Monday, February 22, 2010

Peace and Pijos

Where: SAI
Listening to: “Say Hey (I Love You) by Michael Franti and Spearhead
Word of the day: “pijo

Today was my first day volunteering at a local school, Padres Blancos. I had to meet one of our directors, Sam, at 9:15 to walk to the bus stop and then go to the school. This was my first time on a public bus! Oh Spain, so full of new forms of public transit. The school is on the other side of the river, which would be about a 45-minute walk from school or about an hour from my house.

I had a class full of 15- and 16-year-olds. I come to their English class and do whatever the teacher tells me to. Since today was my first day, I told them a little about myself. Then I took them in pairs into another room and they had to describe themselves. I then got to grade them. Naturally, I said they were all good. I was actually surprised by how good some of them were! The girls tended to be more open and inquisitive than the boys. I was definitely the only blonde in the whole school, so I stood out like a sore thumb when it was time to leave. Everyone stared.

Sam told me that the school is really well known in Sevilla. The area that it’s in is where all the pijos are. Pijo means that they are really preppy. It’s kind of like if you took a University of Texas frat boy and gave him shorter dark hair. They wear collared shirts, sweaters, and khakis or nice pants. I actually already knew about pijos because we met some at Plaza del Salvador a couple weeks ago. They just came up to us at a bar and invited us to hang out with them for the night. There I met some other pijos who I think were members of a band or symphony because they were telling me how they played tuba and trombone. We met up with one of the brothers of a boy in the first group who is a matador, a bull-fighter, at the discoteca Boss. That could turn into a really awesome friendship since he could show us a lot about bullfighting.

By the end of the night, I was fluently speaking and thinking in Spanish. It's great, no? That's what our teacher Carlos always says. That is precisely what I want to be doing-meeting Spaniards, going to local places, and improving my Spanish especially when it comes to local terms. It shouldn't be too hard to keep doing this, since they love blondes and talking to us!

I do however think they lied at one point because I thought a guy's name was Paco, but apparently it was really Carlos. Silly gringa (me).

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