Tuesday, March 03, 2009

how the day starts in spain

What could be more typical in Spain, to start the day, than friends & café con leche? It is often served hot in a glass (not a mug). Coffee with milk, half and half doses. And believe you me, mine is always ordered with MORE milk, which is called a "manchado" (= "stained"). And on the other side of café con leche is coffee with just a touch of milk (they order a "cortado" meaning "cut"). Or you can drink full-blown espresso, black (be my guest!). 
Inga & Yasmin & I recently had morning coffee with a good friend José María, & his high school buddy Germán (on left).

birthday parties

Last week Inga had a birthday on Friday; and our friend Francisco had his on Thursday-- so they threw a party together at Inga's apartment! 

It was fun to celebrate with them, with various friends coming & going during the evening (Yasmin & I made pasta salad together, and Yas made brownies & a cake!). 

Under the long tablecloth is a space heater (electric), which is a typical method in Spain to heat your feet, even though the room may be chilly.

The next day we took Inga for a surprise picnic at the beach! Unfortunately it got a bit cold.

band visiting campus

Last week we had an awesome band visiting us from Texas. It was fun to have them do a little "jam session" on 2 campuses during the day. That night 3 friends of mine, Bea, Rebecca & Esther, came to the concert in a nearby town with Yasmin & I.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

sunny days, cool evenings...

One evening we went to a flamenco place (the show starts at 11 p.m.! but it's free). Here are my friends Dani (Daniel) and Rosa, with her pal Jose Manuel. He looked so theatrical I thought if he went onto the stage to sing, people would have gotten quiet. After the show, we encouraged Inga to play some tunes - she is wonderfully gifted and creative in art & music!

I love these amazing ladies... Inga & Yasmin (left to right) are doing an internship with Connexxion. Inga & I got to be roommates for 3 + months and we know each other from Braunschweig, my last German home. She has such a heart to serve others! Yasmin just moved in in February, from Oklahoma. She already speaks Spanish & keeps us laughing. 
Maria just came for a couple days visit from Jena, Germany-- she & her twin sister Lydia & I have been friends for about 5 years. Don't you love the palm tree shadow in the background? That night we had "CookIng-A" which was created by Inga to teach others to cook, and share recipes. This time Maria made sausage balls Germany style. Seated here in our furnished apartment (above) are Maria, Daniel, Fran, Yasmin & Inga.

beach & soccer game

My first soccer game in Spain was last weekend, in the city of Huelva, about 1 hour away. "Fran" (Francisco) is a friend of ours who is from there and has season tix. Before that we had already had a full day-- a worship service in a pueblo across the river, with a visiting band from Texas. 

Followed by the biggest paella (yellow rice with meat & mussels) I've ever seen!
Then a short visit to the beach near Huelva, with friends Yasmin & Inga, as well as John (exchange student from North Carolina) & Maria (visiting from Germany).
After that rooting for Fran's home team-- Recreativo Huelva! (they tied)

cordoba & maria visits

It was truly a big treat to have Maria R. from Jena come visit us from Germany. She & I used to be in the same discipleship group with Connexxion for several years there and are special friends. She also did an internship with the Bapt. Student Union in Norman, OK a couple of years back, where she was the roommate of Yasmin (my cool, present roommie!!). 
So we had a fun reunion and those two plus my good friend Inga got to visit the city of Cordoba last Saturday. There we saw the Mezquita, which is a former moorish mosque and now a cathedral. Imagine this: 85,000 square feet; mostly low ceiling; red/ cream arches all over the place!