Hi everyone, we hope that your doing well. We’re going to try to to experiment with a new kind of post at the end of each month. It will basically review what we’ve been up to during the previous month as well as share anything interesting that we’ve discovered along the way. Well, we’re sure that you feel the same way as we do about November. It seemed to fly by! Just as soon as it started, did it seem to be over. I know that December will go by just as fast if not faster. So what did we do in November?
Over the past several months we’ve had great weather in the mid 20’s but that all ended this November. There were some days where it was nice outside although it was still a little cold at around 12-15 degrees. I know that this might seem like nothing to those living in colder climates but here you notice every little change. All of that changed once mid November rolled around. The rains started! Southern Spain is interesting because it doesn’t rain often but when it does it really comes down. I think I prefer heavy rains for a brief time rather than constant light rains everyday. The bad thing about it not raining often here is that the towns and infrastructure are not prepared for it. For example we park our car in an underground parking garage and when it rains hard the garage practically floods. Thankfully it doesn’t flood very high but it still is less than ideal.
When it rains here it reminds us of our time spent in Bilbao. Lately we’ve been missing Bilbao and I think this is why. When we lived there we did EVERYTHING in the rain to the point where it just became part of our life. Now that we’ve been spoiled with good weather when we see a few drops coming down we act like our lives are over. The rains should last for the next few months I assume. One good thing about them is that they usually clear up by the start of the day so that your still able to do things comfortably. Over the weekend though the weather was particularly uncharacteristic for this part of Spain that it made national news. On Friday Dec. 1st there were tornadoes, flooding, and extremely heavy downpours in our area. Lepe, Moguer, Palos de la Frontera and Aljaraque were all effected. We meet in Lepe for our meetings. Thankfully no one was hurt that I know of but it just goes to show how the weather all over the world is completely out of control. The tornado ripped through the fruit fields and flung the plastic tarps all over the place. Someone pointed out to us that this was likely very difficult for the migrant workers that live in camps in the effected areas. They don’t really have proper protection or shelter as they are more or less living out in the open. It’s quite unfortunate. If you want to see a video of the tornado in action from Friday watch the video below.
As is usual for the end of the year we have been quite busy with our secular work of teaching English online. Typically at the end of the 4th quarter is when all of our students are trying to finish up their classes before their deadlines of the new year. In addition to that, many teachers go on holiday so there are many substitutions to fill. We don’t mind the extra work since we are planning on reducing our schedule come January. At the moment we work around 15-20 hours per week each. In the new year both of us won’t work more than 12 hours spanned from Monday to Thursday. We are excited about this transition and are praying for the best. We feel that it will help us to be more balanced in the use of our time and we will be able to focus more of our energy on our volunteer work. We are super happy with the company that we work for, Learnship, and we wholeheartedly recommend it to others. Here are the current positions that Learnship is looking to fill as of Dec. 1st.
- French trainers with B1+/Intermediate Russian support language skills
- Dutch trainers
- French trainers
- Norwegian trainers (Americas)
- German trainers
- Latin American Spanish trainers (Western Americas)
- English trainers (Western Americas)
- Korean trainers (Western Americas)
- Japanese trainers (Americas)
- Arabic trainers (Western Americas)
If you want to apply for one of these positions send us a message here and we will let you know how as well as refer you so that you have a better chance of getting hired.
Visitors from the UK
One great thing about being part of this congregation is that it gets many visitors. During November there were two young couples who came from the UK to spend a month with our congregation. They were all really cool pioneers who wanted to experience a new area. We had a great time in the ministry with some of them and also for hospitality. It’s always encouraging to see young ones put theocratic interests first. We learned a lot about the British culture from them and also how the work is going in their area near London. One major shock was that we learned that Downton Abbey is not real! If we ever visit they offered to take us to the set where it was filmed. Oh well we’ll get over it… 🙂 One nice thing that the couples said is that they didn’t want to leave. They really felt that our hall took them in and made them a part of it. It’s always nice to hear those kind of comments since it shows that we’re on the right track. So guys if your reading this, you’re welcome back anytime and hopefully we can visit one day.
