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Back to school today.

Here in Alicante you can’t drink the tap water, and even in places where you can it’s rare to find drinking fountains in Spain – at least in my (thirsty) experience. At school, classrooms have little plastic mugs for each kid, that hang on pegs by the classroom door for when someone needs to get a drink. The teachers have the same downstairs in the teachers’ lounge. My first day at the school – in the trilingual blur of greetings, instructions, schedules, and an endless stream of dos besos – I got to write my name on my own mug. It was a small piece of the overall warmth I have encountered at the school – a willingness to include and involve me (despite pedagogy clases and my occasional restlessness) into the community.

Today, coming back to school, I was caught in another avalanche of face-kisses and felíz año smiles. Being back at school with the kiddos reminds me why I’m here.

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