Dear Readers

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(Photo Above) If you all could see my small studio apartment, this is basically what it looks like .

Some of you lovely people have asked me why haven’t I blogged about my last weeks in Spain!? Here’s an update on my beautiful, busy life.

Well, I am back in the US and have been flooded with work. I am in the process of getting certified as a NYS Teacher so that I can teach in a dual language NYC public school classroom. I am also in the process of sending out my cover letter and resume!

I am working full time as a 5th grade permanent substitute teacher, the school year ends June 28th.

I visited my amazing mother and family in Atlanta, GA to support my two younger siblings who graduated High School this year!!

I myself will have my commencement, June 2nd, 2016 to celebrate earning a B.A. in Elementary Education with a Bilingual Extension. 😀 HIP HIP HOORAY!! 

Lastly, I teach an enrichment class on the weekend, to middle school scholars of color, to enhance their readiness for the verbal part of SHSAT.

I have been SWAMPED since my return mid April, but I promise to publish my last weeks in Spain and my last two trips to 5 cities in Morocco and the beautiful Sevilla, Spain by the end of June/ first week of July (I wrote little notes in my journal to better reflect on those last weeks rather than just blog it)!

I have been so overwhelmed, but grateful for my opportunities! To all my other bloggers working hard, don’t stop, we got this!!

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Week 7

Well, I just evidently can’t keep up with my blogging life. At the beginning of my 7th week in Spain, I was a mess. This week was an intense and emotional period of my life. I was recovering from being so sick in Spain. I had a terrible cold the previous week, with a high fever and pestering cough that REFUSED to let go. I felt so uncomfortable being sick and recovering in a stranger’s home. I felt like an intruder, an outsider and I hated Madrid, I hated Spain and just wanted to return to the US.

I continued tutoring with a wonderful lady, who would even allow me to vent my feelings towards Madrid. With her, I felt like my Spanish was improving so much! It was terrible and all I could think of was my trip and the end of week to Lisbon and Porto, Portugal. That was my lifeline, getting out of the home and taking some time away from the host family I was living with. Going to Portugal for the weekend was so helpful, because when I came back Sunday night, I felt tired but refreshed and a weight was taken off my shoulders.

Portugal was amazing, I loved Lisbon (Lisboa) and Porto (Oporto) so much, I did not want to leave. I loved Lisboa, for its legal graffiti and fado, which is a traditional type of singing that must be sang with emotions as deep as the ocean. I loved Oporto for its beautiful architecture, culture, views, and wine. Both cities were phenomenal and I will return one day. I definitely was able to see that Portugal was a poorer country than Spain, but I loved the vibe there, it felt sincere.

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I literally ate like 5 pasteles de nata in one day!

OPORTO- 

    
  

This sandwich is the French Girl, it contains 7 different types of meats and was so delicious!!

  
    
    
    
    
  

PUENTE DON LUIS I – made by Eiffel’s ex colleague.


Famous library that inspired JK Rowling.


  
  
  

End your day right, with wine tasting at a wine cellar!!

Barcelona!! (La octava fin de semana)

 BARCELONA

El viernes 4 de Marzo, llegué a Barcelona por la mañana. Fui en un avión de Vueling con otra amiga. Cogimos el autobús 46 a la Plaza España aquel día anduvimos a nuestra “Airbnb.” Nuestro “Airbnb” era un apartamento en un lugar muy cerca del centro de Barcelona. Después de llegar al “Airbnb,” fuimos a dar un paseo a las Ramblas y fuimos al mercado famoso que se llama, “La Boqueria.”

 

Después, exploramos más el puerto y un centro comercial cerca del mar, al lado del puerto. Continuamos andando, y fuimos a comer tapas a una calle pequeña cerca de las Ramblas. Estos tapas eran deliciosos. Ese viernes, compramos ropa de Zara. Cuando terminamos nuestra compra, regresamos a la casa. Otras chicas llegaron y fuimos a comer a un restaurante en la calle Blai. En ese cuenta, comimos muchas tapas y bebimos mucha sangria.

Esta noche fuimos a un club donde la música era perfecta pero el edificio no estaba bien. Al día siguiente, desayunamos “BRUNCH” en un restaurante muy chuli que se llama, REKONS. Por la tarde, fuimos a la Plaza España, al Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña dentro la plaza, y la catedral de la Sagrada Familia. La catedral es la obra de Antoni Gaudí, y me encantó.