One thing that kinda stinks about this bad weather is that Kanicia often gets migraines. If you haven’t read our post from last week, we talk about dealing with chronic illness abroad. You can read it here. There are several triggers for her migraines and one major one that is somewhat out of our control is the weather. That being said, we are focusing more on controlling the other things that can cause a bad reaction. Some of these things are gluten, soy and dairy. So we’re trying to be really strict with our diet and cut these things out completely. Thankfully our favorite grocery store (Mercadona) is starting to carry awesome options that we haven’t seen before. One thing that we like about living in the south is that Mercadona is here. It wasn’t available for us when we lived in Bilbao. We’ve also been shopping at our local weekly “farmer’s market” in La Redondela which offers an amazing value and great quality!
One thing that also helps is getting to bed at a normal consistent hour. So at the moment we are trying to get to bed before 10:30 or for you Europeans 22:30. So far it’s been working out pretty good and we feel more refreshed the next day. Another thing we’ve started doing again is reading books for our enjoyment. Before we were married we had like our own little two person book club. I know it sounds pretty nerdy. I think it was because when we were dating we spent most of our time together at Barnes & Nobles since it was convenient. So I guess a book club is a natural extension of that. haha. One of the books that we read when we were dating together was called ‘What is the What‘ by Dave Eggers. It’s a novel based on the story of the Lost Boys who were children who marched from Sudan to avoid becoming child soldiers. It was really good and moving. Right now we’ve started reading a book called ‘The Unrighteous‘ by EK Jonathan. We read his first book called ‘All Things New’ and we really enjoyed it. The first book was about life in the new world as documented by someone doing interviews around the world with the survivors. The new book that we’re reading is about the resurrection of the unrighteous and how they transition to life in their new surroundings. Obviously the story is a novel but we enjoy it because it helps us to imagine how things may be in the future even though we don’t have all the details yet.
One of my favorite apps for the month of Nov. is DI.fm. You can get it for Apple or Android. When we have friends over sometimes we want to play some music in the background that we enjoy and that has a nice beat but we don’t always have time to make a playlist on Spotify or we don’t want to take a gamble with one of the playlists already made. I like DI.fm because if you like electronic music they have tons to choose from and you can play it in the background. They have both a free and premium membership. For the moment we have the free setup but we’re thinking about upgrading so that we can get better audio quality and no commercials. I usually just listen to the ‘Chill & Tropical House’ station. It makes you feel like you are on a beach somewhere even when it’s storming outside. 🙂
Granada & Seville
One obvious highlight of November that I must mention was our assembly in Granada. Our assembly was at the beginning of the month and since it was our first time visiting Granada we choose to arrive early in order to experience the area and sightsee. We’re glad that we did! Granada is small but it’s a fun place to explore. We got to see the Alhambra which is a palace used by the Arabs in times past. What we also really liked about Granada was the cultural diversity. There are many people there from all over the world which we found interesting. They also have an Arabic section which reminded us a lot of Marrakesh. The food in Granada is also good and many places will give you a free tapa when you order something to drink.
If you are thinking about visiting Granada we would recommend it. If you want to check out our Vlog that we made while in Granada you can here. In it we talk about the top three things that we liked about it. The assembly program was also very up building. It was in a really nice, comfortable exhibition hall. It was nice to meet different friends from the surrounding areas such as Seville, Malaga and Granada. We will be meeting in Granada one more time in March and then we will change locations. We are looking forward to going back. Here are a few pictures from our time there.
We also enjoyed visiting the hall in Seville for a talk. Even though the weather was really bad and rainy we still had a good time. The congregation there is very diverse and it reminded us of Bilbao. They are also quite large for what we are used to here at around 90 if I recall. We hope to go back soon and spend more time there.
Well, the month of November came and went! All in all, it was a good month with a lot of activity. We look forward to December but we know that it will likely include a lot of secular work and be cold and rainy. We will be taking a few trips that we look forward to sharing with you. Until then, take care and stay warm!
Your friends Antoine & Kanicia