Friday, April 25, 2014

With Friends Like These


Goodness! This week has just flown by! There were so many fun things that happened this week...well really it was one thing but it went on the whole week. Festivos de primavera is pretty much spring break, with the exception that there are a lot more traditional customs added to it. The second day, literally every one young, old, adolescent, you name it, was on the street from 11:00am to 9:00pm for one huge botellon which is pretty much an all day drinking fest while dressed in traditional Murcian attire. It was definitely interesting from the perspective as someone who does not drink. Definitely fun, dancing in the streets, culture parades, and everyone just enjoying being with each other.

All of this was really fun, but the best part by far was not the Murcian flair or even the beach, it was seeing my fellow LV's. Yesterday (Friday) I got together, via skype, with my LV class for the day of scholars presentations. Now, I knew already that I missed them all, obviously, but when I saw them all looking so happy to see me, and saying hello and how much they missed me, I got tears in my eyes. I didn't realize just how much I missed them all. The presentations were amazing! I was literally speechless for a couple of them. This day of scholars brought us so much closer together. 

On this side of the world, after I got off skype with my friends from back home, I walked out of my room and my roommates told me to go in the living room. I looked into the dark room first and saw shadows and was instantly unsure but, none the less I walked in with a tiny push from my other roommate, and surprise! My other roommate and 6 of my friends were all standing there, the lights now on, with birthday hats and confetti! Now, my birthday is on September 9th, but they decided to throw me an early birthday party since I won't be here with them to celebrate my actual birthday with them. They made me dinner, and baked me an apple cake complete with candles and m&m's on top! It was definitely a surprise! I didn't even hear them when they were setting up the room.

I am so TRULY blessed to have friends like these. Friends that write postcards, keep in contact, let them be a part of their presentation day, throw early birthday parties and so much more. With friends like these, any person could feel spoiled not by his/her friends doing all these things for him/her, but just by knowing he/she has friends that care enough about her to make him/her feel so special; I know I do!

The phrase, "you never know what you've got until it's gone," may be true in most instances, but in the case of my friends, I don't know what I have done to deserve such beautiful, wonderful, strong, amazing people in my life, but I know just how special my friends are to me. I know with friends like these, it will be very hard to feel alone or abandoned because of how much care and love my friends have for me and I hope they know I have for them. They will always be in my life no matter what; if not physically, mentally, spiritually, I know they are always there!

I love my friends all around the world!

Nos vemos <3

(More pictures from the birthday celebration...)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The real fun begins!


This week was pretty fantastic! I saw so many pretty procesionals. My favorite one had to be this one:

This one was my favorite, because the red that you see beneath Jesus on the cross, is hundreds of red carnations! All of the processions had hundreds of flowers on them, but this one was the best arrangement by far (at least in my opinion).

Besides the parades, I did a few other things as well. I went to the beach in alicante which was pretty fun. Most people may not know this, but I actually extremely EXTREMELY disliked the beach. However, since I have been in Spain I have found a bit of comfort in it. Don't get me wrong, I still hate the sand and the water and the combination of the two, but the atmosphere is so relaxing, I think I can get over it at least for a few hours at a time. I was so comfortable at the beach that I even touch the water and did an elbow stand on the shore.


As well as going to the beach, I have been working out. I LOVE working out! It makes me feel so good and I love challenging myself to do more in my workouts. It was even more fun these past few weeks, because I have started my own little workout group with a few of the girls I am here with. It is so fun.

To finish off the weekend, I went to the mall with one of my friends that I met here named Amber. She is super cool and shopping with her was so fun! Because tomorrow is Easter, I wanted to get a new outfit for the occasion so we went to the mall and found this: 

It looks way better on, but it is night time now and I have no good lighting (maybe I will post it on Facebook tomorrow since that is what the outfit is for).

Other than that my week has been pretty standard, but don't fret, because next week is vacaciones de primavera (spring break for real)! That's right, no school for a whole other week! 

Let the real fun begin!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Break!

Okay everybody, after waiting all week spring break is here. Here, spring break is not just a four day weekend or a week, it's a whole two weeks! The first week is semana Santa and the second is vacaciones de primavera.

