I have arrived in Baena and have been mostly trying to avoid the cold!
Buildings here are obviously designed to combat the hot weather, so the tiled floors certainly don't store heat.
If you touch the floor without shoes on, your whole body starts to go into hypothermic shock. Instead of 'the floor is lava', it is more like 'the floor is ice'.
First thoughts on the town:
It may not be the most exciting place to live, but small Spanish towns certainly are a change from . . . er . . . well, small Mexican towns. It has a cinema, a sports centre with swimming pool, four big supermarkets and lots of olive oil shops. Did I mention the olive oil yet?
I imagine it is very similar to a lot of small towns in Andalucía. Most of the young residents want to go to the bigger cities around to look for more excitement, and the older residents don't want anything apart from more flat caps and to play petanque on Sundays.
The town definitely likes its 'quiet time' with shops closing from 2pm until later and everything closing on Sundays. I found one bar open on Sunday (which I haven't seen open since) and it was full of people thankful just to be able to get a coffee somewhere!
First thoughts on living in Andalucía:
I'm starting to miss Mexico for how difficult it was.
My apartment is in the centre of town, right next to the academy where I work, giving me a 20 second commute. It is the top floor of a town house and has two lounges, three bedrooms and a roof terrace. It also has a a host of weird religious ornaments and pictures as well as a heated table from the 1970s. Not bad for 250 Euros plus bills.
Prices in general here a pretty low. I saw a guy buy four litres of beer and two litres of wine in the supermarket for 4 Euros. A beer in a bar, or a coffee cost about 1 Euro, the cinema was 5 and the swimming pool is 3 Euros.
First thoughts on the job:
I have to plan classes outside of these times, but the not doing a split shift was one of the main draws of the job. Now I just have to adjust my sleeping and eating patterns to match it!
6 teachers work at the institute which mainly functions as an after school club to help the kids pass certain English exams.
We teach five straight classes with the kids bustling in and out every hour - needless to say, you have to be pretty organised. The kids are definitely different to my last job. They are confident, have decent English, are loud and can't sit still for more than two minutes. And they're loud. Taking a photo with the students would have been too exciting for them, so you'll have to wait for that one.
Most students attend three times a week with classes from two different teachers. We teach mostly from books and smart-boards loaded with the materials from the books.
I've been covering classes and I'm shadowing a teacher for the next week before she goes on maternity leave. It's a strange situation as I have to hover at the back of class looking like a nervous trainee. It is nice to have a chance to get to know the students before starting proper though.
Well, that's my opening thoughts, I'll write to you when I've been to that olive oil museum!