See you soon!

>> December 19, 2009

Well we have been pretty busy finishing out the semester. We said our goodbyes yesterday and just about all of the students got on a plane early this morning. Sarah and I are now focusing on some Christmas shopping and deciding how much we want to take back to California. We leave Sevilla on monday morning and arrive in Fresno monday night. I love traveling westward. The plan is to stay around Hanford until after New Years then go up to Salinas and spend time with Sarah's parents. Then we fly back here on the 11th. We are so excited to see you all and hope we can make time for everyone.

Here is me with the beginners Spanish class on our field trip to see the different nativity scenes around the city. They really go all out here. They don't just do the stable, they do the whole town of Bethlehem, but here they call it Belém.
Lots of details to see. Maybe I'll post some close ups soon.
This one is almost completely edible!

These next pictures are of a Christmas party that we held for some kids at a local church. I played guitar while everyone sang some Christmas carols in English and Spanish. Sarah and Julie Ann taught a dance to some of the Acento students that they performed while we all sang Rocking around the Christmas Tree.
After singing, Santa
read the kids the story of the birth of Jesus.
Then of course it was time for presents. After a very successful bake sale by the staff and students at Acento, Sarah and Julie Ann were able to buy presents for all of the kids.
Merry Christmas! See you all soon!


Ted and Melissa

>> December 8, 2009

After Barcelona, Ted and Melissa spent a few days in Morocco, then met us back in Sevilla. We had a great time showing them around the city and how we like to spend our time in Sevilla. Of course we had to take them to our favorite churros stand.

After the amazing meal we headed over to the Cathedral. Sarah had been in before when she was a student but I was excited to see it for the first time along with Ted and Melissa. It is the biggest gothic-style cathedral and the third largest church in the world.
This first picture is a copy of the statue that stands up on top of the Giralda.

Once inside you feel pretty small

fancy wood organ carvings

Ted here is standing in front of the Tomb of Christopher Columbus. He is confused because there are some skeptics that say there is only part of his body buried here or maybe none at all. Apparently it was moved around a couple of times before it ended up here. But by far this has to be the coolest looking tomb.

A shot of the bottom. In Spanish he's Cristobal Colon
Looking across the crossing

This altar was built by Pierre Dancart and is considered to be one of the finest in the world.
Lots of people were gathered around the choir area so we went to check it out.

¡Que suerte! We were there just in time to see a organ concert. The man started off with Phantom of the Opera then moved to some church music. I was a little bummed because it seemed like he was keeping the volume down a little bit.

We walked out to the Patio de los Naranjos and found this guy hanging around

We wanted to see the orange trees from below before we saw them from the top
Ted enjoyed the smell

After studying this I realized that it is the shape of the gigantic pillars inside the cathedral

So this picture of the Giralda was taken three months ago from the top of our apartment building. Finally after all that time we climbed it.

It was an interesting ascent because there were no stairs, it was one continuous ramp. (grandma, were going to take you up) Apparently they used to ride horses up there way back when. We were amazed at all the pools we saw on rooftops

Our apartment is somewhere in this picture.

Looking down at the patio

At the top!

Part of the river

It was cool to see the top of the rest of the cathedral. The wall in the top left corner is from the Alcazar of Seville

The bell system was pretty intense. Just as we were looking at what time the next bell would ring, it went off. Fortunately it was only one bell and it was only 2 o'clock. It gave everyone up there a good scare though.

We think Ted and Melissa liked our city.


Finally Thanksgiving

>> December 6, 2009

It feels weird posting about Thanksgiving now, but this is what we did after the trip to Italica. It didn't really feel like Thanksgiving at all but we had a good time and ate some good food at a restaurant called Azucar de Cuba (Sugar of Cuba).

Here is Sarah with the two Ana's at the school. On the left of Sarah is the professora Ana Llamazares and on the right is the school office manager Ana Bello.

Sarah and Julie Ann

Me and my professora Cecilia Pastor

Sarah and students

The very authentic feast


Students and pie!

Professors Salva, Jose Maria, and Mercedes

More students!

There was a secret santa exchange after dinner

Kristin gave me a sweet photo she took of Sarah and I in Huelva.

Cecilia and some other students from my class

Acento staff!

The boys getting rowdy

The girls being girly

A live band showed up and played a mix of Cuban and flamenco music. Those who knew how busted out with the Sevillano dance. Everyone who is from Sevilla knows how to do it. There has been a class on Monday nights for students. Sarah and I hope to take it next year.

Then one of the bartenders taught everyone a cuban dance.

As you can see, it definitely wasn't your typical Thanksgiving family get together but everyone had a good time. The restaurant worked hard to make a special thanksgiving plate and everyone had enough fun to get their minds off of being away from their families for awhile.


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