Felices fiestas from Madrid! So much has been going on here that each day from this week merits its own entry. However, due to time and patience, condensing is inevitable.

Many of the experience leading up to Christmas are situations I’ve sauntered into where picture-taking is the last thing on my mind. These include: going out to eat with my co-teachers, being part of the evauluaciones (assessments) for the students, salsa-dancing, meeting people from all over the world at an intercambio night, singing Christmas carols and chatting with the school staff at our end-of-term holiday party, and attending midnight mass. Another personal, camera-less situation was the inspiration for my last post–a visit to the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, one of Madrid’s art museums. Congrats to Amber for correctly guessing the source of the list!

Here’s the condensed version of what’s been happening this súper-busy week:

Monday: Celebrated Kara’s b-day! We went out for Mexican tacos with Ali and Aaron, two auxiliares from Kara’s school.

Tuesday: Helped Patri translate her résumé from Spanish to English. I experience culture shock when I learn that it is normal to attach headshots to CVs here.

Wednesday: Had a potluck fiesta with my group of primeros. I was able to take a few pictures of my kiddos:

Ready to par-tay! I work with a great bunch of kids.

Out of the 26 primeros, this is our resident poet

The classroom where I spend most of my time

Thursday: I attend the school party for teachers and staff ONLY. This was an affair with lots of food, lots of drink, and lots of cheer. It lasted several hours in our school’s multi-purpose room.

Friday: Kara’s parents arrive. We act as tour guides, taking them around the city. Later, I went to midnight mass with Emily. This Christmas service has a special name, la misa de gallo. It lasted from midnight until around 1:20. Afterwards we weren’t ready to head home, so we walked to San Gines, a favorite madrileño spot for curing chocolate cravings. We had cups of thick hot chocolate and equally-thick porras (like churros, but wider). The place was full of parents and young children enjoying the same treat after the Christmas service.

Our waiter wished us a hearty “Feliz navidad!” which I now pass on to you. Merry Christmas!