También, vi una exhibición pequeña sobre Gaudí y su inspiración en la naturaleza para crear sus obras. Ese sábado fuimos a comer tapas a un bar u después fuimos a un club al lado de la playa. No me gustó la mayoría de la gente del club porque todos eran gente que hablaba inglés. Sin embargo, ¡el lugar era fenomenal!

Al día siguiente, domingo, la mayoría de las chicas estaban sufriendo una resaca. Además, yo estaba bien y fui a desayunar con una de las chica. Después, fui a la Casa Batlló. Me encantó la arquitectura de ese edificio. También, la Casa Battló es un edificio obra del arquitecto Antoni Gaudí, máximo representante del modernismo catalán.

 

Fui sola al parque de la Ciudadela, uff, ¡me enamoré de Barcelona en ese momento! Me gustó el parque porque la naturaleza y vi cosas muy raras y bonita allí. Al final de ese día fui al arco del Triunfo. Me enamoré de Barcelona y quiero regresar allí, ¡muy, muy pronto!

 

  
  
  
  


  


UN PIERCIENG NUEVO 😀 
  
  

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También, fui al exposición de +HUMANOS: El Futuro de nuestros especies, un exposición SUPER GUAY 😀

“Ciborgs, superhumanos y clones. ¿Evolución o extinción? ¿Qué significa ser humano hoy? ¿Cómo será la humanidad dentro de cien años? El potencial tecnológico avanza con gran rapidez; ¿debemos seguir modificando nuestro cuerpo, nuestra mente y nuestra vida cotidiana, o hay unos límites que no podemos rebasar?  La exposición explora los posibles caminos de futuro de nuestra especie teniendo en cuenta especialmente las tecnologías emergentes y nuestro contexto cultural y ético. ” http://www.cccb.org/es/exposiciones/ficha/-humanos/129032

Dibujos de un artista que pintaba su imagen después tomando drogas diferentes.

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Las semanas 4, 5 y 6 

Wow, I am sooooo behind in blogging. I planned to have weeks 4 and 5 up Monday night but I got soooo sick!! Still recovering as I type 😥

Week 4– I went to Paris for a few days!  I also learned what it truly meant to not understand a language, haha. I learned Paris is too expensive, but has delicious food. In addition, if you ever take the metro make sure to carry your ticket with you because if they stop you and you don’t have your ticket you will be fined. Yes, I learned the hard way, SMH.

In Spain, I felt great about my Spanish and had a nice routine going on. I also came to the unfortunate realization that water fountains are almost non existent in Spain or Europe.

Week 5- I continued to feel progress being made in my classes. I continued getting grossed out by the amount of tobacco clouds I walk into daily. Breaks my soul that so many high schoolers smoke as well. I also began running every other day in El Retiro, had to make use of the park I live so close to! I started to mingle more with people in my school and decided to pick up a one on one class for Spanish 😛

My host kids are much more comfortable with me and we are growing closer . The 7 year old and I we are working on past tense simple verbs and he has an excellent memory!

Week 6– Valencia, Spain was so beautiful! It is literally my new favorite city in Spain!! I met and reconnected with some amazing girls over there, one of my favorite trips yet!! I went to the beach, to Europe’s largest aquarium and saw Dolphins work so hard to perform for us. I just hope the trainers treat them right.

This week I got SUPER sick! I became so home sick and this has by far been one of my toughest weeks. The 4 year old I take care of was so sad I wasn’t able to take him to the library to do English because I was so sick. Week 7 will be better, it HAS to be!!!!

Now for some pictures 😍

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Taken at el Oceanografico in Valencia 😀

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Can you find my name on the wall?

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Talk about a work of art, literally above and below 😀

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I got the moves like McJagger 😛 ‘Cause I’m cool like that!

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Palm trees always have the ability to make your day better.

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Paris was full of more motorcycles and scooters than Spain!
  

Eating at one of my now favourite restaurants, Bitrotters!!!
  
  
  


  
  

I was so excited because this is where they filmed one of my favourite movies as a child, Madeline!

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My monthly Metro card in Madrid vs. NYC’s monthly metro

Hi everyone!

Both NYC and Madrid are big cities with a huge public transportation system! I just want to share with you all, that in Madrid until a person is 26 years old they only have to pay 2o euros ($21.73) for a monthly!!!! Versus, in NYC you currently are spending $116.50 (107.21 euros).

