Just got back from Paris with Pat! and some of our other friends…Uche..and the famous Robin (remember? my darling host in Amsterdam). It was incredible.
First, though, my flight was delayed a half hour because there were more people on board than seats. This was even after I started using legit airlines (Ryanair no more!..Because I’m illegal and they check visas). But, due to it being a real airline I got free dinner and a glass of wine. (And the guy at Subway had given me a free cookie! I was in heaven at this point). I landed in Paris (Charles de Gaulle, how you’ve been a funny character in my life) and scooted my tush over to a different gate to me…wait for it…drumroll…wait…PAT! Yay. We jumped on a train and met up with Uche and Robin and headed out for a night on the town. We went to a fog bar (sprayed fake fog every two minutes) where my favorite beer, Desperado, 1.20 in Madrid was 8 EURO. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? But it was hilarious. And I bought a very theatrically-given shot for Uche. We then went to a bar closer to Uche’s (magnificent) apartment where we accidentally let two cats out of a trap door and then got kicked out…serious. That really happened.
The next morning we slept in late, ate some crepes, saw the Tower, explored Paris and just generally hung out. I even got escargot! YUM. It was so delicious. This day was just full of relaxing, exploring and talking which is exactly what a mini vacation should be. At night we got a collection of fancy cheese, baguettes and wine and had a nice dinner at home. We went out to an “American-style” bar after munching on some nutella and sugar crepes but headed home early so we could have a fun day on Sunday.
Sunday we woke up, packed our stuff, and traveled all day with our backpacks. First we went to Sacre Couer (stunning view, beautiful church) which I had missed out on doing the last time I went. We walked by Moulin Rouge (which apparently translated to The Red Windmill. That’s a new fact for me) on our way to the finish line of the Tour du France! We actually got to see the bikers on the last bit of their ridiculous race. It was so cool. Thankfully Pat hoisted me up so I could see past the massive and rowdy crowd. We met an old Australian couple (the title of this post is a reference to a conversation we had) and the gentleman gave me a kangaroo earring (that matched his) so we could find each other again later in life. What a hoot. After that Pat and I headed to the airport where we said goodbye…until this Friday!
Friday I’m heading over to Germany to spend 6 days with The Tall One to celebrate my 21st birthday. (Although I’ll certainly need some more celebration when I get home…I think Keeley is planning a dual birthday fiesta for August 19th..stay tuned). Two weeks from today and I’ll be heading home. I’m definitely getting excited.
Lucky to have been where I have been, lucky to be coming home again.
..there’s no way I can begin to try to explain how awesome the camp was. I can’t remember all of the things that happened or all of the hilarious sayings from the kids. (by the way, in Spain they add “tion” to the end of Spanish words to make them English just like we add “o” to make them spanish. Ex: Teacher! My..eh..piernation hurts! (My leg hurts!)
Night time activities for the monitors was awesome. We went out almost every single night. One night we sat out on a massive boulder overlooking the city and watched a lightning storm beyond the mountains. We went swimming in the (very warm) river at night under the stars…we salsa danced, bar hopped (since there were only two bars in the ENTIRE town this meant we literally hopped (like bunnies) from one bar to the other), met some locals, exchanged jokes with the bartender, multiple night time slip n slides, we watched movies in the giant theater at the school…etc. One night David and I taught some of the Spaniards the LMFAO shuffle then impressed the heck out of them with an awesome Summer Nights duet that rocked the bar. It was total freedom at night with hardly any responsibility. It was such a freeing, incredible feeling, one that I’m not used to in my everyday life.
We all left Madrid at like 830 (which was rough for some of the other monitors who had gone out and arrived intoxicated for the bus ride), we got the lay of the land and set up for a while. Then the kids arrived. Little did we know how close we’d all become. This day was pretty low key, with move-in, rules, placement test, two meals (not too shabby) and general getting-to-know-you. Each day was similar and we had a great time bonding.Each night we had a different activity planned (my main job with David). We had dance night, star gazing, trivia, english competition, fourth of july party/field day, birthday party celebrations, two movies (one was signs and we scared the HELL out of the kids), an immigrant game where I got to be a drug dealer/pimp/chony (trashy Spanish girl who wears too much makeup-the kids dressed me up) and Jordi was my prostitute, farewell party, etc. During the day we also went horseback riding, kayaking and windsurfing. This was not a bad job. I literally got paid (and well!) to go horseback riding through the Spanish countryside surrounded by wildflowers (appropriately my song with my dad is Wildflowers by Tom Petty). I am so blessed.
