Friday, June 24, 2011

A whole week of parties

So from Wednesday to this coming Monday had been the Fiesta del Corpus, everyday there are parades and stuff in the streets and at night there is like this huge carnival thing with rides and games and tents with restuarants and places to dance. Everything was lit up and pretty, I've never been to Las Vagus at night but I think you could compare it to something like that. So Thursday night some of my friends and I went to the carnival at night, which was so fun but also so expensive ha so I spent most of my time walking around and looking at stuff while other people went on rides that you had to pay for, but I didn't mind. Same as during the day all the ladies were dressed in really cool flaminco dresses, it just gave me a good picture of the history and traditions that Spain has, and I like how they still uphold them today. So we didn't leave the carnival till like two in the morning, which serves me right, because the next morning (today) I had to wake up at 6:30 in the morning. Me and some other friends had decided to go to Nerja which is a beautiful beach about two hours away, but it's a beach just known for being beautiful so that's why we didn't go to a closer one. But man was it hot there ha, but still so beautiful. It had these huge rocks everyway in the water, and the water went right up to these cliffs covered in palm trees, like I said beautiful. Another thing Nerja is known for are these caves, so of course while we were there we took this tour of these underground caves. They were so impressive, just so big and spacious, I dont really know how to describe it, but I liked what I saw. So all that pretty much took up the entire day ha I just got back.

On a cool, not so relevent, spiritual side note, I got to talk to this one girl about the Bible today. I mean it wasn't anything that special, I didn't bridge her up or anything. She must have seen my Jesus bracelet cause she asked me what it means when people compare something to "manna from heaven", so I got to explain to her the story of Moses and the Isrealites in captivity and how God rescued them and provided for them and stuff, it was pretty cool, it was the first time since I've been here that I've been able to have a real conversation with someone about God. So you guys should pray that I'll get more chances to have more real conversations with people. And also I've been having trouble lately with swearing, not that I am swearing, but my friends here swear alot, and when I'm surrounded by it and I hear it so much it gets hard for me to filter it out and it becomes a challenge for me where I really have to guard what i say and think about it otherwise I might say something I shouldn't, something I'd regret. So yeah pray that I'll be able to guard my mouth and be a good example of Christ to others.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fiesta del Blanco

So I've never really understood the phrase "lost in translation" until this weekend and I might still not understand it. So anyway I have this problem of listening to Magdalena acting like I understand everything she is saying and then later finding out that I had agreed to do something or go somewhere or whatever, but really having no idea what i just said or what she just said. So my lady had been talking about this festival where everyone dresses in all white and there is dancing and eating and its a huge party. The way she talked about it made it seem like it was a huge festival that all the city goes to sort of like the Fiesta del Corpus which I will explain later. So anyway i am like best buds with my spanish teacher Rosa, we tell everything to each other ha . So anyway I was telling her about this fiesta i was going to the blanco one and she had no idea what I was talking about, which was really confusing to me because i thought everyone knew about it ha. So then she started talking and I acted like I knew what she was saying, and of course i unknowingly agreed to do an extra credit presentation about the Fiest del Blanco since no one but me knew about it, ha so that was fun.

the fiest itself was alot of fun, me and my lady went to the place where she takes dance lessons and everyone brought food, and there was a ton of dancing. We got there at nine and I don't think we left till after two in the morning. Spain is a country that never sleeps i am convinved.

The next day I went with my friend alexis and her lady Natividad to some shops that were really cheap. Only my family will get this reference, but it was like the flea market in the Bahamas, that sort of set up, but even bigger than the one in the Bahamas if you can imagine that ha. It was all these stalls were set up where people brought stuff to sell. Now where they got the stuff to sell ha ha I cant say for sure that it was legal ha but at least it was cheap for me.

So that was Saturday, Sunday I went to my lady's daughter's birthday. If you dont remember my lady has five daughters Juani, Cristina, Beatriz, Magdalena, and I can't remember the oldest ones name. But they were all there along with all their boyfriends/husbands, and the grandkids, and the grandparents, just a huge family reunion. It was really cool for me to be there and see how they interact, to see how they are different from the traditional american family and what not, so it was a really fun experience for me. We pretty much stayed there all day .

