NOTE: Upon Emily's request I need to credit her with the wonderful pictures you will see in this post. Please visit her website for more of them.
Hey, guess what? Still no Internet. The router never arrived before our long weekend so I am still going to McDonalds for Internet usage. It’s been over a month now without having it, and 3 weeks since we originally signed the contract with the company. Pretty poor if you ask me. But on to more important things…
Halloween has come and gone here in Spain (and everywhere else where they celebrate the holiday) and it was a rather good time. Check out the three of us at our new Spanish friends Halloween party last night:
Emily was rocking the gypsy, Michael Lynn was the hippy, and I was the classic pirate (bringing the APA back for those of you who know my high school parade crashing pirate story…).
As I mentioned in a previous post, Halloween has caught on here in Spain with costumes, trick-or-treating and costume parties. One thing though, Spaniards like the whole goriness aspect of the holiday. In the United States it’s not necessarily important to have the scariest or bloodiest costume, but here in Spain it’s the most important. As you can see from the picture above I was a simple pirate. However, last night one of my Spanish friends asked me why I wasn’t covered in blood. For example, look at this picture:
As you can see, Spaniards like fake blood with their costumes.
(Note: That is a Coke in my hand--I was the DD last night. I was actually the only driver since neither Emily nor Michael Lynn one, have their international drivers license and two, don’t know how to drive a stick shift).
Speaking of holidays, I had an early Christmas present this week. After posting my address a few weeks back my lovely girlfriend, Rachel, took the hint and took the liberty to send me a package last week and I received it this past Friday! Check it out:
A few books I had requested, some good ol’ American candy and snacks and a lovely card. I quickly turned around and made the Kraft Mac n’ Cheese for lunch that same day—what a treat, it brought me back to my college days. I only wish I had had some hot dogs that I could have microwaved and throw in. I also found out last week that my mom has sent me a package and it should probably arrive this week as well (which evidently has three more boxes of Mac n’ Cheese in it, add hot dogs to my grocery list…).
Today marks one month since my first day of work here in Motril. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a month (for the sake of time flying by and going without internet for that long in my piso) but I knew time would go by fast while here in Spain.
Life at school has been going really well. I spend a lot of time working one-on-one with the teachers, practicing their English and finding ways to integrate me into their weekly lessons. I then spend a class or two in each of the teacher’s classes speaking English with the students and every once in a while leading part of the lesson.
I have two groups of students that I work with every week. For one group this is their first year in the bilingual program and their English is very limited to a few words and phrases. Its been difficult working with these students because they understand very little of what I am saying and they have a hard time expressing themselves in English (often reversing to Spanish). It reminds me of my first several weeks in Honduras when I was working with my English language learners there. But they do work hard at listening to their teachers and me and are improving.
The other group is in their second year of the bilingual program and most of them have a good intermediate level of English. It’s been fun working with this group and I am looking forward to helping them even more with their English the next couple of months.
To sum up my feelings about my job a few weeks ago I ran into my landlord and she asked me how work was going. I quickly responded that what I do is hardly “work,” it’s just a really good time speaking my native language with teachers who want to perfect their English and with students, whom I love being around anyway! I can’t think of a better “job” to be doing overseas. I really enjoyed my time in Honduras earlier this year, but I was working really hard planning for three different social study classes and one English class. Here, it’s a lot more easy going and less stressful. Not a bad way to spend a year.
I hope to bring my camera to school sometime this week and snap some pictures of La Zafra and my students, so look for that this week.