When Stepping in Dog Poop is Good Luck & Other Stories from the Week.

If the title is any indication, this post is gonna be a doozy.  So strap in and prepare yourself for one wild ride as I recount all the disgusting, messy, and entertaining events of the week.

Dog Poop is Good Luck
It was Friday morning.  I awoke with excitement; just one more day of school until the weekend! My students even have a delightful song for Fridays: “Friday, Friday, it’s my favorite day.  The weekend is coming, and so I can play, play, play!!!”  So there I was, chipper and prancing down the sidewalk (okay, not really) with Lauren on our way to school.

But then it happened.

I looked down and saw the brown mess squished on the bottom of my foot.

“NOOOOO!!!” I yelled in my head.

“NOOOOO!!!” I yelled out loud.   Normally I am so careful about looking at the sidewalk when I walk to school because dog owners in this town just leave their dog poop everywhere, including the middle of the sidewalk.  (Have I ever mentioned that Lauren and I once counted 15 piles of dog poop on the sidewalk on our 20 minute walk to school one day?)  But today, I slipped up, and my moment of weakness lead to a shoe covered in poop.  Greaaaaaat.  So I tried wiping it off on the sidewalk.  And then on a ledge.  And then in a puddle.  And then in the grass.  And then in a fountain.  I got most of it off, but it was still there.  I recounted this tale to Anahí when I got to school, and she asked me, “Well, was it your right foot or your left foot?”  I told her left, and she told me that’s good luck in Spain!  And then one of my students proceeded to tell me how it’s true because one time she stepped in dog poop and then won the lottery of a whole 8 euros.  I don’t know about you, girl, but I’d rather be 8 euros poorer than deal with dog crap on the bottom of my foot.

Crazy Week at School
As if they aren’t always crazy, this week was especially insane.  It started with the fact that Anahí and I were just told that our kiddos have to take the Trinity exam, which is an exam in which they have to talk about a topic for 5 minutes and then have to answer questions for 5 minutes…in English.  Many schools knew their kids would be taking this exam from the beginning of the school year, but we had been told ours wouldn’t.  Until this week.  So of course, being the type A people Anahí and I are, we had a minor stress freakout before we made a plan for how to proceed with teaching them all they need to know before the exam.  We’re still nervous, but feeling a little more confident now that we have a plan.

Another crazy thing from this week?  The art teacher decided it would be a good idea for the kids to paint…with food.  Oh boy, I thought to myself.  This is gonna be bad.

And it was.  The kids brought ketchup and mustard and Nutella and yogurt and whipped cream and toothpaste and berries and pickled beets and a whole assortment of other disgusting things that, when smeared across a paper, look like bodily fluids that could come out of any orifice.  Not to mention the absolutely putrid smell that filled the air when these foods were all mixed together.  I had to leave on a couple occasions because I just couldn’t handle it.  It was disgusting.

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The kids’ food paintings…

Bringing Diabetes to Spain
When I came back from Normal, I knew I’d want a taste of home, so I brought back all the necessary ingredients to make Puppy Chow!  I finally got around to making it this week, which made me very happy.  I then proceeded to introduce this crack-like food to Lauren (who loved it and hated me for it), the teachers at my school (who loved it and hated me for it), the family I tutor for (who loved it and hated me for it), and the girl I meet with to do Spanish lessons (who loved it and hated me for it).  Even though they hated me (because it was so addicting and bad for you), I was happy to introduce them to it.

Intercambio
I’ve met up twice with a girl named Lucía so I can practice Spanish and she can practice English, and it’s been great so far!  She’s my age and lives nearby, so it’s not only convenient, but she’s also super nice and fun to talk to!  We’ve taught each other a lot and agonize over the fact that some words just don’t translate between the languages.  For example, in Spanish they use the word pesado to describe someone or a situation that is annoying or mean.  The literal translation is heavy, but we would never say that in English!  Also, Spanish has no word that means commute, which is pretty interesting considering the concept exists here!  I’m excited to continue learning and practicing with her.

Lauren’s Parents in Town
This week, Lauren’s parents visited and they were kind enough to invite me to hang out with them!  They even made a traditional England Sunday roast dinner last night, which was absolutely delicious!  They were so kind and I’m glad I got to spend time with them.

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Cuenca
Remember that bucket list from my last post?  I got to cross another thing off!  Both Minorka and I wanted to visit this small town about 2 hours away from Madrid, so we went ahead and did it, along with her roommate, Sofía!  We took a bus there and got to see the casas colgadas (hanging houses), walk across the Puente de San Pablo, walk around town, get a drink inside of an amazing cave bar, and took a tour inside a tunnel underground which we learned was used as a bunker to keep people safe from bombs during the Spanish Civil War.  All-in-all, it was a great little trip and the weather was fantastic!

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Casa colgada

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Into the cave/tunnel we go!


Sour Cream
So the other night, I wanted to make tacos, and we didn’t have any sour cream because it just doesn’t exist in this town.  So we went to the Mexican restaurant (where we’re regulars!) in town to ask if they would sell us some sour cream.  The woman working said she’d ask her boss and then text us.  Later that night, she texted me and said we could buy some on Friday.  We were kind of bummed not to have it with the tacos (which were still amazing, despite the lack of sour cream AND the fact that I had to make up my own taco seasoning), but we bought the carton on Friday and are now STOKED to eat it this week!

Well, that’s it for this week (and month for that matter).  Have an awesome week and stay positive, despite the crazy events going on in the world right now.  I’ll try to follow my own advice, but goodness knows it’s easier said than done!

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