Second Month [Almost] Down!
Day 57 of 219 in Spain.
What a great month it has been! I know I haven’t blogged in about a month, but I’ll make up for that with a bunch of pictures from the past month.
My first adventure started off in the beginning of the month to take the GRE in Madrid. Short trip, but I after the exam I got to revisit some of my favorite sites. I did pretty decent on the overall GRE, too, so I hope grad school works out this upcoming year! But while I was there, I visited the Biblioteca Nacional de España, or the National Library of Spain. I love statues in front of the building – it reminds me of the ones of the founders of Detroit between parking structure 2 and General Lectures at Wayne. Also while in Madrid, I visited the Puerta del Sol, which is one of the busiest places in Madrid. This is where my friends from Detroit, Naomi and Nick, and I will be on New Years Eve. It’s the televised NYE event for Spain, so it should be a crazy exciting place! It is also the starting point of the roads in Spain – the zero kilometer point. But while I was there this year, the big lighted Christmas tree was up. It was a different feeling this year while there in the Winter. Also while in Madrid, I visited the Taste of America store. That was interesting, but I got to buy some Reese’s and Pop Tarts! It was quite expensive, but it was worth the taste of america – haha!
At the school, you could definitely tell Christmas and the Three Wise Men, or Epiphany, day was right around the corner. The schools in Spain have religion tied into the curriculum, but students’ parents can op-out them out of it if they want. However, the school was decorated beyond belief. Not only nativity scenes were present, but entire replicas of the city of Bethlehem were recreated! On the morning of the last day of school, the students came in one hour late and the teachers were treated to churros and chocolate for breakfast. It was quite interesting to have them early in the morning. Students came dressed up as their favorite wise man or Santa and preformed in songs, skits, and dance routines for the rest of the school. Some local singer came in and sang Villancicos, which are basically the American equivalent of Christmas Carols, but these have more of a historical and traditional context to them from what it seems like. Either way, it was a awesome experience to take part of! The sixth graders sang “The First Noel” in English and all the students were staring at me to see if I understood them.
The week before that, the school had a teacher Christmas party at an area banquet hall – very fancy! It was a good time to be able to just relax and talk with some of the other teachers there. At this party, I also tried some ham for the first time in almost 4 years. It was an interesting taste. The ham here is prepared differently than in the States. It very had a very salty taste since it is preserved in salt for years before served. Luckily I didn’t get sick after trying it! In all, this time of the year has been interesting to experience. The streets are full of people and the atmosphere of the city is just very holiday-spirited. Tomorrow’s Christmas, and I plan to be with some friends and Skype/FaceTime with my friends and family back home. Lots of the other Auxiliares at the other schools here in Spain are going back home in the States, but I think with staying here I will be getting the most out of it.
Here’s to 5 (or so) more months – Happy Holidays!
Please comment! 🙂