Tuesday, June 23, 2009

where is Christ?

One plaza in our downtown was filled recently around midnight-- with the arrival of a huge statue of Mary. One day you have to experience what the Church is like in Europe... this was the night before Corpus Christi day (which was my birthday). First of all the picture below is of a playground around midnight-- yes, with mothers on the side area & kids playing!! Yes, in Spain (and with the heat here) life runs much later!The photo above shows grapes & sheaves of wheat put in front of the altar. Downtown there were many altars set up for this occasion, but I'm afraid I did not see much celebrating either Christ, or his present Body, those who know him personally. But I saw the Virgin Mary, & angels, and a tiny replica of the Giralda tower of the cathedral (see below-- which used to a be huge mosque). I saw about 5 different statues/ altars in my walk around town that night.

Birthday balloons-- BLESSED!

Loved my birthday barbecue!! Thanks to all my fun friends for making it a very, very special and relaxing day! Sean did a fantastic job of making hamburgers-- in 90- something degree heat! And what fun "kids" ... including Carlos & Fran below with the blue balloon!! Yasmin made a delicious chocolate cake-- and my mom sent the mix with Bruce when he came to Germany in May to speak (but the icing was home made!).
Actually my birthday sort of started the day before... with walking around town with Yasmin a bit, where we took a photo beside a series of photographs about African women, in the main pedestrian street, Avenida de la Constitucion.

Friday, June 05, 2009

anti- stress kits

Many of our friends are having final exams now in the university-- so we decided to deliver a few 'anti- stress kits' to them, filled with a few chocolate chip cookies, a highlighter pen, a candle and a verse. Laura was our amazing baker (in 80 -something degree heat, with no A/C). Yas and I jumped in the car the next day, taking them to campus or the apartment of a friend.

double birthday cakes

Above are Dani, Agueda and Fran. Our friend and former Connexxion staffer Inga began something in January called "CookIng-a" (also referred to now as "Just Cook") which is a sort of shared cooking class in our apartment every week or so. We take turns --different ones of us share a favorite recipe & teach the rest to make it. We did an unusual one this week, to bake 2 birthday cakes for our good friend Dani (Daniel)!
Here are new friends Han -Seon (from Korea) & Laura, and Yasmin, my super roommate. Since the kitchen is too small for 7 people and TWO projects simultaneously-- we spread out- into the living room! Good thing we have Spanish tile floors-- ha! Oh-- we made coconut cake & carrot cake-- it was Dani's 1st time to try these flavors & they were his request, from a list we gave.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

first gazpacho

Gazpacho is a traditional, cold tomato soup -- I just found out a week ago, when our fun friend Rosa came over to make it, that it's not cooked. You use raw ingredients, puree them together, and eat it from a bowl or glass. It was so fun to help make it for the first time!! Tomatoes, bread, green peppers (a thinner variety), raw garlic, olive oil, vinegar, & cucumbers...
If you don't know WHY they eat a cold soup in Spain, imagine hot, dry days of temperatures in the 80's and above--!!

first barbecue, but not the last

Yes, I splurged (about 4 Euro) on a baby pool to cool our feet on the balcony (anyone ready for a swim? -- it's still here!)! And to go along with our "beach" theme for the barbecue!
What's Spain without a traditional "Sevillanas" dance done by a couple of friends!?
Silvia, Encarni (left side), Carmen & Mary Alice (rt.) -- the best part about a group meal is the fun & fellowship!
Sergio (from the Canary Islands of Spain) is here with Mary Alice and Johnny (from Costa Rica). Mary Alice started all the English Clubs that I continued when I moved to Sevilla.

Here on our balcony-- Johnny and Laura (visiting here from the USA a couple of weeks to help out; former exchange student) were 2 of several people tending the barbecue grill, which we had just bought that day for 11.99 Euro. Somehow we started this deal without having a specialty person (Grillmeister) to do the whole b-b-cuing thing! ah--oh. In the distance you see the Univ. of Sevilla campus (architecture buildings).