Sunday, 23 October 2011

First Day

The first week of school went very well but very quickly. I use the term “week” liberally as I only work three days a week. Tuesday through Thursday, I work from 9:30am to 2:30pm. On the first day of school, I was waiting at the gate with a few kids when I heard them talking about the Canadian teacher who was going to come teach English with “Teacher”-which is what they call Rafael. They were very excited. As much as it is a novelty to have a foreign teacher, many of the students are from different countries as well. When I was introducing myself to the classes, I met students from Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Portugal, Nigeria, Ghana, Bangladesh, and Morocco. This is very uncommon for this area of Spain. Galicia is somewhat isolated from the rest of the country in the Northwest corner, they are not used to this amount of immigration. Rafael is embracing this wholeheartedly and we’re going to share about each of our different cultures. Rafael is the English teacher for the school, but also teaches arts and crafts and computers. He’s a very enthusiastic and passionate teacher and wants to incorporate English into his other subjects and projects. He cares a lot about his students and about improving his own English.

The school is of a decent size. There are three floors in the main building with a playground and shared basketball courts with the cummunity. They have another building with the offices, a kitchen and dining room, and the pre-school area. The children are in class from 9:30 to 2:30 with a short break at noon. Then they eat lunch in the dining hall and have extracurricular activities until 5pm.

There is a fantastic little coffee machine in the staff room. As many of you know, coffee is one of my favourite things in life. So now I am going to break down one of the most simple but key characteristics of Spanish culture that draws me in.
Café con Leche (literally means coffee with milk)

1 espresso (or about an ounce of very strong coffee)
1.5 oz of steamed or heated milk
Add sugar as desired

It is just a little slice of heaven for me. I seem to have one maybe 3 or 4 times a day. This doesn’t even add up to one large coffee in Canada so I don’t feel too guilty.
         On the subject of food, I had the most delicious meal on Tuesday.  After classes, we went to lunch at a nearby restaurant. The other teachers suggested that I get a fillet of steak with French fries and salad. Together with a half pint of beer and a post lunch coffee it cost me seven Euros! I think that was the best beef I have ever had….the cows must be different here…fewer hormones and more exercise.

¡Hasta Pronto Amigos!

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