It’s Fiesta Time

Patrycja Iwaniuk, The Netherlands

The Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara is a week of celebrating the traditions, history, heritage, and culture that has been in Santa Barbara for hundreds of years. Since the beginning of the week, the first preparations can be seen. Music can be heard on every corner of the street. The first Fiesta eggs can be bought and smashed to color the streets with colorful confetti and even the people dress up in beautiful and traditional costumes. They proudly walk through State Street giving it wonderful ambiance.

Also, here at the EF school and in the Santa Catalina residence the feeling of Fiesta is in the air. More and more decorations are being hung up in the school and even some teachers can be seen wearing some great colorful outfits. Wednesday was Tamale Day and some students had the opportunity to make some beautiful Fiesta eggs, which are by the way strictly forbidden to use in the residence. Luckily for us, there is enough space outside to break these eggs and throw some confetti on our friends. As Wednesday night was the grand opening at the Mission, Thursday morning the decorations were even greater. In the afternoon students were welcome to enjoy some chips with salsa and delicious churros. To add to that, in what way can you end the day better than having people break a piñata in the middle of the schoolyard?

The big days, however, were without hesitation Friday and Saturday. Before the big parade, everyone started to get out their chairs and blankets to save the best spot for the whole family. After a very long wait in the sun, the parade had begun. Dozens of beautiful horses gaited through State Street and the music played by the musicians completed the picture. It was really a new experience for me as a foreigner, since I have never seen or been to this kind of a parade. Over the past couple of days, I have really seen that the people of Santa Barbara cherish this week of joy and a lot of tourists who walk down the streets with the biggest smile when someone throws confetti to them. We can still savor the moment for a few weeks until the confetti disappears and then the first eggs can be eaten as a preparation for next year. As for me, this was my first time and hopefully not the last… VIVA LA FIESTA!

Homeless People in America

Melinda Bilmez, Belgium

This is one of the phenomena that you can see everyday, one of the things that increase through the years, one of the things you don’t worry about when you’re walking into the street.                                                                                                                                                    Homeless people are ” Individuals without permanent housing”.  I was wondering why there are so many more homeless in America than in Europe?

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The first things to understand about this phenomena is to look at the cause of homelessness in America.                                                                                                                                                  If we look at the statistics,there were 549,928 homeless people in 2016 counting 60% of male, 40% of women with 35% with children.                                                                                Since the financial crisis in 2008,the amount of homeless people has increased. Unemployment took a large space in this period, one of the reasons why people began to be homeless. Also, the decline of social services has had an impact on homelessness. That means that if you have less help you will probably decline, that’s what happened to some of them. The cost of housing had increased in this period,but not the salaries which can explain why some families had to go to the street.                                                                            We can talk about those “children” who were out of the foster care. At this age a child is not able to take care of herself as a parent would do which can lead to homelessness. The inmates who were leaving the prison can join this theory. The integration into society after years of jail isn’t easy.

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The second thing to understand about homelessness is the consequences of this situation. First of all, they can have many health problems such as illness, nutritional deficiencies, sleep deprivation, drug dependency, death and more. Homelessness causes also personal problems for example, less self-esteem, changes in behaviour, and increases in the chances of entering into the criminal system. Homeless people are not alone, sometimes with children. These will have consequences and it will start before the birth of the child, such as health problems, low immunity and emotional problems. They won’t have the chance to go to school, to learn and being cultivated. Their social or academic developments will be behind the expected level. The chances that they will leave the homelessness situation is low and very difficult. People who have been living in the street for a long time do not reach the age of 62, or not that often.

 The last thing to understand is how you can help those people. They don’t deserve this. Nobody does, so we should help them. There are many things that you can do such as donate money or items to an association like “whamministries”. You can show your respect by saying hello or goodbye and you can be a volunteer  to your local homeless shelter. If you want to go further you can buy them some food or invite them to go eat with you ; they need moral support. It is also important to encourage people around you to hire homeless people so they can have salaries to get out of this horrible situation. In San Francisco, Atlanta and New York you can download an app to help directly the people by giving them blanket, gloves, coat.

homeless sign

In conclusion, we can notice that homelessness as I said is a very common situation in America and it continues to grow with the years. California is the state with the biggest amount of homeless people and people don’t pay attention. You have many solutions to help them; you would be happy if someone would do the same for you.

