Liz’s experience in Malaga

I just got back from a two-week course in AIL Málaga and I am already missing the classes, the teachers and my fellow students very much — don´t get me wrong, I´m delighted to see my ´compañeras, compañeros y profes´ in the Instituto Cervantes Dublin, but getting the 46A to class isn’t nearly as much fun as […]

I just got back from a two-week course in AIL Málaga and I am already missing the classes, the teachers and my fellow students very much — don´t get me wrong, I´m delighted to see my ´compañeras, compañeros y profes´ in the Instituto Cervantes Dublin, but getting the 46A to class isn’t nearly as much fun as strolling to class along the beautiful seafront!

I had never been abroad on any course before and I was a bit nervous about signing up for a two-week course, but I’m so so glad I did. Everyone was extremely lovely, and so kind and helpful and considerate — and I say that from the bottom of my heart. When I put my name down to go on the Saturday trip to Seville, Rafael suggested that it might be too difficult for me to sit for two hours on a bus as well as wandering around all day – and he was right, I didn’t go (instead I went to the wonderful Pompidou Centre where they provided me with a wheelchair so I could take my time and appreciate the exhibitions) … I felt so taken care of because everyone was being so thoughtful about my bad back.

 

It’s difficult to find a suitable accommodation for a person with a very painful back injury, and I really do appreciate all that Rafael did for me: arranging to get me a room on the ground floor – and later a room upstairs with a lift – so that I wouldn’t have to climb the stairs. And then Isa from the Nogal was so kind, lifting my case and bags for me … truthfully, I didn’t meet a single person associated with AIL Málaga who wasn’t very very considerate, helpful and kind.

Because I was going on my own, I brought 13 books to read but ended up only reading 4 — because I kept meeting a fellow student from Instituto Cervantes (and her husband) on the beach … which is sooooo close to the school, it’s within walking distance, even for me. It was great to have someone I already knew with me in class and to meet up with her afterwards for a drink, but I know I would have been perfectly happy by myself also.

I can honestly say that I learned a huge amount of Spanish, but as well and perhaps more importantly, I learned how to use the language I’d already learnt in the Instituto with Juan Pablo. Going over the Preterito Indefinido definitely helped, and I became more comfortable using it, and I loved revising the irregular verbs by learning a bouncy, catchy song that has ever since been stuck in my head – It´s a ´soniquete´, as I learned to call it! Grammar points that I’d found a bit difficult in Dublin became clearer as I was speaking Spanish all day every day, to the staff in AIL Málaga, to the extremely lovely staff in the hostals, to the people in bars and cafés along the seafront, in the chemist, in the ´ferretería´, in the tobacco shops …

Every day it became easier and easier, because of all those conversation classes … and we talked a lot (and learned a lot even from just listening to our teacher Pedro talking). I loved the songs he played, and listening to him telling us stories about the singers and the backgrounds to the songs (I bought two CDs of Chavela Vargas in El Corte Inglés before I left). I loved learning about customs and foods, ´por exemplo´ when Pedro explained about ´salmorejo /porra antequerana´ and other local specialities like the vegetarian `berenjenas con miel de cana´ ——— I had been to Malaga twice before and I’d never even heard of either of those dishes, and now they’re among my favourite dishes in the world! And I loved learning about the ´Cine Espanol Festival de Málaga´ and about local celebrations e.g. ´Día de los Cruces´ which happened while we were there.

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