The UltiMartes – October 2021


Hola!
Welcome to our first ever monthly newsletter.
Each month we want to bring you some of the highlights from the myAmigos journey in our quest to help make our lives in Spain easier, safer, more secure, and more fun!
Each month, I’ll introduce you to a member of the team, and share the most exciting thing we’ve learnt, the most exciting thing we’ve done, and the most exciting thing we have planned. I’ll also ask you to answer the one most important question we have for you, and something funny that I want to share. I hope this is useful to you and helps us get to know each other better. Each month the newsletter will be emailed on the Last Tuesday (hence the name) and then uploaded to our blog on the first Friday. (Sometimes there will be limited offers available and we want our best friends who have shared their email addresses with us to have access first.)

Laugh of the Month

Carla, our first amiga, shared this Youtube video with me to remind me that even people in Spain find Spanish bureaucracy tricky to deal with: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXWZ3uAEKsw

Amigo of the Month – Michael

This month – it’s me, Michael. I hate talking about myself, but really I created myAmigos to solve problems I have so I thought you may like to know that I am in the same boat and why I want to help. I am Australian, but love travelling and fell in love with Spain – Galicia specifically when on holiday a few years ago. I started dreaming of retiring to Spain, but then my work got restructured and suddenly I was in the very privileged position where I could spend a few years finishing off my PhD anywhere in the world without having to worry about money until it was finished!
So, the dream of moving to Spain became a reality much quicker than my family had planned. So we (my wife, daughter, and I) moved to Spain before learning the language and started classes here. As a tourist, this is fine. Google Translate and practicing the language can be fun at times – and as a foodie I am fine in restaurants and any miscommunications there are fun adventures (no one in the family is allergic to anything). I remember asking for a glass of wine and getting a cup of tea! Ironic, because I had never successfully asked for a cup of tea when I wanted one at that point. But there are certain things that need to get done, that many hours of watching Dora the Explorer didn’t teach me the words for – and people seemed to talk so fast (they still do)!
On these occasions I would often ask my bilingual Spanish friends for help. Now this was much better than struggling through with my tres palabras of Spanish, Google Translate, and lots of pointing. But over time I realised that this wasn’t an ideal solution. I felt embarrassed asking my friends and I felt like an imposition – so I didn’t ask for help until the language barrier was quite high and the problem had escalated. Also, sometimes my friends had English that was way better than my Spanish, but conversing in English was still problematic for them in detailed situations. Sometimes they weren’t available when I needed help, or couldn’t travel.
Anyway around this time the COVID vaccine was out, but in my situation we weren’t eligible for public health insurance so we weren’t getting called for an appointment. I tried by myself to fix the problem, a number of times, but my Spanish was not good enough. It felt wrong asking someone to accompany me during the pandemic. This, combined with all the news about work and socialising happening over video chat, formed the idea of myAmigos. The very first uses of the product, Carla, who I’ll introduce you to next month, helped me break through the language barriers I was facing. The enormous relief I felt in those moments is what we want to offer to other people.


Learning of the month – Digital Certificates

Ok so I am stretching the truth here a little. I got my digital certificate a while back now, but it is one of the most helpful things I have done to help make my life in Spain easier. I don’t like telephone calls at the best of times, but in Spanish they are next to impossible for me! That used to mean going in person to do anything official. Now, with a digital certificate, most official things can be done online. Even if it is making the appointment to do something in person, online is a much easier option than the telephone. If you don’t have yours yet, I have a guide written in English that lays out all the steps. Just email me and ask for it and I’ll email it to you. There is one part that has to be done in person (this is Spain after all!) and if you need help or just reassurance navigating the Spanish web-site or the in-person part of course myAmigos is here for you.



Accomplishment of the month – our web-site!

We are still building it out, but we have a new web-site: www.myamigos.io
Thanks to Joanne for her help with the design. Check it out and let me know what other information you want to see there.


Plan for the month – improve the app

Eventually you will be able to get to the app through our web-site. In the future we will hook them up together. But in the short term we are improving the design of the app to look more like the web-site and based on user feedback. We will add full screen and leave buttons in the actual video chat application itself. We will also improve the notifications and automations behind the scenes and improve some navigation around the app so that you don’t get stuck on the home screen after you’ve logged in (until we’ve implemented this just log out and log back in to be taken to your schedule). You can keep track of the developments (or book our services at) https://myamigosmvp.bubbleapps.io/version-test


Question of the month

How can I make this monthly newsletter better for you?
Please email me your answers I would love to know!


Muchas gracias,

Michael.

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