Along the Natchez Trace

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dia de Andalucia

February 28 is Andalucia Day, a holiday in this part of Spain.  There will be no classes tomorrow and the school had a little celebration after class to today for all the students.

This is a political holiday, not a religious one..  (like July 4th in the USA as opposed to Easter).  In 1980, Andalucia became an autonomous community of Spain and is now governed by its own laws.  There are a total of 17 autonomous communities that make up the country of Spain.

Actually, while becoming an autonomous community in 1980, it wasn't recognized as such by the higher government until the 1990's.  

This will be more like a "bank" holiday...  no parades, no festivities.  It will be a day that most businesses will be closed (restaurants will be open) and folks will celebrate in a quiet manner.

I've shown you photos of the outside of our school...
Here's Bill, sitting in our classroom early this morning.  We were the first to arrive.  The classes are small enough that we each get a fair amount of individual attention.

Since the school is closed tomorrow for the holiday, the staff had a little celebration today.

We (students) are waiting in the lobby for the festivities.. 
Enrollment here is small enough that we've gotten to know a few students who are in other classes.
That's Bill on the far left.  Ian, from London is standing with him.  In the middle are 2 girls from Japan, and the girl with the red carry-all is Naoko, also from Japan.  Naoko is in our class.  She is a nurse in a hospital in Japan...  she is taking Flamenco lessons while here.
Standing against the wall, but facing us, is Ingeborg, from Holland.  We sit next to each other in class and I've come to like her very much.  I'll be sorry when she leaves this weekend.
Coming down the steps are Lizzy, from Australia, and Margaret from Iceland.  They are in a more advanced class.

Below are more students...
 Patricia is from England, and in the middle is a new student from Germany.  On the right is Rotraud, from Austria.  Patricia lives in the same B&B as we do..  she and the lady from Germany are more advanced.  Rotraud is in our class but is far more advanced than the rest of us.  She teaches French, speaks German, English and some Turkish.  

Another picture of our Japanese friends...

 There was a short program, which I believe was on the history of Andalucia..
 Music, photos, and a sort of "power-point" presentation.
I could pick up parts of it, but between the noise level of the music and the speed of the speech, I mostly just enjoyed the photos.

Then, we were treated to a "demonstration" of regional food.
 Rocio, who happens to be my favorite teacher, is showing us how delicious a simple piece of pan (bread) can taste.
She has the bread, the garlic, olive oil (MUST be extra virgin and MUST be from Spain - not Italy), and sugar.

The bread is toasted, rubbed with a clove of garlic, sprinkled liberally with olive oil, and a dash of sugar...
 You now have an excellent snack.
(I'll confess I did not sprinkle sugar on my bread)
But, yes, it was quite tasty!

Class can be quite difficult at times... 
 But with Rocio as our teacher...  and Bill, who keeps us all from getting too serious (he does NOT ride a caballo to class...  he walks, just like everyone else!)....  we manage to not only learn something, but to enjoy learning....  about Spain, about other people and other countries...  and yes... we are learning to speak Spanish.

Class is over today...  tomorrow's a holiday...
We're ready to head home.

I don't know if the locals greet each other, but..
Happy Andalucia Day!

That's All for Today!


  1. It's so neat that the classes are small enough for everyone to get to know each other. There is a variety of countries represented at the school.

    Enjoy your day off.....

  2. You guys are so darned cute!!! Happy schoolkids walking home from school. So happy for you every day!! Love you both!!

  3. I would like the small classes. So much more personal.

  4. I have enough trouble with English without trying another language. My brain does a lot better with numbers than with words.

  5. I'm sure all those Spanish lessons will stand you in good stead when you get back to Texas. It will be worth the time and effort. I'm with you on the idea of putting sugar on bread with garlic and oil! It sounds awful.

  6. It's easier to learn another language and culture if things are a little loosey goosey! I think you learn better by being more at ease. The snack sounds pretty neat!

  7. A well-deserved day off from your language classes. Enjoy your day!


  8. I hope you get to do some sightseeing on your day off. More investigation into that beautiful cathedral??

  9. What fun... and ain't you and Bill cute!? what a great picture, Sharon... love it...

    Well? ... what fun .... did I already say that? sigh