Santa Claus is Coming to Town!


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December 17th 2009
Published: December 17th 2009
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December in GuardoDecember in GuardoDecember in Guardo

last night out with all of my roomies in Guardo :-(
Dear family and friends,

My students have been singing the Christmas carol "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" all week in preparation for the holiday performance scheduled for next Tuesday (their last day of class before break). Many of the students really enjoy the catchy tune of the carol, so it's been fun singing the song with them! Like I did for Thanksgiving and Halloween, I prepared some holiday oriented activities this week for Christmas. My students read a text about the origin of Santa Claus, took on roles in a short skit about St. Nicholas and played some Christmas vocabulary games. On Tuesday night I baked a double batch of chocolate chip cookies (with Lacasitos = Spanish version of M&Ms) to share with the teachers at my school on Wednesday. I set them out in the teacher's lounge with a note saying "Felices Fiestas" (Happy Holidays) and they were a real hit with everyone who tried them! I may even end up doing a cooking demonstration later in the school year (similar to something that was organized last year before Easter break) because a lot of people wanted to know how to make them :-)

In other news,
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hanging out with some of the teachers at our schools after dinner together last night
it started snowing in Guardo again yesterday morning and continued all day and through the night, so when I woke up this morning there was quite a lot of snow on the ground (compared to what I'm used to seeing at least!) The sun came out a few hours ago, so it´s been melting, but the forecast this week calls for snow everyday so more to come soon. I can count the times in my life that I've seen snow (and many include very little accumulation) so it is exciting to see Guardo blanketed in white. I'm sure in a month or two I will tire of it, but I'm trying to enjoy the beauty and novelty of it while I can!

Last night I went out with all of my flatmates in Guardo for the last time together this year. We had dinner at a pizzeria and then went to a bar later with a lot of teachers that we work with at our schools who we are friends with and it was really nice. Mariana just left Guardo earlier today to head back to Canada for the break and Dan will be leaving tomorrow. I fly to
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with Javier, Juan and Erasmo (teachers at the other instituto who are in the P.E. class I'm taking on Tuesdays)
London on Monday morning from Valladolid, but will be leaving Guardo for Palencia either on Saturday or Sunday (depending on the weather conditions). I'll be visiting friends in the U.K. for about a week and then traveling to Amsterdam, Budapest and Vienna with my friend Courtney which should be quite an experience. I'm really looking forward to exploring a lot of new places in Europe over the break!

This past weekend I visited my friend Melissa in Vitoria which is the capital of the Basque Country. She lives and works in Vitoria as a teaching assistant like me and I had a great time seeing her, despite being sick with a cold. I was really congested all weekend but Melissa was actually sick with a cold as well so we didn't have to worry about getting each other sick! We walked all around the city on Friday afternoon and Saturday and also toured the old cathedral. They made us wear hardhats during the tour because we were in a construction zone and it was kind of amusing. The hats were all the same size with adjustable head straps and even a little girl had to wear one...poor thing...it kept
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with Celia and Angélica after leaving the bar
falling off! I also got to meet all of Melissa's flatmates which are 3 Italian Erasmus students from Sicily. They are all very sweet girls and Melissa and I made pancakes for them on Sunday morning which was really fun! I thought Vitoria was a beautiful city with lots of green space and hills and it was a very enjoyable weekend. I plan on returning in the spring once the weather is warmer :-)

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!!!

Love,
Dana


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Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


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Celia and Dan with some of our students in 3º ESO (9th grade aged students)
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some of the girls in my 1º ESO class (7th grade aged students)
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some of the boys in my 1º ESO class (7th grade aged students)
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the school where I work (I.E.S. Claudio Prieto)
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walking home from the school earlier today
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in the Plaza de España on Friday afternoon
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Christmas lights!
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with Melissa before starting our tour of the old cathedral in Vitoria (undergoing intensive rehabilitation due to structural problems)
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view of Vitoria from high up in the cathedral


17th December 2009

White Christmas!
Dear Dana, We can't depend on a white Christmas here in Virginia anymore, either, but we will have some frozen precip on Saturday, apparently. I will pick up Davey on Friday from DC and Bert on Saturday at C'ville. Maya is already home. Today was Valeria's 50th Bday. Still a spring chicken. Thanks for the fotos and news from Guardo! It sounds like a lot fun. Have a great time traveling around and a Merry Christmas. Sorry we won't see you at Gma's. Maybe we can Skype you again? Love, Tio Buck
27th December 2009

Merry Christmas!
Dana, Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!!!
4th January 2010

End of Holiday
I enjoyed these pictures. Vitoria looks really picturesque. Tomorrow i have to go to work very early. It has been cold here. It is supposed to freeze every night this week. Bryce goes back to Clemson early on Tuesday. Thats all love, MOM

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