Wednesday, 5 November 2008

New people in our lives

These last few weeks have opened up a world of new friends for Theo and me - it's almost overwhelming. Our week with Pueblo Ingles at La Alberca has left us feeling slightly bereft because we became so close to so many people then had to be parted from them almost straight away. Slightly bereft, yes, but also richer in new relationships, many of which I feel sure will last indefinitely.

The experience at La Alberca was special partly because we felt we were doing something helpful, but mainly because the intense programme of conversation - much of it highly intimate in nature - led to a deep appreciation of and affection for the other people involved.

Our weekend in Madrid only added to these feelings as Belen and her boyfriend Cesar made us feel so very welcome in their flat and our other Spanish and Anglo friends organised a joyful reunion in the centre of the city. Extra thanks to Andres, Max and Cesar for their kind chauffeuring too!

It was hard not to feel a little flat as we tackled the seven-hour drive to Barcelona on Sunday then arrived in the middle of downpour. But our new landlady soon helped to lift our dampened spirits. Ilse is a German translator who lives and works in Barcelona and lets out one of her rooms to visiting trainee teachers. As soon as we had arrived and got our stuff inside, we were offered home-made pumpkin soup and told to help ourselves to anything in the kitchen. Not only is Ilse friendly and generous, she is also providing us with a well-furnished double bedroom plus en-suite bathroom. Yay!

For the last three days the weather has been warm and sunny, our tutors, fellow trainees and our students are all likable people and the teacher training course we are doing is challenging but enjoyable.

If we didn't have so much homework, we might even find the time to feel exceedingly smug.

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