ENGLISH FRIENDS

These are our English pen-pals reading the letters we sent and writing a reply for our 1st ESO students. They belong to John Mason School in Abingdon (Oxfordshire), If you want to get more information on this school, you can have a look at the following link:

http://www.johnmason.oxon.sch.uk/

 

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Sometimes words aren’t enough! ❤️

Well, I’m currently sat at the airport waiting to go back to sunny England for a week, yes I know, can you believe it 😂 but I’m filled with reflection and thankfulness for everything, I’m dreading the emotions and feelings when I actually go home for summer 😳😳

I just wanted to tell you all how thankful and blessed and grateful I am for the incredible, emotional and marvellous sent off that you all gave me! ❤️💕 firstly, thank you for all the wonderful words you wrote me, they mean so much and I’ll cherish them forever! All of the pretty gifts are kept safely for those rainy days!! I will honestly never forget any of you, or Juan de Arejula!! And I’ll force all of the things to fit in my case if I have to! 😂😂 you are all so thoughtful!! Also, the flowers are truly beautiful and I love them, I wish they could live forever!

And wow, I’m speechless about the end of year party for me, I don’t really deserve a party, it’s for all of you wonderful students for persevering and the teachers too! You should all be proud of yourselves and thank you for taking your time out of your day for coming, it really meant a lot and I was overwhelmed! ❤️💚💗💜 I couldn’t have asked for a better send off!

Thanks from the bottom of my heart for a special year!!! And until we meet again (we definitely will at some point) I wish you all the best: keep your heads held high, believe in yourself, never change and try your best (nobody can ask for anything more)

Lots of love,

Dellisia 🤓🇬🇧

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SEE YOU SOON, DELLISIA

Last May 31st, we had a farewell party for our language assistant this year Dellisia Harrop.  I would like to thank parents, students and teachers for their contribution and participation in the event.  We all got a bit emotional, but we also had fun.

Thanks to Dellisia as well, I just want everybody to know that you have been a special language assistant for us, not just one more.  If we are lucky enough, we will be together next year again, but if we are not, we will always remember you.

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It’s not goodbye, it’s See you later! 😘

Well, as I begin to write my probably last blog, I am just filled with emotions. But wow, where have the last 8 months gone, they seem to have flown by, too fast of course. I remember my first time I walked into this wonderful school, and if I’m being totally honest, I was scared! (but mainly because I’m just so small and thought I’d get squashed in the corridor 😝) it honestly felt like I was restarting secondary school, with lots of new people and new teachers and a new timetable… well, you all know how that day feels, it’s a whirlwind. Now I’m looking back and it feels like yesterday I was thinking to myself ‘oh no, seriously, maths lessons’ ‘how do I even pronounce that word?’ Or ‘how do I make myself not seem like a student at the school?’ because I really have been told to get off my phone or asked if I’m here for the exam 😂😂.

Now I’m faced with my last week, how is that even possible?? But seriously well done me for surviving because it hasn’t all been a walk in the park with sunshine and smiles… You Spanish kids can talk the legs off a hind donkey and well, sometimes I did wonder if I was a ghost because even after 100 times of pronouncing the same word for you, the pronunciation seemed to get worse (what we would call, in one ear and out the other) or whether you understood the word ‘silence’ because at times pffffff i needed a megaphone 😂 but you know what, even if at times I cried lots of tears or wanted to scream , I wouldn’t change the job for the world, and that’s what’s made my experience and Juan de Arejula, sometimes the imperfections make things perfect!!

From the bottom of my heart, I’m genuinely so lucky to have met all of you wonderful children. You never failed to brighten up my day with your quirky personalities and that’s why it’s so hard to leave you all. You’ve all inspired me in some way, whether that’s your perseverance with an English word, your friendliness, your faces when you get something right or just starting the day with a smile even if ‘ergh no lo sé en inglés o pero no puedo decirlo en inglés’. Or when you shout my name across the corridor (maybe this is what it feels like to be a celebrity)

Please never ever stop being who you are, as you all have such bright futures doing whatever you choose to do, I have believed and will continue to believe in all of you, so do yourself a favour and believe too because ‘if you believe you can do it, you’re halfway there’ and well, if any of you ever become famous, please don’t forget to send me an autograph!! Each of you have brought something special to my year and the world deserves to see it too. I’m so happy to have been part of the Juan de Arejula family and a part of me will always belong to it. I will forever be truly grateful that the junta de Andalucía placed me here.

