I’m in a swanky resort outside of the little village of Gredos, northwest of Madrid. It took about three hours, passing open spaces of wheat and cattle. That part reminded me of New Mexico. Then we were on winding roads, driving through little villages and saw the Wall of Avila, a national monument. That’s where we stopped for a coffee break, and then continued on until we got to our final destination.
I was in a bus with the Anglos and Spaniards; where an Anglo must sit with a Spaniard to speak only English, then after the break, we switched partners; or they did, for at that time I didn’t have a partner, so I could enjoy the ride silently. We came to a mountain area that had trees shedding their autumn leaves, in colors of gold, red, rust and brown.
We got to the resort and left our luggage in a small conference building and went on to the main lodge, and by that time it was in the rain.
We had a briefing about what our job was as a volunteer conversationalist, and the Spaniards got their briefing, as well. A tiny person in the name of Carlota is the master of ceremonies and a up and coming actress. She explained well and teased us all a bit.
Then we had a delicious four-course gourmet lunch that we got to choose early in the day even before we left Madrid.
Our job is to sit with a Spaniard, who are all employees of the utilities company. Eva was my first conversation on the bus, and she explained that her job with the company is to check out discrepancies with energy output.
Eva has a thirteen month old daughter, and I had the privilege of seeing a photo of the cherub.
The second partners was an nuclear engineer and another engineer, who is from Granada. He made Granada sound very inviting.
My room is upstairs in the main lodge. Inside the lodge and my room, reminds me of houses in Colorado: rustic open ceiling beams and a dormer on the roof. The doors to get into the room are flush with the wall, so you don’t actually see doors as you walk down the hallway.
We had a game of sorts to play in the community room, where we chose partners and asked three questions, then we had to introduce our partner to the rest of the people.
We all have a schedule to follow during the day, and we eat dinner at 9 p.m. My friend, actor Sumi Haru, who made a movie in Madrid, reminded me that dinners are late in Spain. She is right.
I have a scheduled break right now for fifty minutes, and then I’ll have a one-on-one conversation with a Spaniard. I’m really having fun.