Monthly Archives: October 2014

“So it’s Laura?”

I started teaching at the beginning of this month. I had visited the town once before to find my school and walk around a bit, so on the first day I knew where I was going. Or so I thought. I walked into my school and was greeted in English by a guy I later learned was José, one of the bilingual teachers. I guess it was pretty obvious who I was and where I was from. He informed me that there are actually two schools. Both are primary schools, but the school I was in is for grades 4-6 while the school I needed to head to to meet the bilingual coordinator was further down the road. This school is for grades 1-3 with a preschool nearby.

Here's a view of the town I work in called Ajalvir.

Here’s a view of the town I work in called Ajalvir.

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Fresh Air!

I know I haven’t posted yet about my job (AKA the main reason I’m here…) and that post will come soon, but first here are some more pictures. I recently visited a town called Segovia, which is northwest of Madrid. I had time on the weekend for a day trip and several friends to go with, so it was a great chance to see life in other parts of Spain. It was nice to get out of the city, breathe some fresh air, and take some more pictures. It’s fairly cheap to travel around by train for day trips, so I’m hoping to plan another soon.

Finally saw an aqueduct in person!

Finally saw an aqueduct in person!

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A New Level of Hell

A good part of the second week of my homestay was spent waking up every morning extremely anxious and frustrated. About what you might ask? Oh, just the most painful apartment hunting experience ever that made finding housing in Columbia look like a cakewalk. Here’s what makes it so painful. Your options for finding housing here are these: 1) By chance, know someone who has an empty space in his/her apartment. 2) Call every single “For Rent” sign you see on buildings in the neighborhoods you like, hope someone answers, hope it’s still available, and hope someone knows a bit of English. 3) Spend hours upon hours on apartment search websites such as Idealista, Piso Compartido, or Easy Piso, bookmark a ton of them, naively email the owners and soon realize that email is a pretty unreliable means of communication here, send them a Whatsapp message selling yourself as a roommate, see that they saw your message but don’t want to respond, get desperate enough to call people, then schedule an apartment showing if you’re lucky. 4) Pay an agency anywhere from 100-500 euros to help you find an apartment. Continue reading