Gotta go play with the girls!
Love, love and only about three more weeks!
Watching American vs Japan. Let’s go ladies!
I fell in love with 44 little Spanish kids. With the tiny town, the mountains. The amazing monitors, the new vocab I learned, the constant adventure and constant exhaustion.
Every day was wake up at 8, breakfast, two hours of class, sports hour (I taught kickball and basketball) two hours of class, lunch, siesta (a God send, I’ll definitely be bringing that tradition back to the US), work shops (I taught Glee-epic performance of I’m Yours and Rolling in the Deep, theater, and teambuilding), journals, dinner, night activities, lights out then fiesta time for the monitors.
Some notable mentions of my favorite kid..
Guille “It is my blonde” when he chose me to be his Kayak partner
Daniel Turpin, who became my and David’s favorite snuggle buddy.
Mario, who claimed to be Barney Stinson (They are obsessed with How I Met Your Mother, awesome kids)
Alejandro, who threw me in the pool three times
Miguel, who is about 6’2 and super handsome but bashful and begged me for girl advice. And also said he was terrified of me once I reprimanded the camp for being disrespectful to our director.
Carlitos. Just because he’s my Carlitos and was the nicest kid.
Angela, rebel turned favorite. Caught her smoking on the first day then were both in tears upon parting. “You have much face, Dani” when she translated the Spanish “tienes mucha cara” (you are cheeky) after I let her bribe me to keep her cell at night.
Claudia. Athlete, angel. One of the camp favorites of all.
Yasmina. Had an incredible heart to heart about body image…then she confessed her undying passion for David (the other monitor)
Paula. Best back rubs. Used to sneak into her room with Alba, Ana Maria, and Clara for late night girl talk.
And so, so many more.
Running across the street for a neighborhood festival/concert. Be back soon for more updates!
Sorry I haven´t been updating a lot..not a whole lot of time! These kids keep me busy. Expect a giant report when I´m finished (Friday!)
Hey guys! Camp is awesome and I´m so glad I signed up for this job. I´ll try to keep you updated as often as possible but I don´t get a whole lot of computer time (too busy with the kids..not a bad thing).
I´m up near the mountains in a town caleld Buitrago del Lozoya http://www.buitrago.org/ at a marianist boarding school that is 150% the size of the town. Haha. It´s great. We have 44 kids that range in age from 11 to 17 (almost 18) which is a big difference in age/maturity (and, yes, a lot of the kids are significantly taller than me). For us to more efficiently teach we pretend like none of us speak Spanish which is really funny, especially when they talk about us right in front of us. The monitors are Rosi (my boss. Austrian. incompetent), Usama (Syrian-Spanish. doesn´t really speak English. assistant director and never around), Opal (Jamaican, roommate, talks to herself all the time), Jordi (Spanish. awesome. I´m bringin him back to SLU with me in the fall for a few years), David (Spanish-American. awesome), Irving (Mexican American, awesome), Kristin (American, awesome, roommate) and myself.
I definitely have a few favorites so far and a few kids who I want to slap when they open their mouths to speak but overall it´s really great.
I teach Kickball, Theater (all boys), Glee (all girls), and Teambuilding..which has turned into “talk about boys with the girls while the boys try to do flips/gymnastics). Not a bad set up to have.
Brief summary of what´s been happening (I´ll keep updating as I go along!)
Friday: Arrive at the bus stop at 830 ( had to get up at 630 to pack and get there) then an hour and a half ride out of Madrid to Buitrago. We set up and greeted the kids and did icebreakers and bonded all day. We have a really good group (funny things: we have A Couple, and a cousin due that is super sexual with each other and some other funny characters. I have so many great quotes from them so far).
Augh. Just got called away. I´ll be back later to update more!