(If you haven't seen Granada, you haven't seen nada)
16.10.2009 - 25.10.2009
View No Spain No Gain on staley's travel map.
We apologize for the lack of updates over the past few weeks, but we were trying to lay-low for awhile because our visas expired and we were no longer legal residents of the country…just kidding (kind of). But don’t worry, we are now well on our way to becoming legal residents due to our most recent trip (there have been a couple attempts) to the capital city of Almería, the province we live in.
The past few weeks we have been getting acclimated to our schools and new schedules. This is a big week at my school (Sara) because it is up to the other American language assistant and I to accurately portray how Americans celebrate the amiable tradition of Halloween. Tomorrow I’ll be spending the day gutting and carving faces perhaps on pumpkins, but likely on whatever type of gourd Spain has to offer. Maybe we’ll even use watermelons.
School has been very different for the both of us. I (Matt) have a lot of freedom in the way I conduct classes. I mostly teach the younger kids (12-14 year olds) whose level of English is not very high. Usually I show them a bit of American culture and we play a simple game to practice English, like Balderdash or Hangman or Charades. Sara, on the other hand, has not had much freedom yet. Usually she just reads a page or so from a textbook to her captivated pupils. Still, she’s doing her best to work in some rousing games of heads-up seven up whenever possible.
As for our travels, we had our first grand adventure this weekend in Granada. Granada is an amazing and beautiful city, which is divided into 3 sections: Christian, Jewish and Muslim sectors. There is also a radiant castle, which is set upon a hilltop (which we the pleasure of climbing twice when entrance tickets were sold out) called the Alhambra. We toured the Alhambra on Saturday evening and were able to go inside the Palace of Carlos V. It had many elaborate decorations, such as a leveled ceiling which represents the 7 levels of heaven in Islam. The Muslim sector of the city is also on a large, steep hill, and has a gorgeous view from a plaza called the mirador. We ascended to the mirador at sunset to look out over both the city and the castle, a breath-taking sight.
We also had a confusing mishap at the bus station on the way back from Granada. Apparently, we did not know this, the Spanish also practice daylight savings time, it just so happens that we turned back the clock in Spain on the day we were to return to Vera. When we arrived at the station our phones said that the time was 4 pm. The clocks all throughout the bus station said 3, and we thought to ourselves “That’s weird that the clocks in a bus station, of all places, are wrong”. Our bus (the last bus that day) left at 5, and as 4 pm approached (or what we thought was 5 pm), we anxiously looked outside to search for our bus. When we went outside it was nowhere to be found! After questioning multiple bus drivers, who were of no help to us, we asked another driver. He told us that the bus would show up at the other end of the station, and we replied “But there’s no bus there, and it is supposed to leave about now”. He looked at us funny and told us that it was only 4, and that our bus would be coming at 5. Although we were very confused, we decided to trust him, and realized what must have happened. When we returned to Vera on our bus, we found that our friends had all known about this change.
So, now that we know what time it is, are no longer in danger of being deported, and will hopefully finally get our first paycheck providing us with a few much needed Euros later this week, things are back to normal in our quiet little town of Vera. Check out the new pictures posted this evening and ¡rompe la pana!