First Impressions…

Hey, ya’ll!!…Well, I returned to Madrid on the 2nd of this month, and I started working at my new school on the 4th…To be honest, nothing really exciting is going on in my life at the moment, but things have been going really well for the following reasons:

  • My morning commute is almost cut in half.
  • My co-workers are so much more open and friendlier than at my last school–there’s many a joke to be had around the lunch table.
  • Speaking of lunch, I get that for free.
  • No work on Fridays.
  • I get on better with my students this year–they run from 5th grade to 2nd of Bachillerato (end of high school). I always knew I preferred older kids.
  • I feel useful and well-utilized at this school, and I don’t dread having to lug myself to work.
  • I’m back in Madrid, which is more-or-less my home at this point.

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And you, my lovely readers–what’s new with you???…

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A New Season…

Hello…It’s me–no, not Adele, Betty…I know I’ve said this before quite a bit, but my life has definitely been really busy over these last 2 years…Well, “busy” and in the sense that I’ve been very active going to work, hanging out with friends, volunteering at my church, hitting the gym, etc., and “not busy” in the sense that working on an auxiliar’s schedule definitely still affords me quite a bit of free time, but by the time I get home, I’m often so tired from all the stuff that I’ve been doing that all I want to do is plop down on my bed and crash…

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Well, now that it’s vacation and I have the whole weekend off from my summer job, I can finally fill ya’ll in on what exactly has gone on… Continue reading “A New Season…”

Still Breathing, 2.0: A Mid-Year Recap…

Surpriiiiiiiise–I’m actually still alive!!…But, I actually have a good excuse for being M.I.A.: Between weeks of suffering with no Wi-Fi in my house, over 2 weeks of Christmas vacation, and just living life in general, I haven’t really paid much thought into updating this thing…But, don’t worry–I’ll try to fill you in on what’s been going on in my life these past several months…

Turning 23 In Style

On November 21, I went to a party that celebrated the 1 year anniversary of Las Morenas De España, the lifestyle/travel blog dedicated to black women living, working, and/or traveling in Spain (and for which I wrote a few articles)…Coincidentally, when the clock stuck midnight, I officially marked 23 years of life on this Earth–and, even though the party was not held in my honor, it was really sweet having all the other girls singing Stevie Wonder’s rendition of “Happy Birthday” to me…Not to mention, we SLAYED with that all-white theme (#BlackGirlMagic)!!…

img-20151122-wa0006.jpg Continue reading “Still Breathing, 2.0: A Mid-Year Recap…”

Livin’ La Vida Madrileña: Monthly Recap #1.5…

Once again, I seem to have broken my promises of actually writing consistently–but, I actually have a legit excuse for the radio silence: Since arriving to the Spanish capital this past 15th of September, I’ve been in this flux, trying to get my ducks in a row–you know, piso (apartment) hunting, getting registered at my current address, and getting oriented and settled in at my new workplace!!…I’ve been crazy-busy these past some-odd weeks, so I’ll try my best to recap what exactly has been going on in my little sphere!!…

La Casa:

Upon arriving here, my first main priority was finding an apartment–imperative, because I needed a place with a landlord that offered a contract, something that is required to become empadronada (registered with the city), which in turn is required to get your T.I.E. (Foreigner’s I.D. Card)…I wanted somewhere where a Cercanías (commuter train) station was easily accessible, 450€/less (bills included), and with central heating and WIFI already installed (or about-to-be-installed by the landlord)…

This year, from what I understand, the competition in The Great Piso Hunt was particularly intense, what with more Spaniards moving to the Capital to find employment, more auxiliares than ever, and an influx of refugees from Syria and Lebanon…But praise God, I found my room in only 4 days (some people are still searching for a place to live), and I live in Puerta de Toledo, an area that’s fairly central (it’s just one Metro stop below vibrant La Latina, the city’s oldest neighborhood), has central heating and WIFI, is 12-15 minutes from a Cercanías station (which makes my commute that much easier), is around 50-60€ cheaper from my maximum price point, AND a fairly austere (but ultimately fair) landlord who gave me a contract and who doesn’t overstep any boundaries…

