A Travellerspoint blog

Post-Spain

So although I've left Spain, life is still an adventure.

I was a bit worried about returning to the UK as I was coming back with no job to go to. I didn't really want to be in the same position as I was before I got the job in Spain, having no job for several months. I hated it! I found it so depressing not having a job for ages, and being dependent on my parents and the government for money, and being rejected by companies. Not a fun time in my life...especially after other things that had happened. So I was dreading coming back from Spain and having a repeat. I quickly set about job hunting while in Spain, hoping I'd get lucky. Unfortunately, a couple of jobs that looked great turned me down due to me still being out of the country. I was running out of hope, when I finally got through to the next stage of a job application. Yay!! While I was in China, I had great news, and found out that another company had removed their rejection and had decided to give me an interview as soon as I returned back to the UK. Then came the dilemma...which job do I go for? Why is it jobs are like buses? None come when you really need them, then several come at once and make everything more complicated. The only thing for it was the good old pros and cons list. I came to a decision which would be better and was luckily offered the job. The job is great, very enjoyable and challenging. I am a Teaching Assistant for children with SEN. It's a great job and satisfying when you see an improvement.

As well as working as a TA I have been involved in lots of other things, mainly through church. I am co-leading the Senior and Brigader sections of Girls' Brigade with another Sarah, and it's going really well. We have even had an increase of numbers! :) As part of GB, I am off to South Africa in December to attend The Gathering, a massive event that doesn't take place often and representatives of GB from all over the world are attending. It's going to be a massive event and takes place for a week in Cape Town. The week before The Gathering happens, the other representatives from the UK are going to do missionary outreach work in or around Cape Town. Very exciting stuff. In preparation for this, I have to raise the funds to go, about £1500. Eek! I'm getting there slowly, with the help of some great friends in GB and have some exciting events coming up. One of which is a sponsored fast that I'll be doing for 3 days!! Think my tummy will be growling a lot! :P

Also, I have become one of the leaders of Pacers, the 'Sunday School' group for the teenagers in our church. It's pretty fun and exciting. We are currently using the parables to discuss important topics, such as 'how to treat our enemies'. In order to make it more fun, and easier to 'learn' about it, I've been trying to come up with different activities. For the 'enemy' week, the boys in the group (as the group is so large it splits into boys and girls groups) had to go into smaller groups and come up with raps that explain the parables and to talk about how to treat enemies, according to the Bible and their opinions. The raps were pretty awesome and it was great to see how much they enjoyed doing it and seemed to get from it. :D

I'm also getting involved with CTNPs (Churches Together in Newport Pagnell) plans on reaching out to the young people and getting more involved with them. It's just early days, but we have some good plans coming together and the first step is to go out onto the streets and talk to the young people about their needs. Exciting times happening in NP.

Other things have been happening, you know, the usual stuff. But also... I've got an interview for RADA!! :D *Cue high pitched squealing, jumping and giggling* I was so happy and excited when I found out I'd actually been selected for an interview. Didn't think I really would as it's so difficult to get even an interview, and the amount of talented people who apply is crazy.

In August last year, I was involved in the first History Makers in the UK for several years. It was a great success and amazing being part of the leadership team in it. I led a couple of the morning worship sessions, but even scarier, I led one of the main sessions. I was petrified and felt so unprepared. The night before I was due to do it, I stayed up late going over my notes and powerpoint presentation. Luckily, God was with me and gave me the right words to say, especially to the questions which came up. I really enjoyed doing it and being a part of it. I definitely recommend doing a History Makers course, it changes your perspective on life, your views, and strengthens you relationship with God and yourself. I learnt so much from History Makers, from both participating and helping to lead it.

I've got lots planned this year, and it's looking to be quite busy but fun. It's also going really well with my awesome boyfriend. Obviously had some ups and downs but worked through it together. Despite being apart for the first 6 months of our relationship as I was in Spain, we are working well together and getting on well. God is definitely working in our relationship, and is giving us the strength to work through any problems we face together :).

Obviously some bad things have happened but also some good things too. One of my friends is getting baptised on Sunday, it's going to be amazing, and I'm helping her by going in the water with her. Very touched by being asked to do that. :D

Think that be all for now. Enjoy.

