You may not have known the name of the town that I’ve lived in for the last 7 seven months.
Mainly because I never fully mentioned it.
The second school I was placed with for my BEDA assignment was Maria Immaculada in Puertollano.
Puertollano is a very small town about 1 hour and 15 minutes south of Madrid on the AVE high speed train.
It was once a thriving coal mining town and is still a large industrial area in Castilla La Mancha. The plant headquarters of Repsol (oil company) is located there.
There are many points of interest here and it is has been great to explore.
I will miss walking (FOR EXERCISE AND CLARITY) from my apartment to the countryside and Repsol. The walk would take about 2 hours there and back. Life here is quite comfortable and easy.
Most importantly I will miss the teachers and students whom I shared my life with everyday Monday-Friday. The past week was spent saying goodbyes, eating final meals together, watching final performances, and giving and exchanging gifts.
Though this experience wasn’t easy at all. It has changed my perspective on a great deal of things. I no longer wish to work as an ESL teacher. But please understand that this was never a permanent career field. However I will work with people who are in need of enhancing their English skills on a personal individual level whenever the opportunity arises.
I love teaching and helping people which will never change!
The amazing teachers at Maria Immaculada were also so helpful to me and willing to guide me with any problems that arose. Many of them I know will be a life long friends and will truly be missed.
Opening up your life to a “stranger”, “foreigner”, “expat” is very tricky (from both aspects..you <—>them). You never know how long this person will be around. And relationships will develop quickly regardless of the language barrier.
But you have to be willing to be open, stay genuine and be your true organic self. Though I may not have made nearly as many friends in Spain this second time around or even as in South Korea, life showed me the true nature of the human spirit and it has impacted me greatly…in a beautiful way.
From the bus driver who always waited (wednesdays for my ride to my private lesson), the local grocer that added an extra apple, my favorite teachers that always said yes to having a coffee, my duenos who helped me move into my apartment 7 months ago, and dropped me off to the AVE with too many bags journeying home, the safe walking/running path, the nun that put me in her pocket when I first arrived, my sweet little safe haven apartment, all the christmas dinner invites so I wouldn’t be alone...
So many memories.
Though I wouldn’t do this program again (meaning for a 2nd year), I don’t regret anything about my experience.
Well maybe one thing…
That I studied Spanish a little harder… 🙂
Life is truly a lesson…a series of lessons…progression. My entire academic career was based on the notion that I wanted to work in International health and development. I wanted to travel and help people around the globe with issues concerning health and wellness, disaster relief, mentoring young students to pursue what they love and travel, and uplift people in their life anyway I can.
Teaching ESL was a test. I wanted a change from my path because I thought it wasn’t the right way to go.
However everyday I got up for work I knew my heart felt differently.
When the universe gives you countless signs and visions that all lead back to your “original plan” , “your north”, you’d be a fool not to listen.
If your natural propensities and ideas are stifled because you can’t share them with anyone around for fear they won’t understand (both on a general communicative and language level) then you can either continue to waste away or change your circumstances.
For anyone reading this…if you are really serious about helping individuals improve their English, then study the English language (all aspects of linguistics and grammar), create YOUR OWN fun games and lesson plans to teach English conversations skills.
Most times All the lesson plans in the books are dry, dull, and boring. Don’t apply to BEDA or EPIK because you just want to travel. You really have to work hard too if you actually want to help your students. #offthesoapbox
The journey for me here has now come to an end.
Well actually …
Hasta luego y un abrazo!
The last lunch with my favorite teachers 🙂
I must interject and share about this picture. The women in Spain are ALWAYS dressed to impressed.! ALWAYS!!! Everyday their outfits were just divine. AND their shoes! I asked some of the teachers to take a silly picture showing off their shows.
Gifts for the teachers! If people have impacted your life in a good way…let them know. Showing gratitude is always necessary 🙂
Congrats to those of you who were accepted into the BEDA program. I wish you the best of luck. Feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have any questions.
Also you can leave a comment on the Facebook page and I will get back to you guys right away.