This a.m., after a train ride that I can only describe right now in French (quelle horrible!) because it is still too raw, like the moments after you jam your toe into a bed leg that you misjudged because the blankets were hanging too far down on one side--you know that shuddering moment where you just need to stand still and take really deep breaths and maybe shake your hands out, like they're wet?--I met up with the rest of my classmates to fly to the island of Tenerife.
It maybe wasn't THAT bad of a train ride, but it was pretty awful. The flight was a surreal extension somehow, with my simultaneous desire to and inability to sleep and the whiny child from the train (all night, ALL NIGHT, he whiiiiiiined in Spanish about obscure parts of his body hurting and the seat being uncomfortable and other, less clear though still unbearable things) being traded out for two squealing just-past toddler sisters that ran up and down and up and down and up and down the full length of the plane for the duration of the captain has turned off the fasten seat belts sign and you are now free to move about the cabin time. And someone, always someone behind me who must be the approximate dimensions of a circus bear with the constant need to spin in their seat, like a shark who must undulate or drown, always pressing and rustling up against the flimsy fabric of the seat back, straining the joints of both of our connections to the plane (or train) floor.
This is not my favorite part of travel.
But holy shit, once we got here? It's a freaking paradise. The hosts at our school, the Mayco School of English, have been beyond kind and attentive--we are all stuffed to the gills with an abundant lunch of tapas and then a three course dinner. We have been cautioned against drinking the tap water but assured we should all take hot showers for as long as we'd like. Because no one wanted coffee or tea after dinner, our chef will be shopping for "night tea" tomorrow, such is the breadth of their generosity.
Here are some of their own pictures from the grounds: Gallery. It's like summer sleep-away camp in the tropics (but with only 2 or 3 people in each bunk house--I'm currently unpacked lavishly across three bunk beds). Tomorrow we visit a sheep farm and a banana plantation in the morning, and after lunch we will get a lecture on some Canarian and Tenerife history. I know for now, this bunk bed is about the most awesome place I can't wait to be. Hasta mañana.