Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 3 Adventures

This week consisted of 6 hours of class a day, projects, and finals. It was so busy! But I worked through it and am still here to talk about it today. I started my second class about the history of Sevilla. Each day my professor takes us on a tour of different museums or location so we learn more about what makes up this city.

I participated in Intercambios at a local bar. At Intercambios people come to work on different languages. I was paired with someone that wanted to work on English, while I wanted to work on Spanish. For the first hour we talked in Spanish and my partner would correct me or help me if needed, and for the second hour we talked English and I did the same for him. It was a unique experience that I truly enjoyed because it was an informal setting, yet we still learned a lot. 

For my class, we went on a tour of the Maestranza Bullring. We learned about the history of the bullring that can seat 13,000 people and toured the museum and place where they keep the horses and mules. The museum is broken into the different ages of bullfighting so it was interesting to see the changes throughout the year.

Clothing worn by matadors in this day and age.

After class and lunch, we toured the Metropol Parasol or Las Setas. It was completed in 2011 and is claimed to be the largest wooden structure in the world. When the project was started, Moorish and Roman remains were discovered. This is something that is very common throughout Sevilla. So now in the lowest level of the parasol there is a museum that exhibits the remains. Level 1 was a market that includes fresh fruits, meats, and fish daily. The structure also shadows a plaza. Levels 2 and 3 offer panoramic terraces that show off the city center. 

On Levels 2 and 3 to capture a gorgeous view of the top of the Parasol, Gerald, and Sevilla.

We went to a Flamenco show. I had no idea what to expect but it was very interesting. The intensity of the concentration of the guitarist, singer, and dancer is amazing. I am happy that I got to experience this cultural event, because it is very important in Spain's society. 

Did you know that there are many different types of Flamenco?

Corpus Christi occurred on this day so we did not have classes, but we attended the procession. Corpus Christi is a Catholic holiday that is in honor of the Body of Christ. Beautiful floats of Jesus, Mary, and others is carted throughout the streets on the backs of men and storefronts are also decorated. 

A float of baby Jesus that is going through the procession.

Later that night, one of my goals was fulfilled- I got to go to a Bullfight! I was preparing myself all week, and I was not sure how I was going to like it. But it ended up being one of my favorite things. The fight is just like a "ballet." That's what my professor said and I believe him after I saw it. We were fortunate to witness 4 trophies being handed out and 6 very good fights. It brought what I learned in class and at the bulling all together.

The end of a fight. People are holding white rags in the air because they believe the matador deserves a trophy. He was rewarded an ear.

We had to say good bye to the students that were only doing the program for 3 weeks. I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors. We also welcomed the students that are participating in the program for them remaining 3 weeks.

Saturday and Sunday..
A couple friends and I went to Malaga to enjoy an nice, relaxing weekend. After a week jam packed with school and activities it was greatly appreciated. When we finally made it to the city, we toured the Botanical Gardens, had dinner, and stayed in for the night. On Sunday morning, we made our way to the beach for a couple hours. We were sure to apply/reapply sunscreen as we were still nursing our burns from the weekend before. The slow pace in Malaga rejuvenated me for the next week.

Gazebo at the Botanical Gardens

Beach at Malaga

Sunday night we attended the Real Betis soccer game against Real Sporting de Gijón. It was my first real soccer game that I have seen. I was lost for most of the game but enjoyed the cultural experience. The Real Betis soccer team is based in Sevilla. This year is won the Segunda División, meaning it will get to move up to a higher division. One interesting thing I learned was that they do not serve alcohol at the game because the crowd can get very rowdy. However, there are bars and a drink stand right outside the stadium for fans to get their fix.

That's it for this week. Only 2 more weeks of exciting adventures until I return home!

Hasta Luego!
-Jota Jota

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