Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Lovers of Teruel....

Ok ok....so I went to the beautiful city of Teruel this weekend with my friend Sonia (She is from Teruel) and there happened to be a medieval festival going on. (Don't worry, we planned it, it wasn't dumb luck or anything.) and you can bet your buttons that there will be a blog entry about it....but first I want you all to study the story; the background of the festival....(This way you're not lost later on! See, I'm a good teacher!!) hehe...

(Thanks to wikipedia.....)

The Lovers of Teruel
Teruel, Aragon - 1217

In the city there were two important and wealthy families, Marcilla and Segura. Juan Martinez (also known as Diego) was a Marcilla and Isabel a Segura. The two were in love as childhood playmates but when they were both at an eligible age to wed, Diego's family had fallen on hard times. Isabel's father, being the most wealthy in all of Teruel, forbade the marriage. Diego, however, was able to make an agreement with the father in which he would leave Teruel for five years to try to build his fortune. If Diego was able to gain wealth within those five years he would be able to marry his love, Isabel.

During those five years her father pestered her to marry someone. She replied to him by saying that God wished her to remain a virgin until she turned twenty, saying that women should learn how to manage the household before getting married. Because her father loved her dearly and wished for her happiness he agreed, and for five years they waited for Diego's return.

Diego was not heard from in those five years and so on the day of the five years' close Isabel's father married her to Don Pedro de Azagra from Albarracin. Right after the wedding ceremony there was a commotion at the Zaragoza gate. The watchmen informed the village that Diego Marcilla had returned with great riches and with the intent of marrying Isabel. Diego had not counted the day in which he petitioned Isabel's father whereas the Seguras had.

That night, Diego sneaked into the bedroom of Isabel and her husband and gently awoke her. He pleaded to her, "Besame, que me muero," (Kiss me for I am dying) and she refused, saying "No quiera Dios que yo falte a mi marido," (God would not wish me to deceive my husband) "Por la pasion de Jesucristo os suplico que busques a otra, que de mi no hagais cuenta. Pues si a Dios no ha complacido, tampoco me complace a mi." (For the love of Christ, I beg you to find another, and forget about me. If our love could not please God, then neither should it please me.)

He begged her one last time, saying that he was dying and wished for a final kiss. But still she refused. Upon hearing this Diego could not bear the separation between himself and his love, and with a sigh he died on the feet of his beloved Isabel. When she realized that he died, she shivered. She woke her husband, telling him that his snoring scared her and she wished to hear a story. And he did, and in return she told him her own story. She told him of Diego and how he lay dead beside the bed.

"Oh, you wretched! Why did you not kiss him?"

"To not deceive my husband." She replied.

"Of course," he groaned. "You are a woman worthy of praise."

They agreed on secretly burying him in the local church because the husband feared that he would be blamed for his death. The next day, during the funeral for Diego Marcilla, Isabel showed up dressed in her wedding dress. She proceeded to walk to the front of the church and place a kiss on the man whom she had refused but in doing so Isabel died, falling prostrate on the body of the man whom she loved.

The lover's tombs

So I want you all to study....so when I post some pictures you can have a nice little background picture as to why I found myself in the middle of the 1200's this past weekend!! :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jueves Lardero, longaniza en el puchero!

Well, today was fiesta. Of course, it fell on the day that I work only one hour. Go figure. And, me and Em have to work tomorrow. Oh well, Carnaval is on Saturday. Costumes are on deck, alcohol on ice....haha. Michael, Lady Gags, and Hannah are all ready to get going.

So day was the fiesta of Jueves Lardero....the day that Carnaval commences. Tradition here in Aragon is to buy a specific type of chorizo, Longaniza; light and color, high in fat, and eat it. However, that would be too simple for the espanoles. hehe. No, the tradition here is that people come together in big gatherings, with lots of longaniza, and the way you eat it is 'palmeras.' Every person holds out his hand and the longaniza is measure from the tip of your thumb to the tip of your pinkie finger....and then you cut bread to match, and that is how big of a sandwich you eat. Once the people have their sandwiches, they all get together with their friends and families and go to the countryside to eat it. Some go to other towns, others out into the wilderness. haha. Just to eat longaniza. Go figure! People get time off from work, and children dont have school....just for this! What are we doing wrong in America? We don't enjoy enough!

