I can’t believe I’ve already been in Spain for a week. I managed to catch the bus last week from Malaga to La Barca de Vejer, where I waited for about 40 minutes in a little bit of rain. I managed to spend pretty much the entire day last Tuesday speaking only Spanish, so that was pretty good I thought! My week here so far has however, highlighted at I do and don’t know in Spanish. I have found that know a lot of different words, and can often understand at least vaguely what people are on about, but then struggle to speak back. It is a really different experience not being able to speak with people. You have things to say, but are really limited by not having words that can be mutually understood.
|The 'before' shot of the veggie garden (after taking out the potatoes)|
|Working with the veggies|
I have been living/working in Los Canos de Meca, which is a little coastal village in Andalusia, southern Spain. Majority of people here speak very minimal English, so it is a good way to practice Spanish. I am workawaying (or wwoofing) at Casas Karens, for about 5 hours a day (with the weekend off). The main thing I came down here to do is the vegetable garden. However I have also done some painting, moved furniture, typed out documents on computers in English, lots of weeding and random other things. General maintenance of the property really.
|The beach on a sunny day|
I’m currently living on a bus! I’ll have to take a picture of it at one point before I leave. There are 2 other guys working here at the moment, Jeffrey from the Netherlands and Josh from America. We all tend to get along quite well which is good, doing meals together and stuff. We sort of ran out of food today (need to remember to ask the people we are working for to bring us some more food tomorrow) so for dinner tonight we had fried green tomatoes!! They were actually pretty good, I know there is a movie about it but I’ve never seen it or eaten them before (as far as I’m aware, I might have in Africa). I was working in the vege garden today and pulled out all the tomato plants and there was lots of green ones that weren’t going to ripen so that’s how we ended up with that for dinner.
I’ve been very blessed with the weather while here, as it was forecasted for heavy rain the entire time. There has been some showers on and off on odd days and there was about 3 days last week of pure sunshine which was amazing! The temperature here is approximately 15 degrees I think, which is still cool, but in comparison to England, it is total bliss!! It’s a bit like winter when we lived in Zambia, where if you are outside in the sun you can get around in shorts and a t-shirt.
Speaking of the wind. Apparently there is a name for the wind here. But I can’t remember it! But basically it means that it drives people crazy, because there is a wind from the south (the desert of Africa) that is hot, and then there is a wind from the north (the snow) that is cold and then combined the winds just make everyone go crazy!
On Saturday I had my first experience of hitchhiking!! I was asked at the last minute by Karen (the boss) if I wanted to go into Vejer with her to have a look at the markets. As I hadn’t been there before, I decided to join and Olivia the cleaner of the property here gave us a lift halfway and dropped us off at the roundabout. I thought that was a bit of a funny place to get dropped off but it worked. Then we started walking and Karen flagged someone down, we jumped in and drove the rest of the way into Vejer. It was a bit of an overcast day, but I can imagine that in the heat of summer with blue skies, Vejer would be a gorgeous city, quite dazzling and you would definitely need sunnies because everything is so white. I don’t know how they keep it so clean.
|Oranges on the streets of Vejer|
The markets were beginning to shut down when we arrived, so had a little bit of a wander round and I explored a bit of the city too. I’ve noticed that the cities (well the few that I have seen so far) seem to have lots and lots of orange trees around them with oranges (naturally). I wonder if you are allowed to pick them and eat them or not. On the way back we walked through the countryside on the hill, probably walked for about 1.5 hours and then it was starting to get darker so we dropped at a friend of Karens’ house and had tea and some sort of almond biscuits that apparently come out at Christmas time and he gave us a lift back to the casas.
|The view of the countryside|