While I don´t have many long stories right now, I do have several small anecdotes to share:
One day as I was walking back from school, and few kids from the preschool/daycare center place by the park started calling for me. They got my attention and asked me to pass them back their ball which they had thrown over the gate. I tossed it back, and they said thank you, and I said I was welcome. It was my most seamless and least confusing Spanish conversation with locals up to that point. Some things don´t change between cultures.
There was a moment in Cádiz when three of us were sitting on a bolder in the middle of the bright blue ocean, the sky was clear, the hot sun wrapped around our shoulders, and the cool water was crashing into our rock. It was gorgeous sea and sky as far as we could see. It was the most beautiful thing, and we mentioned something about getting one of the others back on the shore to take a picture of us, because it would have been perfect. We weren´t able to get any of them to take a picture, so I decided to take one with my eyes because it was a memory I wanted to keep. Just then, a giant wave broke into the bolder, surrounding us from all sides and dousing us with the cold salt water – and for a brief moment there, we were part of the rock, and part of the wave, and it was perfect.
The Catholic church is proud of the traditions of the church, and that you can go anywhere in the world and it will be the same mass. There are a few differences between the masses here and the ones back home. Some are ceremonial – such as the priest popping out from behind the alter instead of processing in. Others are cultural – in some of the churches I go to back home, women bring sweaters and jackets with them to mass, even during the summer, because the church gets so cold. Here, many women bring their fans because it is so hot during mass. I found this difference hilarious.
I finally rented a Sevici bike, and it´s been awesome. I should have done it sooner. It´s great to be able to get to class quickly and explore different parts of the city. It´s also wonderful because Sevilla is so flat that riding a bike is a piece of cake. They have the bike racks all over town, you can just pick one up and go.
During the kayaking excursion on the river, I was rowing next to one of the instuctors and we had a nice chat in Spanish. He asked if I knew his friend who lives in Texas (I don´t) and told me that he lives in the Beverly Hills of Sevilla (Nueva Sevilla. I have no idea if this was sarcasm or if he was serious). What interested me was that he pointed out the same building under construction that Mama Carmen had pointed out the evening we went on the roof. He said that many people in Sevilla don´t like it because it is taller than La Giralda, and they don´t think anything should be taller. His opinion is that it is a growing city, but they have to grow up instead of out, so taller buildings make sense. I asked Manolo about it this morning (he knew exactly what I was talking about – obviously construction is not common in Sevilla) and he said it was a point of contention because of the height, as well as the modern style of the building. Manolo thinks that they could have built 4 smaller buildings instead of one giant one.
Well, now that I´ve adjusted to Spain, it´s time to uproot and change continents, languages and cultures… What? Off to Morocco for a four day excursion! Hasta luego Sevilla.