I know you’re probably thinking how cringe and corny this whole blog entry is, but I truly believe that everyone deserves to be told how great they are, and I am so grateful for the memories I have from this school- I’ll cherish them forever because I don’t think I’ll ever get such a big cheer for walking into a room again hehe! Promise me one thing though: keep practicing your English because I will be visiting (England really isn’t that far you know) and I expect your English to be EVEN better!! 💪🏻👌🏻

Well, before I burst into tears, A MASSIVE GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL AND I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST!

BUT FIRST LETS MAKE THE MOST OF THIS LAST WEEK!! 💪🏻👌🏻💞🇬🇧 (please don’t become rebellious before I leave hehe)

Lots and lots of English love, and remember you can do anything you put your mind to, and well I’m really just lucky that i have something that makes saying goodbye so hard!!

Your language assistant 2017/18-

Dellisia 💗🌸🤓

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And so it seems that 9 months has suddenly become 1 month, and I have no idea where the time has gone, you know what they say ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ and I completely agree. The weird and wonderful thing about time is that it is completely yours to spend on whatever you want and with whomever you want, but we never reallllyyy spend it wisely until we can see an end. 9 months seemed like such a long time and now a month seems too little and I know it’ll zoom by. Anyways, now I’ve been on a mission to make the most of my time left even more and live each day, hour, minute and second. I always try to wake up and spend each day as if it were my last, especially since as you all know, my dad died. It really was a wake up call as to how quickly time slips by and how we never truly know when will be our last moment of time; and so we should make the most of any bit of time we have, try to be as positive as we can, spread joy to others, surround yourself with those who make you feel truly happy and do the things you’ve always want to do. I guess this year here has made me realise that time is more valuable than I ever imagined. Well, this panic that time here is flying by might just explain my weekend full to the brim with wonderful activities.

On Friday i was super excited to go to ‘Los patios’ in Córdoba, so many people had told me what a feast for the eyes it would be and how it was one thing not to miss. I didn’t want to get up my expectations too much, because expectations kill everything, but I was looking forward to going. The truth is I love flowers, they’re a truly beautiful thing and brighten up my day with all their tones and shapes and sizes, and well, no 2 flowers are the same. They show that beauty comes in many different forms. 🌼🌸🌺🌻🌷 I met my friend that’s working as an auxiliar in Cadiz and she brought one of the American Auxiliar’s that she’s now friends with. It was nice to meet someone new, as I haven’t for a while and I really do like getting to know new people. I have to say, the patios were all that I hoped, and truly gorgeous and spectacular. Those people should be very proud of themselves for creating their masterpieces and I loved that no patio was the same. The patios were ‘blooming’ brilliant!! Whilst in Córdoba I also acted a tour guide for my 2 different visitors, I really wouldn’t recommend myself as a tour guide. I learnt that the key was just to make up dates about buildings 😂 and well, in this life we have to fake it until we make it. I was however better at being tour guide for the shops and restaurants; you can see where my priorities lie. But you really should all be proud of me for suggesting that they try typical Cordoba food aka flamenquin and salmorejo (I definitely did not have any salmorejo) to be honest I was more excited about my smoothie, basically the fruit version of salmorejo.

After the spring filled day of Friday, Saturday was time for another adventure!! although this one really was an adventure. But before this, I really needed some energy and so went and got a toastada with tomate and jamón. (I’m secretly becoming Spanish at heart) the adventure of Saturday was to climb the sierra de Rute. You may be thinking ‘wow, are you crazy?!’ But the truth is that I love hiking and being in the great outdoors. It makes me feel at home and as a child I was brought up going for walks in the countryside and being surrounded by nature and incredible views. Obviously with me going on a trip, it didn’t start off super smoothly as we got up and walked to the front of the bus too soon for the bus stop, to which the entire bus started looking at us weirdly and laughing… obviously we were the definition of ‘guiri’ and then when I went to Mercadona to get a pastry, the woman at the till told me I had to weigh them. I MEAN IN WHAT OTHER MERCADONA DO YOU HAVE TO WEIGH YOUR PASTRY AND OF COURSE THEY WERE THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SHOP! But I really did want that pastry, so I complied with her rules and smiled sweetly, whilst she definitely judged me as a silly tourist.