Doesn't this look tropical? Nope! It was definitely like 15 degrees out...

But it was still pretty...
Winter has taken over everything....

So, in true spanish form, our friend Javier II (He is the second Javier we met in Spain) took us to a town outside of Calatayud called Nuevalos where we had a picnic next to a man made lake. It was beautiful, however, the cold was incredible. Sooooo cold. I'm still cold as I'm typing this. But we spent the afternoon in true Spanish fashion, under the sun, eating bocadillos and vino. it was truly spectacular. After we spent some time chilling our bones, Javier took us to the Roman ruins, which are beautiful. The winds followed us, and prohibited us from thoroughly enjoying the sights. Gotta love those Romans. They thought of everything.

Smelly Romans. Looks like this is where they took those community baths....
The Amphitheater!

Yesterday, the girls and I booked tickets to the Canary Islands for the end of April.....whooooa! Corralejo beach, here we come!!!

Well, time for some tutoring....and time to warm up. peace.

Monday, February 8, 2010

What do we leave behind when we cross each frontier? Each moment seems split in two; melancholy for what was left behind and the excitement for entering a new land.
-Che Guevara

So life goes on here in Calatayud. Both of my schools are in the process of being penpals with kids in Mallorca (Thanks to Lindsey for helping me out!) As well as with some of April's 7th grade students in the U.S. It should definitely be a fun experience. Some of the letters are great. Ohhh...there definitely some precious gems hidden among the rough with these guys.

For example:

One girl wrote:
My mom is a manipulative fruit and my dad is a dust-bin.

Translation (what she wanted to say):
My mom works in a fruit factory and my dad is a garbage collector.

Gotta love that google translator.

Another instance was a boy, who during his 'my life' presentation stated that one of his friends was A pimp, instead of the phrase that his friend 'was pimp' or 'really cool.' I got a good chuckle out of that one. Everyday they give me something new to work with.

Last week I made my first solo pasta sauce, without the help of my grandma, and I think that it turned out pretty good! Both of my roommates seem to like it, and if you only saw the sauce that's available here, you would thank the gods for Ragu. Cooking class a las tres americanas has been going well, we keep ourselves fed, which I guess is the main objective.

Looks like pasta sauce.....

Last Friday we were taken out by all of our teachers to a local restuarant and then later on for dancing. Man, are my teachers dancing machines! We partied until 4 in the morning, hitting up several different clubs. To quote Frankie Vallie, Oh, What a Night! Definitely slept in the following morning.

Well, Semana Santa is all booked. Karli and I are going to Sevilla and Cadiz in the south of Spain for 5 days, and then we are meeting up with Emily and my friend Lindsey up in Barcelona!!!! Hell ya! Em's birthday is the 1st of April, so there will definitely be some crazy nights! Any recommendations on things to do in Barca???? Let me know!

While I was home, I was lucky to receive a crash course in beading techniques from my aunt, and I haven't stopped since! Here are just a few of my firsts.....

Put your requests in now!

Last weekend, Em's teacher, Inma invited us to stay in her apartment in Zaragoza for the weekend, which was awesome! We went shopping allllll day Saturday and totally took advantage of the sales! We also got our carnival costumes, it looks like we will be American Pop Stars....Lady Gaga, Hannah Montana, and Michael Jackson, coming your way! (I will be attending as Michael.....learning how to moonwalk is in the works....)

Oh, and the Che Guevara quote is from the movie, Motorcycle Diaries, which we watched this weekend. Really good...highly recommended...It's all about the motorcycle ride that Che took around South America before he went all radical on everyones ass.....really interesting view points....

Hope everyone's well....1 beso!