God bless xxx

Posted by semily89 13:24 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Trip to China and the final week in Spain

(very very very late post :P)

So I'm clearly forgetful and totally forgot to write about my trip to China and my last week in Spain. Clearly useless :P

So I jetted off to China for 2 weeks to see my sister who is living out there at the moment. Unfortunately, a couple of days before I was due to go, I got tonsilitus. :( So that meant going on a 2 day journey being ill. Yep... 2 days!! It took me 2 days to get to China! Such a fun journey. I had to get a coach to Madrid, then a taxi to the airport. Then flew to Dubai, and had to stay in the airport for 10 hours!! Luckily, they do a tour into Dubai if you're stuck in the airport for more than 8 hours. Unluckily... I was stuck there in the middle of the night, so no chance of going out. There's only so much you can do in an airport for 10 hours. Surprsingly I got bored. :P I finally got to Hong Kong, where I had to get a taxi limo thing to the Chinese border in Shenzhen where I met my sister. I then had to get a taxi to her place. Finally..... The journey had finished!!

But the night was not over.... My sister managed to get herself locked, yes locked, in her bathroom. It was hilarious! I had to try and ring people who spoke English adn Chinese, but their phones were off. So I wondered down to the lobby to the guard with a Chinese-English dictionary and had to act out that she was stuck in the loo and we needed a locksmith. Finally he understood and called someone who eventually managed to get her out. It was so so funny, couldn't stop laughing. She was clearly so happy to see me that she got locked in the loo :P

The rest of the trip wasn't as eventful as that, luckily. We travelled around China and went to Beijing and Xian and saw so much. We climbed the Great Wall of China, saw the Terracota Army. We went to a Dumpling meal and saw loads of amazing acts of traditional Chinese performance. We had a traditional crispy duck banquet and saw the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace and lots of other amazing things. We also did lots and lots of shopping, of course. :) There was a great art village we went to and there was so much amazing art work, too much to choose from. What I did really want was way to big to bring back. :( But managed to find some nice little pics that I liked. I even got myself a handmade chinese silk dress. It's gorgeous :) We ate lots of yummy food as well. We then went to Macau and stayed in the Venecian which was a nice resort. Lots of things to do. We went for a nosey in the Hard Rock resort as well. :) While we were in Macau, we went on a trip to the old part of Macau, which was really interesting and gorgeous. It was interesting to see the big contrast between old and new Macau.

After Macau we went to Hong Kong and I had the biggest ever plate of Nachos!! That was all I ordered but couldn't even manage it all. They were so yummy tho. In Hong Kong, we climbed up to the largest free standing Buddhist in the world and saw Shaolin Monks perform live!! They were amazing. So incredible and talented. Even got a photo with them! :) I'd been saying the whole trip that I wanted to go and see the Shaolin Monks perform, and Rach thought it wouldn't really be possible but we got lucky and they were performing while we were in Hong Kong at the Giant Buddha. That made my day. :)

Unfortunately, during the 2nd week in China, my tonsilitus returned and wasn't fun. :( I wasn't able to get any medicine till we got to Hong Kong. Least I could still enjoy China. :) I also went to see the biggest Chinese football match of the season. Beijing against the current winners, can't remember who oppsie, but the team we were supporting, the current champions, won! Yay. The football pitch looked smaller than a regular pitch. And, when the fans didn't agree with the Ref, they chucked all their full drinks and food at the pitch! It was pretty funny. We also saw the Beijing fans start fighting between themselves. It was a pretty interesting match.

After China I went back to Spain for my final week. That was very sad. :( I said goodbye to everyone and had lots of fun in my last week. It was very sad. On my last day, the Sunday, I went to church and they threw me a surprise leaving party and had made me a cake and got me presents. It was so sweet and sad. I cried. The church as a whole got me pressies and then some families individually did as well. I spent the day out with people, and it was really nice. Some families were demanding that I stay with them when I come back to visit which is so sweet. I can't wait to go back and visit them all.

Packing to come home was a nightmare. I had 2 massive suitcases, both overweight, and I had to post myself a box of my stuff home. Very expensive moving back home. I clearly shop too much hehe.

