Sunday, June 16, 2013

A School Year Ends in Villablino

Posters together with a large American flag greeted me
on my first day to the school.
Autumn landscape unfolded before us as we carpooled
the hour and a half drive to the high school.
It was already November, and like the saying,  "The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese," Well, in the case of  IES Valle de Laciana, I certainly "got the cheese." I didn't begin in September like the others. I was a late starter. However, teaching in Villablino gave me the privilege of working with the most wonderful staff and students I have ever known.
Explaining Thanksgiving through games and storytelling
was one of my first assignments.
Fall gave way to winter meaning more rain and colder days and...
The schoolyard looking down from the Teacher's Lounge; snow and...
more snow.
On the way to work - rough going.
Science teacher extraordinaire, Laura, and I laughing in the snow drifts
December: Lessons about how the Grinch Stole Christmas and different ways to celebrate the holidays made for many memorable moments.
January- February:
It was always a joy to be with my co-workers and students.
They were pure sunshine during those long winter days.
I promised that this photo be titled Sexy Spanish Men in Pink -
Gotta love these guys teaching Math and Graphic Design
Some awesome teaching in Ms. Bea's class included playing verb
jeopardy to get students ready for their final exams.
Gorka, thank you again for the priceless present of chocolates my last
day. You are un caramelo, de verdad.

After the observation of Three King's Day or Epiphany, we were back to work. Sometimes the hours and demands seemed so long and impossible, but with our little  coffee breaks and friendly discourses we moved through our days happy to share in in our endeavors.

Bar Restaurante Casa Riesco
March: A visit back to the States to see youngest son in his first leading role for a school play and visit with the other children, family and friends as well.

A special message for the last months in particular...

Dearest Students, Professors and Educational Staff,

It has been a pleasure beyond words to have the privilege of working with you. We have enjoyed cultural exchanges of many sorts together. Some of many memories include Popcorn reading our texts, singing ridiculous jingles and songs so the English would "stick", vocabulary games and competitions, Pay Me Backs (Págames), and more. I hope you remember the good times we've had, (especially the chocolate chip cookies, hahaha) and that despite the economy, politics and all the other things that make us feel cynical and frustrated, there IS LIFE and LOVE and wonderful people everywhere, all over this big world. Best wishes to you all, in every endeavor.

I will miss you very much!

Ha sido un placer indescriptible de tener el privilegio de trabajar con ustedes. Hemos disfrutado juntos de intercambios culturales de muchas clases. Algunos de los muchos recuerdos incluyen Popcorn reading nuestros textos, cantando rimas ridículas y canciones para que el Inglés se "pegue", juegos de vocabulario y concursos, Pay Me Backs (Págames), y más. Espero que recordéis los buenos momentos que hemos tenido, (especialmente las galletas de copos de avena y chocolate, jajaja) y que a pesar de la economía, la política y todas las otras cosas que nos hacen sentir cínicos y frustrados, hay vida, amor y gente maravillosa en todas partes de este gran mundo.
Mis mejores deseos para todos ustedes, en todo lo que emprendáis.
Voy a echaros mucho de menos!


Saying goodbye with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for all my classes


  1. Wonderful, as everything you do.

    1. The year in Villablino was especially wonderful because of you. You are beautiful. A treasure. Kisses.

  2. Wonderful, as everything you do!

  3. Great post and great memories, today was the last Tuesday with students and we missed you lots! See you real soon. xxx

    1. Oh, Bea! Last day!!!
      I so hoped to write a short note to read to the students before they left for good. I so wanted to thank them properly for their gifts and kindnesses. Please let them know if you see any of them. Any, you, of course, who orchestrated it all, thank you!!!
      With love!