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Showing posts from September, 2007

Towels, Turks and Telephones

Maggie got a phone line yesterday so she's available again by email and voice.

ONO, the suppliers, turned up about 40 minutes after their arranged time which must be split second timing for a utility company. When they'd finished the installation Maggie realised she didn't have a phone so she went out to buy one.

On the way home she popped into a shop to buy a couple of towels. It turned out that the shop was run by a husband and wife team and that he was Turkish; they all had a chat. Maggie seems to have enjoyed their company. So the Only Brit in the Village meets the Only Turk in the Village.

Caca and pipi

The children that Maggie works with are very young. Apparently one of her charges had his or her first "accident" today but someone else wiped it up. Maggie says that toilet behaviour is one of the conversational topics amongst her teaching colleagues.

Educating Maggie

Poor old Maggie has a bit of a head cold today but it is not stopping her forging ahead with her social life.

I mentioned that she has joined an aerobics class (though she turned up half an hour late for the first session and decided against going in) and today she joined up for a ceramics course. Apparently when she went to the Adult Education Centre to sign up she attracted quite a little group around her. She asked about Spanish courses but she was told they were for foreigners and well below her level of Spanish (!) At least one of the staff there knew of her "Ah, you're the English teacher working at the school on the British Council Project." Ciudad Rodrigo is a small place.

Making pals

Maggie is obviously pretty much on her tod in Ciudad Rodrigo. No clans of Brits to chat to there.

Very soon after she got to work she bumped into the people who own the flat she is renting. They invited her around to see their house. Whilst there she met the mother and a sister in law. Since then she has run into one member or another of the family on the street several times and she has begun to feel that she is being stalked (or that she's the stalker). They have walked to the family farm, been involved in a small fiesta and shared a shopping trip.

She's also been out for a coffee with a work colleague a couple of times after work, she's arranged an intercambio (the Spaniard speaks English, Maggie speaks Spanish) with the woman from the Tourist Info office at the Town Hall and she's just signed up for three evenings a week of aerobics at the local gym.

Mind you she was just watching a celebrity gossip show when we spoke on the phone a little while ago

First Teaching Day

Maggie has been at her new school, Miróbriga, in Ciudad Rodrigo since the beginning of September. The first week was taken up with planning meetings, getting resources sorted and popping out for coffee. The second week was largely taken up with an "orientation" course organised for people new to the project that Maggie is working on. The course was in Alcala de Henares, birthplace of Cervantes.

Finally, at the beginning of week three Maggie saw the three year olds that she will be "teaching English" for the coming year. She's only had ten minutes of contact time. The lesson plan was to work on saying hello. Apparently ten minutes is a long time in the life of a three year old and when they were not being directly addressed they had a tendency to crawl away. Maggie says a lot of them looked very scared.