26 March 2011

april project preview: pueblo ingles in the jaen region of spain

I make no secret of my love for Spain. It’s a country I’ve visited repeatedly, most recently for my 35th birthday and a long sought after reservation at El Bulli. I hadn’t planned on including Spain in The Global Citizen Project itinerary, but several friends recommended the Pueblo Ingles program, including Jenny Block, author of Open: Love, Life & Sex in an Open Marriage, and Dylan Lowe, Editor-In-Chief at The Travelling Editor. Timing-wise, it seemed oh so symbolic to return to a country I hold near and dear to my heart around my birthday. April 22nd (Earth Day, baby!) marks my 38th birthday, the same age my mother was when she passed away from a way too short bout with lung cancer. Among her final words were, “I never went to Europe,” and well, I’ve spent the better part of the past two decades traveling and living a life with purpose and intention and, equally importantly, living a life without regret. I’m pretty sure if my mother were still alive, she’d want me to be in Europe to celebrate mark this landmark birthday.

So, my project at Pueblo Ingles (“English Village”) in the heart of Cazorla National Park in the Jaen region of Spain is timing-wise and culturally, of great personal significance. At Pueblo Ingles, I’ve committed to never utter a word of English. My only obligation is to talk, talk, talk like I would in a natural setting to help Spanish participants learn my native language. I’m going to Spain with patience, an open mind and an abundance of creativity. I’ve heard nothing but glowing feedback about this intense immersion program and hope I can be a positive influence and teacher in the English learning process. I cannot wait to report back. Sit tight and stay tuned. Although my laptop was stolen on my last project in Panama, my BlackBerry has been replaced after the corrupt SIM card incident in Guatemala, so I *should* be able to update throughout the project (such first world problems, I know). Please follow me on Twitter at @charynpfeuffer for the play-by-play.

To learn more about Pueblo Ingles, follow @puebloingles on Twitter or learn more at www.morethanenglish.com

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