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.
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.
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!
Waaah. Not being home at Christmas makes me feel a little bit like the grinch. 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.
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?).
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).