I came to Nicaragua to do a TESOL course & teach English.
I arrived in Granada on the 2nd September. My TESOL course started on the 11th, so I had a week to spare. After NY, I decided to use this week to relax a bit & find my feet. I stayed at the school where I did my course, which is in a great location. Paul, the director is super nice, & helpful. He also has 4 cats who are very cute & entertaining.
Granada is a beautiful city. The buildings are really colourful, & Mombocho Volcano sits sort of to the south of the city, making it quite picturesque when you look down some of the streets. It's not as crowded as I thought it'd be which is nice.
I practiced my Spanish a bit, went for some walks around town, tried some of the local food, & Paul took myself & a couple of others from the previous TESOL course up to Laguna de Apoyo, a beautiful crater lake sitting a little bit above Granada. The water was a clear turquoise and full of minerals - very refreshing. We hung out at Paradiso, a little resort by the lake..... great food too.
I met a guy who worked at one of the tour places, and although I declined his offer of one of his tours, the next time I saw him, he invited me out for one of their work outings to the Laguna. We barbecued some meat on a fire & went for a night swim in the lake.
We did a boat ride around the Isletas - 365 small islands in Lake Nicaragua which were formed by a volcanic explosion years ago. It was awesome. We saw some monkeys, houses belonging to millionaires, & we had a beer at one of the little resorts on one of the islands. People can actually buy an island as real estate.
I also went up to Volcano Masaya one night. This is an active volcano, & you can see the red hot lava churning at the bottom. If you listen carefully, it sounds like an ocean moving around. It's quite spectacular.
The pool at Encuentros - one of the popular bars owned by one of the expats
The street outside the English school
One of the colourful buildings
Inside one of the many cathedrals around the city
Some of the streets & building around Granada
The view from one of the bell towers - this first one looking at Granada Cathedral
Some more buildings & cathedrals around the city
Around the Isletas - in Lake Nicaragua
The TESOL course was intense but rewarding, It was only myself & Kerri, an American girl, who did the September course - not a huge turn out.
There were late nights, finishing essays & completing lesson plans, we had a few French lessons, to show us what it's like to have a class in a foreign language..... very enjoyable. We also taught 6 lessons throughout the course. I was surprised that I wasn't more nervous for my first lesson..... but I definitely enjoyed it .
POST TESOL COURSE
After the course had finished, I was offered a full time job at the school. It was exciting, & I've enjoyed it a lot. I now have 5 different classes I teach, & lesson planning is very time consuming. I've gone through stages where I've felt drained & demotivated, but as the weeks pass, my experience grows, & things have become easier.
I have developed some good bonds with a lot of my students, which I really love & appreciate.
So now I live & teach here in Granada. The food here is really good, I see people I've met & now know walking down the street - including some of my students. I've been playing Frisbee with a bunch of other expats every Tuesday & Thursday. I've now become friends with Paul, the director of the school, and essentially my boss. We hang out a fair bit. I've made some other friends here too, & met a lot of other cool people here & there.
A lot of the other expats I've met through Paul, & a lot of them own some sort of business in Granada. It seems to be quite a popular destination for foreigners - particularly Americans - to come & live & set up a business. After all, it's a very cheap country to live in.
My Spanish has been getting better every so slowly, but I want it to improve faster.I haven't had time to actively learn it properly (in classes), but I think I'll try & get some private 1 on 1 lessons. I've been learning little bits & pieces from my students which has been good.