Those of you who had the pleasure of studying with me will know: I am the queen of procrastination. Recently in fact, I came across a nice set of “study blog” videos I made during my time at University, where I would basically film myself pulling funny faces, and cracking up at how hilarious I was. I am, of course, procrastinating right now by writing this blog post. I have approx. 20,000 other things I should be doing, but I’m bored and I ate all my snacks, so here we go.
I just completed my first week in a CELTA course in Playa del Carmen. This is an international qualification, which will allow me to be an English/ ESOL teacher. The plan is to travel around Latin America teaching English until I get bored, or, more likely, run out of peso peso bills. Literally everyone warned me about how intense this course is, but I assumed they were all being dramatic, because I survived 4 years at University, I know what intense is, ta very much.
Well, turns out I should have bitten my tongue. This course is crazy intense, and my brain is exploding daily. In a good way of course. But I’ll get to that shortly.
I arrived here last Saturday after checking out of Fiesta Americana in Cancun. And by “checking out”, I mean rolling out. Dragging my weary, bloated body away from that buffet, and forcing myself to move onto greener pastures. I’m pleased to report that I have cleaned up my eating a lot since arriving here. So you can all stop worrying about my terrible food choices.
To be honest, it was bizarre arriving here. After an amazing, busy, siiiiiick week with Meggie, I suddenly found myself all alone in my new bedroom in Playa del Carmen, wondering if I would ever find anyone to talk to ever again in my life. It was the first time I actually realised that I was completely alone in this country. I went for a wander and found a questionable looking quesadilla shop. But it cost me around $2 for 2 quesadillas, and how can you refuse dat value?! I found myself having a long chat to an adorable old man named Alberto while we ate our quesadillas. I’m so Mexican (and also desperate for friends).
Anyway, the weekend dragged a little, as I wandered around Playa aimlessly, drinking coffee, and people watching. I spent an embarrassing amount of time loitering in the kitchen of the student residence I am living in, looking for people to talk to, just so that I could avoid doing the “pre course task” that I had been assigned 3 months before, and still hadn’t started.
Monday came, and I took myself to my new school for 8:45am. The school is about one block away (super close to the beach, yay!), but I still managed to get myself lost and turn up late to day 1. Congrats to me.
I can’t even really begin to explain what I’ve been up to this week. My brain is in INFORMATION OVERLOAD. On day 2, we already started teaching students. The school offers free English classes to the people of Playa del Carmen, and they come in every day, and learn English for free so that we can practise. I am already loving teaching, and I can tell that working as an English teacher is going to be super fun and rewarding. I’m now more sure than ever that I made the right choice in quitting my office job to follow this dream.
My days are usually 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Every second day (more or less) I teach a 45 minute lesson. The rest of the day we are in sessions, learning different teaching techniques etc. The days are long but super engaging. After class, we basically go home, cook dinner (or, try to), and prepare our lessons for the next day. The good thing is that even though the course is ridiculously intense, we are in Playa del Carmen- we get to eat tacos for lunch, we get to pop to the beach for a walk when we need a study break. And if we are being really crazy, we might even let ourselves have a beer at the beach before we head back to our study caves.
More good news is that I made some friends! The cool thing about studying something you are passionate about, is that of course, the other people there are often very similar to you. There is the amazing Scottish girl who just has the craziest stories, and who is just the warmest, most open-minded, yet hilarious and vibrant person I’ve ever met. Then there is the American girl from the South, who is sweet and sassy at the same time, and who cracks me up constantly with her southern ways. I have met a nice bunch of people, which makes the course that much more bearable, because we are all in it together, whatsapping each other pictures of coffins late into the night. Super cute I know.
It’s the weekend now, and as we have been loaded up with homework, beach days and sunburns are completely out of the question. We managed to escape our caverns for a cute dinner (pizza in Mexico, hilarious ladiez) and drinks last night, as well as a glam beach walk this morning, followed by a gigantic breakfast. I spent today procrastinating mostly, and eating the majority of a bag of plain tortilla chips (they taste like cardboard, but dis gurl gotta eat). Finally 7:30 arrived and alas, I had to escape the cavern again for a taco date with the girls from my course. The tacos were approx. $1 each (so, dinner for $4 yo yooo), the tables and chairs were plastic, and the tablecloths were stained- a telltale sign of the perfect juicy taco. I am pleased to announce that I have found Sick Taco Shop: Playa del Carmen edition.
Wish me luck with week 2!