During semana Santa, there are big procesionals that go through the city with statues from the salzillo museum. These statues are huge so you would think they would put them on cars and drive them around...NO. There are about 24 men that carry them throughout the city. They switch people out, but still those are pretty heavy and very far distances to carry them.

Today was just an average lazy Saturday. I woke up at 11, got some corn flakes, and proceeded to try to be productive. I put some laundry away and after that I worked on some GRE math prep. After that went disastrously, anyone who knows me knows, and if they didn't know before they do now, that I am terrible at math! I don't wanna talk about it.

After that I laid down for a bit to relax and I suddenly got a feeling that I should go for a walk at 6:30. So naturally, I recruited my friend Amber and we began our walk. On our way toward the river we heard this drumming. When we got closer, we realized it was two of the statues being carried! We thought they started tomorrow on Sunday, but we were wrong! It was so cool. We got to watch them switch carriers, watch the directors direct them, the religious leaders, and a marching that followed them. Of course, there were costumes involved as well! It was so amazing! I took a ton of pictures.

After they passed us, we began our walk for the second time, right when we turned the corner, there was another statue being carried! It was completely different from the other two! The first two were, Santa Maria de los Angeles (not the place, of the angels) and the other was Jesus on the cross. This next one was Jesus carrying the cross in one of the most elegant robe I have ever seen. All of the statues, except the one of Jesus on the cross, have real clothes on and real flowers surrounding them. The one of Jesus carrying the cross even has real 100% human hair that is touched only by the best hair dressers in the city!

After we watched that statue go by, along with another marching band, we continued yet again on our walk but again we were interrupted by yet another statue being carried! This one was another statue of Santa Maria from a different museum but still with extremely elegant clothing and tons of flowers surrounding her. 

I am so happy I had the urge to go for a walk at the time that I did! It is one thing to hear about the procesionals, but another thing to be able to see them yourself! So amazing!

Tomorrow, I am going to the beach yet again but definitely coming back in time to see the next statues.

I am a day early, but happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it and if not, happy sunday! 

Hasta luego!

The drum line.

The new carriers

The statue of Santa Maria de Los Angeles

Jesus on the cross

Religious leaders

Marchers in training.

Jesus carrying the cross

Santa Maria de Los Angeles

These are only some of the statues, might I add! There are more to come!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Meeting Placido Domingo

This past week has gone by sooo slowly however, that did not stop me from having a new experience.

I had never met anyone famous until this past Monday. 

All week during rehearsals for orchestra, our conductor would always be saying something in Spanish really fast followed by Placido Domingo. I thought nothing of it because I thought he was saying plaza Domingo which is a plaza here in Murcia. I had assumed that we were playing in the plaza, however I could not have been more wrong.

On Monday at the concert everyone was in a frenzy and there were news cameras and reporters everywhere and I thought to myself "this is a little over board for a concert." After we warmed up, we gathered outside with our instruments for a picture. I was close to the middle of the photo when the photographer told me to move over so we could leave space for Placido. I was still confused because again I heard plaza but I moved over without objection. All of a sudden a man in a robe with white carnations came and stood between me and the conductor. He was very nice. He talked to all of us and said how honored he was to be at the university. Then he gave me a pat on the shoulder and walked away.

After he walked away, everyone was telling me how lucky I was to have stood next to him and how I had been touched by a god. I asked them all who he was and they all said Placido Domingo. At that point I understood that that was his name, but I did not understand why he was so special...then we went to actually play the concert. On all of the screens, there were pictures of Placido. After we played the first couple of pieces, there was a PowerPoint presentation and that's when it hit me who he was. There were clips of him singing at the opera and in private concerts.

I then finally realized, that I had just met Placido Domingo world renouned opera singer who is being inducted as a professor here at the university. Talk about shocked! I felt really cool after realizing who he is and honored to have been standing so near to him and to recieve a pat from him. Not quite a touch by a god, but pretty darn close!

After that, the week kind of flat lined with nothing exciting. The only other thing that I can say was pretty exciting was organizing an exercise group for me and three of my friends here. We are gettin swole together!

Have a great week and hope you read this Saturday!