Spark – The First Day (and night before!!)



As the legions of students descended onto Sparkville boulevard over the weekend, it was official – Spark had opened its doors and was spreading the gospel of the Spanish language to all willing to listen, learn and speak the great language.
As the weekend grew old most prospective learners had arrived at their destination – without doubt tired and travel weary after a long trip, their blues were banished by a typically enthusiastic welcome delivered by teachers in residence Nico and Almudena. After each new student had been treated to a glass of El Puerto’s finest Sherry and given an introductory tour of the Spark building and Spark, not to mention an exemplary welcoming speech by Nicolas, it was settling in and getting to know each other time.            As daylight threatened to become night and dusk enroached it was time for welcome drinks, the first of which was on Spark!!.         Led by Nico and Almudena everybody headed to a local bar/restaurant to sample El Puerto and gauge the atmosphere of the town, which was, as per usual, lively and full of character.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                After one…. maybe two… or possibly even three drinks everybody hit the “auld leaba (old bed)” as would be said in Ireland and got ready for their first day of Spanish learning.   

As sunrise broke on the 25th July 2011, the fresh morning air cultivated El Puerto’s stunning scenery and a new era had dawned in Spanish language learning for El Puerto, the era of Spark.                                                                                                                                                       The serious yet fun business was about to begin, learning Spanish!!

The missionaries spreading the Spanish gospel were Gema, Evelyn, Maria Jose, and finally Nico and Almudena. In a productive, interactive, enjoyable and interesting four hours, some students (like myself!!) learned the basics such as Hola and Como estas ? (which I’m still not quite sure means!!) while others with a foundation in Spanish already, engaged in more complex Spanish language problems.

After four enjoyable hours of learning Spanish, classes were wrapped up. Then at 14:30 the time had arrived, the time to trek to the one place most people who visit Spain venture to first – The beach!! Students had lunch on the beautiful beach Puntilla where they were encouraged to try Spanish and generally enjoy themselves.   The beach being a place where most Spanish people go in the summer isn’t exactly a bad place to try some Spanish with people.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      After practically excavating the beach!! and hopefully avoiding being sunburned (unlike myself!!) evening time had arrived.

Now it is time for the Spanish Pub Quiz night, with questions and answers exclusively in Spanish, students mixed into their appropriate levels. Questions will vary  from culture to politics to sport… all Spanish related.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great craic ( not crack cocaine but good fun…… ask an Irish person) is being had by all and sunder… and lest Spark is nearly finished its first day doing God’s work, helping people learning Spanish !!        

If day 1 is anything to go by, Spark should have a colourful future. With enthusiastic teachers, eager learners and a cultural and social events calendar to match that of one of Hollywood’s finest –  A perfect equilibrium between classroom learning and social learning appears to exist!!

So that seems to be all for now,
I leave you with some wise words of the great Arnold Schwarzenegger, with his giant shotgun in hand!! 
Hasta la vista, baby!!


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