Sunday, October 23, 2011

las maravillas del mundo...

This past week has consisted of brainstorming trip discussions/meetings, trying different methods of teaching English to Spanish speakers, making new friends, birthdays, babies, domestic-ness, and new adventures.
I am now starting to feel like Spain is my new home. I’m really comfortable with my schedule for work, and the Spanish daily routine. It has become like second nature for me now. Although, I will be has hit me this week that Christmas will be a bit different this year.
Christmas is my all time favorite holiday. I love everything about it…from the lights to the Christmas trees to cards in the mail to candy canes and Poinsettias(flowers and the drinkJ)  to warm coats and scarves and warm socks and hot cocoa (soy milk and dark chocolate of course J)…but most importantly, Christmas with my family. But this is all part of the moving to Spain for a year, so I know I will make the most out of it.
So feel free to send me Christmas cards here in Spain, and if you heart desires I won’t deny candy canes or a dark chocolate bar in the mailJ Just let me know if you would like my “dirección" (address) and I can email it to you!
So, on my free time I have already started up on my Christmas movies! I love love love Christmas movies! I’m a bit obsessed with the Holiday at the moment, and if you know me that last for a week or so then I’m on to the next movie obsession. So one day during siesta while I was watching my movie, Haley said, “Where is one place we can go that will be almost like American Christmas, with lights and trees and everything??”
I thought and thought...then it suddenly hit me and I replied, “London!”
Then, Haley answered, “Yes, we need to go there for Christmas!” eee!!!!
So we found super cheap flights to London in December, and I could not be more excited!!!
We also planned for Haley’s birthday in Paris in January, which will be so precious! I cannot believe we will be at the Eiffel Tower celebrating away!
Those are a few of the trips we are working on right now for the future, but I have a trip for next weekend with a dear friend who studied at Tech with me. I cannot wait to see her and catch up on life while having a fabulous time in coastal cities! It’s even more wonderful that I don’t work Friday, Monday, and Tuesday due to Halloween weekend!! So it will be a nice long weekend!
As for teaching, we started a new method for enhancing English for the 6th graders. Once a week we are going to pursue reading bilingual picture books to improve vocabulary, comprehension, and pronunciation in the English language. So far, I believe it is a good tool for learning another language. Every student is different, which means each individual student has unique learning styles especially when it comes to learning a new language. In my experience studying in Sevilla, I took a literature class and we had to read Spanish chapter books. Through reading and looking up new vocabulary, I felt that helped my grammar while writing and speaking in Spanish. So, I hope that some of my students can get something out of reading with these bilingual books. Our first lesson went really well. The students were very engaged and enjoyed the story, even though we only read half of the picture book. So, I think they will be engage to see what happens next with the 2 monsters next weekJ
Also, I finally worked with the 3 year olds! Sweet, sweet..crazy, all over the place, eager to learn, easily distracted babies! Haha. I don’t think I will ever forget the first words, Cristian spoke to me when I first laid eyes on him, “pee-pee, caca” After helping him with toilet paper, we became instant friends. Oh the joys of the young ones! We taught them 3 body parts today and I read them an interactive story about the 3 body parts! You can official say that ¾ of the 3 yr olds know what ears, nose, and mouth are in English and know where they are on their body! Cannot wait to keep working with that crazy bunch!! Lots of practice and love for those precious babies!
Continuing, I have stated we have made some “amigas nuevas” (new friends). My roommates were having a tea at our favorite café off the beach with Encarni, my coworker, when I saw this girl wearing Chacos and a NC Chapel Hill Shirt. So, I knew she was American and I went up to her and asked, “Hablas Inglés?”
She is from North Carolina and we have a mutual friend there. How crazy is that! Also, she is in the same program as I am here in Spain. So after some time chatting, we started hanging out with her and her roommate from England, who is in the program as well. We have met up to talk about trips and places we wish to go see, as well as gone on a 3 hr hike with them through the “parque natural” (natural park/forest).
So, it’s been really fun getting to know them and practice our Spanish with new friends.
This past weekend was full of adventures! From hiking through the “parque natural” to salsa dancing and having a tea with some new Spanish teacher friends to a Spanish birthday…and drum roll please….I mopped the apartment today (Mama, I’m becoming domestic)!!
I really enjoyed the hike in nature, because sometimes it’s good for your soul to be separated from the real world and all its obligations. It gives you a slight nature high, and appreciation of the beautiful of the God’s creation. The views I saw on the hike were not just forest, but ocean and beach as well. It was simply a peaceful, breathtaking landscape that I think is the cure for anything going on in your busy life. Sometimes it’s okay to take a few hours to stop and simply enjoy yourself wherever you are in the world. Because it’s simple, beauty is everywhere and everything has the potential for beauty.
So I will leave you with this quote that a sweet Spanish friend of mine wrote in a Spanish book I am reading right now…
“De todas las maravillas del mundo, tu sin duda las superas a todas.”

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