Sunday, October 10

Da, Da, Da...

So I am kinda getting into the swing of things here, my spanish still sucks but I didnt get as many "WTF?" looks this week as I did the last. Right now I am watching Step Up for the Streets in Spanish in hope to improve my Spanish (and perhaps my dance moves too).

The First Week of School

This week I started at I.E.S. Al Andalus. Most of my time is in conversation classes with the professors where we discuss random things and then prepare for the actual class time. I am helping with one class of 12 year olds, helping teaching them natural science (which has some words I can barely pronounce in english), math (the kids cannot pronounce "Divided by"  to save their life- but it is so cute) and English (with the bilingual coordinator- last class consisted of the kids asking anything and everything about my life in MN, including my favorite futbol team and since I had none I explained American football to them and the Vikings... or Veekings). I didnt get to do P.E., music or art with them yet because I was in Granada for Orientation on Thursday.

A Granada

Luckily, thanks to friends, I found out about an orientation in Granada for the Language Assistants. Once I got the information from Paco (my coordinator) and after some long drawn out explanation on how to get there, what bus to take, what the building looked like, etc etc etc, I was ready to learn more about the program, see Granada for the first time and meet some more peoples.  So I got up before first light, caught the first bus and watched the sun rise over the mountains and sea. As I watched the darken streets of Almunecar pass by me, a sense of ease descended upon me. I felt that I made the right decision coming here, despite not knowing much Spanish. I attempted to take a picture of the waning crescent moon, but it was too dark and the bus was moving to quickly... so I drew a picture instead.

I successfully traveled the Granada public bus system, had enough time for a cafe con leche and then headed to the orientation. It consisted for 3 hours of quickly spoken spanish (I understood 20%), lots of questions about the NIE but afterwards there was FREE food. Paelle, ensalada, sangria and flan. I ate with some new friends and Valentina (who I talked to alot on Facebook before coming to Spain). The restaurant was at a "Carmen," which is a traditional Arabic type of house there consisting of a giant courtyard surrounded by a wall. Many of them we turned into restaurants and are very pretty.

After the food, some of us wandered around the old ciity for a bit, ate some tapas, gelato and drank tinto de verano. But since I had to work in the morning, I caught the last bus to Almunecar. At the bus station, I met another auxilar from the orientation who lived in Salobrena (15 minutes from my town). Hopefully we will be able to hang out sometime before she moves to Granada, but I will be returning to Granada hopefully soon! (Before the big traveling starts)

Making Soup

One thing that I miss from back home is spicy food and an assortment of spices. I probably just havent found them here in Almunecar, but this week I did attempt to make black bean soup. I found some semi-picante peppers at the store, but despite putting twice as many into the soup it didnt taste spicy at all. Next time will be better! One successful dish I made was just frying up some sweet potatoes (I am SO happy they exist here). This week I am going to try to make either Jambalaya or Chicken Paprikash.

The Spanish do Oktoberfest

This past weekend, I battled between going to Granada or Malaga. But ultimately Malaga won out because they had a Fiesta de Cerveza (or Oktoberfest) and a feria in Fuengirola. So I repeated the voyage to Malaga (I had phone credit this time- but both my phone and camera died halfway through the weekend- thus no pictures of the beer, but I bet you can use your imagination!), and Amy willingly housed me again (THANKS SO MUCH!). Both Friday and Saturday night we ended up at Oktoberfest where they actually had big beers (liters! and half liters) along with better beers than San Miguel and Cruzcampo, but they still tasted like eww. Brats were two euros, the fries were tasty but I would stay away from the apple strudel.

Ok, so alot happened at Oktoberfest. The first night we befriended some silly Spaniards and then joined some drinking games between some Germans and Dutch boys. It involved rock, paper, scissors, drinking beer (spilling lots) and just being loud. Later that evening (around 4 am), we went on a quest to find churros, but instead found some crazy twins. Two identical blonde Spaniard, dressed the same (except for the color of their shirts) that were their own two man act. One was "pregnant," not embarrassed, with  the Franz Ferdinand eggs. It's hard to describe exactly what happened, but we ended up talking for an hour on the street.

The next night, the power went out at Amy's flat, so we changed out pasta dinner plans to a brucetta type meal. Then later we ended up at Oktoberfest again since it was raining and no one had the energy to go to the feria. This time, we were able to win a contest and get Oktoberfest Paulener hats!

Still we were not able to find churros... instead I just settled for some coffee and a bus ride back to Almunecar.  I am starting to enjoy my time here more and once I get my NIE, I can take some free Spanish classes at a local college to help my everything!

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