Carta Oficial.

I received my official letter from BEDA today! Now I’m just waiting for my doctor to send me my medical certificate so that I can get that notarized and then I’m ready to go to D.C. to file for my visa. Now that it’s all coming together, it’s really starting to hit me that me moving to Spain is actually happening.

In other news, I was聽searching聽through the Auxiliares in Madrid facebook group and a girl asked about apartments in Majadahonda. A current auxiliar told her that if she was looking for apartments there just because that’s where her school is, that she should reconsider and live in the city because it’s less than an hour to get there by bus/train. This was great news to me since I wasn’t too thrilled at the idea of living in Majadahonda. I definitely would prefer to live in the city. I did some research and if I live in the Moncloa district of Spain, then my commute would only be around 40 minutes, which isn’t too shabby. I really like the Ciudad Universitaria area of Moncloa. It would be perfect since the commute to my school would be 40 min and then my commute to Comillas for my course would be about 10 minutes!

I’m hoping we get all our information regarding the Comillas University course soon. I’d really like to know what day/time class is, plus I’m hoping some of the other BEDA applicants that I’ve talked to online are in my class 馃檪

Another thing that I’m聽itching聽to know is what age group I’ll be working with. The BEDA coordinator mentioned in an email that she would gives us our school’s contact information, but we still haven’t gotten it. I’m thinking of making a call to the school to see if they can tell me the name of the person who is in charge of the auxiliares at my school so that I can ask them if they have an idea of what grade I’ll be working with. I’ll definitely post on here once I know anything.

As you can see, I’m having issues with my goal of embracing the Spaniard mentality of going with the flow…the inner planner in me just can’t adjust to such a way of thinking! I promise I’m trying to loosen in up in that regard, but it’s definitely going to take me some time…

 

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Learning to Think Like a Spaniard.

Well, this morning got off to a bit of a rough start for me. I woke up around 8 to an email from the BEDA coordinator. I assumed that it was the official acceptance letter with all the details regarding my school and health insurance…I was wrong. It was an email informing me that the school they assigned me to had made an error and only wanted 2 auxiliares instead of 4, so they were switching me to another school in another town. My original school was in Alcal谩 de Henares, my new school is in Majadahonda. When I first read the email, my initial reaction was along the lines of this:

After a few seconds, however, I was grateful for the fact that I was still in the program. Plus, they did assign me the same amount of hours. So many people would kill to be in my position of even having a placement. I then started to think about how laid back most people are in Spain and how they really just try to roll with the punches. They are聽definitely聽of the mindset that if you have no control over it, why worry about it…En fin, es lo que hay.聽I’m going to embrace that mentality as much as possible. Something tells me that most things aren’t going to go according to plan when it comes to Spain…

Auxiliares de Conversaci贸n Placements.

Auxiliares started placing first years on Friday. It’s been so great to see where everyone is getting placed. A lot of the people I talk to on expat and facebook got placed in Madrid so I’m very excited that we’ll be close enough that we can hop on the metro for a short ride if we all want to try and arrange a get together 馃檪

I will say that it’s going to be very strange to hit the decline button once my placement from them rolls around. I’m so curious to see where I could have ended up in Spain had BEDA not worked out.

 

EDIT: I would have been in Castilla y Le贸n had I done the Ministry program.

All My Madrid Details.

I promised a longer post with more details, so here it is.

Yesterday, I received this email from the BEDA coordinator:

I am very pleased to inform you that you that you have been selected to take part as a Language & Culture Assistant in the BEDA Program with Escuelas Cat贸licas Madrid and Universidad de Comillas in 2012/2013. Congratulations!

Further information will be communicated to you by email next week with dates for the course in September and details of your school and the hours.

Well, the next week part of the email turned out to mean the next day…I received another email this morning with my school information and the number of hours a week I’ll be working. I was assigned the maximum amount of hours (24) which makes me very happy because that means I get the maximum amount of pay (1040鈧)! My school is located in the city of Alcal谩 de Henares in the Madrid community. I looked up some of the things in the city and saw this:

Isn’t it beautiful?!

That is the Plaza de Cervantes in Alcal谩 de Henares. It’s only a few minutes from my school. Guess I know where I’ll be spending all my free time when it’s nice out!

Now I really need to get cracking on all my visa paperwork. The email they sent us stated that we must be in Spain by September 12th so that gives me a a few months to get everything in order. Then I have to think about all the oh so joyous things like apartment hunting, setting up a bank account, getting my NIE, and a phone. Fun times ahead.

IT’S OFFICIAL!!!

I received my acceptance e-mail from BEDA this morning!!! 隆ADIOS MARYLAND, HOLA MADRID!

This was me when I got the email:

Really, though. I started running around the kitchen like a crazy person while doing my happy dance.

I’ll post a longer, more descriptive post later!!!!!!

Little Pieces of “Home”

As placement looms closer, I’ve been thinking a lot about my new life in Spain. The main thing that I know will be truly difficult for me is how much I’m going to miss my family, my adorable chihuahua, my friends, and little things that make me think of “home.”

In order to address that last one, I’ve been thinking of things in Spain that could make me feel like I’m more at home. The first thing is the language. I’ve grown up in a household that speaks both English and Spanish so I am use to hearing Spanish every single day. In that aspect I think I have a bit of an advantage compared to others. I can speak and comprehend Spanish plus I’m use to hearing it all the time. That’s a comforting thought.

Next is the cuisine. That is another thing that I don’t think I’ll have too hard of a time adjusting to. I eat Spanish cuisine much more often than I eat American dishes. My favorite thing in the world is arroz con fricase de pollo. I shouldn’t have too hard of a time finding dishes I’ll love in Spain.

I’ll miss some of my American TV shows, but that’s easily resolved with the internet. Plus, I like Spanish shows. I watched all of Yo Soy Bea while it was airing and I currently watch Los Protegidos.

Recently, I was looking up pictures of various locations in Spain that I want to visit while I’m there. There were two places that really hit me when I saw them. The first was a picture of a street in Gran Canaria.

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Gran Canaria

When I first saw it, I didn’t believe it was in Spain because it looks just like El Viejo San Juan in Puerto Rico:

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Viejo San Juan

Then, I saw a picture of Castillo de San Ant贸n and it also looks just like a spot in el Viejo San Juan around El Paseo de la Princesa.

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Castillo de San Ant贸n

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Paseo de la Princesa in el Viejo San Juan ;

When I saw these pictures, I knew I would be okay because those are at least two places in Spain that I can think of as “home.” They are so similar to Puerto Rico, which isn’t surprising given the amount of cultura y herencia that Puerto Rico inherited from Spain.

In terms of missing my family, pup, and friends…well, that’s what skype, facebook, and phones are for. And if all else fails, I’m sure they could visit me at some point.

Anyway, I’m hoping that in the next week or two I’ll have news regarding placement. 隆Hablamos Luego!