As mentioned in previous posts, we have visited 2 schools and a number of organisations/businesses so far talking about our trip and spreading our message, all in Madrid. We have a blog post about us from one of the high schools, Sacred Heart High School, as the school has a blog run by the students, and one of the students interviewed us – as soon as we have access to this blog post we will link it to our post.
Since Madrid we haven´t had any more visits until Zaragoza, where the lovely Concha (an old friend of Fabian´s mother) organised many things for us to do! The two days we spent in Zaragoza have been the busiest so far, meeting a total of 4 school classes from Pedro de Luna, 2 university groups/classes, as well as being interviewed by two prominent news --- in Zaragoza.
On Monday at around noon, we met with a class of about 20 or 30 15-17 years old bilingual students to talk about trip. It was our first presentation and even though there wasn´t much preparation done, it went very well and it boosted our confidence. The response of the class was really quite amazing for us, as they were all very interested and asked many questions about both the practical side of planning, but also about if we found it hard emotionally, scary even – one girl had even looked at our social media before class and pre-prepared questions! After the talk, the same girl approached us and told us of her plans to cycle along the coast of Spain when she turns 18!
The talk with the University went equally as well, perhaps even better. The group of English students was around 20 or 30 people, but everyone older than us, with only a few university students close to our age. We can definitely admit that the beginning was a bit nerve-wracking, but because we talk about our trip every time we meet new people, we slipped into a natural rhythm, and after a few minutes became more comfortable.
They were just as interested as the younger students, and asked many questions, although some a bit more personal, such as our opinions on nuclear energy, bigger companies, and figures like Donald Trump. At the end of the presentation a few of the students came and thanked us for the presentation and even took photos with us.
2 of the students the same age as Fabian and I invited us out that evening for Tapas and drinks, which we thoroughly enjoyed! They even hinted at joining us sometime in July for their summer break ;-) which we hope will happen!
The two journalists from El Periodico de Aragon and Heraldo de Aragon both listened into the presentation, and recorded it. At the end they asked us questions about our trip, with the help of Conch, who translated to and from Spanish and English. The new articles, like the blog post, will be linked to this page as soon as they are posted!
Tuesday went equally as well as Monday, with an early start of 9am at the same high school to meet more advanced bilingual students between the ages of 17-19 years old. It was two big classes together, so around 40 plus or minus! It was a bit nerve-wracking to speak in front of people the same age as us, but as before, we got into a rhythm and it worked out fine! They were equally as interested, but we think also a bit stunned because of how crazy this sounded to them. When speaking to the teacher at the end, she said that it was really good for the students to hear how possible this kind of amazing adventure is for people fresh out of high school. As in Spain, like many countries, a large majority of students feel pressured into going straight to University, which is not the right thing to do for some people, resulting in unnecessary loans and stress.
The last high school class was similar to the class on Monday in age, but smaller in number, with probably around 15 students. They were interested (we think ;-) but also hesitant, as they were not as confident in their English.
The second class for University was a relaxed, as it was a conversation class for English students to practice conversations, with only about 6 students. So we talked about our trip, motivations and countries, but in a more casual environment. They were all still very interested, and I think because of the low numbers, asked more questions than all the others put together! We thoroughly enjoyed chatting with them and telling them about what we were doing.
Overall, Zaragoza has been a great success and from the response we got from the students at both the high schools and universities, as well as the teachers at the high school and the journalists, it looks like the issue we are discussing and raising awareness for is definitely starting to get the attention it deserves! There is a long way to go, as we only spoke to a few people, but the more people we talk to, the more people know!