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…The Puerta de Toledo–a former gateway that marked the outskirts of the city, it lends its name to my current neighborhood… Continue reading “Livin’ La Vida Madrileña: Monthly Recap #1.5…”

Still Breathing: A Quick Catch-Up…

Good Lord–I didn’t think it would get this bad: I know I’ve been really inconsistent over the past year in regard to regularly posting life updates, but I never intended on going on this long without saying ANYTHING–but, then, life…happened…

But don’t worry, folks, I’m not dead, and I actually have a legitimate reason as to why things have been silent as the grave here at my little WordPress site: I’m working!!…Yeah, I’ve been working at a warehouse for the past 2 months now, saving up $$$ for life in my new hometown (a.k.a. Madrid), so I’ve literally been killin’ it with the overtime, and that has made me too busy and exhausted to even think about writing anything of relevance…

However, I’ve decided to battle through my insomnia and essentially recap some of the major things that have happened during my last 2 months in Spain, as well as what I’ve been up to now…

…My “see you later” (NEVER “goodbye”) soireé at the EOI…

Enjoying the Beauty of Tarazona

A few weeks before leaving Zaragoza, I went with some people from church to Tarazona, a small city further south within ZGZ province…Our initial plan was to go hiking on El Moncayo (the mountainside beside the city) before exploring the town and having Bible study, but we arrived fairly late in the day, and the senderismo took longer than planned…Still, ’twas a truly splendid landscape–I couldn’t get enough of those views (or that green)!!…Recap to come eventually!!…

IMG-20150525-WA0025 Continue reading “Still Breathing: A Quick Catch-Up…”

Growth: 4 Ways I’ve Changed After Moving To Spain…

Today I had my last class as an auxiliar de conversación here in Zaragoza, and I’m headed back Stateside in a few weeks–cómo se va el tiempo (how time flies), indeed!!…These past 8 months have flown by, filled with highs, lows, and a lot of chuches from El Rincón (a chain of frutos secos stores based in ZGZ), and as cliché as it sounds, this experience has developed me and changed me in more ways than one…

Culinary Game On Point

I stand by what I’ve always believed about cooking: It’s fairly simple, and you just need to be able to follow instructions to get it done (and get it done right). But considering that I only receive a limited monthly stipend, it’s not like I can go out and splurge on pinchos every day, so I’ve definitely nailed down the art of preparing palatable portions (say that 3x fast) that last for a few days…Plus, there’s a variety amazingly fresh, high quality, affordable ingredients here (olive oil and garlic, anyone?), which means I’ve gotten to flex my culinary creativity muscles and make some truly beautiful dishes here!!…

happily-cooking_482 Continue reading “Growth: 4 Ways I’ve Changed After Moving To Spain…”

LIVIN’ “DAT EXPAT LIFE”: MONTHLY RECAP #5 & 6…

Hiya, folks–sorry it’s been crickets (again) here lately, but my personal schedule has been really schizo lately!!…Hopefully, things begin to settle back down to a normal rhythm again, and I can actually get back in the blogging “zone”!!

But, until then, here’s what’s been going down in my life recently!!

