Cuando en Tamarit

So here I am finally writing a blog post about my time in the English Summer camp as a monitor!
I have been here for almost 4 weeks now! Wow! Seems crazy! Life took a completely different rhythm for me. I feel very out of touch with reality. Hopefully nothing bad happened in the world while I was gone.
Days at the camp pass by quickly. Like waves they come and go.
To be fair there are a lot of things I enjoy about being here in the camp but at times I wish I could escape to a quieter place.
It’s very humid here in Tamarit but luckily the beach is only 10 minutes away if you are a fast walker! Oh and the dazzling Castel de Tamarit! It stole my heart away.
The locals are pretty friendly and very passionate. I am quite amused how easy it is to become friends with them, especially if you speak Catalan or Spanish.
For me language and communication became the biggest problem. My Spanish skills were abysmal to begin with but luckily they wouldn’t be of much use here in Catalonia since most of the conversation is carried on in Catalan!
I like it though. To me it was surprising to find out that Catalan pride and identity is ever so strong here. And well, to my own stupidity, why shouldn’t it be? Viva Catalonia!
Another challenge that I have encountered here is the food subtleties. As a person who doesn’t prefer to eat pork coming to live in Spanish camp for 6 weeks, I will honestly say it is not easy. Here I don’t have much choice. I can eat jamon or I can try to fill up on bread and salad and whatever else I can sneak away from the kitchen and carry on with a stingy feeling in my stomach till the next meal time.
Of course, being naturally curious, I have tried jamon and I tried bocadillos but trying it is different from being able to eat it everyday and enjoying it. Catalan and Spanish people eat jamon with everything. Just a few days ago we had melons with jamon on top! Que Rica! Bon Profit!
But that I can deal with.
From all the things I had to deal here the most difficult is experiencing a feeling of loneliness at times. I hate it the most. When there is literally no one besides to complain to or just tell them about your day and build a decent conversation.
I have met interesting people here. Teachers are mostly from UK and Ireland and the monitors are all Catalan. Naturally I bonded more with teachers since they are also staying here longer that monitors. But I am the kind if person who needs to build something more meaningful that short and witty conversations over lunch and gossiping or complaining about the camp over drinks.
I long for a shoulder to cry on. Perhaps, it’s too hard to be one 24/7 here at the camp. I am the authority. I am the role model here. I have to smile and be happy and listen to children. Sometimes it’s sincere and natural. Sometimes I have to pretend. Sometimes I have to push hard because I didn’t get any sleep at all and my throat hurts enormously. That’s how bad it can get on some days.
But then there are good days. I love children. I think they are the best part of this experience. There are things that I wasn’t quite ready to deal with such as behavior issues or even some psychological instabilities in some of the children. But at the end of the day all of them are the same. They all need love and attention. They all want to play and do something exciting.
I wish I could help those who need help but in these 2 weeks I can only do as much as listen to them and comfort them and try to give advice. I won’t be able to change their lives but perhaps they can change mine. After all, no experience leaves us the same, right?
I still have 2.5 more weeks to go and after that I have grandiose travel plans. But I definitely to get some rest before I set out for another adventure.
One step at a time.