To: People on the old mailing list
Subject: SPAIN (ish)
Date: 13th October, 2011
It’s already my second week in Hinojosa del Duque, the village in the middle of nowhere, where I’ll be living and working for the next eight months.
The first few days were a little tough in terms of small town culture shock, the language barrier (I may as well have never studied spanish), bureaucracy and queues, house hunting, and being thrown in front of class after class of 4 – 12 year olds… For moment I had serious doubts about what the hell I was doing, here, and with my life in general! Fortunately, after giving the mirror a good stern talking to, and realising how lovely and eager the people are, and finding a flat, and adjusting (a bit more) to the dialect…I’m feeling a lot more settled, and excited, and privileged to have such an amazing opportunity to improve my Spanish and experience something, well, completely different. The fact that the kids are cute, funny, fascinating and constantly entertaining is a big help. Work is literally fun and games!
But not for long. My timetable at the school is incredibly light-on, as is my salary. Life in the village is cheap, but being so far from everything makes travel expensive, yet more desirable! Getting out every now and then will be critical to my sanity, and it would be a shame not to see as much of Spain as possible while I’m here. So like all ‘Auxiliares de Conversacion’, I’ll be taking on a number of private students, to fill the tardy hours, and fund some weekend adventures…
Aaaaanyhoo. I’ll write a bit more on the village in my next email, once I’ve been here a little longer and have taken some pics of the town (the view from my terraza is beautiful, pegging out the washing has never been so enjoyable!).
But just wanted to let you know that I’m here and housed, still waiting on my visa to be processed (which is normal), and my stuff from Australia to arrive (which is a pain), but other than that, raring to go.
I’ve uploaded some of my earlier travel photos on to facebook, and can email the same albums to anyone else who wants them. Part 1 of Italy is attached, see if it works for you… Apologies I don’t have a better system. Once I clear the backlog of lesson planning holiday flab and journal writing and vocab learning and overdue Skype catch ups, and if I can get the internet in my flat, then hopefully I’ll work out something a bit more accessible (and creative) online. Watch this space!
Until then, let me know pronto if you want me to spam you with my disgustingly touristic albums. (Though I promise there are no Mona Lisa happy snaps!)
Anyhow, I hope everybody is well. I’ve heard it’s Spring in Melbourne and the weather is fine. Autumn here hasn’t kicked in yet, they’re (we’re?!) having an unusually drawn out summer. I don’t mind the heat, but the world sure has gone topsy turvy.