Buenos dias! At this very moment, I am riding a huge bus that is heading back to Granada. From where am I traveling? La Alpujarra, a gorgeous chain of mountain towns that makes one feel as though she has traveled back in time. We left Granada this morning and began our treacherous journey climbing the winding and ridiculously small roads. When we finally reached the first town, we went into a little restaurant where we all got tapas as we needed the energy for our hike. It was only an hour long hike, but it was literally all uphill! I've learned that when Teresa says to where sports clothes and sneakers- you do! It was a challenging hike, but it helped me to realize even more just how much I enjoy hiking. When we finally made it to the next town, we visited a little house that has been made into a museum. It was built in the IV century! After we boarded the bus and made our way to the next town where Teresa gave us two hours to explore, shop, and eat lunch. The little town was so precious and cute!
Classes this past week were easy to get through as they are so short and- as I have made clear- fun! Wednesday we had our Flamenco class and I have to say that we are actually getting it! Ok, so I should clarify that we know the steps and can do them quickly, but we are constantly messing up the hands (for some reason the hardest part) and we march through the steps rather than gracefully slide! As we had to miss class the week before, Ana decided that we needed to have class the following day as well. I really love her. She makes the class so much fun and it's an excellent stress reliever. Liz asked her if she knew any good stores and she almost went crazy telling us about one of her favorite subjects, and we were delighted when she just exclaimed, "We must go shopping together!" If it sounds like a dream come true- that's what it is.
I forgot to mention: before Flamenco I did my volunteering at the high school (Pam went on Tuesday, I think) with Marc and I had a great time. I should be taking notes on all of the interesting gender norms here as situations like volunteering help me see them so clearly. We first spoke with the girls in the class and then separately with the boys (all between fifteen and sixteen years-old). The girls were very timid and shy to use their language skills and were careful to speak one at a time, but the boys were confident and basically all spoke at the same time. Interesting.
Flash forward to after Flamenco that day. I did not have a lot of time to get to my acting class after so I literally ran/hopped/skipped all the way down a very busy street- quite hilarious, I'm sure. The class was a blast once again, but there were not as many people as the first time and I was sad to see that some of my friends from before where not there.
Right after the class, I ran off back towards my house in a fashion that I am sure was just as goofy as before. There is a museum right next to our house (to be honest, I have no idea what is there or why!) and they were having a free Flamenco guitar concert. On my way to the concert, I grabbed a falafel sandwich for dinner which I ate as I walked. I really hope that you can visualize and appreciate just how silly I looked. The concert was fantastic and super intense- you only have to listen to Spanish guitar once to know what I mean. After the concert we celebrated our friend Amy's birthday by getting Tapas. Mmmmm!
Yesterday I had class in the morning but in the afternoon Pam and I met up with one of her best friends from high school, Christina (she is studying in Cordoba but came to Granada for the weekend with her group) and her friend Emily. We shopped our way across Granada, went home to change, and then met up again to go out for Tapas and then to meet up with our other friends.
I find that I'm struggling to stay spiritually stimulated while I'm here. Perhaps it is because I have not been to mass in English in a long time or maybe because I am distracted by so many other things, but I do miss my strong relationship that I am able to work on a Stonehill.
PS May your journey be long, difficult, and uphill because the view at the end will always be better.
PPS I wrote this on my Blackberry, don't judge.
PPPS I love you.