Sunday, November 8, 2009


Here's some miscellaneous pictures my parents back home insisted I put it up.

So...although it's pretty late coming here's Pilar, Jaume, Sabina, Perico (Sabina's Cumple Regalo) and me! Were missing Ramon though! What a great photographer :)
Some creations of Sabina in the kitchen - I marvel her amazing ways of judgement in the realm of cooking, something I lack. I'll be lucky to learn a thing or two this year!

Paella lunch in Barcelona with Julien's family! Julien is a great friend from Belgium! He even shares his chocolate his parents send from home!
And finally some photos of Poblet! A beautiful monastery about 30min from Tarrega. Although our tour was in rapid Castellano, I think I picked up a thing or two. The deep history here in Spain is really mind boggling and I can't wait to explore more of it.

Windy November Blues

Leaves are falling, trees becoming bare - the wind sings with each gust. Yes, its that time of year. Fall in Spain. Living in the more central plateau has proved to live up to it's extreme temperatures. It seems like several weeks ago I was walking around in sundresses, shorts and tanks. Just last night I was with my friends in Pati with my nepali knit gloves, patagonia jacket, sweatshirt and jeans freezing to the bone! How everyone makes fun of the unprepared, cold Alaskan! I keep insisting that where I live the temperature is rather mild and the same as here, but they don't believe me. Goes to show what a rap Alaska gets. Life seems to mold into one day here with school and cross during the week and then my weekends free for fiestas. Halloween is a HUGE deal here in Spain. I saw decorations up at least a good two months before, and theres deep, rooted tradition in making panuets, which are small cakes covered in pinenuts and powdered sugar, and then buying castanyadas! Roasted chestnuts! Anually theres a competition in Sant Josep for making panuets, and my brother, his friends and I decided to give it a go. Hours in the kitchen adding flour, eggs, sugar - from a sticky, thick consistency to almost liquid...we finally came out with something presentable. The Spanish love rich, flavorful food so naturally they are splendid cooks. Since I've been here helping in the kitchen we haven't once used a recipe and everything has been beyond delicious. My body seeing the affects of this...lots of meat (sausage, pork, jamon) and fresh vegetables. More specifically lots of vibrant peppers! One of our kitchen counters usually has a boxful scattered in an array of yellow, red and green.
Although everyday is a new adventure my most memorable escapade has been my first outing to an official discoteca. Big Ben is supposedly the largest in Catalunya and lucky for me is only about 15min from Tarrega. I had missed going out with my friends from school the previous weekend because I had an AFS orientation in Barcelona, so I was pretty pumped to finally get to go. Especially on halloween! I got ready with a girl from my class Sandra who lives in small village about 5min away and met up with some other kids when we got there. The whole evening was just so different from anything I had ever really experienced before...getting past the bouncers (thank goodness for being blonde and american..I hate to say it! But it's really what got me in since I had forgotten my identification :O) crazy light shows, revolving tables, open bar (don't worry, no drinks were consumed) go go dancers dressed in costumes and walking around on stilts through the crowd! The theme of heaven and hell was pretty evident with the women in etherial angel costumes and the men in bright red. There were 3 different rooms packed with people, dancing the night away. I had an awesome time and can't wait till I go again after exams! Till then the normal routine of sipping cafe with some friends, reading every article of english that comes my way, early morning walks to school with Sabina, late night music and singing sessions with Jaume...I can hardly believe that its already settling into mid November. Here are some whimsical photos from my orientation in Barcelona. All I can say is that I love these people so incredibly much. It's amazing how close you can come to someone when you go through something like this where you really only have each other to fall back on. They definitly carry my heart, lovely characters that can always bring a smile to my face. Which really isn't that hard. Everyone here in Spain has classified me as the girl that is always smiling! My teachers, friends, family! I guess that's really all I can do. And when you look back on it why not?