Does the Street Art have a place in Galleries ?

Post graffiti, murals, frescoes or Urban Art, the Universe of the Street Art is known under many appelations. But where does it come from ? What were the changes ?

These different kind of appellations have evolved over time and with the artists in this movement. At the beginning the Street Art was known as “Graffiti” which was an act of vandalism during the 1960/1980s decades. 2018-06-24 11.52.31Nowadays, this form of Art which is exhibited in the international galleries, festivals or fairs like the “Urban Art Fair” in Paris, “District13 Art Fair” in Paris [which is coming soon in September 2018], “Beyond The Streets in Los Angeles” a huge showcase of graffiti and street art or the different festival of POW ! WOW ! in Hawaii, Long Beach, Washington and many other countries in the world.

This big change about Street Art in our time period evolved the attitudes and beliefs in this Art movement. Now, this kind of Art is perceived as cool and “in”, Artists don’t really need to hide anymore. Some of them became famous and can live on the income from their Art. Companies, city halls, associations and different kind of institutions call on these artists to beautify their buildings and facades. Artists are not perceived as “delinquent” like in the past when they could be arrested and go to jail for vandalism, but this fact depends as well on many aspects (location where the artists “graff” and if it can be legal or not).

Street Artists now are reconignized and some of them have their exhibits in Galleries because they deserve to be famous and well-known and live off their passion for their art. Their passion became their profession. However, if Street Art tends to be exhibited in galleries and only in galleries the movement will lose its meaning/value. If Artists forget the space that gave them their reputation, their birth as an Artist and they will expose/exhibit in Galleries, the fact that they wanted and desired to make Art accessible to the street, to people who don’t go on or are used to going in galleries will be lost and the debate on this accessibility and about money and business can be questioned.

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In other words, Artists should continue to do murals on the street and for free when they can/want and they have the right, as well if they wish to show and exhibit their Art in Galleries, Fairs, Festivals etc. Both can be combined for the well-being of each Artists.
E.F

Interview With New EF Student

Alba Cerdeno (Spain) & Daria Gloor (Switzerland)

D: How long are you going to stay in Santa Barbara?

A: I am going to stay in Santa Barbara for about six weeks.

D: Why did you choose Santa Barbara?

A: I chose Santa Barbara because I always wanted to visit California and I saw that EF had a school here in Santa Barbara. So I googled it and the pictures looked really nice!

D: And how do you like Santa Barbara so far?

A: It’s great! I like the Spanish architecture of the city and the open-minded lifestyle.

D: And how is your host family? Are you feeling good there?

A: So that’s a hard question, because the host mother is really nice, but the house is so dirty. There are a lot of spider webs, lots of dust and huge piles of books and magazines. Once my pillow fell to the floor and when I picked it up there were three dead mosquitos on it. It wasn’t a nice experience.

D: Oh that sounds awful! How many people live there?

A: In my host family, there is an old woman with one cat and there are also five students with me. They are all very nice and friendly.

D: So how do you get to school? Is it far away?

A: First I have to walk 15 to 20 minutes to the bus station and then drive by bus for about 10 minutes. From the bus station I have to walk another 5 minutes to the school. Overall it takes me half an hour to get to school.

D: So it’s your first week here. What have you done so far?

A: I went to the beach, to the farmers market and also to State Street and to the shops there.

D: What activities do you have planned for your stay? Do you have a bucket list?

A: I want to go surfing and once I’d really like to go to San Francisco to visit the city. Also I would like to go to L.A where Universal Studios are.

D: That sounds great! Thank you for your time and the interesting interview. I hope you enjoy these next weeks and find a better option for your host situation.

 

 

Vegan/Veganism

by Katharina Coenen

 

Veganism is a type of vegetarianism diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. Many Vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines. They also don’t wear particular types of clothing, such as leather, fur and wool.

