¡Oh qué aventura! I knew my time here in A Coruña would be adventurous but honestly, I didn’t expect the adventure to start as fast as it did. On Monday 2nd October I travelled by plane from Stuttgart to A Coruña. As there is no direct flight from Stuttgart to A Coruña, I had to change plane at Barcelona Airport. In total, the journey took more than 7 hours – a lot of time to think about the upcoming time, my flatmates (at this time still completely unknown), my workplace, to worry about the first days and therefore to become even more nervous and anxious. At first, everything went right. However, 15 minutes before landing at A Coruña Airport (about 10 pm), the plane suddenly shot up and nobody knew what was going on. Later the announcement: The plan is not able to land in consequence of too heavy fog. So we had to divert to Santiago Airport. Normally this would not be a problem for me, but as it was the start of my adventure, my first time alone in a foreign land with a foreign language and as I had a very low battery and no internet to contact Anastazja (my coordinator) until the plane landed, it really was a challenge!
However, I met kind people who helped me with my luggage and the bus transfer. I arrived at midnight at A Coruña – completely tired and whacked, but overjoyed and delighted to finally be here! :)) Subsequently, Anastazja greeted me so warmly and cheerfully, so that all my worries faded away.
The next day, I got to know my flatmates, the other volunteers of Muxelka. At first, Gina and Lubna and later on Karolina who arrived in the afternoon. Three such friendly, kind and lovely girls! Our “María Pita – strong women group” 😉
In the afternoon I met Ana – my mentor during my stay in A Coruña. She showed me the most important places, sights and landmarks, the historic city, good shopping facilities (very important!) and of course, the sea. Wow! The beach, the palms, the ocean – this was love at first sight. However, for me, A Coruña seemed (and stills seems hihi) to be a big and confusing city where you can get lost easily. Even after almost 2 weeks, I am still glad to have Google Maps on my phone :D.
“Obelisco” El Torre de Hércules
On Wednesday I had my first day at school called “Colegio Público de María Pita”. I had to be there at 2 pm and I was very excited (and nervous) about my tasks, the children, the other mentors and teachers and the whole environment. I worried a little if the kids are going to like me but they all welcomed me very friendly and warmhearted. When my principal “Sergio” introduced me to them, they were all applauding which was a really nice gesture and a great feeling! Afterwards, work started. As it was the first day I should only talk to the children (in English and Spanish) in order to get to know each other better. They were very curious and asked a lot of questions. (99% in Spanish and 1% in English, but I am fine with that as I am here in Spain to practice the Spanish language 😉 ). However, it was very difficult to understand the kids. In the dining hall, it was loud, everybody talked across each other and they were talking (too) fast and of course, in Spanish. Puuuuuh…
El colegio donde trabajo
After 1 and a half hours in the dining hall, I had to help to shepherd the children during the break until the afternoon activities are going to start (at 4 pm). I helped another mentor to teach a little boy some English. However, this was a little challenge as he was very shy. -> Pero no pasa nada 😉 <- Then we simply played some English games.
On Thursday in the evening, the girls and I went out for having some TAPAS. My first Tapas in Spain, mhmm, so good! Afterwards, we went to a bar to see the traditional “Queimada” of A Coruña. There we met also some of our mentors and other volunteers. The “Queimada” was a big spectacle with a lot of hocus-pocus and nice to see. The bartender wore some kind of witch costume and brewed a special drink which the visitors could taste after the ritual had finished. It was a nice evening with many new people.
Las tapas en la “Bombilla” “Queimada”