Saturday, January 24, 2009


photo is of our conference facility at La Alberca

I am now in La Alberca, a small village near Salamanca for the Pueblo Ingles program. This is an English immersion program for Spaniards. Anglos come from the US, Canada, Australia, Wales, Scotland, England, New Zealand, etc. Our room, board, and transportation from Madrid is provided in exchange to speaking English with the Spaniards. It is an oppportunity to meet Spaniards and learn more about the country than one does as a normal tourist.

I have a break for an hour now, but others need the computer so this is short.

The facility is a delightful conference center. My accomodations are absolutely luxurious after a few nights in a youth hostel where 8 women shared a tiny room with bunk beds, a shower room with no hooks for clothes and a high, difficult shelf for belongings. Despite that, it was fun as I ended up exploring the city and eating with young people from Sweden, Canada, Australia, Peru.

Yesterday was mostly orientation with some fun ice breakers like a human bingo game, and each of us introducing and being introduced by a Spaniard. Meals we share tables, making the anglo--spaniard ration even.

In my first session, one on one this morning, my Spaniard, Oscar, was fun. He is one of the very profficient English speakers, having taught Spanish speaking children in the LA Unified schoool district for a couple years. What fun when he said his favorite place was Mammoth Lakes. I told him I worked at Bodie and he had been there. The world is small. (later edit: Very small world. I learned that Gabriela worked in the Concord School District which is in the city I lived in before hitting the road in my motorhome).

Not all the sessions will be as easy as some of the participants do not have his mastery of English. But they all have far more English than I have of any other language. The idea is to get them thinking in English during this week. No spanish is allowed.

The scene below is our group walking in the old town of LaAlberca which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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