Monday, April 7, 2014

March Madness

And no I'm not talking about college basketball...

I can't believe I let a month fly by without posting anything, but I guess that's life for you.  Sometimes it can call for more than you're used to.

Spring blossoms on the way home from work.
It's not like March was supposed to be a busy month, the only thing I anticipated was the coming of Spring and hopefully having my clothes start to dry in less than a week (wishful hoping).

Instead March was a month full of extremely high "ups" and equally low "downs": stress, anger, frustration, joy, love, and fun.  It was a crazy month that I guess has kept me posting because I A) Didn't know how to express everything I was going through exactly as I wanted and B) Because I just didn't have the time to sit myself down at the computer and write.

And I really did have posts lined up to write, I even started a few of them: my first Día de los Reyes, Carnaval in my colegio, the process of renewing, and my thoughts on how living in Spain I've grown to love so many different foods.  But then they all just got put on the back burner of my life.

Spanish potluck dinner with friends.
I don't want to bore you all with a long post of every detail of my month, trust me, some of them I would rather not relive.  And that being said, some other ones I will put in their own post (hopefully not several months behind again).

To get over with it I'll start with the worst of the month:
  • School drama.  My school is great, don't get me wrong but two situations that had been growing for a while mad March a very stressful month:
    • One of my usual teachers was on maternity leave for a few months and a long-term sub was brought in.  Normal, right?  The only problem is that they brought in a teacher whose level of English was not up to what it should be in a bilingual school and she also could not control the class, among many other frustating situations.  I have never been so happy to have my teacher return last week, good teachers make all the difference.
    Las Meninas at the Carnaval Parade
    • With another grade we are preparing exams, which is frustrating for all parties involved.  The other auxiliar and I started to become way overused (and overwhelmed) with what we were being asked to do, like: solo teaching all of the classes.  It just got to be too much, finally leading us to a meeting to talk through all the issues and miscommunication.  Which was a reminder that when there is a problem and/or you feel uncomfortable, it will only get worse until you talk about it.
  • General job stress.  With the crisis in Spain and lack of jobs for most of the youth, we were anxiously waiting to hear back from the BF's company if he would get officially hired like they kept hinting.  My staying in Spain for next year depended a great deal on whether or not he would be able to stay in Madrid with me.  After a long distance relationship for two years we've both vowed to do whatever we could to avoid being in the situation again, making the uncertainty of his job a huge stress for both of us.
  • Children are infested disease carriers.  Kidding...only a little bit, at least they're cute...
Sneak peak of las murallas de Ávila.

But like I said before March also had its beautiful moments, worth all of the stress and frustration.

  • Finally good luck in jobs!  At the end of the month we finally received good news on both fronts and will likely be here for at least two more years (at least one more for me with Auxiliares as I was officially placed last Thursday!)
  • A day trip to Ávila, the capital of the province of Ávila in Castilla y León, with friends.  It's a great small city known for it's medieval wall and it's high number of Romanesque and Gothic churches.  Plus great Chuletón (a type of T-bone steak)!
  • An impromptu trip to Barcelona last weekend to visit some of my boyfriend's friends.  It was my first time in Cataluña in general and I had an amazing time getting to know them and the city.  There's nothing better than having native tour guides, especially ones so welcoming!  We didn't get to see everything we wanted, but we both want to go back with more time to enjoy the city and his friends.
  • And general exploring and enjoyment of Madrid.  Like watching the Carnaval parade in person, visiting the Museum of Sorolla (one of my favorite Spanish artists), and devouring the Spanish cuisine.  We're a couple that really, really loves food and on the weekends (and sometimes the ambitious weekday) we like exploring different corners and restaurants of Madrid. 
  • And finally my dad arrives to visit on Wednesday and I'm beyond excited to see him, as I haven't seen him since August!  I spent most of March planned for his visit and looking forward to his arrival.  It's his first time in Europe so we have plans to travel to some different sights in Europe and Spain.

Now that April is here and the weather is BEAUTIFUL I'm excited to (finally finish the posts I've planned, of course) what this month has planned for me and spend more time walking around and exploring Madrid.  It's such a huge city and there's so many places yet to discover.

View of Barcelona from Parque Güell.

How has March treated you this year?