breath... [More]
I’m writing this on my way to one last sheep show midweek before school starts here. At 5:30 AM we were on the road. For those who know me that is a rare occurrence. The air is cool. The sunrise is beautiful and I wonder why I don’t take the time to enjoy these... [More]
The pastor on Sunday mentioned suffering is good. Or I think I heard that. I was after fair tired and wanted some refreshment. But it turned out it was what I needed to hear. Sometimes suffering pushes us to do more. For the sake of small town and the public not knowing... [More]
State golf on Monday had the Varsity Bulldogs miss playing in the finals as a team by one stroke. They finished seventh out of twelve teams. On Day 1, Brody Keller shot a 92 missing day two by two strokes. Ian Brummett shot a 95, Mason Scott and Johnny TeVelde shot... [More]
Junior High Boys Basketball A, B, and C teams travelled to Elkhart on Monday, November 21. The A team won 41-34, B team won 26-21, and C team lost to Elkhart 13-20. Head Coach Vance Keller said, “Elkhart was a tough win for both the A and B teams but both grinded... [More]
The Lady Bulldogs were undefeated during the Border Wars, defeating Eads on Friday, 42-7 and Walsh on Saturday 62-5, bringing their record to 3-1. But the winner wasn’t announced until Tuesday evening. Syracuse Athletic Director Josh Johnson explained, “It came down... [More]
Monday night at home at the Herndon Gym, the Junior High boys swept Lakin! Head coach Vance Keller said, “We’re a young team with only six eighth graders and 12 seventh graders. We’ve had six total that started the season with injuries so we haven’t had... [More]
Three Syracuse High School volleyball seniors were honored on Tuesday, October 5, during the volleyball tournament at Syracuse. Kaetlin Thomeczek, daughter of Joe and Dami Thomeczek has played volleyball since the third grade, playing with Syracuse Youth Activities Association... [More]
Head coach Steve Navarro said, “The coaching staff has really enjoyed working with this group of kids this year. They have been putting in hard work despite some less than stellar conditions for practice and meets. We are excited to see what they can do now that we are... [More]
Baseball: The Bulldogs faced the Goodland Cowboys at home on Thursday, April 8, losing game one, 2-22 and game two, 1-17. Head Coach Dustin Doze said the Bulldogs really struggled throwing strikes again and they had too many errors. We need to clean things up if we want to... [More]
One year ago, athletes and coaches were beginning practice for their spring sport, some practicing during spring break, others enjoying the break from school. Soon they found out their break was extended a week, some with great joy, others with apprehension. Then came the unfortunate... [More]
A Memorial Service for Syracuse, Kansas resident, Jim Brucker will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, September 22, 2023 at the First United Methodist Church in Syracuse. Pastor Larry Alexander will officiate. James G. Brucker, known to most as Brucker, was born June 27,... [More]
Timothy J. “Tim” Haslett, 75, of Syracuse, Kansas, passed away at home (after a fall) on September 13, 2023. Tim was born September 26, 1947, in Dodge City, Kansas. He was the oldest of seven children born to Floyd B. and Magdalene (Stegman) Haslett. Tim was a farm... [More]
Patricia Berniece Tyler of Denison, Texas, passed away on September 7, 2023, at the age of 82. She was born on November 3, 1940, in Cairo, Kansas, to Albert Alexander and Lois Aletha (Wilson) Clark. Patricia had a caring and nurturing spirit. She loved working as a nurse and... [More]
Robert "Bobby" Nelson Moore, 56, of Seward County, Kansas passed away in the early morning hours of Saturday, September 2, 2023, at Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo, TX Bobby was born in Waynoka, Oklahoma on July 5, 1967, and was lovingly adopted by Jackson Nelson Moore... [More]
A Memorial Service for Kerri Lonnberg will be held Friday, September 8, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at the Holly School with Pastor Kathy Leathers officiating. Kerri Lynn Lonnberg departed this life September 1, 2023 in Denver, Colorado at the age of 44. She was born August 1,... [More]
Marvin (Babe) E. Graber passed away August 31, 2023 at the age of 89 at the Hamilton County Hospital in Syracuse, Kansas. Marvin was born at his family home in Kendall, Kansas on March 20, 1934. He was the youngest of six siblings born to John and Carrie Graber. Marvin graduated... [More]
A Memorial Service for Coolidge, Kansas resident, David Wagner will be held Saturday, September 2, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly, Colorado. Inurnment will take place at a later date. Per David’s request cremation has taken place and... [More]
Dr. Leo Russell Finkenbinder, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, university professor, and biologist passed away on August 8, 2023. His memorial service will be held on Monday, August 28, 2023, at 10:00am. Bethany First Church... [More]
©2023 The Syracuse Journal. Powered by Pluto Sites.