Tuesday, December 4

Pre-New Year Resolution

For the past year, I have let this blog sputter to a standstill. Sorry everyone! But here is a quick, quick recap of the past year:

- I moved to Sevilla to split my time between two public schools: a high school and elementary school in the center of the town. While I was lucky with the location, the schools were nothing like I.E.S Al-Andalus.

- Sevilla was full of auxiliares and younger people, I was able to meet many new and interesting people. Through them, I discovered more about Andalucia, it's traditions and it's fairs: I especially love the Feria de Mosto in Umbrete for its free Mosto and olives. Then the classic Feria in Sevilla, full of carriages, horses, flamenco dresses (which I have one!). It is also very different from the Feria in Jaen, my first feria.

- Spent the summer in Spain to see how deadly it could be, and surprise! I survived. However, if you went out at 3 pm in August in Sevilla, the city did look like the zombie apocalypse happened, but it wasn't too hot. To escape the heat, I traveled around the coast, discovering new beaches and cities. The Summer Olympics did save me from a lot of boredom and I even attempted some synchronized swimming skills in the water... didn't really work but there is always next summer.

- In September, I started a 5 month professional pastry chef course at a local hospitality school in Sevilla.  It has been an adventure. Learning how to make crema inglesas, croissants and various typical Spanish desserts. It is almost over and I am somewhat glad. Hopefully I will be able to find a job afterwards.

Anyway, my time in Spain is coming to an end. So I will try to take advantage of it and share it with everyone. Unfortunately, I am again without oven (just means I have to travel to the oven!), but I will post my culinary adventures here.

Monday, October 10

Wisconsin in Spain

One thing I love about Sevilla is that I am constantly suprised by what I run into here.

Last week I was walking to the train station from my house (takes about 15 minutes) to go to Cordoba. I saw three drag queens (one looked like a shaved caveman in a jean romper with a lovely pink purse... the other two were fairly standard), one bus of tourists, lots of spanish people and a man decked out in his karate suit with a black belt. But by fair, my favorite was the motorcycle gang. It was as if Wisconsin teleported itself to the streets of Sevilla. Six Harleys, 3 handlebar mustaches, lots of leather and noise. Turns out there was a Harley Davidson convention at the Hotel Macarena. Sadly, I was unable to go there and get one of their tshirts- maybe next year!

It also made me crave some Jalapeño Beer Cheese soup.

In other news, I have started working again as an Auxiliar. My first day of work there is a school wide test, so I get to sit in the Sala de Professoras (Teacher's Lounge) and see if any teachers want to speak English. Then tomorrow I get to work in the Elementary school. Time to research paper maché!

Friday, September 16


Spain is a land of smells... many different smells (also the light at night is amazing). Now for my walk from Teacher Class to Home in Smells

Freedom is what I smell as I exit the school, Freedom and hot asphalt from the street... even though its 8pm it is still 40 degrees Celcius (104 in F)

Our journey up C/ San Eloy has blasts of AC and new clothes, makes me want to shop. Finally we reach BK and their fried hamburger patties and french fries... my stomach reminds me how hungry I am.

As I passthrough the plaza with the Mushrooms the odor changes from offputting gasoline to new shoes all with a lovely amonia undertone from former botellónes and dogs who have passed by. (My hungry dissapears) 

Calle Regina is always an adventure with sights, sounds and smells. Fresh paint from a construction site (wonder what store will be there), incenses from the Middle Eastern store, strong cologne from Spanish men passing by and then stale beer from the tapas bar around the corner from my house.

I'm at my door and as I open the door, I get a blast of cold air and dust. I am home. Now three flights of stairs to climb up.

Sunday, September 4

Spanish Race to Find a Place

Right now I am watching the Eurobasket (basketball game between Spain and Lithuania) and listening to the church bells sing their song, procrastinating on my homework.

This is my life in Spain right now. I spent a good part of the past week on a piso (apartment)-hunt. Scouring the internet for potential rooms in my area, for my price and that dont have cockroaches but would hopefully have an oven. Since my CELTA course had started on Monday, I had class from 9am until 6pm, so I could only go see the pisos after 6pm.

Seeing pisos involved alot of speaking on the phone (which I am suprisingly good at... where did these Spanish skills come from?), figuring out where it was in Sevilla and then walking there. I miss my old Sevilla map which I have no idea where it went, especially because the map I got from the hostel doesnt really tell you anything (cant wait to burn that thing!). Over the past week, I believe I saw about 15 pisos, walked 8km per day and got really good at getting unlost. Also, the lots of walking allows me to learn more about the city and hopefully get into some shape! My birkenstocks are kind of destroyed though :(

While looking for pisos, I lived at a hostel near the Plaza del Toros and I was able to meet some people there. A couple of them will be staying in Sevilla, once they find a piso, as well! The hostel was nice, because they gave me breakfast, free internet and was very close to where my classes are.

It was nice to finally get out of there and into my new piso in the center of the city. It is close to the Alameda de Hercules (where there are lots of cool bars, places to eat and always are people), about halfway between my two works (we'll see how that works out in October) and it has an oven! Smallish kitchen, but it has an oven. A bathtub too! The only thing I could wish for was a bigger bed... but that will be next year.