Monday and Tuesday pretty normal school days, but today Wednesday is the beginning of the Corpus festival which is a big deal in Spain. I'm not really sure what it's about, but i know it has to do with Ferdinand and Isabel and christopher columbus I think, but I dont really know, I think its kinda like their Macy's day parade, but it lasts an entire week. So today I skipped one of my classes to go witness the beginning procession it was so cool, all the lady's were in flaminco dresses and they had a band playing Spainish music as they marched down the streets, really fun stuff but of course like a dumb i didnt' have my camara, but don't worry tomorrow is when the "real" parade happens, I dont know but its a bigger deal somehow, so I will definately put pictures of that up.

Monday, June 13, 2011

long weekend

Well sorry its been a while since I updated but I've just been so tired ha I just wanted to sleep. So this past weekend my group took an excursion to Sevilla and Cordoba which was so awesome. Those cities are so much prettier than Granada. Not that Granada isn't pretty but the city has grown alot so there is much more modern stuff and construction everywhere, and Sevilla and Cordoba are tourist attractions ha so they are supposed to be prettier. In sevilla we visited the Catedral Sevillana, La torre del oro, and Los Jardines del Alcazar. All very beautiful places and very impressive to look at. We left Granada at 7:30 in the morning and took a two hour busride to Sevilla once we got there we went on all our tours. My favorite was the cathedral it was so massive and beautiful. If you have ever seen St. Peter's cathedral in Italy I would compare its size and grandeur to that. The architecture was very impressive, so much detail is put into everything, it just amazes me. The tours lasted until about 3:00 where we then had free time to shop or walk around the city, and do whatever we wanted until around six where we had to meet with the bus again to go to Cordoba. Interestingly enough there was a beerfest in town,, but not like you're probably thinking ha. Beerfests in Spain are like ribfests in America where everyone brings out there own brews and you get to walk along and try them for free. There was no drinking competition or anything like that, it was for people to come out and share their specialties or their creations with others. But it was free beer so alot of the members of my group enjoyed that ha. In Seville they also have orange trees everywhere, like the way we have grass ha they have orange trees. Just a fun fact. So when we met up with the bus we had another two hour ride to Cordoba. We arrived there around 8:30 and had to walk to our hostel that our program had gotten for us. It was actually very nice for a hostel, it kinda looked like any college dorm room would, bunk beds, a desk, a closet and a bathroom. There were four of us to a room. After we checked in we had to find this restuarant where our program had also reserved us for dinner. This was sorta difficult and we got lost ha it took us thirty minutes to get there. When we got there it had a tapas set up but on a grander scale, like instead of getting just one tapas, there were like five that we all passed around and shared with our table. The food was really good, but again there was so much of it ha good thing we walk everywhere. The following morning we had freetime till two where we met at the Mesquita-Catedral in Cordoba. Another magnificent building with an imteresting history, see this building was like half muslim mosque and half roman catholic cathedral, so the architecture inside was so diverse and crazy, it was the most unique building i have been in yet. Ok this might be wierd and its probably because i'm america ha but everytime I go into a Cathedral or a church my favorite part of it is the treasure room. Well maybe its not my favorite part but I definately enjoy it. Another one of my favorite things, and this is just in churches in general, is the stain glass windows. Love it, and in the cathedral they are of course just so intricate and colorful with such great depictions on them I just can't help but stare at them forever ha. But other than the cathedral we also saw the Sinagoga, the Puente Romano, and the Puerta de Puente, also really cool places. At 5:30ish we got back on our bus and made the 2:30 hour ride back to Granada. So a very long weekend, but very worth it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Things in Spain I wish I hadn't experienced