Since I've been back in the UK, I've helped with History Makers UK, and led a couple of sessions. I was so nervous, but luckily God was with me and gave me the words to say. I lvoed being able to be involved in History Makers again. I have also got a job as an SEN Teacher's Assistant and I love it. And... I've been selected to go with GB and some other members to Global Gathering in South Africa next year. So excited!! :D Global Gathering is a big cmap where members from GB all over the world will meet up. Really can't wait. So got lots and lots of fundraising to do.

Think that's pretty much all up to date now. :D

Enjoy xxx

Posted by semily89 03:06 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

School's out forever!! :(

sunny 35 °C

So last week was my final week of teaching. Twas very sad and weird saying goodbye to everyone for the last time, though did mean I got 2 days of pool parties, sunbathing, eating ice cream and swimming. :) Hehe.

One of my favourite classes is the beginners class I taught. All the students are adults from church and they are such lovely people and an amazing group to teach. I loved teaching them so much and they are like family to me. They are my last class on a Monday and a Wednesday. On Wednesday they threw me a surprise party. I locked up my classroom, then went upstairs to leave, and they were all there waiting for me. It was amazing, I was so touched. They got me lovely pressies; a bracelet from Ecuador and earrings from Columbia. And they had also gone to the effort of writing me a card in English. They got food and cake and said loads of lovely things. It made me cry. I'm going to miss them so much. After the party, Sebas, the only teenager in the group, wanted to give me a piggy back ride. Yeah, it ended in disaster. I accidentally leant backwards which caused Sebas to fall on top of me in the middle of the road. Was so funny. I got up and was like 'Owww my bottom!' and everyone just cracked up laughing at me. They thought what I had said was hilarious, and they kept asking me to say it on Sunday at Church.

Tonight I was invited out for a meal with Marta and Daniel. I have been teaching them both in private classes this year and they are a lovely couple. Marta is 8 months pregnant, so excited for them both. It was so lovely. Had such a yummy meal but ate waaaaaaay too much. We ordered tapas, and normally tapas is a little dish you share, and you get lots. So we ordered lots, but the tapas that came out was mahoooosive! One tapas plate was literally a main meal - it was Spanish sausage, egg and chips... and we ordered 2 plates!! Not to mention all the other food. It was so yummy tho. I am about to explode however. I'm blaming Marta as she did the ordering and she's eating for 2 hehehe. :)

On Friday I go to China for 2 weeks to see my sister who I haven't seen for almost a year!! Been way too long, least we have skype tho. :) Really looking forward to seeing her and all the awesome stuff we have planned. It's going to be amazing. The only downside is that it will take me TWO days to get to China and TWO days to get back!!! That bit I ain't looking forward to. Also, my ear has decided to get very painful earache, right before a 2 day journey mainly on planes. I have a feeling my head may explode while travelling hehe.

So has it's my last week before China, I have had to do a lot of packing and I've come to the conclusion I have way too much stuff!! I had to pack all my stuff for the UK and all my stuff for China. Yeah that was confusing doing it at the same time, but it's all done and I think I have the right stuff in the right place. All my UK things have been moved to Caroline and Desmond's as I will be staying with them after China.

Right, will see you in two weeks as I'm off to China!! Woop woop!! :D

God bless xxx

Posted by semily89 15:05 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Mud Glorious Mud!

35 °C

So it's been about a month since I last wrote anything, and a lot has happened. (Don't expect me to remember it all though hehe)

The other week was the Badajoz Book Festival. It was pretty cool. It's a week long and there are loads of bookstalls. Kids from all the schools go each day to look at the books and to have stories read to them. The churches had a bookstall and they did really well. I had fun walking round it. There was Tintin, Asterix and Obelix, and The Little Prince in Spanish. I so wanted to buy them all. Hehe. I was good though and only got 2 cookery books. :)

18th May was a great day because............ I met Matt in Lisbon!! :D So excited. Matt came all the way to Spain to spend my birthday with me! :D We spent the Friday in Lisbon and travelled back to Badajoz on my birthday. We had such a great time in Lisbon, it was so relaxing. On my birthday, we just chilled and had the best chicken and chips in Spain, then we went out for a really nice meal in the evening. Matt was here for 12 days. We went to Museums, shopping, chilling, walking, talking, swimming etc. It was so much fun, laughed loads. It was sad when Matt had to go back to England. :(

