Sunday, January 6, 2008

3 Kings Day

The Christmas season in Spain lasts until Jan 6th, when they celebrate Ephiphany or 3 Kings Day. At this time is when people give gifts because it celebrates when the 3 Kings came to offer Jesus gifts. In Algeciras, they have a special tradition that is in no other city in Spain. It is based on a tradition that one year when the people were very poor and could not afford Christmas gifts, the children went out in the streets to drag cans to make sure that the 3 Kings could hear them and remember to bring them gifts. This became a tradition which still lasts. On Dec 5th, they have a 'can parade' in which everyone drags cans behind them on the way to the port. Then everyone awaits the arrival of the 3 Kings whom come in on a boat at the port. I was amazed at how much noise the cans could make! We saw all kinds of cans...some pulled on a string in a line, some with small cans, some with very large cans, and some were very artistic making castles, crocodiles and even a baby's bed!


At the beginning of December, Paula and I took a weekend trip to Sevilla. I didn't have fond memories of Sevilla from when I went with the 'Posse'. The first time it was rainy and cold, our hostel had no heat, and a cockroach crawled up Lori-cita's leg! OOHH! But this time, it was much more enjoyable. It was a Holiday weekend, so many people were out in the streets, shopping. It felt a little like being in New York city at Christmas with all of the decorations and people. I was so excited to come across a Starbucks!!!!!! We really enjoyed the sight-seeing and walking around the city. The city has a beautiful mix of Spanish and Arabic architecture and wonderful parks.

Can you be a sloth?

I spent Thanksgiving with my family in Maryland. It was such a great time of catching up with friends and family. We celebrated my sister Peggy's 25th anniversary. One afternoon I went to the park with my mom, niece Callee and nephews Seth, Andrew and Jake. We all had a try at hanging upside down as a sloth.
Can you do this?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Lavender Fields

During July, the lavender fields of Provence are in full bloom. You can find lavender everywhere....lavender soap, lavender sachets, lavender oil, lavender honey, lavender cookies...etc. It is beautiful and a wonderful smell! I have bought some lavendar oil and sachets that are stored in my suitcase and everytime I open it, it smells so wonderful! In case you are wondering, the 2 front people in the picture are Paula and Rebekah, 2 of the summer staff here.


The beautiful 'Vieux Port' of Marseilles. It is my favorite area with many cafes all along the water. The best thing is to sip a cafe and eat a crepe with nutella and banana topping!! Enjoy the taste and view before heading to the 'smellier' parts of the city :-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Quirky Things

One of the hardest adjustments of living in Spain is some of the quirky things. I am hesitant to say they are annoyances, because some are just oddities. I have salt crystals growing under my bed. They grow in the humidity and come up through the grout in the ceramic tiled floors. The salt in the foundation (from 'dirty' sand) also makes the paint peel in certain places. The humidity also causes black mold to grow so using bleach is a MUST! I also have these little 'armadillo' bugs (that's what they look like to me) that roll up in a ball when you kick them out the back door. Speaking of bugs, there are the little flies that like the shade, so they come into the house and just fly around in circles in the middle of the living room. And at night, the bugs like to swarm around your ear so that you cannot sleep. One thing I am thankful for....this coming summer I will not be staying in the same apartment with all of the cicadas (they swarm southern France in the summer) just outside my window! Hopefully I will get more sleep :-)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


This is Gracia and her daughter Elisabet. I rent from them and they live above me. I also help out with their ministry, the 'Lighthouse', one day per week.

Elisabet has been in the hospital for a month now. She has been released at times but has had to go back because of different seizures. They have now started her on some medication which should help but they are still monitoring her. Please pray that she would be completely healed and would be able to come home soon.