October 15, 2013, by Guest blog

Beachfront happiness in Spain

Post written by Charlotte Hickson

I flew out to Barbate, Cadiz, Spain on the 23rd of September accompanied by my mother for some assistance on finding accommodation and settling in. I was initially, and quite naturally, very apprehensive about what my first impressions of the school, area, people, and accommodation (when/if I found somewhere to live!) were going to be when I arrived! However, I am happy to be saying now that the fear of the unknown was soon cleared up by the time my mother left 6 days later.

We arrived in the town on Tuesday 24th and I immediately knew after looking around that I would be happy here. The people are incredibly friendly and are willing to help you with anything that you need. Firstly, I found where I would be working as this would be a sensible starting point for the organisational tasks which needed to be done in the days ahead. I would soon be working at a Primary school as an English teaching assistant under the Comenius programme. I was instantly put at ease after walking into the school as I was welcomed with little smiling faces whilst being ushered across the playground to the Headmaster’s office and to meet the other teachers who are all lovely. Whilst at the school I discovered that there would be an American assistant at the school from October until the end of May and also that there were 5 others in different schools. I am in a very small town so I was relieved that there were other people in the same position as me and I couldn’t wait to get in touch with them and we are now very close friends. Additionally, one of the teachers told me that she had an apartment to rent. Therefore, later that afternoon the teacher showed me her apartment and that apartment is the one that I am currently renting with one of the American girls. It has a rooftop terrace from which you can see Africa and it is also the first row of apartments on the beachfront so I am happy!

The initial problems were the installation of internet and a decision on where to live, debating between Cadiz city and Barbate itself. However, this was soon an easy decision to make; the commute to and from Cadiz is unpractical as the public transport is very infrequent, there are also Americans so I am not alone and Barbate is a typical Spanish town which I prefer. The internet has only just been solved which I believe can only be described as an action which represents the relaxed mentality of Spaniards.

Despite the problems everything went very smoothly! My first impressions were positive and continue to be so as I’m excited to experience more of Spain and Spanish culture!

Posted in First impressions