Don’t worry, we eventually started our hike, and all of it was just so much fun and with incredible views. The whole way up we could see the Iznajar reservoir and it was stunning, i really couldn’t stop looking at it, so much so that I walked up the hill backwards so I could look at it (and well, the hill didn’t seem so big if i couldn’t see what i was climbing 😂) the reservoir glowed with the sun and it was definitely more full than when I went in October (obviously the rain was good for something). When we reached the top of the sierra, I couldn’t quite believe my eyes, the view was breathtaking and you could see for miles! It was worth the clambering over rocks and basically rock climbing and my foot getting stuck in between 2 rocks 😂😂 at the top we took in the views and of course rewarded ourselves with food and a beverage!

After we had restored energy it was time to descend this mountain, and this sounds crazy but I actually prefer climbing up the mountain because my clumsiness affects me less 😂😂 also, it’s a lot of brain work to climb down rocks on a slope, I found this out when I was being a typical chatterbox and tripped down some rocks, but hey, I have some lovely leg scrapes as a souvenir! And at least I didn’t fall completely down the mountain because then you wouldn’t be getting anymore amazing blogs 😝😝coming down the view of the reservoir was incredible, the water looked like the bright blue Powerade drink and as the sun began to go down, the whole environment changed. However, once again the ground wasn’t my friend, it turns out that gravel is reaaaalllyy hard to walk on when going down hill, so much so that I adopted the slide on your bottom approach 😂😂 But it was worth it because when we made it to the bottom, there were 2 newborn goats still with the umbilical chord, so probably less than an hour old. It was magical and truly felt like spring. They were so cute and adorable, I named them Craig and Cathy (obviously so there was alliteration with Cabra) . Sadly we had to pull ourselves away from the goats to get the bus, but on the way, we bumped into the virgin celebrations in Rute, with lots of people in flamenco dresses and with flowers and music booming down the street. I REALLY DO JUST LOVE SPAIN AND ALL ITS WHAT SEEMS LIKE SPONTANEOUS STREET CELEBRATIONS. Of course the bus was half an hour late though haha

I truly did have a wonderful weekend and I’m so happy about everything there is to do here. I hope you all are enjoying the start of spring (summer for me) too and enjoying every second

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My adventure with Araceli

Well, here I am, sat on my sofa  with a cup of tea and some Cadbury’s chocolate; of course trying not to eat the whole bar or fall asleep after the craziness of this weekend (could I be anymore British) But, the thing is, this weekend I haven’t felt British at all, my heart has been here in Spain and in Lucena. I’m actually struggling to put into words what I saw this weekend, which for me, as some of you may know is a rare moment that I have nothing to say! 😂🙈 but I’m going to try my best to convey how incredibly lucky I feel to have seen this festivity. 

I’m not quite sure where to begin, but I should really admit that when I arrived in Lucena I never thought the name Araceli would play such an important role in my life whilst being in Spain, or anywhere in the world. I can’t lie that it all began when little by little I began to realise that there are a lottttttt of Araceli’s in Lucena, it’s such a beautiful and original name. But it must be confusing to have so many Araceli’s when someone calls ‘Araceli’ in the street or even the classroom, sadly I don’t have that problem as I’ve never met another Dellisia. One of my classes has 5 Araceli’s in, and well, at least if i say Araceli, someone will answer. Well, apart from it being such a lovely name, I soon realised that she is the saint of Lucena and it made a little more sense. But this was only the start of my Araceli journey. 

I quickly learned that I could go and visit Araceli on the hill, well mountain if you try to climb it by foot 😂 and that’s where my love-hate relationship with her began, I really really wanted to see her as I learnt more about what she symbolised and the important role she played for most people here. Anyways, to cut the story short,  3 attempts to see Araceli later by walking up that slope… I FAILED!! It was closed all 3 times I climbed, even when my mum and sister came. Let’s just say they weren’t too impressed, with my mum telling me ‘so I’ve walked up this hill just to see the olives I saw from my plane’ 😂🙈 well, it’s a good job that I like hiking, I got some exercise and the views are amazing , andddddd it added some more excitement to FINALLY see Araceli. 

As you can imagine, it was a big moment when I finally got to see Araceli, but in plaza nueva and not up the mountain. She was worth the wait, but all the best things never come easy and good things come to those who wait! 💪🏻 I was quite nervous to see her the first time after so many attempts. The church was full of people admiring her and praying, there was even a small girl singing and dancing which was very moving. I even lit a candle for my dad in there. Also, I can’t believe I’ve not been in that church before, it’s been a mystery as I walk past it everyday! 

