Tag Archives: madrid

Nick of Time

Just returned back to Madrid after two weeks of working at a summer camp, where myself and nine other monitors gave English classes, taught sports, and put on nightly shows for 144 Spanish children, ages 7-15. My group of twelve, made up of all the youngest kids, chose ‘The Champions’ as their name, and as a result I made them sing along to ‘We Are the Champions’ and ‘We Will Rock You’ every day to start and finish class. I don’t think they hated their daily five hours of classes as much as some of the kids, and I feel good about that.

The Champions

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La Despedida

4th graders, A and B groups

3B chiclets

3A chiclets

Waah :( On Wednesday the time came to say goodbye to my little babies, and I’ve been feeling sad about it ever since. There is truly not a single one I don’t like, and I wish I could fast forward their lives 10 years and see how they turn out, because they are all such fantastic little humans now. They made me cards saying bye (except most of them read more like: ‘bey bey Alisa, for you, what is a great teacher’) and afterward one of my favorite boys tried for a bit to express himself in English before finally giving up and saying “Teacher Alyssa, por favor, no te vayas. Por favor.” Just about killed me. For you viewing pleasure I got a couple of videos of them, check ’em out, they’re the cutest.

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What A Wonderful World

For whatever reason this song makes me feel pretty valentine-y.  The kids didn’t even get to celebrate today, which was just sad, because we all know Valentine’s Day is the most fun when you’re still in elementary school. I, on the other hand, have BIG plans to celebrate the day, aka splurge on some Reese’s at the American Store and have a pizza/movie night with my galpal, so I’m pretty content. Also someone told me that the real skull of St. Valentine is in Madrid, so if I have time I might go check that out, although I don´t really know why I would…. I guess because why not?

London!

Somehow two weeks already went by without my writing a blog about London, and I know I had the time, but I must have wasted it in some other way. My best guess would be watching The Wire. Anyways, London was fantastic!  One of my favorite things about traveling is that you meet cool people, and through the miracle that is Facebook you can keep in contact, and then one day visit them in some other exciting location. Such was the case with my London weekend: I made a friend from New Zealand while on my cruise last May in the Galapagos, and since he is now living in London but was soon taking off to head back home, I took the opportunity to hop over the pond for a weekend.

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At the Bottom of Everything

This past Sunday I had one of my favorite experiences in Madrid so far. I had a friend request proof that I’m actually here, telling me that I’m probably just writing  from San Diego and stealing the pictures off other blogs to make all my law school friends jealous. So this time around I’ll actually put up some photos with me in them, prepare yourself!

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Blue Christmas

Waaah. Not being home at Christmas makes me feel a little bit like this:

The Grinch, aka Alyssa Leigh

Even though I’ve been extremely homesick these past few days, Madrid is not a bad place to be during the holidays. There are a ton of Christmas markets all over the city, and lights, and lots of madrileños wearing really dorky holiday hats, everything is very festive. Walking around the city you see lots of Santa’s on ladders climbing up people’s balconies, which makes a lot of sense since there are no chimneys here.

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Be Somebody

Where is the time going? It’s already the weekend again? Let’s recap my last week, because it was a particularly good one, (although let me apologize in advance, I can already tell this entry is going to have too many words and not enough pictures): Friday night I somehow managed to stay out until 530. I’m actually starting to think that this is normal, and that coming home before the metros open at 6 is calling it an early one. On Saturday my American friends and I cooked a big belated Thanksgiving dinner for a group of our Spanish friends, and I think it was a hit. Some of them had never eaten turkey before, most of them had never heard of cranberry sauce, and they kept wanting to call the gravy “Thanksgiving salsa.” In keeping with tradition, we ate too much, and everyone lazed around afterward feeling fat and full and it was almost just like a Thanksgiving back home. Almost. To adapt to Spain we had to serve the food at 10, since the idea of eating at the normal earlyafternoon o’clock totally put everyone waaay too far outside of their comfort zone. Additionally, I had to run out last minute to buy a loaf of bread to serve with dinner, since apparently Spaniards are incapable of eating a meal without a piece of bread to accompany it (who knew?).

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Gone for Good

Thanksgiving in Spain

Still here! Finally I have my own little weekly routine. Monday through Thursday I arrive at my school bright and early, and I am consistently shocked to watch the parents chain smoking as they stand over their baby carriages waving goodbye to their children. I work with 3rd and 4th graders, and while they are little demons, they are somehow at the same time very endearing, even on days when I want to light myself on fire. We teach British English in school,  and I nearly peed my pants the first time an 8 year old asked me if they could borrow a rubber (turns out in England this is a very normal way to say eraser).

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Help, I’m Alive

I’m alive! I’ve had a cold/bronchitis that left me basically bedridden this past week, so most of my time has been spent either laying in my bed watching online tv, laying in my bed chatting on facebook or laying in Retiro Park soaking up the sun like a giant mucus filled reptile, and needless to say, I was about ready to light myself on fire out of boredom. I finally made it back to school today, and it was great. I thought at first I didn’t like this job, but really it’s just that I don’t like getting up before the sun rises to get there. Actually I more or less enjoy teaching, the kids are great, they make me laugh everyday, and they are always so eager and happy to see me, like a bunch of little puppies.

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Elephant Gun

I have a home! A real room with a door that I can close that is mine! After living out of a hostel for two weeks, you have no idea just how thrilling having my own little space is. And I have INTERNET. Hello, pointless Youtube videos. Welcome back into my life. Goodbye McDonalds, I will miss your free wifi, your gilded ceilings complete with chandeliers, and your McFlurrys.

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The Dog Days Are Over

I officially cannot hang. Madrid, you have beaten me.

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