Saturday, October 6, 2012

Siempre para arriba!

After three plane flights, two bus rides, and a six hour time change, I arrived in Galdakao, the town where I will be teaching this year. With a little wandering about and the help of some friendly Spanish residents, I made my way to the hotel that my mom had booked for our trip—a quaint Basque family house. As I slowly cracked the door open the notes of Sammy Davis Jr. spilled out along with the scent of lunch in epic Spanish proportions. It was a pleasant way to start my stay in a new place! (Thanks Mom!)


"En Bilbao, es siempre hacia arriba."

That's what they told me when I arrived in the Basque Country, "In Bilbao, it's always up!" I dedicated my first day here to exploring Galdakao, the suburb where I will be teaching this year. The first order of business was finding the school, and asking for directions more than once elicited the response, "Walk to the top of this hill, take a left, walk to the top of that hill, turn right, walk to the top of that hill, keep going, and up there, above everything, is Elexalde." And they were correct! I continued upwards through town, and, eventually, I arrived at my new school.

IES Elexalde

As my return to España was fast approaching this summer, I began to have doubts about my decision to come to the Basque Country. Why would I ever go anywhere without Teresa and Fran? How could I ever find somewhere to live better than with Mucha? No school could be as friendly and welcoming as Rodeira! I will miss my friends and students so much! And these things are probably true. But, wandering through town now that I had finally arrived, I was reminded of all the reasons I love Spain. I took the photos below from the same spot, within a three minute span of time. Taking out the trash isn't the only chore reserved for men in Spain, they must also collect the Sunday pan

I suppose that's the meaning of echarse a andar--sometimes you have to echar a little extra! It's always tough to leave the places and people you love, and the more places you go, the more there are to love! Fortunately, arriving somewhere new has its own sparkle. Here's looking ahead to new adventures in España and the País Vasco!

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