But....... The Friday after Matt went home, I returned to the UK for the week for the one and only amazing FIRM FOUNDATIONS!!! For those who don't know, FF is a really big Christian festival that happens every year, but this year was the last year ever!! :( Hundreds of youth from all over the UK come to it with their youth groups and GB/BB groups. I was so honoured to be asked to help at FF this year. My job was to co-host the main worship sessions. It was so much fun. Claire and Lorne were the main hosts, myself, Tom and Shaun were the co-hosts. As it's almost the Olympics, we had the FF Mighty Oylpmic Games. Me and Tom lead the 2 teams, it was funny. The first night was a big group competition, my side of the tent vs Tom's side. They had to get 2 beach balls through 2 tiny hoops and back to the front. My side won of course! :D Saturday morning we had teams. One GB and one BB leader was chosen, then a girl and a boy. I had the girls team, Tom had the boys team. We had to dress in high vis jackets, hard hats and safety gloves, then hop up and down the whole tent on space hoppers. Was hilarious. I kept falling off. I had to take my flip flops (yes flip flops in a muddy wet field :P) off and I ended up getting carpet burns on my feet. :S Unfortunately the boys won... Def a set up hehe. The 2 teams then had the task of memorising 10 memory verses throughout the day for the WWJD Bible Boxing match in the evening worship. The Bible boxing match was awesome.... and of course the girls won! We clearly rock! Hehe. The boys then had to dance for 1 min to ABBA, while we ate sweets and shared them out in the tent. :D Saturday morning I also got to pray for the speaker, Mark Greenwood, and to read his Bible verses. Mark was an awesome speaker, well all the speakers were amazing. So good and the talks were bang on. Friday night we had Ian Lancaster from Christians In Sport do the talk. Saturday night was Chip K from thebandwithnoname, and I got to interview him. It was interesting interviewing a famous Christian singer in front of hundreds of people. I also got to pray for him before he did his talk. For his Bible reading, he wanted me and Tom to act it out. It was David and Goliath. The audience got to vote for who was David and who was Goliath. Guess who they voted me to be...... GOLIATH! Haha. Was good though. Kept laughing through it haha. Sunday morning we didnt have time for the Mighty Olympics but we still picked our teams for teh Bible Boxing. Me and Tom then decided to do a hostile take over and make Lorne and Claire do the Bible Boxing instead of us. The boys won it though.... Def a stitch up. Claire and the team had to eat chillis haha. Glad I wasn't there :P As well as the main worship there were workshops, activities and competitions throughout the day and night. On Saturday morning we gave out Jubilee New Testaments to every person, and to make it more personalised we wrote their names on it in permanent marker. On Sunday we High Fived everyone, and Monday they got bracelets. It was a great way to welcome them into the worship. I had such a blonde moment with my Jubilee bible. I picked it up after evening worship with my other bible, and was holding it in my arm. A little while later I looked round and was like 'Uh I can't find my bible.' People helped me look..... Then I realised it was in my arm. Hehehe. I also spent the whole of Saturday tripping over everything. Was funny. As I came from Spain, I only had flip flops with me. Yeah I was a bit optimistic about the weather. I did have dolly shoes but knew they would get ruined in the rain and mud, so stuck to my flip flops lol. My feet were covered in mud. It took 3 really massive washes and constant scrub to remove all the mud. FF mud is tough! It was amazing to be involved with such a fantastic festival and to see how it affected every person who went to it. I was so gutted to have to leave early, I went back to Spain on the Sunday night, but so grateful to have been involved. Def hope they rebirth it. :)

Next year is GB's 120th anniversary, and I'm planning my district's event. It's going well so far. We are having a party for the 2 younger sections, and a big concert for the 2 older sections. Managed to get 2 great bands and Mark Greenwood who spoke at FF to speak at the concert. Never organised anything like this, so wish me luck, gonna need it. Plus any advise would be great.

I've almost finished my time here in Spain. Very sad at that thought, but am looking forward to going home. Really going to miss everyone here tho. Next week is my last week teaching, then I have one more week in Spain, followed by 2 weeks in China to see my sister, then one week back in Spain to say goodbye. Time has gone way way way too quickly. Can't believe I've been here for a school year. Will be good to get home tho and get back into GB, cos miss that too. Def going to come and visit everyone here a lot. They won't be able to get rid of me hehe. The people I've met, especially in the church, have become a family to me. They are awesome people.

