Jo & Chris – Profile
Hi, I’m Joanna. I have been living in Cádiz with my family for over 20 years now, in a lovely rural valley near the Natural Park, between Vejer de la Frontera and the beaches of Los Caños, Zahora and El Palmar. I will be sharing hosting with my husband Chris Davidson. Our daughters – Merry and Daisy – are both working in other countries so we now have space in our house to receive One to One World students.
Both Chris and I have a lot of teaching experience: we ran a language school in Barbate for 15 years and we have both worked as examiners for Cambridge University English exams (PET, First Certificate, Advanced etc…). But most importantly, we are open, friendly people. We often receive volunteers who come to help us with work on our land, and they very quickly feel at home. Being able to work with both of us will be a big advantage, as it will give you a more variety during the week. And depending on the time of your visit, you may find other English speaking visitors, volunteers or neighbours that you can practice your English with too.
I work as a translator and business manager as well as teaching: in fact I am the English Programme Director for One to One World. Chris has retrained as a plumber, and we also organise and teach workshops on permaculture, natural building and personal development. We both love walking, so you can expect to spend part of your time taking in English while walking on the beach, in the pine woods or exploring the valley we live in.
We live in Casa Gaia – a house we built ourselves using mostly natural materials. Depending on the time of year, we can offer you our studio space to stay in or your own room in our house. Casa Gaia is about 5 minutes from the lovely white town of Vejer de la Frontera by car, and about 15 minutes from some of the best beaches in Cádiz. We live in the valley of La Paternilla, very near San Ambrosio, a quiet and very rural location without being too isolated or difficult to reach. Our daily rhythm is similar to the typical Spanish mealtimes: breakfast at 9am, a big meal at about 2pm and then a light evening meal around 8 or 9pm. We eat good home cooked food, mostly fresh organic ingredients, mostly vegetarian, with fish and meat occasionally. But we can adapt to any particular diet you prefer. We are non-smokers so we do not permit smoking in the house.
One to one conversation sessions form the foundation of the One to One World programme, and we base our sessions on topics of general interest, current news stories and on your particular interests and needs, so it is important for us to know what YOU need your English for, before you come to us. As well as the conversation sessions that take place in our home we would also programme some of the following activities (you get to choose!) These activities provide variety during the week of your visit as well as some natural things to talk about… in English of course!
Local activities such as:
- Meeting up with our friends in Chiclana for a “Walk and Talk English” session on La Barrosa beach
- Walking in the Parque Natural de la Breña
- Bird watching in Las Marsimas de Barbate or the old Laguna de la Janda
- Going for coffee in the Palomar de la Breña, an 18th Century hacienda and dovecote converted into a hotel, or visiting the ruins of the Visigoth Ermita de San Ambrosio
- Tea and Arabic cakes at the tea rooms of the Hotel Califa, overlooking the roof tops of Vejer
Visits further afield to:
- Cádiz, wandering the streets of this lovely ancient city
- Baelo Claudia (Bolonia) visiting the museum and Roman ruins at this fantastic beach location
- Tarifa, at just 12 km from Africa, Europe’s most southern town, as well as kite surfing capital
- Gibraltar, a beautiful location for a strange English/Spanish place where the shops are mostly English but the customs seem more Spanish
Other activities we can offer:
- I love to cook so I can teach you how to make an English cream tea with fresh homemade scones, or some other typical English dish
- Chris plays the guitar, so you can learn an English song or two and sing along with us
- Come to a yoga class or join us in our local choir for a session
- Join me in the garden for a few hours and learn a bit about permaculture