02 January 2010
First Christmas away from home, 100+ hours of bus travel and a whole, whole lot of meetings with schools teaching Spanish...its tour time.
It has been a crazy past four weeks for us at Catch the Lingo. I am currently in Santiago, half way through my tour of Argentina and Chile, very much not fitting in with the clear sophistication and calmness of my Chilean hosts. I’m hoping to meet as many Spanish schools, volunteering organizations and TEFL training institutes as possible to spread the good news of a certain forthcoming website.
Stephen after racing through the salt flats of San Pedro de atacama is now nested in La Paz, Bolivia and loving it. Amanda has crashed in some friendly farmers place in Uruguay but is considering doing a runner because the host while most hospitable is completely nuts. Pratheeba is now back in London and running out of lines on the tube to do pub crawls on.
It seems an age since I left the comfort of my flat in Buenos Aires the week before last.. here is a quick run down of where I have been and what I have been up to..
1. Rosario, First stop was this chilled out gem of a city that is about four hours from the madness of the capital. On arriving I slept pretty much non stop for two days (BA is the definition of a sleepless city!). Then awake for the first time in a long time I met the directors of three fine Spanish schools, Ludmila from Fundación Convivencia, Virginia from Rosario Idiomas and last but not least Elisa from Pago de los Arroyos. I was also lucky enough to meet a good bunch of people learning the lingo of Rosario (roll that ‘R’ baby!).. lots of Germans, a few Americans and an absolute lady from Ireland by the name of sarah molloy.
2. Córdoba. Next stop was a solid student town that just plainly knows how to have a good time. Cordoba rests at the centre of Argentina. While here I met with Eduardo of the excellent Set idiomas language school (one of only two schools in Argentina to be accredited by Instituto Cervantes). I am also now in contact with three other schools here (Espanex, Passport idiomas and CELEC) and I hope to meet each of them on my return to Cordoba later this month. I was also fortunate enough to learn of the volunteering work being carried out by Fundacion AFOS and Help Argentina here. I also made my first Chilean friend, Francisco, a true legend of a man.
3. Mendoza. A city of wine, beautiful people and the best empanadas you are going to find in all of Argentina. I met with Margarita and Mercedes of Greenfields, a new school with excellent prospects. Too much tequila (and a lot of fun) were had with old friends from Instituto Intercultural. Hi Claudia!
4. Bariloche To escape the heat of summer and to capture some Christmas spirit I next raced down into the lake district of Argentina to the amazingly scenic San Carlos de Bariloche. Think Interlaken of Switzerland mixed with the Scotish highlands but a lot more fun. Paradise for us outdoor lovers, Bariloche is where you go for the some of the best trekking, Kayaking, Snowboarding (in winter of course!), and student parties going.
While here, I got comfortable in the infamous Pudu hostel, a proper Irish mad house of a place. We had an absolute feast for Christmas dinner with two whole lambs that owners John and Emma cooked to perfection. A fancy dress party followed and kept going into the next day. Met too many great people to name but yeah if in Bariloche..PUDU – remember the name!
Well there you go that’s my report in..
I hope you have all had a grand old Christmas and have managed by now to shake off the inevitable lingering hangover from new years eve. Feel free to drop me mail or comment and let me know how you are.
This blog is a collection of snippets of interest, opinions and useful info on learning Spanish, volunteering and TEFL in South America (just Argentina and Chile for now but soon to include more countries)? click here if you are looking for our main site.