Now I should get to do my homework (since I did sleep all day). This year is looking up: lots of couchsurfers around, cool auxiliares and some other fun randoms.

(Sorry for the lack of pictures! My camera is getting fixed up right now- next time)

Saturday, August 27

The Summer End

The Minnesota State Fair started yesterday and I missed it. Why? Because I was on a plane (delayed 3 hours on the jet way and then we thought it would crash due to the INSANE turblance) to Spain and 24 hours later, I am now sitting in my hostel, looking for pisos, eating kebab and watching the street (talk about multi tasking).

A lot has happened the past two months, it was fun summer: learning new things, hanging with old friends, and finally cleaning up my room.

As stated in my last post, I worked as a baker for an English Language Camp. It was alot of fun, I got to set my own hours, bake yummy things, eat yummy things and hang out with cool coworkers and also the campers. This year in Sevilla, I hope to find a baking or cooking class to do... and maybe I will finally go ask a Panderia if I can work there for free and show these pictures as proof of my skills:

I hope to go back to camp next year as well. It barely felt like a job because it was so much fun. A bit boring at times, bit now I can think of better things to do with my spare time there.

After camp, I came back home for just 10 days. It was a whirl wind of cleaning/packing my room, shopping with my sister and mom, hanging out with my beautiful little nieces, eating out way too much and generally experiencing Minnesota in the best ways: with friends and in good weather. It was really hard to leave Minnesota this year but I will be back soon.

Now in Sevilla... it feels like I never left Spain (that was my exact thought when I was sitting in the Madrid bus station while drinking a cafe con leche). So far I have been lucky, got a ride from the bus station with a friend and I JUST received one call back on a piso! Tomorrow is more piso hunting, homework doing and sun soaking.

Things are looking up this year. I'll miss you, Minnesota!

Thursday, July 21

Catchup (Ketchup)

It has been a long time since we last met. Sorry. I had even forgotten when I wrote my last post (April?! What?!).

Word of Warning: I may have forgotten some events. Oops...

Here is a short summary, in bullet points, of my last two months:
- Paris: traveled there to see my Aunt, Uncle, Cousin and Cousin Fiancee. AMAZING time, but did not eat nearly enough croissants. However, I did stay with a sweet couchsurfer from Iowa, walked around Paris, gave directions to two New Yorkers looking for the Jewish Area, ate AMAZING food, drink champagne, visited a Culinary supply store, went on a chocolate tour, and saw the Eiffel tower during the day, at night, lit up, from the river and even went up it.

- Almunecar: explored the city and the surrounding area, made a MILLION cookies, say goodbye to friends, miss one Good bye party (dont worry, my students were nice enough to throw another- only a few tears, but lots of goodies), went to another Good Bye party at the Grifos, said goodbye to MissiSippi and Jabeque.

- Last Spanish Weekend: my friend Rosa was nice enough to let me come visit her in Almeria! I definately need to return there. The beaches were amazing (clear, warm, sandy - Pictures to come), there is alot of Civil War history, a castle, fortified cathedral (one of a kind), a huge desert and Mini Hollywood.

- The Return to Minnesota: self explanatory, went via JFK and met a really nice Spanish-Minnesotan family on the plane. The father was from Sevilla and told me to watch out for the guys there, that they tend to marry Minnesotans.

- Vermonster Wedding: After much see-sawing, I got my ticket to see my old roommate Lindsay get married!  Stayed in the Stowe Motel with Richmond folk, was able to visit friends that I havent seen in ages, get dressed up, walk in high heels and have fun in a barn.

- Toronto: After bumming around in Minnesota for a bit, renewing my Drivers license before the State shut down, I did a short trip to the country up North (however, Toronto is South of STP). Caught up with old friends, walked SO much around the city, cooked dinner, drank at Einsteins but did not get to Dance Cave or Shake a Tail. I guess I have to move back there!

Now the blog is somewhat up to date. As I am writing this, I am at MVO (Multi-Village Orientation) in Bemidiji, where I am being trained to be a baker and counselor for an English Language summer camp. Today I successfully baked 32 loaves of bread (Vienna and Wheat bread), some rolls, Tator tot hotdish, the beginnings for baguettes and only burnt myself once!

These campers just might survive the summer! Now only I have to survive the heat.

Monday, April 25

An Ideal Monday

On an Ideal Monday, I would wake up at 9 am (not sleep until 11.30), shower and  since I dont have to work until 12, I would take advantage of my morning to go to the Market to buy fresh fruit and veggies, mainly because I ate everything in my fridge on Sunday.

Once I return home, I would drink yummy coffee (not instant) and eat a delicious breakfast. Then it would be about time to head to work. So I would walk a leisurely 10 minutes to the Institute and arrive 5 minutes before class.

My planning classes will not be awkward and we will actually do something. Then in my break, I would  read a book or study Spanish (not run back home because you forgot something for the next class). Then continue on to have a great class where the students all listen intently to your lesson or activity.

After school, I might go for a quick tapa near by and then return home to either: edit my photos, write in my blog, go to the beach, read a book or some other constructive activity. Then I would go for a run and run as far as I can and not get bored. Afterwards, I would make myself a healthy and complete dinner (Not crackers and sobrasada). Later at night, I might go out or I might just stay in.

The Ideal wasn't today, but I did shower before work.