Thursday, May 21, 2009

"Blanco y negro" night

Above are Agueda & my roomie Yasmin-- Agueda speaks German which was fun for me to try out again with a Spaniard. Below Dani and I are showing off our theme "look." Never at a loss for party ideas, we had a "black and white" party with foods, clothing and decorations keeping the theme (along with slow jazz music and songs from the 40's!). Yasmin took favorite pics and printed them out in black and white (the Spanish term for that is opposite: "blanco y negro"). We played a game of charades with movies, where the partners had to be silent (reminiscent of the silent films... but using modern- day movies). Guess which movie is portrayed by Carmen & Abby here?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

semana santa

Holy Week before Easter is celebrated with no greater pomp and passion than in Sevilla. It's called "semana santa" and is accompanied by about 50 parades of large statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary ... sometimes of 1,000 people (for ONE parade) marching through the streets of Sevilla
...who are all members of a society called an "hermandad." They do sort of a penance pilgrimage to the Cathedral from their home church, and back again. Sometimes the participants march for up to 6 or even 12 hours straight. The "Nazarenos" wear a hood, so that you cannot see who is in the parade, to maintain the anonymity in their dedication & repentance.

Flamenco party

Inga & Carlos are looking very dramatic? And aren't Carmen & Yasmin getting into the mood with those decorated fans??! ( Did you know that women really use them nowadays, in the heat of the summer?) This region of Spain is known for flamenco dancing and a famous festival every April in the city-- a fair lasting all week where women dress in flamenco dresses and people dance a famous style of dance called "sevillanas." And guess who is in that flamenco dress of green & red on the left??
So, using that theme, we hosted a Connexxion party at our apartment in late April. Inga did an excellent job helping get the living room looking like the inside of a fair tent!

Retreat in Germany

We had an awesome time in Germany in early May, with 34 attending our Connexxion retreat for students...
 and then followed that event with another retreat for our 9 staff & interns directly after it (see left-- Vincent, Vera, Birthe, Cheryl, Anja, Anja K.; bottom row: me, Yasmin, Thomas with baby Immanuel) ... I then spent some extra days, too, in Braunschweig in the north, in my old "stompin' grounds."

Bruce, my brother, came to speak, too and shared wonderful messages!