Friday, March 4, 2011

"Today is the greatest day I've ever known" --the Smashing Pumpkins

February 28th marked the end of my 6th month in Spain and a seemingly new chapter in my life.  It's funny to me, but after six months here it finally feels like my life is changing.  The first six months in Spain were nice, but now I can see that I was just maintaining, trying to stay afloat. It took me all of that time to adjust to being here. Now I feel ready to face anything that Europe can throw at me. So I booked a flight to Rome, and arrived this afternoon.

Going to Rome has been something I've wanted to do for years.  I made plans to go during Christmas break but they fell through at the last minute.  I'm vacationing alone for the first time in my life, and going into it I was quite nervous.  I'm not really alone, though, because I am fortunate enough to be staying with the School Sisters of Notre Dame in their generalate house. Their hospitality is overwhelming to me. I have my own bedroom and bathroom in the basement of the house and am welcome to join them at all of their meals.  It is late here now, but I am looking forward to exploring Rome on my own terms tomorrow.

Another amazing thing that happened: I got accepted to "teach" English at an elementary school in Burgos.  I applied two weeks ago, feeling absolutely unqualified, and was stunned when I got accepted. It's not actually teaching; what they want is a native English speaker to come in and talk to the kids.  So, every week for two or three hours I get to go the the Colegio de Jesus-Maria and talk about pretty much whatever I feel like. It's supposed to be culturally based, so I'll talk about North Dakota (yeah, repping the home state!) and the US a lot.  I'm starting to make some powerpoint presentations with lots of pictures and trying to think of ideas to interest little kids. The classes will range from kindergarten to sixth grade. So, anyone with ideas for fun, possibly educational kids' activities, send them my way!

With that, it's time for sleep, and tomorrow = Rome.