However, it’s now time to talk about about the real excitement and the reason I’m writing this blog (I just seem to get distracted and waffle a lot). Well, these fiestas aracelitanas have really captured my heart and also left me very confused. The truth is that I’ll never fully understand the events of the weekend, but it filled me with so much happiness and emotion, even if I was mind boggled. It all started with the party that is the feria of Friday night. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the casetas or a feria, as we don’t have them in the UK, but I’ve decided that we really should start having these amazing social events!! 👏🏻🎉 before going to the feria, us guiris decided we should pay our own respects to Araceli, so we set off a Chinese lantern with messages for her. However, not all went to plan (of course it didn’t with my bad luck) and it set fire to itself and landed on the roof- let’s just say we quickly had to become firefighters to extinguish the fire, nobody wants to be known as the arsonist guiris😂😂 and well, wouldn’t be getting the deposit for the flat back then hahaa 

Saturday really was something special to witness, and I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. There i was going for tapas oblivious to the events in plaza nueva, but little did I know that as I turned the corner, I was about to witness something rather unique and inspiring. There were what felt like thousands of people queueing up to offer flowers to Araceli, and some of the bouquets were incredible! However the most spectacular and interesting thing was a donkey, a real life donkey carrying flowers into the church for Araceli. To be honest with you it felt like a dreams and I couldn’t quite believe my eyes, but it really did happen. Also, the dresses that lots of women were wearing was another intriguing thing, not to offend anyone but they did look like something from Victorian times, but hey, that’s my opinion and I’m sure they’re very traditional. I enjoyed the variety of colours of them that people wore. Well, it was a feast for the eyes, such a fantastic thing to see. Later that evening it was time for the, yup you guessed it, feria again with some friends here and one of your previous language assistants, some of you might know Caroline. She says hello. 

Well, this final section of this verrrrry long blog (or more like the entire Quijote) is the Sunday and the part I really really wanted to talk about!! After my street stopped flooding and the rain eventualllyyyy came to a stop, I honestly thought I’d need to get a boat (I may be used to rain, but this rain was a whole new level) I was able to stop being a prisoner in my own flat and escape to join the festivities! I was told that Araceli wouldn’t approve if I didn’t dress nicely, so it was an excuse to be able to dress up and look like an acceptable human for once. 😂😂 So, we were ready for Araceli to make her way out of the church, and it was a tense moment as they tried to get her out the church along with the music, and I have to say I was in awe at the amount of people lining the streets to see her- a moment of pure joy! The orchestra played for her and the damas de honor lead the way with their multicoloured dresses. 

Saving the best until last- THE SUNDAY EVENING!! In all honestly, an evening that I will never ever ever forget!! It was an evening of pure happiness, unity, joy, love and a moment I felt truly happy to be alive. I had no idea what to expect about these fireworks, but they did not disappoint. I was luckily able to get a great spot by standing on a bench in plaza nueva (perfect because otherwise I’m so small I wouldn’t be able to see, even with my heels) and as Araceli entered the plaza silence filled the air as everyone concentrated on her. It was truly inspiring and beautiful to watch as the lights were switched off and Araceli glowed and moved so effortlessly through the sea of people. I was already blown away and touched by the situation, but then the music began and the fireworks. THESE FIREWORKS WERE LITERALLY OUT OF THIS WORLD!!! I have no words to describe how fantastic they were and how stunning the looked with the backdrop of San Mateo and Araceli edging closer to her destination. I have to admit, the moment was so compelling, that it brought me to tears! But I really think moments like that make you think deeply about how lucky we are to be alive and to share such precious things and how we have to make the most of every single moment! I am truly so lucky to have seen those fireworks. Well, after trying to sort out my mascara that miraculously hadn’t ran down my face (I can’t believe I’ve found a mascara that when it says waterproof, it actually is haha) it was time for, you’ll never guess what, THE FINAL NIGHT OF FERIA!!!! 

 

Anyways, it was such a wonderful weekend filled with hikes, partying, spectacular sights, time spent with amazing people and something I’ll never forget!! It was lovely to see so many of you around and I hope you all enjoyed as much as I did! I really think I’ll be returning to watch it again next year. 

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The final puente!!

