Monday, February 22, 2010

How many Romanesque churches can be in one Spanish town?

Well, the answer to this complex question is a whooooooooooooooooole lot! Last weekend, my good friend Lauren Edwards came from France to visit me! She is also teaching English in an elementary school about 2 hours outside of Paris. Since Lauren had 2 weeks of vacation from school she decided to have a holiday in Spain, always a good choice in my mind. We spent the weekend touring around Madrid which was really good because I don't do tons of touristy stuff since I live here. Its a bad mentality to have but I'm working on it hahaha. We went to Parque Retiro, the Reina Sophia, and the Prado. Because she is also a frisbee player of course we had to go to the Saturday pickup game to play some ultimate! It was also Allison's birthday so we celebrated on Saturday night with a night out on the town. On Monday, Allison had the day off so all of us went to Segovia. Segovia is a small town that is about an hour north of Madrid. It is famous for the Roman aqueduct that still remains there as well as its cathedral and castle. Segovia also has the highest concentration of Romanesque churches out of any city in Europe, betcha didn't you know that did ya?!?!The castle was inspiration for Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disney World and was really beautiful. We spent most of the day walking around the city to see the different monuments, have lots of coffee because it was really cold and find as many churches as we possibly could! It was a really great weekend and I'm really glad I got to see Lauren and she got to see my home! Now I just have to go to France...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Vamos Carnaval!

Because it is of the most utmost importance that ever month at school we have a holiday to celebrate, this month we celebrated Carnaval. It was also our schools 25th anniversary. Although the most famous Carnavals are in Cadiz and the Canary Islands, Andres Segovia had its own mini Carnaval!! Each cycle had its own theme that they had to dress up as. Our cycle, which consists of third and forth grade, decided to dress up as the school. All the kids dressed up as the professors, families, and kitchen staff of the school and the professors dressed up as the kids! So the teachers of third and forth grade dressed up as school girls complete with Hannah Montana/High School Musical/Jonas Brothers accessories haha! Our cycle also made up a Carnaval song called a chirigota that poked fun of the goings on at school like the things that happen during recess to homework to the cafeteria food. Since the kids always learn songs in English and study really hard, I told them I would "learn" the song in Spanish. Since they think I don't speak any Spanish, they flipped out when I started singing in Spanish. It was great! After a week of preparation and rehearsal, Friday finally arrived!

Once lunch time began, all the teachers started to get dressed up in their costumes. At 1:30 we all went down to the library in full costume for a special lunch! It was so funny to see everyone dressed up and eat some delicious food. Around 2 all the kids and parents came up to get dressed in their costumes too. All the kids were really decked out with clothes, makeup, wigs, props, everything! The kids who dressed up as professors had to dress up as one of the teachers at school and 2 kids dressed up as me!! Then everyone went down to the basketball court outside where the Spanish parents were awaiting because they come for everything and film/take pictures the entire time. Each cycle preformed something or walked around in a parade to a song to show off their costumes. The youngest kids were ocean creatures in one class and people from different countries in the other class. The second grade kids dressed up as presents, candy, and confetti to celebrate the schools birthday. Our cycle got up to preform the chirigota which everyone loved! All the parents said we did really well and the kids had a great time dancing and singing. Finally the oldest group of kids in 6th grade started a funeral parade carrying a paper sardine. Burying a sardine is a Carnaval tradition that represents burying your fears, so our school made a huge paper sardine. Each child colored a scale and put something they were scared of on the back. The whole school gathered in a big circle and our music teacher burned the sardine to end the Caranval! It was by far my favorite holiday I've celebrated at school!

Burning the Sardine our school made, notice the teachers trying to keep the kids back hahaha.

The five year olds as Indians, so cute!!!

One of my kids, Alejandro, dressed as one of the teachers Laurentino.

Me with one of the girls who dressed as me, her name is Maria! Don't we look alike??

The teachers in my cycle dressed up as schoolgirls, wigs and all!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Horadada In & Out Ultimate Tournament in Santander

This weekend I was lucky to have a long 4 day weekend because I had Friday off for a teacher holiday woohoo! So for the weekend, I decided to play in an Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Santander with Los Quijotes. The tournament was set up to be played some games on the beach and others on an indoor basketball court which to me sounded really strange. Because the tournament was announced a bit late, the whole team wasn't able to go but we had a lot of new players that wanted to go which was really cool. On Friday afternoon, our team drove up to Santander which is on the northern coast of Spain. The tournament was hosted by one of the teams in Santander, Fendisc and they provided everyone with a hostel right on the beach! There was a welcome party on Friday night which was nice because I got to see some of the players from Juanito's open and meet some more players. On Saturday we woke up to see a ton of rain which is very normal in Santander. We were scheduled to play beach ultimate which I was excited about but it rained so hard we had to move to a gym to play indoor ultimate. Now let me tell you, indoor ultimate was really weird for me. I am used to playing outdoor ultimate on grass fields with 7 people and indoor ultimate is played with 5 people on a basketball court. Although there was no wind and all your throws came out perfect, it was weird to play with such little space. A lot of times throws would go out of bounds or bounce of the walls. But it was an experience none the less! There were 7 teams and we played in a round robin format and the day turned out well for us winning 5 games and only losing 1. After the games everyone showered and gathered in the hostel for dinner. I think one of my favorite things about frisbee tournaments is how good food tastes afterward because you are so hungry. After a great dinner we began the tournament party at the hostel which was really really fun! As always there was a quality dance party and for some reason there is always a game of limbo at every frisbee party. I don't really know why but frisbee parties in Spain never end without limbo. I am terrible at limbo so I'm not a huge fan of this tradition but I try anyway.

Sunday we started in second seed and were expecting to make it to the finals. It was not raining so we finally got to play some beach ultimate!!! The best thing about beach ultimate is laying out! Since we play on hard dirt in Madrid I never get to layout but on beach it is perfect! We won our first game easily but then did not play very well in our second game and lost. So we lost our chance at the final which I was not happy about. However, we played our next game for third place and won. It was nice to finish the day with a win. After all the games were done, everyone showered and got together for giving out prizes. Everyone got an agenda, a tournament button, and los Quijotes won the Spirit of the Game award!!! Because we got SOTG we got an extra gift basket woohoo! After eating a big lunch we headed back to Madrid to normal life hahaha.

Our team!

The girls at the tournament all bundled up!
Beach ultimate!