Sunday, July 25, 2010

Final Post

Dear all anxious and proud parents:

I am sure you are all ready to see your loved ones and you should all be especially proud of their achievements this summer, as we team SLP are.
The despedida was a big success and today most students are enjoying a final Sunday with their temporary families and packing their suitcases.
All should have received a pre-arrival email last week from the IUHPFL supervisor confirming the flight numbers and times (same as original). As of today all is a go and we will be arriving sometime around 3pm.
Most students have their cell-phones charged and ready to go meaning you should expect a quick call when we arrive in TX if not then surely once we are in Indy.
We look forward to returning your loved ones with some amazing stories and improved Spanish to tell them with.
Until tomorrow,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Final Countdown

Hola to all,

Yes, the time has come, our gala event this evening where the students will showcase their talents in appreciation for all that our host-families have done for us. Tonight will feature 2 dances, 3 theater productions, and 3 songs, followed by a celebration-good-bye cake. Than, later in the evening, students will have the option of returning with their families for dinner or joining the instructors for a typical Mexican evening dinner/soup: the famous pozol.
Tomorrow, Saturday, students will be with their families during the day while in the evening we will meet for an ice-cream and final fare-well tour-bus-ride in the city center.
Sunday, well, I imagine there will be a good amount of emotion, as well as some scrambling to fit all the gifts we bought back into our original suit-cases.
Our flight takes off quite early Monday,6-30am, so we are using a charter-bus service in order to ensure, as much as possible, that we are all on time.
As of now the flight is confirmed and, with some luck, we should all be back in Indianapolis around 3pm. I recommend planning on arriving at the air-port between 2:30 and 3:00pm.
Look for some last minute pictures this Sunday of our last weekend and a confirmation that we have made it through our last weekend here in SLP safe, sound, and feliz.
Wish us luck this evening.
Have a good weekend.
Team SLP

Friday, July 16, 2010

Next to last and final weeks in SLP

Un saludo a todos,
This week was another fun-filled adventure here in San Luis Potosi. Students continue to communicate effectively in Spanish, join together daily in activities both in and out of the classroom, and demonstrate their right to hold the title of Honors Students.
Monday, we continued practicing our choir performance as we lead up to the big farewell gala, where students will perform and sing in appreciation for their host families. As well, Monday evening students were offered the opportunity to visit a book-store in the city center where they bought novels and other literature, which will keep them improving their vocabulary and language abilities until they return to classes in August.
Tuesday, we split the groups into our usual Tangamanga park-soccer and dance-studio outings. Additionally, a group of students went out to eat afterward.
Wednesday, we continued with our theater practice and students went out for lunch and then to watch the new karate kid movie dubbed in Spanish during the evening.
Thursday, was a special farewell event offered by the dance school students have been attending. The celebration followed their usual Thursday evening salsa classes.
Friday, we visited Quikilandia adventure park where students had the chance to rock climb, ride go-karts, play paint-ball, and more. Later in the day we moved to a camp-nature-site where we sun-bathed, kayaked, and played volley-ball and soccer.
Today, Saturday, students will be accompanied to a museum in the park and then have the rest of the day to spend with their families.
Next week will be even fuller as we approach the end of the program, finalize our fare-well ceremony, and begin to say good-bye to SLP.
More to come later in the week with the fare-well performance on Friday.
Have a great weekend!
Team SLP

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Safe Return from the Capital

Saludos once again from San Luis Potosi,

We hope everyone had a good weekend.

We safely arrived back in SLP at 9pm after a very successful expedition to the capital city. We were lucky to escape most of the rain Mexico has been experiencing and completed all of our planned itinerary!
From Temples to Sacred Churches, to Boat rides accompanied by Mariachis, we did it all.

Overall the students had a very nice time and they continue to impress us with their positive attitude, maturity, and the very noticeable advancement in their Spanish communicative abilities.

Tomorrow, the students have an extra hour to sleep in, as we will start classes at 10am.

Just 2 more weeks, which will surely fly by, and then we are back to the Mid-West.
Look for another update later this week, but be assured that all is well, the students are doing great, and that you will see your loved ones soon enough!
Have a Great Week!

Un Abrazo desde SLP.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pre-Departure for the capital: D.F. el Distrito Federal

We hope all is well back in the USA and everyone had a safe + happy 4th of July.

In SLP things are going very well. We celebrated 2 Birthdays, those of Maggie and Dylan, and both of their host families graciously offered to have parties for their respective celebrants/host child, providing a traditional Mexican birthday celebration with dance, food, torta, singing and much more.

Otherwise, classes are going well this week, as are choir, dance, and sports.

Our big weekend to the capital city of Mexico is upon us.

The trip starts out at 6:30 am this Friday, when we meet and begin our journey.
Below is a copy of our planned itinerary for the weekend. If you'd like you can google some of the stops/sites with their Spanish names to get a better feel for what we will be seeing this weekend. Some English translations are provided here (obviously, not in the original!), but whatever you don't understand you can ask your child to explain with pictures once we return.