Vegan refers to either a person who follows this way of eating or to the diet itself. That is, the word vegan can be an adjective used to describe a food item, as in, “This curry is vegan”, or, it can be used as a noun, as in, “Vegans like cookies, too.”

But why would you choose to become a vegan ? They are many reasons. Let’s have a look.

Animals are a constant part of our lives. We share our houses with them, our beds, and we even consider them to be members of our family. While they may not be able to speak our languages, we value them highly. We interact with them and we often turn to them for emotional support. When they pass away, we mourn them.

We also believe that they enjoy being alive as much as we humans do, as they enjoy the company of others. Yet for other animals we stick forks and knives into their bodies and wear their skin as clothing. Is that morally right ? Maybe you think it is wrong to act violently against dogs or cats, but why do we think this? Animals around the world are dying just because we want to wear their skin, eat them or their products.

Some of us try to defend this by purchasing products that are marketed as “humane” or as produced “ethically.” However, these words are meaningless and actually do very little to give animals a better life. In any case, these terms comfort the public to believe it is okay to exhaust animals simply because we enjoy using them. We can change this social affliction and respect life by going vegan.

Consuming a plant-based diet also has significant benefits for our environment and health. Many studies show that eating more fruits and vegetables can dramatically change rates of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Raising animals for food is also the single greatest human-caused source of destruction to our environment. In the rain forest, areas as big as soccer fields were cut down and used for growing soy beans for industrial livestock farming. Many rare animal species are in danger of extinction.

Personally i decided to going vegan. For me, its the next logical step, after being a vegetarian for over six years, to do the best as you can to help our environment and to reduce my ecological footprint. I never felt so happy with myself. 🙂

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About me – Tim

by Tim Schwehn from Germany

Hey! 🙂

My name is Tim and I am from Germany. I just arrived in Santa Barbara and I love the city by now. The beautiful streets and houses with the Spanish style look great. That’s one reason I chose this location for my EF study time.

What do I normally do in Germany?

I finished my exams in January and want to start my university studies in business education in October. So I have enough time to explore the world. For my study time I want to improve my English speaking and writing skills so I chose an English speaking country, but also one where the sun is shining quite often.

I like to do sports very much. I play soccer at a local German soccer club and go the gym at least two times a week. Playing sports is a very good balance for learning or working and you can turn your head off for a time.

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Furthermore, I love music. On the one hand, I like to listen to different kinds of music as well as making music on my own. I can play the piano and the guitar and I really enjoy creating music with some friends of mine.

My favorite food is pizza, but I can’t wait to eat some good Mexican food or beef burgers in Santa Barbara. I already went to one Mexican restaurant and the food tasted great. Maybe you can give me some suggestions about where to go. I will try as much as I can.

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I will stay in Santa Barbara for at least two months. I think it will be a beautiful time that I will never forget. So if you have some questions, feel free to ask. J

Interview with Katharine Coenen from Germany

By: Marina Santos, Brazil

 

kathi

 

How old are you?   A: 24 years old.
What’s yor favorite food? A: Pizza.
What do you like to do in your hometown?  A: Hangout with friends, ride bikes and go to the gym.
What’s your favorite place here in SB? A: Steans Wharf, a pier with many restaurants.

Why did you choose SB to study? A: Because I love small cities and California is a  good location and the weather is nice.

 

Interview of Maxime DELAERE

by Bettina Clauss, France

maxime delaere

What’s your favorite hobbies ?

His favorite hobbies are writing and swimmimg .

What’s your favorite meal ?

Raclette

Do you have pets ?

One cat

Where do you like to travel ?

Fiji Island because the landscape are beautiful and it’s hot.

What type of music do you like listen to  ?

French Rap

 

 

Interview – Oscar Bonnave, France

oscar bennove

What is your favorite food? –> My favorite food is French food.
Do you have any pets? –> No, I do not have any pets. But I like cats and dogs.
What is probably the biggest cliché  in your country? –> That we eat bread every day.
What do you like the most about Santa Barbara? –> The beach is my favorite spot.
Why are you here? –> I am here in Santa Barbara to study and to have fun.

By Stella Rippe, Germany