Saturday, January 16, 2010

Views of Sevilla

One of the largest cathedrals in all Europe -- whose tower is the Giralda, once a minaret of a mosque. The cathedral is 320 ft. in height, and no building in the city may be higher. You can see it from way across the river by the pueblos in Aljarafe.
Tile is in abundance in Spain-- beautiful!
Gates at the museum of archeology, at the Park Maria Luisa.
The Church of the Salvador (Savior), 2nd largest church in Sevilla & a main plaza in the heart of the city.Parque Maria Luisia was named after Princess Maria Luisa (Duchess of Monpensier) who donated part of the grounds of her home, the Palacio de San Telmo, to the city in 1893 to be used as a park. The grounds are made up of half a mile of Art Deco buildings, ponds and lakes, leafy shade trees, pretty flower beds and statues.

Sometimes you gotta just enjoy the views...
what a blessing to live in this gorgeous city!
Here's the Plaza de las Americas (part of the park), just 15 minutes walk-- max--from my house
a famous author...

Puttering around in Portugal

We had a fantastic girls' weekend in Portugal this December, 2 hours from home.
Our excuse, surprising Darby for a post- birthday bash excursion.
Enjoy the photos of this gorgeous Algarve region. I also got to speak once last year in this region, at a precious international church, filled with British citizens.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

a smattering of fall fun

We were invited to participate in an international "Global Village" in October -- so I gathered all the American souvenir type stuff I could from my friends...
My colleague David was kind enough to come & greet students as well, to advertise for a student organization, AIESEC, outside the law school.
One evening we had a brownie -baking lesson in my kitchen. I love to use American baking mix for brownies, but when you run out-- you learn to make them from scratch!
On a Friday evening at 2 a.m., you may end up spur of the moment, with a few friends out on the town. Who ALL were at your apartment a little bit before that eating brownies...
You never know what you might find tied up when you are leaving the village of Coria after church on Sunday... Jake (exchange student) loves horses, having been brought up on a Wyoming farm.
At the birthday party of my friend, Esther, whom i met my first month in Sevilla.
a double- chocolate joy! Pastry filled with chocolate, dipped in super thick, hot chocolate.
Our "English Club" on a Wednesday early evening in a cafe across from campus (depending on weather, we meet in a university classroom), with Nataly, Andrea (intern last fall), and Abraham.

a meaningful mass

This painting is of Christ's baptism. What an amazing experience I had in a village near me, before Christmas, with my friend Raquel. She invited me to mass -- a very special one. She's part of a Catholic movement called Neocathecumenal Way, which sounds to me to have very similar viewpoints about Jesus to my own understanding of the Bible.
Of course, what does one do after mass? Go for tapas (appetizer- sized portions) at the local pub.
Another chapel in the village...
The worship time included opportunities for any participant to share what the 3 Scripture readings meant to him/her, and they also had a prayer time for people to be blessed. After this mass on Saturday night, there was a second mass.

Christmas, a different kind

Dad is suited up to sit with Mom - we were asked to guard us and her from infections.
I had the joy of going to 2 Christmas Eve services ... this one was at Lifepoint Church where my parents attend and my brother is a pastor.
Each big holiday our family spends time with friends at a development center, and we bring food. At Christmas Dad always prays before the meal.
At church, a family photo-- (very hard to not have Mom there... that was the other side of Christmas this year, having her in a rehab hospital, since August ... and crying out to God for healing)
Christmas Day wearing red...
... and "aunt Dot" reading to little Gwen!