Our best from SLP and we hope this weekend will be one of the highlights of the trip for the whole group!

Viernes, 9 de julio

6:30 Salida de Tequis. (leave out from the park in SLP)

10:30 Parada en el McDonald’s de San Juan del Rio para

merendar (no comemos el lonche hasta después de Teotihuacán) (snack at McD's)

11:30 Llegar a las pirámides, ver el Templo de Quetzalcoatl y (pyramids and temple!)

caminar hasta las Pirámides del Sol y de la Luna

Subir, pasear, ir de compras

3:00 Lonche, en las pirámides (lunch)

4:00 Subir al autobús para visitar la Basílica (visit the Basilica)

5:00 Visita a la Basílica de Guadalupe (another famous Basilica!)

6:30 Llegar al hotel (Arrive at hotel)

8:00 Cenar en Sanborns o VIPS, cerca del hotel (Eat near hotel)

Sábado, 10 de julio

8:00 Desayuno (breakfast)

9:00 Subir al bus (Hop in the bus)

10:00 visitar el Xócalo, Catedral, Palacio Nacional, y Templo

Mayor (very exciting visit to the center of importance)

11:30 Caminar a la Casa de los Azulejos (walk to the famous palace)

12:00 Comer en Sanborns (lunch)

1:00 Caminar al Palacio de Bellas Artes (walk to the palace/museum)

2:00 Subir al bus (back on the bus)

3:00 Castillo de Chapultepec (castle)

4:15 Museo de antropología (Salas Azteca, Maya, Tolteca)(Museum of Anthropology-best in the world?

7:00 Ballet folclórico, en el museo (ballet of folklore--another classic)

9:00 Cena cerca del hotel. (dinner near hotel)

Domingo, 11 de julio

8:00 Subida al autobús, con equipaje (pack up the bus, check out of hotel)

9:00 Desayuno en Coyoacán (breakfast)

10:00 Vuelta por Coyoacán, visitar el museo Frida Kahlo (Frida Kahlo musuem)

12:00 Ir a Xochilmilco (enter the boats!)

3:00 Salida del D.F. (say good-bye)

9:00 Llegada a San Luis (return to SLP)

¡Que se diviertan! (Have fun!)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Looking ahead to Week 4, 4th of July weekend, and more

Feliz Día de la Independencia (Happy 4th of July) from Mexico,
We have successfully completed another week full of activities and classes. In choir we are signing along to the rhythms of Juanes and Diego Torres. In theater we are practicing well known plays as well as putting together a special program of sports, cooking, and dance, all in preparation for our end of the program farewell to the host families. Aside from these activities half of the group goes to Tangamanga park to play soccer, basketball, and tennis while the other half enjoy private dance lessons at a professional school. Additionally, we are know offering professional salsa lessons on Thursday evenings and we will start a cooking class next week. One of our students has also begun to design our official SLP 2010 shirt.
Today, Friday, we canceled our trip to the park given we are under a heavy rain cloud--a by product of the hurricane off the Gulf. Instead, we celebrated the 4th of July by giving students a traditional Mexican experience: having a swing at a piñata! They had a blast and were rewarded with watermelon and chili flavored candy once they finally broke the piñata open. After, the group went to a near by culture museum and then to a restaurant to eat together.
This weekend, on the 4th, we have Dylan's birthday to celebrate and his host family has offered their house for an afternoon party which we are looking forward to.
The next week will be full once again, as well as filled with high expectations for our upcoming weekend excursion to the capital city of the country.
For now, all is well in SLP and again a very happy 4th of July to all!
Team SLP

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Hola a todos,

I hope everyone had a great weekend!
As promised the group had a wonderful time and enjoyed their opportunity to visit the picturesque city of Guanajuato, explore mines, a museum of mummies, eat chili and other-flavored ice-cream, and not least of all enter the Museum of Don Quixote. Further, a group of students took a city-bus-tour and ate dinner together with 2 of our instructors Saturday evening in San Luis Potosi.
Everyone is in a rhythm and our third week of classes, chorus, and other activities are off to a great start.
Updates to follow later this week. A look ahead: we are scheduled to celebrate the 4th of July this Friday at a park which offers swimming, basketball, volleyball, and soccer courts, as well as other activities and even some rides.
Hasta Luego,
Team SLP

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Guanajuato Pre-departure saludo

Hola y Muy Buenas Noches,

The SLP team just wanted to notify all that we completed another very successful week and will be heading out bright and early tomorrow for our second excursion to Guanajuato (one of the most picturesque and colonial cities in Mexico).
Although the students have not received our official comments yet, we completed our first round of student evaluations and they are overall excellent! As a whole the group is advancing and growing and all instructors agree that the students are a down right pleasure to be working with.
Additionally, on Saturday, a bus-city-tour of San Luis Potosi will be offered.
More pictures and updates to follow by weekend's end.
Hasta Luego,
Team SLP