I saw baby Sara the other Sunday in church and got a massive cuddle hehe. Love it. Was well excited to see her.

Oooo. The weather has been amazing. Def been getting my tan on! :D

I have a feeling I've missed loads. Def going senile haha.

God bless

xxxx

Posted by semily89 11:16 Archived in Spain Comments (1)

Easter and Baby Sara :-)

semi-overcast 15 °C

So for Easter I went home for 10 days, and loved every minute! It was such a hectic 10 days tho, non stop every single day, but so good. Got to catch up with all my friends, tho some not as much as i would have liked, and saw my family and my lovely boyfriend :D I went to London a couple of times, and had a great time. I had to go in order to get my Chinese visa so I can go visit my sister. It was a bit of an effort getting it but got it without much problem which is good. Also went to Lincoln to see the awesome Lincoln lot :D Had a lot of fun, even if it rained the whole time lol. I got blamed for the bad weather in the UK haha. As soon as I came home it started raining lol. Had a really nice Easter lunch with my parents, Matt and his parents. It was such a lovely day. :D

Came back to Spain and Rebecca visited me. We had a good 5 days and she got to see what teaching English was like. We explored Badajoz and had lots of fun. :)

The other Friday was Nely's 15th birthday. In Coloumbia and Bolivia, 15th birthday is a really big deal, like 18th in UK. So she had a really big party at the church and had 2 gorgeous dresses. One was like a wedding dress, and she looked beautiful. We all had a lot of fun at the party. I played slapsies with Sebas and ended up with big bruises on my hand hehe.

The weather has been pretty much like English weather at the moment. Constant on off rain, though not as bad as in the UK. Yay! :D

Baby Sara was born today!! :D She weighed about 9.5lbs!! Big baby. She's so cute tho. I haven't seen her yet, but seen loads of photos on FB and she's gorgeous and looks like her parents. Very cute baby..... and she has my name hehehe. :D Can't wait to have lots of cuddles with her. :D

Paula, the daughter of the family I live with, who is 9, is the best swimmer in Extremadura in the Breast stroke and the Butterfly, and she's the 2nd best in the Back stroke. How amazing is that?! She's a very talented swimmer and is doing so well. Her brother, Miguel is also the best in Extremadura in his age group.

It's almost time for the last ever Firm Foundations! :( But I get to go! Yay! And I'm helping the amazing Claire lead the main worship. Hehe. Very excited but very nervous too.

Tomorrow I'm going to a talky conference thingy organised by Oxford University Press. Two authors of two really good books that people use to teach English as a foreign language are giving talks. One of the people is the guy who wrote English File, which is the book I'm using to teach the beginners from church. That class is doing really well and I love teaching them. :) Some of my students are learning Kichwa and taught me some. It's the native language in Peru and it's also spoken in Coloumbia. It's pretty cool learning some of it. Quite similar to Spanish.

I'm having Spanish lessons now. Sonia from church, who is lovely, has a sister who I am teaching English and in return she's teaching me Spanish. It's going pretty well, and people are commenting on how much I've improved. Yay! :D Though, at the moment, I'm learning verbs and grammar. I hate Spanish verbs lol. Spanish verbs are stupid. Hehe. They have a tense that doesn't exist in Spanish, and they also have two verbs for the one verb in English. They have two different verbs that both mean 'to have', two that both mean 'to be', and two that both mean 'to know', and they are the only ones that I currently know about lol. Spanish verbs are definitely evil! Though I'm getting the hang of them, and all I need know is to get more vocabulary. :D

I'm planning my China trip with my sister. Not long now till I go. Getting pretty excited. :D Got lots planned already, and loads more left to plan. It's going to be a great holiday. :D

At church on Sunday we had 4 baptisms. They were amazing. It was so great to see the baptisms. Sonia, who's sister I'm having Spanish-English lessons with, got baptised. She used to go to a gypsy church, the one I visited a little while ago, and the pastor from that church came to her baptism and preached. It was very interesting. After the baptisms, the whole church ate together. We all brought food that we had made, and we had a big picnic in the church. It was really nice.

I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff, like normal. Hehe. Pretty sure that is everything for now tho. :D

God bless xxxx

Posted by semily89 17:03 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 23) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 »