Sweet Wine, Córdoba & Church Hospitality

Courtyard of the Mezquita

So you know how I love Malaga? Well, after this weekend – I really love Malaga. If my visa didn’t expire in July, I might consider staying here for the summer. Oh, and I won’t have any money by then either. Everyday I consider moving here after graduation – but then I watch the news during breakfast and I remember why I can never move here.

I feel like this weekend I experienced more of a typical Malaga – mostly because I was here almost the entire weekend, which is a first since we arrived! Ryan was in Barcelona this weekend with some friends, so I expected to sit in the apartment most of the weekend. Well, Friday ISA took us to the Picasso museum. In the words of Emma (my host mom) “yo puedo pintar pinturas iguales o mejores que estas.” (I could paint the same or better). But, she said to watch for the basement – el sótano – because it is the best part of the museum. Why? Because they discovered Phonecian and Roman ruins underneath it when they were re-doing the building to make it a museum.  (It was pretty sweet)

Intercambio

Friday night I dragged myself out of the house to go to another Intercambio. (see my post on spanish speed dating) I met a girl from Korea – who goes to the same school as me! – a girl from Japan, two chicos from Malaga, and a guy from England. It was a large group, and the spanish like to talk. a lot. Oh, and side note – it’s not rude to interrupt someone here – in fact, it’s friendly sometimes. I have trouble interrupting someone to say something because it is so, so rude in the US. But then I smile and nod otherwise. In any case, it ended up being a lot of fun. And now I have several new friends. (yay for not spending all my time with americans!)

I had plans with friends afterwards for drinks, but my intercambio didn’t end until after 11, and I didn’t want to try to catch a bus out to El Palo to meet my friends (its at least 15 minutes away by bus and the buses are erratic after 12). So I was planning to go home at 11:30 (which is so so ridiculously early here – its like 7pm), but I was invited out with some spaniards for tapas. So I went, and I got to practice my Spanish more and try some typical Spanish tapas. Afterwards we went to a famous wine bar in Malaga. (Think Primantis famous in Pittsburgh) It’s known for the malaguenan sweet wine. I tried it – and it was a lot stronger than I expected… and then I ended up getting sick from it. :( Emma & Ricardo made me feel better because during La Feria (huge holiday week in August here), they drink it like water and tons end up in hospitals or passed out on the beaches. It’s not just that it’s strong either – it’s actually terrible for your stomach – at least according to Emma.  But I have now endured quite a bit of teasing from them about “el vino malagueno”. :)

Saturday was a day trip to Córdoba. The only thing you need to know about Córdoba is that it has one of the only surviving mosques left from the Muslim occupation of España. And the probable reason behind this is because the bishop in the area destroyed the middle of the Mosque and built a cathedral. (smart, right?) They couldn’t destroy a cathedral, so it all stayed.

La Catedral

I think it’s neat because there isn’t anything else like it in Spain. But there really isn’t much else in Cordoba. We took a tour of La Mezquita and then a walking tour of part of the old Jewish area in town. “Fue encantadora” (it was charming)

Sunday was church at Renacer (re-birth). And today was wonderful because Iactually understood a good amount of what the pastor said. He is also from the Canary Islands, and apparently they have a really good accent there, much clearer than typical malagueno. It was on a passage in Exodus about the sacrificial lamb. The word for lamb is “cordero” and the word for pig is “cerdo.” Well, I temporarily forgot that and I couldn’t figure out WHY they were using pig’s blood since that is an unclean animal to the jews. I figured it out after a few minutes.But I was SO excited that I understood the gospel message. So, so blessed.

Don’t get me wrong – I miss Covenant (my church at home) more than I can express, and I’m so glad that many of you read my blog and leave me notes – it’s so encouraging. But this has been a good replacement so far. :)

After church we were invited over to the house of the pastor – sound familiar, mom/dad? And they fed us rice and beans and this really delish salad – you have no idea how much I miss rice and beans and mixed greens salad. No idea. OH and a chocolate dessert. (if you have talked to me at all recently you’ll know how badly I miss chocolate cake)

Gray & I in Cordoba

I met a number of other people, mostly students – some from the US and others from this area. I didn’t speak very much Spanish because most of them spoke English, but I met one chico who offered to show us around Malaga sometime while we are here. Major fail on my part because I did not get his number – AND I FORGET HIS NAME. Ahh. Next week I will have to find him.

After eating, we hung out and talked and one girl got her guitar and we sang some praise songs – which was really, really nice to do. :) The only downfall (sort of) is that we didn’t leave until almost 6 and I didn’t get to go to the beach. But beautiful weather will always be here and meeting new people will not.

For now I am “patiently” waiting for dinner – which is ALWAYS pizza at least one night on the weekends.

And mom, it’s like your pizza. So you know it’s amazing.

PS: I added a “widget” to my blog (yay for learning wordpress) that should make it easier to follow my blog via email if you would like. At the top of this post, look to the right and it should say “subscribe” – if you put in your email you receive updates via email and you can stay caught up on my fabulous life.

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2 thoughts on “Sweet Wine, Córdoba & Church Hospitality

  1. Caitlin,
    i am extremely jealous of you being in a foreign country eating awesome food at least that is what I here about the food there. I hope you have a good week hope to SKYPE you soon. BYE!!!!! My friends like Luke and Christian say HI.
    Your FAVORITE bro,
    David

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