Wow, I can’t believe we had yet another puente, but sadly my last puente. When I first arrived in Spain I didn’t understand what a puente was!! Everybody seemed to get so excited over them, and my thought was… why is everyone so excited about a bridge? And where does this bridge come from? Well, now I love these surprise magical long weekends that allow you to do exciting things!! I really think the UK should start having them too. I’ve been lucky enough to take advantage of my puentes and travel around quite a bit. I’ve been to Cadiz, Morocco, Valencia, Amsterdam and in this puente I’ve been to Estepona with my housemate and another language assistant.

It has felt like a tropical paradise and so lovely to relax. We stayed in a lovely little Aldea on the outskirts of Estepona and it reminded me of family holidays to France where we would stay in a caravan on a big campsite; surrounded by forest, cook together and spend quality time together. The interior of our Aldea was super cool with lots of quirky objects; it also had a semi sea view and a cute balcony area. The only slight problem was the low ceiling to get to the bed upstairs! I mean, I’m really short, as you’ve probably all noticed as I blend in as a student around school, but even I had to duck my head. (I finally felt like a tall person)

Well, enough about where we stayed. Estepona is a super beautiful part of Spain along the coast and I’d never visited there before, and it’s always good to discover new places. It is very similar to benalmadena and fuengirola, where I have spent many family holidays by the beach, soaking up the sun, trying to cram as much as we could into the week in sunny Spain. But on this occasion, us 3 language assistants decided that we needed a relaxing holiday (or as they would say in a very American way, a vacation) we spent the first afternoon at the beach, I’m beginning to wonder how I’m going to survive if it gets any warmer (if any of you have a pool, I’ll happily come and test if it’s okay for you 😝😝) and that evening I cooked fajitas for us! I must say one of the most exciting parts of this puente is that I’ve been in a tourist part of Spain where I could buy all my British comforts that I’ve missed; especially my favourite drink and my facecream that I’ve been rationing 😂! And I was able to hear many British tourists, I really miss hearing English accents, and hearing them made me feel at home. The funny thing is, that i could spot the English tourists based on what they were wearing: a rucksack, saddles and shorts! We really do have a look!

After settling in to our home for 5 days, it was time to explore!! We went into the old town centre, and it was gorgeous!! 😍 everything was very Andalusian with white houses and lots of prettily painted flower pots hanging along the street (it must take them a long time to colour coordinate) we also looked at the church and the clock tower, and even had time to have a cheeky cocktail, afterall I was ‘on my hollys’. That afternoon, it was time to relax on the beach again. Sadly, relaxing on the beach isn’t one of my talents, I’m one of those excited the kids that likes to do things all the time. But on this occasion I managed a little while lying on the beach (with factor 50, trying to avoid looking like a classic Burris tourist… a lobster) but after that I went for a swim, a walk along the beach, and skimmed stones. Another perk of being in a tourist area was the variety of food!!! The moment I escape lucena, I have to get my fix of international food, and this week in my mission to keep my taste buds alive was Thai food!!

The next day we went on an exploration of Estepona, and despite it raining on us, found a hidden beach that was almost like something from pirates of the Caribbean. The coastal line was rocky, and with lots of trees, I loved it. We could also see Gibraltar, which during this trip I have become very fond of the rock which I now call ‘Gib’ for short!! We also came across one of those pyramids on the beach that you can climb, my inner kid came out and I climbed to the top; and even managed to see Africa! (Cue Shakira’s song ‘ waka waka’)   After exploring, it was another day chilling at the beach (doesn’t make for very exciting stories) apart from it was very windy, and the sand kept attacking us, it was actually really painful. We also discovered the picturesque port, and spent some time there that evening, there was a really great atmosphere with lots of people and music which I couldn’t resist dancing to. On other evenings, the TV was on our side, with dirty dancing coming on and sex in the city!

Now, you might think that this trip is going very smoothly for me, and pretty uneventful. However, no trip with me is completely smooth. sadly, I forgot to put suncream on my feet and ended up with some verrrrryyy red feet! Anddddd I somehow managed to get conjunctivitis, but hey, those things didn’t dampen my spirits! However, the one thing that did, was when I smashed the bottle of wine by opening the fridge, that was tragic! Also, when my chocolate melted, that was also a sad moment. Above all, it has been a very relaxing trip and I feel rejuvenated! I hope to come back one day and create more memories. How did you spend your puente??

Well, now I’m on my bus home, trying not to eat the entire big packet of my favourite British crisps (salt and pepper kettle crisps) and enjoying the views from the bus. HAPPY MAY EVERYONE, and here’s to an incredible final month!! 💪🏻👌🏻💃🏽

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