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The week in review from SLP

Hola Hola from SLP Mexico,

Overall, I am pleased to report that we are doing quite well. This week we: successfully completed our first week in San Luis Potosi, took group photos, began classes and choir, celebrated A.J.'s Birthday with a gathering and tres leches cake, and yesterday we visited San Miguel de Allende.
The students are really doing an exceptional job at following the honor codes of the program and it shows in their progress with the Spanish language.
Our trip to San Miguel de Allende was excellent and as promised the sights and shopping fantastic.
Today, Saturday, some students will take part in a tour of the SLP market as well as spend time with their host families. Tomorrow, those students who are interested will take an afternoon jog in Tangamanga park.
Lastly, given the students have been doing so well (and we are impressed) they will be permitted to call the USA for 5 minutes tomorrow Sunday.
For now Hasta Luego and we will keep you posted.
Team SLP

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Search in the city center

Hola from SLP,

Today we officially started classes.

Students attended classes of Spanish grammar, culture, conversation, and literature.

Later in the evening we met in the city center where the students split into groups in order to compete with each other in a city style egg-hunt.
Each group had a list of monuments, dispersed in 3 city squares, along with a list of other random cultural items such as spicy-tamale flavored ice-cream, which they had to identify and then complete a group picture in front of. We plan to use these pictures in a competition where each group makes a collage best representing San Luis Potosi.

Tomorrow we have another full day of classes as well as professional photos in the morning and chorus/theater in the afternoon.
Expect another update this week.
As well, keep your fingers crossed that your children have you in mind this Friday when we visit San Miguel de Allende, which offers one of the most impressive and authentic cultural markets in Mexico.
Buenas Noches,
Stephen y el equipo de SLP

Sunday, June 13, 2010

La Cantina, Futbol, 1-1 USA & England

Un saludo de Mexico,

I just wanted to let everyone know that we had a great time at La Cantina restaurant yesterday, as we witnessed team USA earn a hard-won 1-1 tie with England.
Today, for those who want, we are offering a tour of the Plaza de Armas as well as an ice-cream/cafe.
The rest of the week will be dedicated to setting the rhythm of our daily classes and activities.
More to follow this week.
Have a great Sunday.

--Team SLP

Friday, June 11, 2010

Introductions in SLP

Hola family,

I wanted to send a brief picture and update from our first day in SLP. All of the group is fine, aside from some culture-shock--mostly getting used to the heat without AC, and expressing themselves in Spanish for everything.

The students went in a group to buy phone cards. We also spoke with host families to ask for their assistance in connecting the students with their parents. If there is a student who has not contacted their parents by tomorrow please let me know.

Tomorrow we are scheduled to meet at a Mexican restaurant with wall-to-wall flat-screens in order to watch the USA-England match and enjoy some excellent authentic Mexican cuisine.

Hasta pronto,

Safe Arrival in SLP

SLP--1st Update from MX,

Hello family!

I wanted to let you all know that we arrived safely last night to a nice and calm San Luis Potosi MX (almost at our scheduled arrival time). All students found eager host families awaiting them and are probably talking in Spanish at this moment with their new temporary families about Mexico's 1-1 performance against South Africa in the opening game of the World Cup this morning.

You should hear from your children sometime today. We plan on meeting at 4pm (5pm your time) for an orientation of the school and city center. We will seek out those students who have not had the opportunity to call home yet and we will make sure they have the chance to do so this evening.

Please regularly check our blog for future updates as that is how I will continue to keep you informed of our whereabouts and activities. I recommend investigating how to change your blog settings in order to receive automatic updates from the Blog and this way you will avoid having to randomly check for posts.

Today is warm and sunny in SLP and we are in for a comfortable evening full of new sights and home-made Mexican ice-cream.

Receivemy best for now and I will send another update later this weekend.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Pilot Blog and count down to SLP Mexico take-off

Dear proud parents of the 2010 San Luis Potosí (SLP), Mexico IUHPFL team.

Primero reciban un saludo cordial.
(First, please receive a warm welcome/hello)

I am sure you are all very eager, as am I, for the 2010 SLP group (your childern) to embrak on a wonderful and life-changing journey this summer in Mexico. I will have the privilege of sending weekly updates on the SLP team's whereabouts, adventures, and achievements. I have decided to create this blog page as my primary means of sending pictures and updates to you all. At the same time, if anyone has any specific concerns you may email me directly at

Again, let me express my congratulations to you all as you have obviously been instrumental in making this experience a reality for this very impressive group. I feel very confident in all of their abilities as well as the IUHPFL staff and program. I am sure this will be a positive experience for all.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Hasta pronto!

Stephen Fafulas