The first Valdelavilla friends

The first friend I made at Valdelavilla was Anthony, a New York native with an infectious laugh living in Madrid.

We actually met at the tapas reception the night before we left, but still. He was my first friend. Following the reception, he and I went out for a bit in Madrid, grabbing a drink and some non-tapas food.

The second friend I made was Silvia, a 24-year-old consultant living 50 KM north of Spain.

We actually met on the bus to Valdelavilla, but still.

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An introduction to Valdelavilla

I was early to the tapas reception at El Bajo, of course. The pull-down metal gates had not even be lifted yet, so I walked around the Bilboa Metro area for about 30 minutes.

It was my first full day in Madrid and I had explored the city center for a few hours, wandering nearby my hostel and the Anton Martin Metro stop. After taking an hour or so back in my room, I figured it was time to head over to the Vaughan Systems reception for the people who were going to help native Spanish speakers improve their English by talking talking talking for six straight days.

Once the gates were lifted, I headed over to the bar. It was empty, save for one woman going over name tags.

This was it. And I was the first.

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