Busy Bee in Valladolid

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Keeping myself busy is what I do best and my schedule here is definitely keeping me on my feet! Since I have a type A personality, I enjoy being a busy bee, and I am constantly absorbing everything about the Spanish lifestyle. On top of my internship at the International Immersion Institute, I am volunteering weekly at two different places.

The first place is Alimentos de Banco, which is a Food Bank. Two weekends ago, I helped collect food at a video game convention. The incentive for the kids at the video game convention was that if they brought in food, they could buy video game related items with 1 kilo equal to one point. We ended up receiving over 60 boxes of non-perishable food which I thought was a great turn out! I also took advantage of having Spaniards around me, and I practiced my Spanish speaking along with making new friends.

Helping out at the videogame convention

Helping out at the videogame convention

Boxes of food we collected

Boxes of food we collected

The second place I volunteer for is al residencia des ancianos, which is a home for the elderly. Every Wednesday night I go for a couple of hours to watch movies with the elderly and be good company, simply talking with them. I already made a new friend, Eugenia, who is so precious. Volunteering here has taught me so much and makes me feel good that I am helping various people!

Officially a volunteer!

Officially a volunteer!

Mi amiga, Eugenia!

Mi amiga, Eugenia!

Working as an intern has been very rewarding so far. I have learned so much about teaching in one month than I would have learned in years of school. I love being hands on, and now I’m teaching a good chunk of each class.

I start off by doing a daily routine with the kids, such as today’s date, the weather, and random questions about their week or interests. Then, I normally do an extra activity, such a reading a book to the little kids, planning a game, or doing a craft.

Enjoying my Infantil class

Enjoying my Infantil class

Last week, I thought of doing these four square, paper origami crafts that we can all remember making when we were younger. Instead of putting jokes inside, I had the kids write trivia questions or silly dares like “quack like a duck” that follow the theme of animals. I had them write animals on the outside as well, so they can practice their pronunciation of English letters. This idea turned out great because I could see the kids really enjoyed playing with these, and I could see it was helping with their English.

My origami craft for the kids

My origami craft for the kids

The Very Hungary Caterpillar activity I made up!

The Very Hungary Caterpillar activity I made up!

The Spanish life is treating me very well. Some mornings, when I have to wait a little bit before I head to work, I go to a café and have a typical Spanish desayuno (breakfast), which includes coffee, orange juice, and your choice of a sweet or salty food. The other day, I chose to have churros and they were filling and delicious! When I am walking to and from my internship, I enjoy looking at the beautiful architecture all around the city. I’ve also been trying a variety of new foods and drinks, such as Portuguese sweets, fish, and paella. I could never get bored with all of the variety here!

A Portuguese sweet

A Portuguese sweet

Plaza Zorilla

Plaza Zorilla

Trying out local beer

Trying out a local favorite.

Mi desayuno

Mi desayuno

About the author

Alyssa Crespo

My name is Alyssa Crespo. I grew up in a little town called Fredonia, New York, and have lived there my whole life. I am 20 years old, and I’m currently still living with my family which entails my mother (Kate), my father (Jamie), and my two brothers (Forest and Sean). My major is the Social Sciences, but I still have yet to figure out what I will be doing with my Associates degree and what I will be doing afterwards for college. Spring semester of 2016 I will be doing the International Internship in Valladolid, Spain. I absolutely love learning new things every day, and I’m very passionate about what I do. I enjoy reading a lot. I also love to hula hoop dance and do yoga every day. I have my own henna business; henna is a temporary and natural tattoo, an art mainly practiced in the Middle East. I’m very interested in languages. I went on exchange in Brazil for a year and I became fluent in Portuguese. I learned Spanish in high school for four years, and I’m currently taking a sign language class which I absolutely love, so I’m also considering going into language for my education major. Food is my best friend. When I was younger, I was very picky. Since I’ve been to Brazil, I had to be polite and try everything people put in front of me; therefore, I learned to love a variety of foods and try new things. I cannot wait to see what Spain has in store for me. I am beyond excited to go on another adventure, share my culture, and learn about Spain!