The surrounding region
|Gratuitous photo of stray kitties|
Many of the folks here work in the fishing industry, be it the physical act of catching of them, tending to bateas or mussel farms that float offshore, or canning fish in factories that have made the Rías Baixas famous all over Spain. Of course, because of Abanqueiro’s rural setting, tons of people run their own family farms where they grow anything from corn to potatoes to cabbage. It’s pretty common for locals to cultivate Albariño grapes in their tiny vineyards to make homemade white wine.
Abanqueiro as an aldea
|Country home among fields|
The school itself is really tiny, with only one class per grade level. Like my school down south, the center covers kids in infantil—preschool for ages 3-5—and primaria—primary school for grades 1-6. The whole school is housed in the same drab, barracks-style building you find all over the country but the walls and classrooms were actually quite colorful inside, with tons of student projects plastering the hallways.
|Kids from 4º|
Compared to last year, I found that the kids here spoke a lot better English, although perhaps I was biased since last year I worked mainly with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders while this year I didn’t have any classes with 1st or 2nd graders at all. My bilingual coordinator, Fran, actually has dual citizenship (Spain & United States) since she lived in New Jersey for some time before moving back to Galicia, so she speaks perfect English and I think that has really transferred to the kids she teaches. Surprisingly, she’s the only English-speaking teacher at school as all the other profesores teach in either Spanish or Galician; last year all the teachers I worked with gave classes in English but this year it was up to me and Fran to “immerse” the kids in English.
|Kids from the 4-year-old class|
Right now I’m enjoying being home with my parents in Texas and working to save up $$$, but I am indeed looking forward to returning to Abanqueiro in the fall.
If you’ve ever been an auxiliar, what was your experience in your school’s town like? Have you ever hiked through a rural Galician village before? Comment in the thread below!
For more pictures, check out my album on Flickr.