Half a year in Madrid continues to fly by, my friends! I love it as much as ever.
This month, I had the opportunity to go to the 2201 Rotaract District meeting in Avilés which was very fun! Meeting all the Rotaracts in Avilés, as well as getting to better know some of the Madrid Rotaracts was a nice chance to get out of the city for a while and see the north of Spain. I took the train up and was able to see some snow on the train ride home! We made a stop in Gijón before crossing over the mountains, so I took the 1.5 hours to walk around near the station, rather than sitting in the cafeteria. I met a very kind “Jose” who had lived in the town his whole life (though has traveled around in his day!) who told me some local history when he saw me taking a picture in that drizzly Sunday morning.
Avilés ^^^ Overcast but beautiful
Gijón. Where I got a good picture thanks to Jose.
^^^ Train ride home with snow!
I also made new friends at the local commuter station the other day. There were four guys struggling to speak Spanish with the lady at the sim card stand. They asked if I spoke English (and then of course if I spoke Spanish too) and if I could help them translated. Eventually the clever lady asked me to ask them to take their phones out of Hebrew (they were from Israel) and put it in Spanish for the rest of the transaction. All the same, between the transactions and there being four of them, I was there for about thirty minutes. Then, as a thank you for my help, they surprised me when I saw two had snuck off and bought me chocolates! Fancy chocolates at that. I insisted that I was happy to help and they were too kind. We all (including sim card lady) had one in honor of international friendship (she is originally from Peru). Just goes to show what a crazy, inter-connected world we all live in now.
Additionally, I got to do a pesentation in my pluralism workshop! One of my dear friends, Raul, was kind enough to take a picture for me. I had volunteered to talk about the assigned article by Salvador Giner, a Spanish political philosopher who talks about the classical Republican ideales. It was a challenging read, but I really think these workshops are a great way to improve my public Spanish speaking skills as well as deepen my understanding of the texts. After all,if you are leading the class on the reading, you have to research much beyond just reading the article before class!
Finally, Spring is starting to bloom in Madrid! Spring break starts on this upcoming weekend. And I have two friends from the USA visiting during “Semana Santa” (holy week-when most of the country takes spring break). When break is over, we are starting our clinical trials (I was able to sign up for the ones lead by Dr.González Morales-what an honor!) and our internships (I was assigned to Psychologist without Boarders) so I am looking forward to the calm before the storm!