Travel Talk

Last month, an interview that I did with one of my favorite travel bloggers (Kirstie from Venga, Vale, Vamos) went live as the first entry in her “Travel Talk” series–check it out, check it out!!…Speaking of writing, if you missed the third article I did for Las Morenas De España about the awkwardness of expat transcience, you can read it here!!…

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Continue reading “LIVIN’ “DAT EXPAT LIFE”: MONTHLY RECAP #5 & 6…”

Contemplation: Or, What’s Keeping My Thoughts Occupied…

Hey, folks–sorry for another bout of radio silence: I’ve been here, there, and everywhere, trying to get various things settled and sorted (like a grown-up), and sometimes my blogging gets caught by the wayside…But, hey–I’m hanging in there!!…

Well, one of the major things that happened this week is that the application for the NALCA application opened up again…In case you didn’t know, the NALCA (North American Language and Cultural Assitants) program is what has given me an excuse to live here legally in Spain, working as an auxiliar de conversación (English Teaching Assistant) at an E.O.I. (Official Language School)…Now, with this program, you have the opportunity to renew your position as an auxiliar for another year or two (or three [four…]), either in the same city/region or another city/region, and since I definitely want a lot more time to enjoy la vida española, I’m definitely going to put in for renewal!!…

But that’s where things get murky… Continue reading “Contemplation: Or, What’s Keeping My Thoughts Occupied…”

2014: A Year Of Travel In Review (via Instagram!)…

O.K., so, as all my faithful readers know by now, 2014 has been a big year for me, what with me moving to Spain and all!!…

However, my adventurings this year have not only taken me to Zaragoza (my current homebase), but to a variety of interesting destinations…So, to cap it all off, here’s an overview of all of my travels this year via Instagram–which is quickly becoming one of my favorite things, EVA (thank God I got a smartphone this year)!!…

Choirland–This past March, I enjoyed the last Spring Break of my undergraduate career in the Republic of Oireland (properly pronounced as written), on a tour with my fellow classmates choir nerds

http://instagram.com/p/uxfhCUAgYO/?modal=true Continue reading “2014: A Year Of Travel In Review (via Instagram!)…”

Livin’ “Dat Expat Life”: Monthly Recap #2…

Oy–once again, ya’ll, I’m sorry for not being so conscientious with the posts, but the life of an auxiliar gets kinda hectic sometimes…And, mira, another month of my life here in Spain has come and gone–so let me fill you in on what I’ve been up to these last 4 weeks!!…

Strolling Along the Mediterranean:

In late-October, I spent a weekend in Gandía and Denía (2 Valencian cities), where the annual UEBE (the Spanish Baptist Convention) conference with members of the church I’ve been going to here…While I didn’t enjoy the conference at all (there was no sense of dynamism or fervor, and things were far too rigid), it did come with a silver lining: I finally got to fulfill my lifelong dream of wading into the Mediterranean Sea, :-D…

1414257335793 Continue reading “Livin’ “Dat Expat Life”: Monthly Recap #2…”

Livin’ “Dat Expat Life”: Monthly Recap #1…

As of today, I have officially been living in España for a little over a month–it is truly crazy how the time has been flying!!…

So, this post essentially amounts to an “In Case You Missed It” regarding my first month of “Dat Expat Life”…

The Arrival/Rough Adjustment:

As I wrote previously, I had a less-than-smooth arrival to ZGZ capital…The first week and a half getting settled in and sorted was stressful, to say the least–but, things have gotten SIGNIFICANTLY better since then: I’ve made some friends, gotten myself orientated the city/know more-or-less which buses and tram routes to ride, and have been adjusting to being an adult foreign national–with a bank card, I.D. #, and everything!!…

tumblr_ma16ez3pVc1qgg6zbo1_500 Continue reading “Livin’ “Dat Expat Life”: Monthly Recap #1…”

Zesty Zaragoza In Photos…

Hey, ya’ll!!…As you might know, it’s been almost 2 weeks now since my *hem* less-than-smooth arrival in Zaragoza, and even though the whole “adjusting to adult living” thing in new surroundings continues to present challenges, I realize that I’ve developed a certain affection for this city that I now call home, :-)…

So, in honor of the #SundayTraveler series (hosted by the lovely Adelina from Pack Me To), I share photos of this place whose secrets I am continuing to uncover–slowly, but surely, as every good voyager should, :-)…

wpid-20140924_195843.jpg Continue reading “Zesty Zaragoza In Photos…”