October 22, 2016 | After several hours of Spanish conversation, we felt exhausted but happily satisfied.
Rarely do we find ourselves speaking Spanish throughout an entire day, so this particular Saturday was a huge treat! We scheduled back-to-back activities with three Spanish friends, and, as a result, we were able to enjoy 8 hours of language learning, great conversation, and amazing food.
12:00-13:00 | Intercambio at Panisimo
Jenni and Aissa
In late September, a fellow language assistant posted on Facebook about an English tutoring opportunity in Vallecas, which is close to where Tim and I live. I jumped on it, got the potential student’s contact info, and sent her a text. Long story short, Aissa and I opted for a free, weekly intercambio (exchange) instead of a paid class. That means that we meet up each week and speak for 30 minutes in Spanish followed by 30 minutes in English. We correct each other’s mistakes and often talk about language learning in general. This particular week, we sat at a café and chatted about our jobs over some pastries and warm drinks.
14:30-17:30 | Homemade Lunch
Jenni, Tim, and Carmen
Jenni and I had already gotten to eat lunch at Carmen’s house once before, so this was our second lunch with my former host mom. She had prepared a refreshing salad of mixed greens, pomegranate seeds, smoked salmon, and balsamic vinaigrette, along with a huge roast chicken stuffed with autumn fruits. The meal was incredible – and was made even better by the lovely sound of raindrops outside the kitchen window! We also drank coffee and ate buñuelos, the tiny fried doughy things filled with cream that are pictured above. They are common around All Saints’ Day in Spain and some other Spanish-speaking countries.
Carmen is such a loving woman, and we always enjoy our time with her. This time was especially fun because we met the American student whom she is currently hosting, José. He’s from California but has Mexican roots, and he’s loving his time in Madrid just like we are!
19:30-23:30 | 3 Courses of Chueca
Jenni, Tim, and Chema
After a brief trip home, we left again to meet up with a teacher friend whom I got to know in 2012. Chema teaches geography in a private school in the northern part of the city, and he really took me under his wing during my time assisting at that school. I was thrilled to reconnect with him and to introduce him to Jenni, and he gave us a fantastic informal tour of the Chueca neighborhood (which is super cool).
First, we got drinks at Café Belén, which has become one of our favorite places!
Next, we moved to a restaurant called La Bua, where we ordered a few tapas and had one of the best Spanish omelettes ever!
Of course, the evening wouldn’t have been complete without a coffee, so we wandered on over to another café in the area for a yummy warm drink.
This was definitely one our favorite days in Madrid thus far – it’s hard to beat great friends, good conversation, and a bunch of Spanish practice!!
– J & T :)