Saturday, April 9, 2011

Camp Ridiculousness

One minute I'm day dreaming of home, the next I'm considering the potential to live another year in Spain...  Somehow an exhausting week of Camp Ridiculous has me contemplating more possible options of staying here in Spain and embracing this teaching path.  Despite all the drama and chaos, I somehow came out of this past week's experience feeling more confident than ever about my ability to lead and with a new found love for working with these adorable Spanish little ones.

Trying to organize anything in Spain is a much different beast than in the United States.  Constantly battling the perpetual laziness and lack of any sort of solid structure, I found myself longing for the discipline of how things work back at home.  There are so many blatant problems with the system when trying to run an effective business, yet for some reason, the people who need to care simply don't.  This all adds up to a lot of stress and confusion for the people trying to create an exciting and enjoyable experience for paying customers.  With no prior warning, I was thrusted into this environment as the sole heart beat of the entire camp, running, shouting, and thinking on my toes nonstop.  Myself and my peers who I trained came dangerously close to losing our minds in the end as two groups of Spanish children, their teachers, and the staff of the camp looked to us to provide them with entertainment, sustenance, answers, and to relay complaints. 

With all the madness, I still returned feeling positive about the experience.  Never before have I had a group of 20 10 year olds clinging to my arm, looking up at me with those adorable doughy eyes and giant, enthusiastic smiles, hanging on to my every word and mimicking every action.  I never realized the simple joy that these little ones can bring into my day, regardless of all the drama occuring behind the scenes.  They fed me this incredible energy and suddenly I knew what it was to be a kid again.  It didn't seem to matter how badly my muscles were aching or how horse my throat was, I was able to dive into activity after activity with my only break being to chug some water and scarf down a quick meal. 

So now that I'm back in Madrid, feeling a bit dazed from the roller coaster ride I just got off of, I am trying to put the experience in perspective and reevaluate what I want to do here.  Suddenly I have this new confidence in working with kids and reminder of what it was to work hard, really hard, for the sake of others.  Now I can add all of this to my contemplation of what to do next... Stay in Spain and embrace this experience or still try my luck at a completely different route.  The biggest problem with finding my   way here is that most of us following the track are not permanently going to do this or live here.  I am still fighting that internal struggle of to stay or go somewhere different or return to "normal" life, but at least getting closer to figuring out what I will be good for in the future and, more importantly, embracing the moments in my time here in Spain.

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