Friday, December 11, 2009

Wow, Spain........

I think I fell in love with Spain a whole lot more last weekend. I went up to Santander to visit Rebecca, where she lives and works with her niños. I am so blessed to have her here with me in this country...there is something incredibly comforting and special about knowing she's going through the same things right along with me (even though she may be a few hours away!).

The Christmas lights put me in the mood for hot chocolate, Christmas carols, and time with loved ones. Thank goodness I only have a few more days to wait for the last one! (Satt, Wade, Emi, Casie, and Carlie all get here next week!!!)

Is it possible that there really are views like this in the world? As I looked out over the cliff down to the sea, I was literally at a loss for words.

One thing I decided: That was not my last trip to Santander. What an enchanting place!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wow, Spain #2

I saw the most Spanish commercial of my life last night. Right now, at Carrefour, you can get three legs of Jamon Iberico for the price of two! Now that's a deal!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Day Play

Yes, do not be fooled. All the way over here in Spain, I got to celebrate Thanksgiving. In fact, this Thanksgiving turned out to be one of the most memorable I've had yet. I dressed like an Indian, presented a "Thanksgiving spectacle" at school, and ended it with a full course roast chicken meal (whole turkeys are hard to find!).
Below: my three year old babies. They sing me the "hello" song :)
My fourth grade loves. They are smart!

Me and Esther...compañeras de Infantil (Nursery school co-workers)
Fourth grade boys...a LOT to handle. Top-hat boy was screaming, "I'm Abraham Lincoln!!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

day and night

Days can be blinding in Madrid. The sun shines down brightly here in this high-altitude city, and my squinting is beginning to be a problem.
In contrast, the nights are dark, but illuminated. People buzz on the streets. In my neighborhood, the old people who measure to my waist walk hand in hand with their canes on either side to support them. I think to myself, "I want to hit the town with my love when I'm 80." Again, another way in which I think Spaniards do it right.
I think I might start recording a "Wow, Spain" moment of the day. This moment will reflect cultural differences that I find in day to day life that often make me either chuckle or gasp.
"Wow, Spain" moment of the day today? My co-workers shirt read "Slap it hard, the way I like it."
Now, I've never worked in an elementary school in the states, but I'm guessing that shirt would not be permitted. Another way in which Spain and the States are like Night and Day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

salamanca, y amigos nuevos

Yesterday was another fiesta that Madrid made up, so I didn't have to go to work! Instead, I ventured two hours northeast with three new friends! I met them at my church, Mountainview, and we have since gotten to spend a good bit of time together beyond the church doors. Sunday night we had pizza night, and Monday morning we set off for Salamanca. Fun thing about this group of friends? Internationalism. Sam's British, Daniel's german, and Alex is originally from Ecuador (though she's been in Spain since she was fourteen). And, well, I'm American. We speak primarily Spanish together, with the occasional english side comment. It makes for a great time!
Salamanca was breathtaking. Being there made me incredibly thankful, yet again, that I live in this country. I hope to see more and more Spanish cities as the time goes on. Still on my list? Barcelona!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The world is our classroom

Today, I faced Madrid with new inspiration.

Last night, over a cup of coffee with my friend Blanca, I was absolutely inspired. Blanca said, "Sarah, the world is your classroom! You want to learn spanish? You have a million teachers! Talk with your neighbor, ask your baker how his children are doing, say hello to the fruit-store man."

Yes, of course! What had I been waiting for?

Today, I went to the post-office to pick up the package my mom had sent me from the States (which made my whole week, by the way!), and instead of trying to conceal the fact that I was a foreigner, I struck up a conversation with the man behind me. As soon as he found out I was American, he wanted to tell me everything he could about Spain. I learned a new phrase southerners like to say about their beloved land, "Nunca al norte, Siempre al Sur" (never go north, always go south). It made the 45 minute line at the post office go by a lot quicker...yes 45 minutes...the place is a zoo!

With all these new-found teachers, I'll be bilingual in no time!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I have found a fountain of love, and it is called teaching.

Anyone who feels alone, unloved, or underappreciated should go to his or her nearest elementary school and apply for a job.

There, anything you do becomes "the coolest". Anything you wear is "the prettiest". And finally, anything you say is "the smartest."
You also get notes like this:It reads, "You are a very very, got teacher and are beautiful," followed by two pictures, one obviously "yes" and the other "no", and "Con todo cariño de Eva, by Eva"
So, maybe I'm not that "got" of a teacher since she thinks "good" is spelled g-o-t, but I'll take what I can get, people!
The best part of my day today?
When Laura (one of my fourth graders) ran up to me in the hallway, gave me a massive hug, looked me in the eyes and said "I loff jew"...[I love you, for those of you who can't read Spanish accents]. I think my heart is still melted on the floor at San Ignacio.
p.s. First grade funny occurence of the week: We drew pictures of "Our Family," but when I got to Christina's picture I couldn't find her. There was, however, an incredibly frightening rabbit human. When I asked Christina about it, she explained to me that I was confused; that was in fact, her, with a rabbit mask on. Silly me!