Thursday, August 28, 2008

What a difference a day makes

Just yesterday I was on the phone with my mother telling her that I would have bought a ticket to leave here early if only it would not have cost me an extra two-hundred and fifty dollars. Tonight I am ready to stay for another month.

I received a call today about 6 o’clock from Jorge, my boss, telling me that I had a new class. “Great…” says the little guy in the red leotard on my left shoulder “…just what we need.” I am to have a class at eight thirty on most every night at the beach until I leave. Eight-thirty, a twenty minute ride from the house, almost every night for the remainder of my time here… But next he tells me that starting sometime this weekend that I am moving to an apartment at the beach-front, and that the class will be only two floors above where I will be staying… Ok, sounding better… And next he tells me that I will be working with an adult practicing English conversation and eating dinner with his family afterwards. Awesome.

Today I got Katie (whose big nice camper van is back on the road in preparation for moving to Sevilla) to take me down to the beach about eight thirty. I walked up to the apartment building and pressed the button for the fourth floor. “Si?” says the voice on the intercom. “Soy un Profesor.” I say. “Ah..” is the reply. I took the very small elevator to the fourth floor. (all of the elevators in apartments here are tiny.) I knocked on the door just as it opened. In front of me was a very nice looking Spanish couple with big smiles and outstretched hands. I shook hands with Vincente and his wife, and was ushered through their very comfortable and well furnished apartment onto the balcony which overlooks the harbor and the Club Nautica at the port. Vincente immediately began speaking to me in excellent English inquiring about basic personal info and exchanging pleasantries. I learned that he is a businessman who works in a very specialized field and travels all over Europe and occasionally in the U.S. with his work. I will not go into the details of his work, but it is related to bio-chemistry. He often converses over the phone and at conferences in English and wants to increase his conversational skills and simply practice his English. He has a conference in Birmingham coming up in September, hopefully I can be helpful in the short time we have together. It was very enjoyable, sitting on the balcony talking about whatever came to mind, and I look forward to continuing to do so over the next couple of weeks.

Then came dinner with the family. Vincente has two sons and a daughter. I met his two sons, Pablo (17) and Vincente Jr.(19), who drifted in from soccer practice about nine thirty or so. I have not yet met his daughter (14). Dinner was absolutely great. I started with a warm chicken soup, followed that with salmorejo (which is a chilled tomato and garlic soup native to Cordoba), next came the lomo de cerdo or pork tenderloin with an apple reduction sauce, cauliflower, and, of course, bread. We sat and had some fresh fruits after dinner, peaches, grapes, and plums, and chatted some more. I spoke mostly in English to them and Vincente graciously translated. Hopefully as I become a bit more comfortable, I will use a bit more of my Castellano with confidence.

Vincente Jr. and Pablo took me home after dinner in Vincente’s blue and white Mini Cooper. It was the first time I have ridden in one.

It was a great evening and I am anticipating more evenings like it in the next couple of weeks. It definitely helped get me excited about being here again.

I really should be preparing for my classes tomorrow… I have class starting at 1030 and I only have a one hour break until 630… and I am not yet prepared, but I had put down some words while the evening was still fresh in my memory.

Thank you


Who Sees the Seven... said...

And you thought you would need something to pep you up during your last weeks? This sounds like quite a send-off! I am picturing a delicious homecooked Spanish meal overlooking the ocean...and getting really jealous!

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