Public speaking is not my forte. Senior year of college I signed up for Public Speaking in attempt to remedy this, but dropped this freshmen-level class after one speech (a how-to on board-folding clothes, coming from me LOL) as I realized that there was a heavy focus on research skills and my next opportunity to get up in front of the class wouldn’t be for another month or two. Yet, somehow it never came to mind when I was planning for (/dreaming about) this trip that improving my public speaking would be another benefit of my experience. I’ll be working 1-1 and I believe mostly in groups of 3-4, but often I’ll be presenting about a holiday or tradition from the US. The advantage of working with all the grade levels is that I get to do each presentation 12x throughout the week and by the last one I’m really nailing it. The disadvantage is by the 3rd one of each day I’m losing my voice.
This week I presented a powerpoint “About Me and My City”. I’ve embedded it below. In case the link doesn’t work, the drone video I showed the kids is here (check out the other videos they’ve got too. Chicago is beautiful!) I had an alternate one for the younger kids (skipping some of the slides like Diversity and Bandwagon fans, as well as the bottom row of famous Chicagoans :p) and stuck to keywords with the youngest. If you didn’t see your name on the Diversity slide… well then I probably don’t actually like you.. or maybe I just didn’t want to seem too popular in case they didn’t believe I had any friends at all <3 (Oh, and ignore the last few slides, they were ones I decided to scrap but forgot to delete)
Highlights of the week:
Tuesday - We finally had the orientation for our program which meant to school for me (but volunteered to cover those hours on Wed). The orientation, being 3 weeks into our work, contained little-to-no new information and I had to promptly dash home for a nap afterwards. However, it was nice to meet some of the Auxiliars from across the island that I hadn’t met before.
The real highlight of this day was dinner. We had a “family dinner” again with the hosts and a few of the guests. This time Heinz (the host) prepared a delicious dish with snails, shrimp, crab, chicken (which soaked up the seafood flavors) and rice. NOMMMM.
Thurs: The highlight of this day came in the evening when I was catching up on my shows. Spotted myself in Chicago PD!
BTW If anyone happens to be on vacation or living abroad in the future and wants to squander their time watching TV from back home… just follow the instructions on tvunblock (it’s free!) - it even works on your phone (at least androids! only on wifi though)
Friday: There’s a coffeeshop near my place that’s one of the few cafes that spent a little time designing their menu/brand and resembles some of the “hip” spots back home. Pipet & Co Café Lab. I finally made it there while they were open (before 4 or after 7). Every guest at the hostel has mentioned this place to me, and it lived up to it’s hype! I had a cafe con leche (it’s what I get everywhere and theirs was the best I’ve had so far, it was Illy brand coffee with a chocolaty flavor to it) and apple pie with a ice cream on top. That, combined with some can’t-complain weather, a good book and great wifi for when I got tired of reading said book (it’s in spanish, my brain gets tired) led to a wonderful afternoon. Did I mention that I don’t work Fridays? Ever.
For dinner, I made my first ever tortilla (aka spanish omelette)! When I finished cooking I cleaned up, set the table for myself, put a XL piece on a plate, and ran upstairs to grab my phone so I could make evening plans while I ate.
I’m gone 30 seconds and these assholes cleared my plate… spotless, with the fork still neatly laid across. For a few moments I thought that perhaps I hadn’t made myself a plate yet? So I guess you could say it turned out pretty good, or at least the dogs liked it. It was… relatively successful and definitely edible, but I’m looking forward to Heinz (my AirBNB host) showing me his version next week. BTW here’s the recipe I followed.
In the evening I went out for what I thought would be an early night but forgetting that if you’re out for the night, you’re out until 5 in Spain (and out until 5 I was). Met some more people, played some President (AKA Asshole) at a bar by the port that it looks like I’ll be returning to often (they have delicious ciders, and card/board games) and ended the night dancing.
Saturday - I thought, or rather hoped that Friday would be an early night because I knew I had to play tennis this morning. Luckily what I thought was the tournament was really just a few matches to determine seeds for the tournament next Saturday. Please everyone, say a prayer to the will-power gods for me so I can get some sleep and play better next week. I won 1/3 matches and my opponents were all at least twice my age. Not to discredit their skills, they were pretty good and won fair and square… I was just embarrassed at how winded I was, especially considering the gentlemen who beat everyone bought us all beers afterwards and smoked at least 3 cigarettes in the hour we sat together chatting in the patio of the snack bar. Yes you heard correctly, the snack bar at the gym has beer on tap. And of course an espresso machine, and I doubt they make protein shakes.
Sunday - The week isn’t complete without seeing a new part of the island! No car-owner was available for exploring so 4 of us hopped on the bus to a near-by picturesque town of white houses called Binibeca.
From there we walked - this time along the road - along the coast past another small town finally landing at Punta Prima, another more touristy (but still pretty) beach.
Max and myself headed to a beach-side restaurant because he didn’t pack lunch (me because I was in a rush, him because this was his 2nd day on the island and no one advised him to) while the ladies found a spot on the beach and enjoyed theirs.
Unfortunately our trip had to come to an end before the sun could even set because buses don’t run too late very on sundays, but overall successful! One thing that stuck out to me along our walk was the number of little lizards that we kept seeing (apparently they are a symbol of the island), always scampering away before I could snap a picture. We also saw at least 5 not-sure-if-they’re-stray cats along the way, they were more than happy to hang out but I wasn’t as interested in photographing them :p
Cultural observation of the week: Emojis. In the US, in my generation, texting is a key form of communication (especially in the courting process), and often we find ourselves reading between the lines/texts/emojis. One thing I’m training myself to get used to is to NOT read into emojis here. People love them, use them, and abuse them. If every text ends with a winky face ;) doesn’t mean you should jump to conclusions. No..no I don’t have a fun or embarrassing story behind this, just something I’ve observed and am warning myself ahead of time before I do do something silly ;).
Garbage observation of the week (for Dmitri!):
A few weeks back a fellow Auxiliar sent this out to us over our group chat and I was a bit confused. Why does it matter what time people take their trash to the dumpsters? Well to be honest I'm still a bit confused, but I solved part of the mystery, I think. Homeowners can leave trash bags right outside of their homes, good ol’ NYC style, and a garbage truck drives by at night (around 0030-0100) with the garbage man walking alongside tossing them in. Now this timing doesn’t coincide with any of the times on the above flyer hence my continued conclusion, but the mystery is unraveling little by little! Sorry, no photo.. but instead here are some containers spotted seaside on my sunday stroll: