So, I have been in Spain for two and one half weeks and it has been a quiet. The bulk of my time has been spent trying to get my flat together, attend classes, and explore some of the neighborhoods. The classes have undoubtedly been the highlight of my time here. Last Friday I was excited to finally have a night out on the town with my classmates as one classmate was gracious enough to invite the entire class over for drinks and light snacks. It was really a nice time and I realized there are some people in Spain I can gel with although most of them are not Spanish.
Although it was a night out for drinks, I didn’t partake in the spirits as I am fasting from alcohol for a minimum of two months. One of the reasons was to work on my sleep as alcohol greatly disrupts my sleep. The other reason was simply to practice a little bit more discipline in my life. I also thought about abstaining from meat as the sight of all the meat dangling from the store windows makes me sick to my stomach, but for now I haven’t been able to say no to ground beef in my pasta or the occasional hamo y queso sandwich.
I had the opportunity to teach my first class last week and it was absolutely amazing. I had some feedback on what I needed to work on, but I really enjoyed meeting the students, learning where they are from, what they do, and even getting them to learn a little about myself. My last two relationships were with individuals who did not speak English as a first language. In fact, English was not their second language. While the one could speak immaculate English, the other can barely string a few sentences together in English. Yet, in both instances we were (are) able to communicate on a regular basis despite the cultural idioms and/or obvious language barrier. I have found this aspect of language amazing. My ex was a linguist. At the time I didn’t appreciated his work. It was not for a lack of interest, but more understanding in how it could be applied. I find anthropology difficult in that it involves watching people and studying them – which is a very hard concept for those outside of the field to understand (particularly post-colonial students). However, as I am embraced in yet another culture and immersed in another language I am in love with the idea of watching people speak and how they learn how to speak. It is truly a beautiful and transformative process.
I certainly look forward to teaching my next class and getting to know the students better. I also hope that if I don’t get an international development job that I am able to land a job teaching English some place or working on immigration issues.
So…no tapas yet, no bull fights, and no flamenco, but at least two of the three are still on my list. Not sure about the bull –fighting!