I had a a cool night out at the Festival of Nations, eating Thai food [keeping with my Sunday Thai Temple Lunch ritual,in a way] with a small group of auxiliares. We saw some really bad performances which looked more like a Zumba class and some american singer who the teens seem to know. i was most drawn by the multicultural cuisine. I’m going back later this week for some Indian food; it smelled so good.
Despite being exhausted from cruising around on my skateboard all day, I couldnt’ get to sleep until around 4am partly due to a book I am reading [Teach ME! Kids Will Learn When Oppression Is The Lesson] but I think it was mostly nerves.
I made a bold move. I decided I could figure out how to get my bus and get from the stop to my school with out a map or any directions. Spain has had a tremendous effect on me; i’m losing some of that need to know and control things. before I fell asleep I just made sure I knew what number I needed and i figured I knew where the stop was by the river somewhere it looked like on the map. I knew i needed to get off the bus at the town i’m working and it couldn’t be bigger than Segovia or Cuellar, surely I would find it no problem so I didn’t bother looking it up.
3 hours of sleep and the alarm started beeping. I got ready and headed out about an hour later hoping to catch the bus at 820 but knowing I had time if I missed it. I grabbed my skateboard and headed out the door, making it painfully to the bus stop in under 5 minutes’i am so sore today all of my muscles in my legs hurt, mainly my right leg.
The bus passed the stop but a girl explained the bus card to me so I figure I would cross the bridge to the main bus station, about another 5-10 minute walk. Got my rechargeable bus card and went to look for my bus. Couldnt find it but found one going that way WOO HOO its a short bus!
On the bus i had my first experience being totally lost for understanding. everyone told me how hard it is to understand Andalu but until today I have understood most things. Imagine a Brit wandering into the bayou and talking to some swamp people; that’s what it would feel like.
In no time flat and about an Euro later I was there. so cool to not be forking over 8 euros a day on transportation and spending so much time in a bus.
When I hopped off I asked someone who pointed me down the cobble stone road: my skateboard was useless in this town for the most part. I felt like a spawning trout pushing against moms in workout clothes, pushing strollers and old people wobbling away from what I came to find out was the school. I thought it looked familiar from something I saw online about the garden they have.
A guy greeted me at the gate and was suspicious of some long haired 20 something year old guy walking into an elementary school with a skateboard but after some explanation he brought me in and introduced me to someone I sat in the office, awkwardly waiting like a kid waiting sentencing from the principal. he came out and called the bilingual coordinator asking, “what should I do with him” eventually I was lead to the 6th grade classroom where Ana, a super calm teacher who talks in such hushed tones i’m not sure her students can hear her, I know I struggled. she joked about me having to teach her to ride the skateboard to get around the school since it is so big; there are 800 and something students a change from the elementary school in Cuellar.
I’m going to have about 12 different groups, working Tuesday -Friday and another good thing is that i don’t have to begin until slightly later on a few days. The students went over some text about animal and plant reproduction and I could only think of how cool it would be to have them in the garden seeing flowering fruits and veggies. but i later learned that no one wanted to be in charge of the garden and they were spending too much on water so they scrapped the project. I wonder if implementation of some Permaculture practices could reduce water consumption; I want to get it going again.
The students finished their text and the teacher called me up to the front and the kids asked me questions; speaking and understanding TONS more than I expected. Ana said this was the best behaved and sharpest group. i’ll have to judge later but they were super cool to work with. one kid asked where in Sevilla I live and I told him the neighborhood and the teacher said she lives there too. later on she said her street name and holy moley! its the same street I live on;what a tiny world.
we went around meeting teacher after teacher whose names I can’t remember, besides Lucia I believe. it’s a stereotype but you could just make a random guess and stand a pretty good chance of being right; Juan Carlos, Jose Antonio, Ana Maria. How will I learn all of there names PLUS the names of my students?
Anna also mentioned that they have Parents of all stripes at the school all of them very involved and willing to help with whatever we need; there are high ranking politicians, soccer players, flamenco dancers and singers and everything in between. The kids in 6th grade are given laptops and last year the kids in 5th had them too [rethinking causes of educational funding problems] our whole school is wireless capable AND I have the code this year!
I was done for the day if only I could figure out how to get out of the school and out of the gate. Luckily a PE coach was around to show me out and point me in the direction of the bus stop. I waited and waited but none came. so i started walking and just as I got to the corner I ran across the street and waved down the driver who opened the door and let me in.
Though i had caught A bus I didn’t have a clue if it was the right bus; I didn’t have time to see what number it was. I was sort of dozing when the bus came to a stop and i noticed it was my stop so I ran to the exit and squeezed between the closing doors, jumping from the bus which had just started rolling again, in an Indiana Jones-like fashion, landing on my feet.
Not bad for a first day.
[sorry again for no pictures] ill take the camera tomorrow possibly.