(Handwritten in plane)
So, as I write this I am currently flying over France towards the Spanish capital of Madrid. My first flight from Logan to Amsterdam was extremely pleasant- I had a nice chate with the German woman next to me and then fell asleep in complete Sara-fashion. One thing I didn´t understand was that why did my chicken meal\dinner thing have an Asian flare to it? Is that typically Dutch? hehe. The world may never know. So I´m off to Hotel Convención in the heart of Mdrid right on Calle O´Donnell- who knew parts of Madrid were Irish? Ayeeee. It´s a very pretty hotel and orientation will take place there tomorrow. On Friday, Karli, Emily and I (the other two auxiliares) will travel by train to Calatayud, making Hospedería el Pilar our home for the next week. Very cute, very quaint, is it really even a hostel? We shall see, or as the Spanish put it, ya veremos. http://www.hospederiaelpilar.com/
(Now from the Hotel....)
So my journey to the Hotel Convención was definitely a long one. 3 bags...all heavy. Who the hell did my packing, and why did I take so much crap? hhaha. I know, I know, it was me. But anyway, breaking a sweat and climbing like fourteen metro stairwells, I finally got on my train and sat for what looked to be a 1\2 hour ride. Let me tell you, you do not know what judgement is until you have to old Spanish women linked arm in arm with their crazy jewelry, staring you and your stuff up and down. And oh no, they weren´t that slick about it either. oye.
Anyways, I got to the hotel and it is beautiful, and I met my roomate for the next two nights, ironically her name is Sara too! She is from south France, so we are pretty much forced to speak Spanish all the time. She is very nice though, we get along just fine. She actually invited me along to meet up with some french friends of hers for a drink for a little while. This is when I started my adventure of finding a phone card that actually worked. It was a litle bit of a hassle...however not unobtainable. Mission accomplished...one phone call to Dan and the rest of the mafia troops new I was safe. hehe
Now Kristina, you would´ve loved this. We went to la Plaza de Santana for some drinks with these french dudes....(wouldn´t you know it, my french is pretty horrible....) They really didn´t speak to much English or Spanish, so I sat there enjoying the scenery, which was just fine. Picture it, a large plaza filled with baroque architecture, restaurantes and bares line the sides; tables fill the center, with a large space in the center left wide open. The terraces of individual apartments line the plaza on every corner; you can see the walks of life that inhabitat each one. One has a simple wooden chair, another filled with plants, one, an easel. Every single one has something to share. So, I´m sitting in this plaza, drinking a coca-cola with 4 french people, understanding very little of it, and what seems to come out of nowhere...and a 6 piece band, complete with two upright bass and an accordian. It just sets the tone perfectly....am I really here?
Well now, it is time to meet some other auxiliares and for some dinner....Tomorrow we have a full day of orientation....should be interesting.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
So, I have finally managed to get a chance to sit down and start this thing. Of course, with about ten days left to d-day, there is a ton of things to be done...ahh!
So the visa is in, the plane ticket booked, and a small pile of clothing is starting to collect dust in the corner of my room; things are slowly starting to add up. I finally met the two girls that will be living with me in Calatayud, Emily and Karli! It will definitely be a most interesting adventure with these two ladies! Also, I have been talking to some of the women that will be mentoring me within the school system while there, and they all seem extremely nice!
Ok, so now some of the details of my saga. I will be leaving America on the 29th of September, 2009 (sorry mom and dad! (it's their 25th anniversary)) out of Boston on a plane that is bound for Madrid. I have an orientation in Madrid for the first two days with all of the other auxiliares that will be teaching in Aragon and some surrounding provinces. Finally, on Friday, October 2, I will board a train bound for Calatayud, which is about two hours northeast of Madrid.
Calatayud is a small-ish town of 22,000 people but set up like a city, so it is extremely walkable. (Calatayud is outlined in red, above) Aside from the three province capitals within Aragon, Calatayud is the next largest city, making it well-connected to Madrid and Zaragoza by train and bus. It has 4 elementary schools and 2 upper level colegios, equivalent to our high and middle schools, I will be stationed in two of the elementary schools, Augusta Bilibilis and Francisco de Goya, teaching 4th, 5th, and 6th graders how to speak English! Oy, these kids are actually going to have to deal with my Rhode Island accent! Look out! I will be teaching about 12 hours a week, splitting my time between the two schools, and filling my free time with some private tutoring. I can't wait! It's going to be exciting.
Now, I know you're all wondering, where am I going to live you ask? Well, good question. For the first week or so, my new friends and I will most likely live in a hostel until we find a more permanent apartment. Hopefully we find something! I am only taking one suitcase and a duffel backpack with me, so I won't have very much. Furnished apartments are definitely going to be the first choice....
It's hard to even think straight sometimes, I have that much information rolling around in my head, I'm sure I will add much more as it makes sense!
Au revoir for now!