Well we went to the Albaicin like I had said and it was sort of confusing, because I wasn't quite sure when we got there that we were there. I think it was just an area of town that we walked through that was known as the arab district. But yeah it was totally gorgeous non the less. So that was Friday and then yesterday saturday some of my newly acquired friends and I decided to go spend the day at the beach. Ha it was a long process in getting to the beach. We had to take a forty minute bus ride to the bus station and then a two hour bus trip to Alamanga which is the city the beach was at, then an hour bus ride to the beach's bus stop, ha and then we got lost for two hours. You'd think the beach would be an easy thing to find, you know a whole lot of water just sittin there, but no we couldn't find the beach ha. So it was like two oclock in the afternoon when we finally found the beach, but when we did it was totally worth it. Today is another free day and so I think me and some friends are going to go to a movie and maybe visit a museum and then go dancing with our moms ha. But on a more serious note I wanted to use this trip as an opportunity to really grow in my faith, and so far that has been really hard. God is not in this culture at all, and I didn't realize how much I would miss that influence. I miss church, I miss bible studys I just miss God in general. And its so easy because we are kept busy all of the time to just forget about God you know? I miss being challenged and being taught new things about God. I guess I forgot how much I really needed God and wanted Him until I came here where I feel completely cut off from Him, I know that God is everywhere, but I feel like this is a place where you have to look harder for Him. So I guess you could pray that God would reveal Himself to me and that I would just really feel His presence.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Como una chica

Well Yesterday our group went to see Alhambra which is probably the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life. I'm afraid my pictures wont be able to do it justice at all. It just amazes me the detail and sophistication that is in something that is so old. There were two palaces that we toured through and a grand garden full of roses and many other flowers and cats, for some strange reason there were cats everywhere at this place, maybe it's because of all the coy ponds. Last night Alexis and I when we got back from the Alhambra we went to find her mom Natividad at club merengue where she takes dance lessons there, so we watched her for a bit and then went out for tapas afterward. I was very tired from all the walking that I did so I went straight to bed. The food here is so good all the time there is just always so much of it I swear I'm going to gain twenty pounds while I'm here. Later today our group is going to go see the Albaicin, which is the Arab district I think, but I'm not really sure. So I'll habe more to write on that later.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Come TODO!!

So I officially hate food. For those of you who know me well you're thinking that's not possible katlyn would trade her grandmother for food, but no no not anymore. Magdalena feeds me so much ha you would think I was training to be a sumo wrestler with how big a portion she gives me. You guys think I'm exagerating but I'm not. Three meals a day eating till I want to throw up ha. But anyway yesterday was the first day of class, and I loved it! All my teachers are so nice and funny. The class itself is a  little easy but I'm still learning. All the kids in my class are so nice and we all love to joke about our families and the things they do, like feed us all too much ha. After school  which ends at one we had the rest of the day free, so me and my friend alexis went to find a local gym where we could work out at. After we did our work out my mom and her mom wanted us to go dancing with them, which was hilarious it was about twenty other men and women all about fifty years old in this club learning how to salsa and cha cha and the merengue and things like that, it was alot of fun. After dancing we went out for Tapas. For those of you who dont know what tapas is, it's this great thing where you go to a restuarant order a drink and they bring you all these appetizers for free, all you have to pay for is your drink, its very non expensive.

Today after class we visited a place called Sacramonte which is where the famous Gypsy district is. It was such a beautiful area that was just full of history and religious significance. We leaned about Gypsys and Jews and Christians and all about the persecution and racial decrimination that took place back in the day. I have some pictures that I will load up later. Touring that place pretty much took all day, because of course we walked everywhere ha. Tomorrow we are going to a place called Alhambre which I hear is suppossed to be very beautiful as well. Tonight I met my mom's grandson ha who is older than me, its wierd because Magdalena doesn't look older than her late fortys and she has grandchildren that are older than me. I guess that's just the spanish culture. Well her grandson was nice enough to offer to take me around this weekend and show me the city, which will be so nice because I've been so busy with school and going on all their planned excursions that I haven't had time to just walk around the city and see what there is. And since he is a local he will know the good places to go where as if I were by myself I would end up just wandering around or worse getting lost ha. But I'm excited so we'll see how that goes.