Right now I feel like my life has two distinct modes: work and travel. I say this because during the week my life is consumed by school - I basically only go to class, write papers, study, read, eat, and sleep - from sunrise to sunset. However, the hard work I put in more than pays off because as a result on the weekends I can travel without worry due to the fact I have finished all my obligations, and this is my life in a nutshell. However, that is not a whole lot of information about my life so if want to know more then keep reading. If not, now you at least know the two basic themes.
As I said, school is keeping me very busy. Last week Wednesday and Thursday were midterms. I studied as much as possible beforehand and tried my best. I am still waiting for my results but overall I thought they went pretty well except for the fact that they were super long. I usually like to take my time and review my answers to make sure I didn’t make any simple errors but in these exams I was hurried because most of my teachers threw in a “small” 250 word essay at the end of the exam after all sorts of other activities and I would have liked more time to review my answers.
Being busy with school may not sound like fun, but I am still thoroughly enjoying it. I am getting to know my classmates better, learning more and more Spanish, and I just truly feel blessed to have the opportunity to be here in Spain studying.
After this especially long week, I fled to the east of Spain for a relaxing afternoon on the Beach in Alicante and then headed up to Valencia for one of Spain’s most unique, fun, and popular festivals– Las Fallas.
The term Falla has many definitions. It can refer to a clan of people who will together construct a Falla, a figurine that pokes fun of something and is also a tribute to the saint of the city (the size of the figurine, or Falla, is determined by the clans, or Fallas, wealth), or it can refer to the weekend in General, or sometimes they even use the term Falla to refer to a firecracker or firework show. Confusing, right? At the end of the week the grand finale is the burning all the Fallas (figurines) in the streets. This seems atrocious to the outsider because they spend millions of dollars on these figurines and they are beautiful pieces of art but to the city dweller it represents a new start.
If I had to compare Las Fallas to anything in the world, I couldn’t because there isn’t anything like it, and to tell the truth, I didn’t think I was ever going to return to Spain in the future because there are many countries in the world I would like to visit, but after going to the festival my mind has changed. I would love to return for this festival, and I would recommend anyone who loves giant crowds, a lot of chaos, constant firecracker shows, art, and great food to go.
Yes, the Eifle Tower again! haha, but no I am not in Paris. I am in the heart of Valencia and as you can see the City gets decked out! for the festival and there are TONS of people. Here they do a light show that is coordinated to music every night at 10:30 and in this picture you can see I got quite a bit of sun from my nap on beach.
One Major part of the weekend I have yet to mention is that I stayed the weekend with my friend from highschool, Chelsey, who is studying and living with a host family in Valencia! Here everyone is dressed to bring flowers to the the Virgin Mary. This is a very emotional and exciting time and it costs 90 euros for each participant! They also construct a giant Virgin Mary out of all the flowers that are brought.
My Favorite Falla. Yeah, they are huge!