|Tranco reservoir, Sierra de Segura|
EarthquakesThe evening of February 5th my apartment was rattled by two back-to-back, mild but firm earthquakes. It was the first major seismic event (I, at least, had) felt since December, and made for a great small-talk topic on the way to school the next day. It doesn’t bother me since these little earthquakes haven’t caused any damage or injuries, but they do keep life interesting.
Visiting the Sierra de Segura
|Mountain village of|
Segura de la Sierra
Every morning on the way to work I see those very same mountains, and I can see another mountain range from my apartment’s living room window, so I was very pleased to finally visit the hills, mountain-person that I am.
I had originally been thinking of reserving a visit to Barcelona for next year, when I’ll hopefully be working up north, but getting my hands on some concert tickets made me change my mind. Now I had an excuse to visit this beautiful city. I had already visited Barcelona’s old town back in December on my way up to Paris—seeing the ancient palaces and plazas, and Picasso, too—so this trip would focus on the architecture of a famous Catalan (region around Barcelona) architect named Antoni Gaudí.
I saw the six main examples of his work in Barcelona, and by “saw” I mean “shelled out 15 € or more for each entrance fee.” Still, an empty wallet was worth it because the tickets go toward conserving these important works of art for the future. I saw the Sagrada Família, an as-of-yet-unfinished church with a whimsical, forest-like interior; Casa Batlló, a blue house with lots of natural design cues and very few straight lines; La Pedrera, a huge apartment complex whose façade looks like a bunch of waves; Palau Güell, a traditional and stately house (or “palace”); Park Güell, a recreational park with more of the architect’s unconventional buildings; and Colònia Güell, a never-completed church whose finished crypt is nevertheless a geometric wonder.
|Sigur Rós in concert|
Finishing the renewal applicationAfter formally renewing the language assistant program in Spain back in January, a few steps were left before I could complete my application. Last week, after scanning and uploading what basically amounted to a performance review, and translating a letter of intent into Spanish, my status was changed from inscrita (“entered in”) to admitida (“admitted”). Now, I wait to hear back from Spain’s Ministry of Education to see if I will be teaching next year in Galicia, the northwest corner of the country. Ideally, I would find out in early May so I would have enough time to renew my TIE residency card before it expires May 31…ideally.
Celebrating Día de Andalucía
|Jota Serrana traditional dance|
After desayuno (“breakfast,” at 11:30am!), there was a school-wide convocation outside to celebrate all things Andalucía. Some students read poetry, two little first-grade girls dressed to the nines showed off their nascent flamenco dance skills, and then four teachers and four fourth-graders wearing traditional skirts and shoes came out and started dancing the jota serrana, a beautiful local style of dance that made me wish we had that kind of art in American culture. Maybe it’s just a result of centuries of Puritan/Baptist prohibitions, but I digress…
March has in store a trip to Valencia on the Mediterranean coast and to Alicante to see friends who are studying abroad, a trip to Morocco, and Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations in Spain. I’ve finally finished blogging about my travels in France, so I will return to your regularly-scheduled programming on Spain next week.