So there I was, on a bus full of Spanairds and Anglos from all around the world on my way to a hotel in an isolated little Spanish town.
We sat Anglo-Spaniard on the bus. I was sat next to a very chatty Spanish man. Initially I wondered what the hell we would talk about but the conversation flowed easily and I was treated to a running commentary of all of the attractions in Madrid!
My very own Spanish tour guide!
Talking to someone who does not speak English fluently and with correct pronounciation for over two hours is hard. I actually had a headache by the time we pulled up to the secluded hotel in Candeleda that would be my home for the next week.
I was pleasantly suprised with the hotel, It was absolutely beautiful! It had a pool, lots of grass and amazing mountains that looked super-imposed in the backdrop. It reminded me of the Austrian Alps in the Sound of Music!
There was a bar area too. Yes!
The amazing pool!
The ‘Sound of music’ mountains!
In Candeleda the ‘Anglos’ purpose was to talk to the Spaniards in English. All day and all night. Every day was filled with ‘one to ones’, ‘two to twos’ and group activities. The Anglos talked with the Spaniards all day and corrected their grammar/vocabulary if needed and helped them with their presentations. Although the worldload was fun it was also very tiring but it got easier as the week went on. At the end of the week I actually started to think in broken English with a Spanish accent!
During the week we had many social events too such as the Quemada, Discos, a BBQ outside at sunset, watching the Real Madrid vs Barcelona match, team building activities, plays and even an excursion to a Bee museum… Yeah thats right, a Bee museum!
Looking a little embarrassed during a team building activity! Thats my Canadian friend Linda on the left!
We had a well deserved siesta time everyday for about an hour and a half. I used mine productively sunbathing by the pool and playing ‘basketball’ in the pool with my fellow Spaniards and Anglos, being ever so careful not to wet my red hair in the pool!
The evenings were spent drinking beer (purchased from a very hot barman…) outside in the little huts. I was usually one of the last to go to bed and I had some very in depth and amusing conversations with both the Anglos and Spaniards. I especially looked forward to the Spaniards’ dirty jokes!
The huts outside where we talked and laughed until the early hours
At dinner time on the last day
I had an amazing week at Pueblo Ingles, I met some amazing people and I went outside my comfort zone everyday, and loved it! I was able to be myself and my confidence increased tenfold throughout the week.
I enjoyed helping the Spaniards learn English and I realised that I would like to persue this at some point in my life!
On the last morning there were many emotional goodbyes after the graduation ceremony. Many people were even crying. I did not want to leave.
After Candeleda I was prepared to head back to Madrid and spend the remaining week in Madrid, exploring the various museums and art galleries.
Little did I know that the remaining week could not be any different…
During the number 2 party Giselle asked me if I would like to go on a road trip to Linares (a city in Andalucia: South of Spain) with her and Bev. The plan was to meet up with some of the Spaniards from Pueblo Ingles in their home town and attend the Feria (festival)!
Of course I leaped at the chance to have an adventure!
So the story continues…..
Have you ever volunteered to teach English? If so how was it? Did it inspire you too change your career?