Vaya Campmento!

Sevilla is a frying pan in the summer. Nothing like leaving your air-conditioned apartment at 6pm to see this terrifying sight:

I was suffocating from the heat, suffocating from boredom. July 10th couldn’t have come fast enough.

I’m currently in La Coruna, Spain, a beautiful and quirky city on the northeast coast in the province of Galicia. This is the land of misty valleys, superstitious fisherman and afternoons like this one:

I’m teaching English at an intensive language camp called Forenex for the second summer. Being an auxiliar is a piece of cake compared to FNX: I have my own classroom with 16 teenagers, am responsible for the lesson plans, decoration and language development of my students, and must give exams, grades and evaluations. For an EFL professional, it’s an everyday job. For me, its a welcome change to what I do during the school year.
This year, I’m working with the fluency level again. Don’t be fooled – my students are not fluent, but they’re nice and improving. There are two 13 year olds and the rest are 15 and 16. Since the level of interest, ability and speaking proficiency are all over the board, it’s been a real challenge to come up with interesting and creative lessons, but I love the subject matter. We did superstitions and bad luck charms (complete with an obstacle course) last week, are finishing tall tales and urban legends now, and will work on modern art next week. I’m really excited, and the kids seem to like the topics. I’m working twice as hard as last summer, but learning quite a bit in the process.
My students are, for the most part, a pleasure to have in class. They can get chatty or a bit mouthy, but all seem to respond fairly well to the activities and are eager to learn. We even won the class decorations contest last week, as voted on by the Spanish monitors (it may or my not have been a fluke…). My kids were treated to VIP treatment at their little disco and invited me along.
The great part about this camp is that we’re so close to a major city that has a lot to offer. In the afternoons we shop or go to the beach, and there’s a lot of movida at night. Coruna has a medieval fest going on this week, so we’ve been heading down to the city frequently. Last weekend, FNX took us to Santiago de Compostela for free, too:


OueOueOue! Little pulpito Paul has done it again and brought Spaniards together the way not even Los San Fermines can. I had to stand on my tip toes for 90 minutes plus an extra 30 before I got tears in my eyes watching my novio, Iker Casillas, hoist Spain’s first World Cup over his head. While I would have probably sold my little tentacled-friend en negro to be in Bernabeu in Madrid, I vuvuzuela’d along with the Coruñenses here in La Coruna and follow up the victory with a dip in the Cantabrian Sea, screeching and singing “We Are the Champions” as red fireworks were set off from the Riazor sports stadium around the bay.I sadly couldn’t finish the celebrations, as camp started this morning, but I feel more proud of this country than I have in a while. It’s become my anfitrona – my home away from home, my family away from family. Hoy todos somos Espanoles.

Celebrating in Sevilla after Sevilla tromped Germany

Everyone got into LA ROJA – even old ladies!

La Furia Roja after the champiosnhip win in Plaza Maria Pita, La Coruna

My stack of newspapers after the semifinals


I seem to be dreaming in rojo these days, changing classes and donning face paint to support LA ROJA. Four-hundred fifty minutes and six goals later, Spain is in the semifinals for the first time in world Cup history, led by El Guaje, David Villa. I am glued to the TV like I would be to the Olympics.
Doesn´t everyone remember my stating I don´t really like fútbol? Retracted.
Something about the World Cup jsut seems to bring people together. We make plans around games, spend entirely too much money on beer and bar food and don our gear. I´ve seen every Mexico and Germany game, as well as my anfitronas: The US and Spain. The TV is full of ads and commentaries, everything fomr Maradona’s behavior to Ronaldo spitting to Iker Casillas’s girlfriend. Red jerseys appear on the streets on game day and bars advertise the games they’ll show days before, and Spaniards finally agreeing on something (mostly the REALLY crappy officiating).
Watching their quarterfinal match against Paraguay, atop a chair at a chiringuito at Los Canos, banging my hand against the ceiling with every mistake and missed chance, I realized how invested I’ve gotten in this team – and how upset I’ll be if they lose. My voice is still raw, my nerves on end (to the point I can even read the paper today!) and that second half felt like it dragged on for hours.

Paul the Octopus puts us ahead of Germany. If he’s wrong, he goes straight to the caserola. If he’s right and Spain advances to the final..I promise not to eat octopus while in Galicia (and I love it!!)
Yo voy por la Roja – I am 100% invested in los de Del Bosque. A POR ELLOS Ehh-Ohh-Ehh!
Spain has lost just two international matches in the last few years: to the US last summer and to Switzerland in their opening game in South Africa. Sara Carbonero, a Telecinco reporter and Iker Casillas´s girlfriend, was blamed for the latter. Pobrecita.
Speaking of Casillas, he is superstitious and must touch the crossbar of Spain´s goalpost after each goal.
There´s some famous octopus that has correctly guessed the outcome of big matches in this year´s cup. He’s predicted Spain will be the champion tomorrow, moving on to the championship round against the winner of today´s Holland-Uruguay game.
Spain has yet to add a World Cup title to its long list of accomplishment, and everyone here va a por ellos!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...