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…”

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It’s The FINAL COUNTDOWWWWN: The “One-Month-Until-Spain” To-Do List!!…

As of this day, it is officially ONE MONTH until I make that transatlantic flight from J.F.K. to start my new life in España!!!!…

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…Indeed, it IS, :-D!!…

Still, there are several more things that I feel I must accomplish before that wonderful day of days arrives!!… Continue reading “It’s The FINAL COUNTDOWWWWN: The “One-Month-Until-Spain” To-Do List!!…”

A Dedication to Zaragoza–My Future Home…

As I announced previously, my future city of residence in España will be none other than that illustrious Aragonese captial, Zaragoza!!… Unfortunately, ZGZ definitely doesn’t seem to pop up that often on most people’s radar: Not too many people who I know have heard of it, and I seem to be one of the only two auxiliares in the blogosphere who are actually working there (the other being Blayne from Leaves From The Vine [check it out, check it ouuuuut!!])… Hence, in this post, I’ll try to rep my future city and bring its awesomeness to light (with the vast majority of info and photos coming from Wikipedia)!!… Basilica--

La Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar (beautiful, isn’t it???)… Continue reading “A Dedication to Zaragoza–My Future Home…”

Triumph: I’VE GOT THE GOLDEN TICKET (I Mean, Carta)!!!!…

FINALLY–after months of waiting, I opened my e-mail first thing this morning, and I saw IT–my CARTA!!!!…

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…Carlton clearly knows how I’m feeling!!!!…

And so, I am proud to say that, over the course of an academic year (8-9 months), I will be living and working in this MAGNIFICENT city: Continue reading “Triumph: I’VE GOT THE GOLDEN TICKET (I Mean, Carta)!!!!…”

It’s ALMOST Here!!!!…

O.K., people–I’m so STOKED, right now!!!!…Within the last hour I’ve received an e-mail from María Pilar–the nice lady who serves as the contact person for us auxiliares aragoneses–that says

“Las cartas de los nombramientos se van a enviar mañana por correo postal. En los próximos días, recibirás toda la documentación también por correo electrónico.”

Loosely translated, it means that my carta will be mailed off tomorrow, and I’ll get my placement information by e-mail all within the next some-odd days as well…IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING!!!!…

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Indeed, Sirius, :-)…

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Tedium: Or, Applying For A Spanish Student Visa At The Washington D.C. Consulate…

Whilst returning to Spain is a blessing that I do not take lightly, admittedly, there’s quite a bit of rigmarole to get through even before I arrive in the country–and there’s nothing quite as tedious as the student visa application process…
Inspired by some of my fellow auxiliars, past and present, I’ve decided to give some insight into the nature of this ordeal (and to help any confused D.C.-, V.A.-, M.D.-, W,V.-, N.C.-based Spain hopefuls), I’m elaborating over all that it requires…
Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form an omniscient “Spanish Student Visa Expert”–I’m just laying out my own personal experience with this sort of thing…As always, you should consult the Consulate’s website for the latest requirements!!…
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…Eyes on the prize, people [not my visa]!!…

Continue reading “Tedium: Or, Applying For A Spanish Student Visa At The Washington D.C. Consulate…”

Anticipation: Or, 9 Ways to Maintain One’s Sanity While Waiting for the Carta…

If you’re reading this, and you’re like me, you’ve signed on to be a participant in the North American Language and Culture Assistants Program–which means you get to spend (at least) 9 months lazing about working in Spain, the glorious land of sun, sangría, and seseo!!…

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…Get happy like these two!!…

However, just because your head is clear of any doubts, and you’re now officially headed to España, doesn’t mean that the anxiousness ends here…You see, after accepting their positions in the program, all auxiliares wait to receive their carta de nombramiento (letter of placement) via e-mail and/or snail mail, which informs them as to a) what exact city or pueblo they’re in, and b) which school(s) they’ve been assigned to, as well as the contact information of their coordinators/administrators…Depending on which region you’re in, the timeframe in which you receive your carta varies–for instance, people in Andalucía have been getting theirs since late May/early June, while people in my region, Aragón, have to wait until mid-July…

As you can see, all of this waiting can be very nerve-wracking for us auxiliares–especially because we need our cartas to be able to apply for our visas…Hence, the emotional response to this waiting game ranges from

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…melancholy, pensive contemplation and expectation (“Everyone’s sharing their assignments, and I’m here, waiting for my carta.”), to…

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…abject rage, frustration, angst, and impatience (like Loki, here)…

Yes, friends–’tis trying sometimes…However, here’s some things that you can do to beat the I-need-my-carta blues!!… Continue reading “Anticipation: Or, 9 Ways to Maintain One’s Sanity While Waiting for the Carta…”

I’m So EXCITED (And I Just Can’t Hide It!!): Why I’m Hype About España…

Assuming all goes according to plan, I’m going to Spain sometime this September…While I’ve already elaborated on why I’m going, I need to mention the particular reasons as to why España me emociona!!…

1) Using my SpanishDeutsch (German), I love you and all your beautiful linguistic idiosyncracies (umlauts, what, what!!), but I need to go back to my first language love, el español…But seriously, though–Spanish is my second language, with a special place in my heart, and now that I’ve left university, I don’t want to lose it by not excersing my Spanish brain constantly…Yes, there are a lot of Hispanics here, but I don’t get to engage in convo with them as often as I like–so why not move to somewhere where I could get to read, hear, write, and speak el castellano regularly???…Plus, I can understand Castilian Spanish (except el andalús)  a lot better than, say, the Mexican or Puerto Rican dialects, so it’s pretty much a no-brainer!!…

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¡¡Venga!!Continue reading “I’m So EXCITED (And I Just Can’t Hide It!!): Why I’m Hype About España…”

Why Spain, Why Now (Why Not)???…

As many of you can tell, I’m pretty stoked about my forthcoming journey back to Spain–I mean, it’s Spain!!…While many people I know have been very encouraging and supportive of my decision to dive into the expat experience, at times it’s very frustrating to be met with the same sort of questions constantly: “So you don’t want to get your Masters?”, “I thought you didn’t want to teach?”, “Why not take a job over here with good vacation time?”, etc….

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…Yeah…

Hence, I’d like to clear the air as to why exactly I’m choosing to teach abroad at this stage in the game… Continue reading “Why Spain, Why Now (Why Not)???…”

5 Reasons to Get Hype About Aragón…

As I mentioned in my last post, I am [expectantly] moving to Spain this fall to make my first step into the real world, working as an auxiliar de conversación…And as you will see, the region that I will soon call home, Aragón, has quite a few draws…

1) Location, location, locationAs you can see, Aragón is in el norte…While the North of Spain is generally rainier and colder (more so in wintertime), a lot of the landscape is greener than much of what you would find in the rest of the country…Plus, it’s a lot easier to reach all those great cities of the North–Pamplona, Logroño, San Sebastián, A Coruña, Barcelona–if you live, well, in the North!!…

aragon-location Continue reading “5 Reasons to Get Hype About Aragón…”

And So The Real World Begins…

It is done…Just hours ago, I (and my classmates) made our way up and across the stage set on the Upper Quad, each of us receiving a black folder emblazoned with our school’s seal and name inscripted…

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And so, I can now say that I am a proud alumna of Wake Forest University (magna cum laude, no less)!!!!…

Now, what was the point of sharing all this (besides being all cathartic with my excitement)???…Well, I’ve always made it a point that I will always actively write on this blog whenever I had some exciting upcoming adventure in store for my little life–and indeed, I do!!… Continue reading “And So The Real World Begins…”