EDIT: I just added new music to the blog after making this post. I found Family Force 5's new Christmas album and it is absolutely ridiculous. However, I kinda like it. Enjoy.
Let's see... what to talk about...
Well, Eddie's visit was really fun. He enjoyed seeing Spain and I enjoyed showing him around. It really meant a lot to me for someone from home to come and see what my life is like over here. It was especially cool that it was Eddie that came since he's a teacher and I was able to bring him to school for a day. My coordinator swooped him up, took him to her class and while I did my normal work he was teaching 5th graders. They loved having him and I think he really enjoyed the experience. You should ask him about it. (if you're prepared to listen to him go on about how cool he is)
I had a 5 day weekend this past week because of a holiday here in Spain (they have tons of holidays), so some friends and I decided to go to Seville (Sevilla in Spanish; pronounced seh-vee-ya) for a few days. It is in the southern part of Spain and it is one of the places you find a lot of classic Spanish traditions like Flamenco. In fact, one of the nights we were there, we stumbled upon a real local bar and around 1:30am one of the workers turned off the music, brought out a guitar and everyone gathered around and sang. Apparently everyone was expecting this except us and there were two or three people performing the singing and it was incredible. The songs were mostly very slow and powerfully sad. One woman next to me was balling while the guy was singing to her. hahaha
Sevilla has a lot of really awesome buildings and architecture. My favorite building was the Plaza de España:
It was too big to capture in pictures but maybe you can get a sense of how pretty it was. We also went to the Alcázar which is the palace. It was built by the Muslims that inhabited Spain at the time which is reflected in the architecture.
My favorite part of the palace was the gardens.
Alright, in the interest of this not turning into a huge presentation on Sevilla, I'll just show one more picture:
That picture is from the inside of the cathedral in Sevilla which I believe is the 3rd biggest in the world. Inside the box there are the remains of Christopher Columbus. Pretty cool, huh?
So just to give you some more personal updates, I am getting very excited for Christmas. A week from tomorrow I will be home!! That is a really crazy thought. There are a lot of emotions tied into that which I want to elaborate on in another post at some point.
I was able to share with a friend of mine the other day that I have been feeling a little bit like I've lost focus since I got here. I know that I'm here for a reason but I was struggling, feeling like I had not been able to figure out what that might be. So I prayed about that a little bit and then the very next day I started reading a book that a friend here gave me called "Don't Stop Believing" by Michael E Wittmer. This book is one of the best I've ever read about Christianity so far. I'm 3 chapters in and already it is helping me to define questions and ideas that I've had for years. I highly recommend. Anyway, that was a huge blessing. Later on that evening I was at my coordinator (Natalia)'s house because I have begun tutoring her daughter and her brother-in-law. In between tutoring the two of them, Natalia helps me practice my Spanish by having conversations with me. Out of nowhere she asked me, "Josh, tienes una religión?" (Josh, do you have a religion?) So... I was kinda surprised by the question and didn't exactly know how to react because I am barely comfortable explaining to people that I'm not religious, I just love Jesus in ENGLISH, let alone Spanish. But I tried and I think by the end of it she understood what I was trying to say. I'm not sure what was accomplished by that conversation if anything, but it seemed too big a coincidence to be nothing. Then later while I was tutoring her brother-in-law, he asked me "So, in the United States is Christmas more of a religious thing?" Luckily we were speaking English so it was a little easier this time, but I ended up explaining to him a lot of the same things I was explaining to Natalia. It was so bizarre. I have no idea what it all meant, but I think it was somehow God's way of answering my prayer. We'll have to see what happens in the future I guess.
Alright, that's enough for now. Sorry it has been so long since I've updated. I'm going to probably try and update more frequently for a while since a lot is going to happen with my trip home in a week. I think it is going to have some serious effects on me since I've become comfortable here and now I'm going to go home and remember what I'm missing.