Monday, March 26, 2012

Un Procesión de Semana Santa


I went to downtown Malaga yesterday and experienced some really cool culture.  Semana Santa is less than 2 weeks away!  Everyone is so excited!  Semana Santa is celebrated extremely differently in Spain.  But Los Procesiones are more special in Andalucia.  Especially in Malaga and Sevilla.   Holy Week is much more intense. Usually there are processions everyday officially beginning Palm Sunday up until Easter Sunday.  The people carry statues of Mary, and Jesus on giant floats carried on the backs of men.  They are not pulled by a tractor - cough Wisconsin - which is pretty impressive to the average foreign onlooker.  Everyone is out on the street.  Talking and cheering when the Procesión comes by.  Don't be freaked out when you see marchers going by wearing garments reminiscent of the Klu Klux Klan.  The KKK-ish clothes are meant to represent people from Nazareth.  They are called "Nazareños"  and are not meant to send any type of offensive message.  They are religious fraternities or 'brotherhoods'  responsible for organizing the processions, Los costaleros, los musicos, los uniformes.  There is a lot of planning that goes into one single procession.  To them it's very sacred.  To the people it's very special.  To me it's sacred, mysterious, special, and it brings tears to my eyes.  

The men who actually carry the main floats are called "costaleros" and they are expected to carry these 'thrones' with grace and reverence.  The word costaleros derives from the word 'costal' which is a small special type of cushion used to protect los coltaleros from the wood gorging into their shoulders during the long processions.  They are highly respected.  Los Gitanos or the gypsies are also very famous for their versions of Semana Santa Procesiones.   I also saw one women candle bearer, treking it in 6 inch heels.  Only in Spain.  

Enjoy :)
Ps.  There are no Nazareños. 

Wax balls. There seriously was some good competition. 

All the wax dripping on the floor.  Most of it is there from years past.  Only in Spain would you see a bag of Pippas or sunflower seeds in the middle of a Semana Santa procession.

You could smell the sweet incense all around.  

Yes.  The streets are very small.  VERY SMALL.  It was crammed from wall to wall.

Jesus y la Virgin.  

I recorded this video. The music is very old and very typical.  I absolutely love it. Some musicos are better than others.  I went to a whole festival of this type of music in Sevilla.  I just adore Semana Santa and the music.  The energy it brings.  It really gives you a sense of appreciation.   Enjoy!

Unos ejemplos de los Nazareños:



- adios :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Some more Random Yet Awesome Pics from London

Hey! Sorry, but these are the last of the pictures from London.   

Nothing too interesting has been going on lately.  I really want to go to Madrid for the Enrique Iglesias Concert and Barcelona just to visit. 

 It's starting to get really warm here.  I walk everyday to school.  It's such a nice walk listening to music  (I need to get pumped up everyday for school).  Seeing the beach everyday is quite surreal.  You might wonder how I manage to study with the beach and warm weather...Well, I don't know how to describe it but you get used to it.  I didn't understand it at first either.  

It's March 20th today.  I leave in 3 months and 9 days.  I feel like I have changed so much.  This journey has been very long and very interesting.  I have been with 3 families.  But now, I feel that everything is going to be alright.  Before, I was always on edge and was afraid that I was going to mess up at any moment.  I wasn't totally unhappy.  Both families in Sevilla did wonderful things for me.  But sometimes, after awhile, real personalities shine through.  Both sides have different philosophies of life.  AFS tells you that it's so uncommon to change.  But it seems to me that a lot of students have been changing.  It might be just this year, or they just tone down the truth.  I know at least 2 other girls who have had two other families and are living with a third.  You really need to be strong in order to be a foreign exchange student.  For example, I always get really nervous when I need to read in front of a class.  I mess up the words all the time.  It's bad when I try to read in English.  It's a little worse in Spanish.  I don't know why, but I just can't read smoothly.  So today the teacher was like, you need to improve your Castellano.  It wasn't helping that most of the students where talking or laughing.  Who knows.   That's life. 

I can't believe how many different places to which I have traveled.  London, Cambridge, Stamford, Peterborough, in England.  Sevilla, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Malaga, (I hope Madrid and Barcelona) in Spain.  I went to Casablanca, Morocco.  We landed in Switzerland when we arrived to Europe.  You don't know how much I really want to go to Paris and Rome.  Oh well.  Another time.

Now I have to focus on College stuff.  I'd better go now.   Enjoy the pictures :)


Cool water fountain.

Touristy picture.

Love this store.

Nice effect, no?

Award winning Gay Bar in London.


Shrove day or "Pancake Day" in England  (Mardi Gras)

In the airport.   

What?  It was a long wait.  

Me, Alberto and Pedro

We went bowling our last day.

In London we went to a few museums.  


Natural History Museum  

That's a T-Rex behind me.

Raquel and Me

How cool is this kid?

Maggie, this one's for you.  BTW I didn't even get you the shirt.  Just the picture. hahaha

Oxford Circus Shopping!!!

Jesus and me.  

Jesus in Cambridge.  We went to lunch together with Pedro. 

Real artifacts 

Danny and Alfonso are interesting characters.

I know, I know, I know this is creepy.

Wait what?????? OH that's right!  The Olympics are this year.  

Sneek peek at the medals these Olympic Games 2012!

- Adios  :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

London, England

These are the pictures I took from both our day trips to London.  I would really love to go back. There is just so much to do!  But we didn't have much time.  I love London, and Sevilla, and Malaga, and Casablanca, but my favorite city in the WHOLE universe is Roma.  Did you ever notice that 'Roma' is 'Amor' (love) spelled backwards?  Coincidence? I think not!  Anyway, I'm getting off track.  Enjoy the pictures from London! There are too many!  One more post about England to come.


They drive on the wrong side of the road.  On the wrong side of the  vehicle.  They spell words really weird , too.  But I love London.  

These adorable chips in a box coast me like 3 euros on the plane.  Not so adorable now. The plane ride was about 1hr 45 mins.  
I can't believe it! 

Piccadilly Square 

Alfonso and me.

Guille, Alfonso, me, Laura

Buckingham Palace

Look at all the people!!  Gosh.  No I didn't see Prince Harry.  Or Princess Kate.  Or the Queen.  

The balcony :)

Changing of the Guards.  

Group picture.  I'm on the side.  

Photo opp.

Right as I took this, this police officer yelled at us to  keep  moving.  I pretended to  not speak English.  I did this on a number of occasions.

I took this picture.  Thank you very much.  I know that it is a great picture.  

Giant bird in the middle of the park.

Olympic official count down clock.  

Me, Lorenzo, Sergio

Awesome View

He almost ran me over.

Kinda a dark picture, but it's cool.

The London Eye.

Westminster Abbey.  The wedding of the century took place here.  

Dany, Alberto, and our guide.  I forget his name. Let's call him Mike.

Wasn't the greatest of weather.  But that's typical for England.

The London Bridge is falling down!!!