It sounds amazing, and it really is! Yes, the metro stops running at 2am, but if you live in certain zones there are still buses available, or take a taxi, or do not go out that late without a ride lol. Although, I soon realised that from around age 6 and up though, parent’s buy this monthly if needed.  In NYC, until a student is finished with high school and qualifies for 3 free rides a day. I think the monthly for University students who are still in studying intensely and probably do not have a stable job, well paid job, need the same type of metro card I have here in Madrid. I would love to be paying $21.73 a month when I return, this is what we need in NYC!! Do you agree?!

Front of my transportation card, it was literally a nightmare to finally get it last week because my host family took me to get it at one spot and their machine was broken. So then I went to another location and I did not realise at this location I needed to make an appointment online and had to buy a 10 ride ticket -_- Life lol
Back of my transportation card for the metro here in Madrid, Spain


 

 

 

 

 

 

**The monthly card that I received works in all the zones in Madrid, it’s perfection! It doesn’t work for the railroad to other cities in Spain, but I am perfectly fine with that.

**The way the regular monthly cards (adults older than 26) work ,is quite different than our metro card’s back home(NYC) because Madrid is broken up into zones closest to the center. Even so, the prices seem better than back home. I wouldn’t mind paying less for a monthly since I would rarely ever travel to let’s say the Bronx or Staten Island.

Kudos to Madrid to making our lives a bit easier as young adults!

I forgot to mention, the buses and train stations all have WiFi ! That can be a negative and positive thing ! LOL

 

 

 

My second and third week in Spain!

Hola mi gente!

Well as you can see I am a bit behind in blogging! I started my Spanish grammar classes these past few weeks and they are going well! I am in awe that two weeks have gone by already! I got a chance to see the boys wake up on the wrong side of the bed more than once haha, they are a joy though. I also experienced taking the metro late night alone for the first time, haha I shouldn’t have been so nervous, but hey I am new to this city!

This blog will be pictures and captions from my past two weeks.

Yes, I am loving living in Spain for the beautiful Spanish language that I desperately need to improve, I am definitely thinking in Spanish more I love it and for the travel! Weekend travel is everything as an Au Pair, do not lose that opportunity, I’ve booked really low cost trips to Barcelona, Paris and Portugal already! 

Enjoy and thanks for viewing xoxo Don’t miss a shot, I have some funny experiences in the captions, keep scrolling!!

HAHA, let me tell you, these past two weeks I REALLY learned what it meant to be an Au Pair!! Running the boys to school like a maniac, so we wouldn’t be late!! Helping the eldest with his English HW, tutoring them in English and making sure they have their snacks when I pick them up. IT WAS INSANE

Iphone panorama for the win!! Here in Segovia, is the best preserved work of the Romans! It has 166 arches and was built with just stone, no mortar or anything in between!! It stays together due to the natural tension from the other stones. It has been like this for 2,000 years and was in use until the 1920s!! 

 

In La Granja, Spain with Ada the sweetest Albanian/Greek girl I’ve ever met. Before we came to the Granja we were in Segovia and I left my phone in a restaurant and she ran UPHILL with me to get it! Bless her, and my sweet Brazilian tour guide, wish I remembered her name xo

In La Granja, Segovia, with some random student, Ada, myself, Sophia and Sarah! 

Ada, I and Sophia, it’s Greek Afro Latina Sandwich xo . 

Two sweet girls from China studying Business eating with Erica, Sarah, myself and Ally. We were about to try Cohinillo (baby pig) which is famous in Segovia, Spain. It was okay, I love my mom’s pernil way more. Wonderful experience though. 

I love this picture of Sarah and I chatting looking into a shop because we were HUNGRY!!!!!!!! We eventually left the tour behind to grab breakfast lol!! 

Such a great group, I love how all of us holding the banner are making the silliest faces, go Au Pairs in Segovia!! (I learned Segovia means town on a hill in the Celtic language, Segovia’s first settlers) 

Mandy and I infront of the beautiful castle in Segovia, Spain !

Phenomenal shot!


The castle was so beautiful! 

 

The beautiful fortress

This guy was not playing about his money!!! HAHA, he made sure we tipped him, almost chased Sarah. 

I adore this picture!!! 

Yay to Ada for taking this beauty of a picture.

 


This was the roof inside someone’s castle, WOW!!! 


