Friday, 30 May 2008
As i said to someone the other day, i have good reasons to stay. that is... PEOPLE. people i love. and... i guess feeling "useful", to put it crudely. that is to say, being able to hopefully make some little differences in people's lives. being a 'blessing'.
At the same time, there's good reasons to be in my 'other world' too. there's my family, there's friends i haven't seen all year, there's weddings and studies to finish and waitressing and dancing which maybe aren't so important but still things i love to do. but i guess i don't know quite what i'm going back to. it's all a bit uncertain. life will have moved on for everyone else in the last 9 months, not least that the majority of friends are currently finishing university. and its moved on for me. although maybe i won't know quite what this means till i'm there.
so a lot going on in my head. and meanwhile things are carrying on a full speed. tomorrow there's a big church youth event (for all extremadura) here in Badajoz, so been part of organising that. includes prayer rooms that we've decorated, picnic, a photo challenge and more... and in the evening there's the third of the concerts that the church has organised to be put on in the square nearby, and we are performing a dance just before that (many hours of practise unfortunately are not seeming to produce desired effects... but hey too late to worry now... hopefully it will be OK!). then on sunday it's a suprise birthday party for one of the young guys at church. and have a couple who are part of the band performing staying in my flat...
as for LAST WEEKEND... i think a summary will have to do!
family reunited * graduation * chinese meal * four guys from Gandia staying in flat (unplanned) means i go and share room with 2 new friends thereby forcing ant from his room * attempted studying * dance practise * rain * concert inside church building brings police as it was too loud * birthday party and cake fight (to which we travelled in the back of a big white van... driven by the very same person who had walked in on me dancing 'slightly' embarrassingly in the church building that afternoon.oops.) * late nights talking * more chinese food * more dance practise * 17 of us walk tour badajoz streets * ice cream * kebabs and origami * crap film * more late night talking...
weekends like that make me happy!
Monday, 26 May 2008
Saturday, 24 May 2008
Monday, 19 May 2008
Saturday, 17 May 2008
Friday, 16 May 2008
- the height - it'so high up with amazing views... that is they would be without all the clouds the way...
- theawesomeness of the natural surroundings - big fat rocky outcrops jutting out of the land
- the walkways that you can follow all over these mountainous masses; and that 'health and safety' has not reached these parts so there are no fences and blocked off areas, allowing katrina to wonder off the paths to the very edges as she tends to do
- the values and acitivities of the monks: BROTHERHOOD, HOSPITALITY, SINGING, SANCTUARY, PRAYER, WORK, COMMUNAL SPACES, NATURE.... (maybe more thoughts on this later)
- if i'd heard the choir i think i would have liked that too
On the other hand there were quite few things that frustrated me. That you had to pay for EVERYTHING, there weren't even free information leaflets. You even had to pay to light a candle. I don't think this is unusual but it still makes me angry... (As if a euro will make your prayer more likely to be heard) As does the crazy amounts of gold in the monastery. And that it's tourist central. Even though i was one of them! I don't know, it just seems the values of the monks are contradicted by the money making schemes in every part of the monastery. I'd have liked to have met some of the monks, maybe spent a night, found out more about their history and also how they work out their values in the present day.
Despite all that, i think i would return... on a clear sunny day OFF-season (if there is one!). I'd go early in the morning with a few friends and spend most of it walking and climbing and exploring the highest parts. Then i'd listen to the choir at 7pm and afterwards watch the sunset. If i had it my way...
Monday, 12 May 2008
our new aquaintance from Gambia,
as we sat on a bench in Parc ciutatela,
and watched a man in 80´s gear jog past us
with his dog draped around his shoulders...
*difficult to translate... um... there´s allsorts [of people]...
Saturday, 10 May 2008
we had our second all-you-can-eat buffet in two days, i hope this doesn't become a habit! then wondered around slowly exploring the narrow streets, Kasia attracting attention with her blonde hair and me feeling quite unfeminine with my undefined short-yet-without-style look. ah well :o) get over it.
The enormous amount of gold and paintings and lavish decoration and entry fee of the cathedral made me feel kind of cold inside but the pillars and height and space and light provoke a "wow". i read something about that recently, will have to find the quote...
today i randomly went to an "oriental dance" class at kasia's rather nice gym... which involved 5 of us attempting (with ranging degrees of success) to follow the teacher's graceful moves. basically lots of hip movement! Couldn't manage to get the hands and arms looking anywhere near "oriental" at the same time but i did enjoy it! Good start to the day.
Then i met with Katie, a girl i'd met half-randomly one afternoon in Sevilla before Christmas for a walk in the rain and a long chat over a long sandwhich. I love being able to do that. We're going to a tapas party with some of her friends tonight before i catch the bus to barcelona. wooooo!
Friday, 9 May 2008
i always assumed the parable was addressed at the "lost" ones, i.e. the ones 'squandering their fortunes on "wordly things"'. But maybe it's the older brothers and the stingy servants that are more lost. They are more blinded to the truth because they hold it in their hands and don't even realise.
I hate to say it but i would probably have been one of the ones shocked and uncomfortable by a woman pouring out expensive perfume over Jesus' feet. I would have been in the kitchen with Martha stressing over the food rather than sitting at those same feet taking in his every word.
and i want all this to change. yet knowing i cannot change myself. as much as i'd like to be i will never be perfect. (!)
so it's back to my knees to say "i can't do this by myself"
and back to my feet and instead of hovering on the edge just pondering about what lies beyond while staying firmly planted on solid ground, it's taking a leap and leaving the good behind to aim for the best; abandoning the pond and heading for the sea.
i got here last night after a chilled 5 hours on the bus from Badajoz. It feels so good to be on the move, i don't know i've been feeling restless for a while and missing friends... so a mixture of travelling and visiting is just what i wanted. So with my packed-light-state (for a change!) and my blue hippy trousers ("that feel like air"!), i'm contenta.
Last night went to eat at a new 'healthy food all-you-can-eat' place which was GOOOOD, and Matt came to meet us and it was great to just sit and talk and talk and sit and eat and talk. and get hugged.
On Saturday catching the all night bus to Barcelona. Woop! I went there 4 years ago and had a great time. Looking forwards to going back. Although Matt's comment on the 8 hour bus journey was "good luck". A couple of good friends who I'll be working with in Ibiza later in the summer are also going to be in Barcelona this weekend. love it when that happens!
and i'll stop there.
Sunday, 4 May 2008
i went to portugal for lunch. how many people can say that?
i never noticed the roses before even thought they were always there. their colour reminds me of the strawberry ice-cream someone ate last night except one was natural and the other definitely wasn't. ice-cream should look more... creamy.
my great aunt is staying in my bedroom. she's 70 and has just walked from Sevilla to Zafra on the pilgrim 'caminos' but then her blisters (which she never normally gets) got so bad that she had to stop. i don't know her very well because she lives in cornwall which is quite far... but now i wish i knew her better. my family is full of characters... especially strong old women! on both sides... my granny is 80 something and went to australia last year. respect.
i think being 20-something is maybe harder than being something-teen. we thought we'd done our 'growing up' but maybe it's only just beginning.
Pablo: "what are you going to do?"
me: "tonight? or in life in general?"
buena pregunta. just like: "so what can you do with anthropology?"