Los Reyes Magos Come to Columbus
In less than a month I will have back from my grand European adventure for already half a year. The weeks fly by faster than they did in Spain where here, my never-ending to do list leaves me with the constant regretful voice of “I should have…” When I catch myself thinking back to the long weekday lunches and truly lazy Sundays of my madrileña life, I have to remind myself it was my reality.
A post-Christmas melancholy fell upon me this week, the back-to-work blues after a fulfilling two-week holiday. That to do list once again reigned supreme and I was treading water spending long hours at school trying to catch up and get ahead— at the very least try to feel some balance.
Yet in a week where Spain felt light years away, it returned to me once more. Entering the office Tuesday morning, I rushed past a large box on the counter towards my mailbox, yet my peripheral vision caught one familiar word, “correos” and in an instant I knew that package could only be meant for one person.
My students’ pen pal letters had finally arrived from Navalcarnero, the town I taught in last year. I grinned seeing that signature Spanish handwriting and the turrones and polvorones wedged between the envelopes, reminding me that the following day, January 6th marked a special day on the Christmas calendar, Día de los Reyes. What better gift could the Three Kings have left for my students?
I watched in joy as each student read their letters and Christmas cards and showed off their gifts— a hardback Spanish novel, euro coins, stuffed animal, sports medal…. all sent overseas with careful thought. And in a click that sweet simplicity of snail mail was upgraded for the ease and instant gratification of Instagram. I laughed at how archaic the notion of a real “pen” pal had become. Nevertheless what beauty I found in my students’ enthusiasm, “Profe, I found him! He’s talking to me! What does no pasa nada mean?”
Could this be the moment that converted a few more teens to the meaning of speaking another language?
And perhaps it was the Reyes Magos who pushed me to blog again and finish a little project I “should have” finished months ago.
The video footage is jerky and blurry at times, but its worth lies in the smile it brings to my face every time I watch it. And the song pretty much sums up my year in Europe, “I lived.”
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/151253907″>A Year in Europe</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user14009073″>Kara</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>