Friday, October 17, 2008

Shot of the sierra landscape and reservoir below

A church in the Sierra de Andújar just north of my city

Travel Tip of the Day

Get a Harvard Alumni Association credit card through Barclay Bank, a British bank that has survived the recent financial troubles and bought part of Lehman Bros. They convert purchases into USD at a decent rate, but do not assess the typical 2-3% “foreign transaction fee”.


As I walked down the streets my first morning here I heard a simple melody echoing off the concrete walls and brick pavement. A block away a man with a panpipe strolled along blowing his tune. Much like the ice cream truck lures people with its jingle, the Spanish knife sharpener man uses a woodwind to let potential customers know his mobile sharpening station is on the street. When was the last time you heard that?

Getting Settled

I just now broke down and decided to start a blog. I figure this is a good way for people to keep up on my comings and goings in Spain.

I arrived here in Spain the evening of September 1 and, after a short ride on the Madrid Metro and a five hour bus ride, got to Andújar at midnight. One of the English teachers, Antonio met me there and took me to a hotel. After spending the first few nights in a hotel at 30 Euros per night, I finally found a piso/flat/apartment. Two girls in my program (Maja from Wisconsin and Laura from Belfast) had a decent, centrally located place and were looking for a third roommate.


The first half week was my introduction to my school, Cristo Rey, a combined kindergarten and elementary school. I met a bunch of the teachers and staff and sat in on several of the lower level English classes. There are over 200 kids between kindergarten and elementary levels. Antonio teaches kids aged from 5 to 7 and Lola from 8 to 12. The younger kids have English twice a week and the older three times a week. My class time there will be split evenly between the 200+ kids there. So far the students seem fun and fairly well-behaved. I look forward to getting to know them.