  
  
  

A Cathedral in Segovia, Gothic architecture mixed with others, so amazing and breathtaking!! 

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YUP IT COSTS TO USE THE BATHROOM IN EUROPE AT TIMES!!! 

Segovia, Spain 

Oh Spain how I am falling in love! 
  

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Sarah is just too good of a photographer I need to buy her a million chocolates or roses LOL xo. Standing in La Granja, Segovia, Spain 
  

I am flying!!!!!

Sunday the 24th of Jan. We had a picnic in El Retiro!! It was so cost effective and fun. We were waiting to go to an English book store where they sell bagels!!! Bagels are basically non existent in Spain, so this was phenomenal and they have 1 euro mimosas, each and every Sunday! 

I love zebras!! In this picture I am at el Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales!! I took the 4 year old yesterday, Saturday, 30th of Jan. while his older brother had a birthday party! 

OK so these past two weeks I was definitely missing my love Shamik, wish he was here! 

  I started reading some Junie B. Jones for an easy Spanish read to get my reading skills higher!! haha, who doesn’t love Junie B.! As I am reading this I vaguely recall reading this specific book as a child! 

Some morning inspiration at my language school!! “I can do everything”, I really needed this because it was a super tough week!! 

 

At the English book shop drinking the delcious mimosas! 
  I went to a market and it was packed!! INSANE Spain! 

Flan in Spain with coffee/caramel, it was pretty dang good! 

Yes they play on the metro here in Spain for money, not only in NYC. This instrument was so interesting, I had to take shot! 

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Playing Parcheez (spell check?) with my host mom and their first ever Au Pair, she is super sweet cannot wait to travel with her in the future! 

These past two weeks have been intense, but I am enjoying living abroad!! 

La mariposa negra – The Black Butterfly

Dear Parents, educators, and anyone who loves kids,

As some of you may know I am an Au Pair in Madrid, Spain. I tutor a 4 and 7 year old in English and bring them to and from their semi private/public school (gov’t helps pay tuition until students are 13 years old), and take Spanish grammar classes while they are in school all day (literally they are there from 9-5 M-Th, 9-4 Fri). Now, remember as you read this is not in NY, USA.

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The 4 year old has fell in love with this book titled, The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse, by Eric Carle.

Today, my host dad picked up his boys and gave me the afternoon free. The teacher shared with him that the 4 year old was really sleepy today and did not do a good job when doing his classwork. CAN YOU BELIEVE SHE SAID THIS BECAUSE HE PAINTED A BUTTERFLY BLACK!!!!!????? She should be happy I did not pick him up lol. I was like that is awesome a black butterfly, what I love it! During dinner I learned of this and couldn’t resist laughing. The parents looked at me and I explained I think I know why he painted a black butterfly and I doubt it was because he was sleepy. It was because he was INSPIRED by a book we have been reading. 

So I explained to the mother the book, we read it together and the history behind it, that is written at the end of the book. She learned that this book was inspired by the artist Franz Marc, the German artist who painted a blue horse in 1911. When Eric Carle was a young boy (he was born in the USA,) he spent some of his boyhood in the Nazi regime, where modern, expressionistic art OR abstract art was forbidden and viewed as degenerate! One of his art teachers secretly shared Marc’s work, even though she was only allowed to show realistic art. I love how this teacher took the courage to show Eric Carle this!

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THANKFULLY, my host mom loved the book! I also told her about the book, The Day the Crayons Quit, with a similar message as this book, she wants to read it. I am so glad she was very happy with the book I shared with her son. She said, “I am so sorry that this teacher does not understand art.” She later spoke with her son stating that he is a wonderful artist and they will talk to his teacher. She even thinks I should bring the book to share with his teacher!

In all, I am so grateful that she was able to appreciate the beauty of art!! I’ve worked in environments where I literally heard pre school teachers tell the 4 year old students that scribble scrabble is not art, I always told the students not to worry because their work is abstract and the most wonderful piece of work I have ever seen them draw.

Do not deprive your children of art, without art our world would be expressionless! They have the right to see the beauty of the world anyway they choose. Creativity in its’ raw form can be seen as rare because people often kill the spark of art at a young age. Let’s vow to allow our children’s creativity explode in a world full of lively colors, realistic or unrealistic because that is freedom!

-xo

I hope I can get a picture of this black butterfly to also post!!