Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Seriously, the only thing missing was the soundtrack

¡Buenos dias amgios! I think it is quite possible that Amalia takes great pleasure in giving us homework because she doles it out quite often and quite generously. Yet, although I would prefer to go play with the kids than spend hours translating and conjugating verbs, I understand that homework does help one improve. Reason thrown away, I just want to go play!

Aimless ranting aside, Saturday was an interesting and fun day. Pam’s plans of visiting her friend Christina in Malaga did not pan out successfully so we both slept in until… well who cares about specific times anyway? By the time that we finally changed our clothes, prepared ourselves for the day, and eaten lunch, it was around 4:00pm so we decided that we wanted to go on a little hike up the mountain at the base of which we live on. We attempted to follow the path that we had previously walked with Teresa, but we soon realized that we did not remember the route. Excited to explore different parts of the city, we continued on anyway. I find it hard to believe that people actually live in the homes that we walked by. It is so steep and so high up the mountain that I imagine you could lose ten pounds just going to buy a gallon of milk! After we had been walking for some time, we came upon an ancient, empty castle and a picturesque view of La Alhambra. It was magnificent. We continued walking up the ridiculously steep and narrow path until we came upon a giant Victorian home with a public garden. We’re not exactly sure what this treasure was- besides amazing- but we think that it either belonged to or is now dedicated to an Andalucían poet. Pam and I both agreed that the garden was like stepping into a Disney movie. Next to the little river running through the garden stood a miniature castle and lookout point. Seriously, the only thing missing was the soundtrack.

After we exhausted our exploration of our magical garden, we decided that it was time to descend the mountain. With no plan and unsure of any type of direction, we started walking downhill. After about fifteen minutes we came upon a beautiful old church so, as usual, we walked inside. Granada is speckled with so many priceless gems that are just begging to be discovered. After our quick prayers we made on our journey again, trying to see if we could recognize any of the street names when all of a sudden- BAM! There was Hannigans’- we were on our street! Pam turned to me and exclaimed- “We couldn’t possibly be better wanderers!” After a two hour hiking tour without a map, we magically found our way home again. Before we returned to the house, however, we caught a peek at a wedding going on at a church nearby. Weddings in Spain are like one big prom celebration in the respect that everyone gets dressed up very fancy. Later that night as we prepared to go out with our friends we heard something peculiar. “Can you hear that music?” Pam asked me, so I opened our window and was immediately washed in sound. “It sounds like a parade!” So we ran down the stairs into the street to see what was happening and, sure enough, there was a religious procession going down the street, full band and all. We were a little disappointed to see that Carlos, Anita, and Jaime were completely unfazed by it and couldn’t understand why we were so excited and why I wanted to watch from the balcony.

Sunday morning came late (as it often does) and soon became a day full of homework. By 8:30 pm, however, we kneeled in a pew (along with our friend Jayson) at St. Matthias church once again. It was a different priest this week (Ana informed me that there are two that switch off), he was older and did not speak at an even pace so it was pretty difficult to understand. It’s terrible, but I find it hard to concentrate during the homily and I am constantly forcing myself to pay attention and pick out the three words that I can understand. Throughout the rest of the mass it is easy to be an active listener because everything is mostly the same as I have always done. However, I feel a serious connection during communion. It’s funny, even though I’m still probably missing a quarter of what the priest is saying, at that I point, I still feel completely present in the mass.

Monday morning was relatively normal except class took place in the Fundación Euroarabe (another building belonging to the University of Granada), something that we didn’t realize until we were sitting at the CLM… and no one else was. Thankfully the two are relatively close and we were not that late for class. After class we- of course- did homework and then went for a run along the river. It seems like every time I turn around there is more to this city that I did not even know about previously. At night, I was only able to go to Pub Quiz for about hour, but I found it funny that when I walked through the door the Irish bartender (he’s the same one that works at that time every week) waved, “hello” to me. Tuesday’s class was also at the Fundación Euroarabe, and I gave my presentation on Federico Garcia Lorca. The class had to comment on your performance, and everyone agreed that it was just that- a performance. Once an actress, always an actress. Afterwards, Teresa brought us to the public library to get cards and to show us around. It’s a really beautiful building and I think that I’ll be spending a lot of time there. That afternoon at 5:00pm we had our first Flamenco class. It was great! Ana is just as fun as I knew that she would be- not to mention she’s a great dancer, and she knows it! I can already tell that this class will be a great stress reliever for me.

Today we had class again at the Fundación Euroarabe and Pam gave her presentation on Lorca, very informative and impressive. After class we couldn’t help ourselves but to walk into a few stores on our way home as a lot of them are still offering some great sales to get rid of all of their summer clothes. Around 5:30pm we met Liz near the river to go for another run and she showed us another route along the river where there is an outdoor gym area. I can’t wait to go back! I decided that I can’t possibly stop exercising while I am here, every night after dinner Ana says (without fail) “¿Quereís un postre?” (You want a dessert?). Of course the answer is always, “¡sí!” That roughly translates to, “I need to run!” ¡Pues, dulces sueños!

PS May the sun shine brightly on your face, may you always find your way home, may you love your dance class, and may the bartender always know your name! Love you.

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