Sevilla 2008 Part XVI-Writings

Sevilla 2008   Part XVI

Our Flamenco Journey Continues

Saturday October 4, 2008
     Freddie and I rode our bikes to Calle Sierpes and then to Barrio Santa Cruz today. I rode Margarita’s (Angel’s eleven-year old daughter) little bike and we put the things we bought in Freddie’s big basket. It was fun and we got there so quickly. We are preparing for our return home.
     On Calle Sierpes we replaced my grandmother’s antique manton, which had been put in water at home while we were here and had disintegrated. We bought the new manton that we have been looking at for quite a while.
     Then we went to the store in Barrio Santa Cruz where Lucy works for her English friend Jane. The store is called La Galeria del Grabado and is on the small street Pasaje de Andreu. We picked up the reproductions of prints that we had had Jane put aside months ago. We also bought two more reproductions. Jane has many originals for sale there, but we actually feel more comfortable with the less valuable pieces. It is a very interesting store.
     While Freddie’s bike was parked out in front several people looked at it. A man from Barcelona said he had one at home. He said that Freddie should soak in salt water to regain movement in his hands. He should alternate between hot and cold. Maybe that is why Freddie improved so much when we were at the beach. My mother always believed in saltwater as a cure-all. Freddie did go in the ocean a lot this summer and he gained a lot of movement. I think Freddie will try it.
After Jane’s store, we continued on and bought some gifts from some special stores we know in the area.
     Then we biked home and I ate a little and prepared for the class I had a class with Juan at five-thirty. Freddie slept.
     Now, at nine, I have a class with Lakshmi. My classes with Lakshmi are always interesting, as well as quite challenging. Freddie helped us with the class from the couch and we all laughed a lot. And I made some progress.
     Juan came over again at ten to watch futbol (soccer) with Freddie. Juan decided that he would be for Madrid and Freddie decided to be for Barcelona. Juan had said earlier that both teams were good.
     I sent out another update today. I still have to put it on the web. Tomorrow, Sunday, day of rest, Freddie has a class with Paco and I can have a class with Lakshmi after noon. I want to study my cante, finish making a DVD of today’s Lakshmi class, and listen to my Juan class. I am too tired to finish the DVD tonight. I like to put in chapters so I can jump to different things to work on. Except, I haven’t had time to practice to them, other than the learning that comes from making the DVDs. And I do learn a lot by watching the classes while I add the chapters.
     How am I going to find time to pack?

Sunday October 5, 2008
     Concha made people cry tonight. At the end of her show at the Maestranza she dedicated a dance to Mario Maya, who died recently. Antonio Moya played guitar. I found myself crying, tears streaming down my face. Afterwards Lakshmi came up to where we were sitting and she was crying too. She buried her head in Freddie’s chest and we both held her.      When I talked to Antonio Moya after the show we both agreed that this show made us cry and that real Flamenco had spontaneously happened on the Maestranza stage. The fancy but cold Maestranza is not known to be conducive to real Flamenco. So the fact that real Flamenco happened there is a phenomenon in itself.
     I told Concha that I had been crying, and she nodded her head. Concha was definitely queen of the night.
     The show, from the Mar (ocean) to the Fuego (fire) was done in parts. The first section was Cadiz and featured a singer and then a dancer (with another singer). The next was Jerez. The third was Lebrija. Ines Bacan sang. Concha danced her Bulería to someone else’s singing, but Curro, her son, played guitar for her.
     Then it was Utrera’s turn. First Pepa de Benito sang. I always like her singing. Antonio Moya played for both Pepa’s singing and Carmen Ledesma’s dancing.
The last section was Sevilla. Jose de la Tomasa (Gabriel’s father) sang. He was excellent. Then Milagros Meningbar danced in her beautiful red bata.
     At the end there was a giant Fin de Fiesta with all the performers. Each section had at least two palmeros, two or three singers, and one or two guitars, plus the featured dancer and singer. It was in this spectacular Fin de Fiesta that Concha spontaneously dedicated a dance to Mario Maya. And her unplanned dance was inspired by the height of Duende (a special spirit that is beyond human).  It was an honor to have been there.
Nina and Jill were there too, as was our friend Olivia from Belgium.
     We took a taxi straight home after we visited everyone in the dressing room. I have to get up early tomorrow, but here I am writing again.

Saturday October 11, 2008
     Today is my son’s, (Elun) birthday. He is thirty-seven. How time is flying. And I haven’t written in so long.
     This week I had my breathing/voice class four mornings instead of two, because Alicia is going to Morocco to work until next Wednesday. She made up next week’s classes this last week. So I was a lot busier than normal.
     Last Thursday Lakshmi performed at Peña Pies Plomo and this Peña too was packed with people. We were sitting in the first row and during the intermission a woman next to me, who was a member of the Peña, assured me that she knew I was Lakshmi’s mother!  Of course I told her that Freddie and I were like Lakshmi’s parents here but that she had biological parents in the US.
     Lakshmi told me later that a student of hers, whom we didn’t know, also thought that we were her parents! We must have looked very proud of her. We were. She danced beautifully.
     Our classes continue and we are trying to find the time to pack. We are also trying to find time to visit with Luis Agujeta when he returns to Sevilla. And Andrea and Richard, who recently sailed their boat from California to Spain, are now docked in Rota. They are going to visit us soon as well.
     We were going to plan a party for my sixty-fourth birthday on the twenty-third, but as it is three days before we leave, we have decided not to. We will just gather with friends and go out for something.
     Today it is pouring rain, so Freddie couldn’t ride his bike to breakfast. Freddie has been riding a lot by himself. He has gone to the Corte Ingles and all around the Alameda on his bike. This bici certainly gives him independence. We are going to return the electric wheelchair to Frank, who so kindly lent it to Freddie. How wonderful that Freddie doesn’t need it anymore.
     Since Monday is a day of Fiesta, which means that everything will be closed from this afternoon until Tuesday. I had to shop for three days of food after breakfast today. The stores close at two and reopen on Tuesday. Of course the market was mobbed.
     When we leave, I will miss people asking, Quien es la ultima? (Who is the last person in line?). That is how people know who is next in line. Two very popular fruit and vegetable stalls have paper numbers for the shoppers to take, but most of the others don’t.
     I am so sad about leaving Spain. I am definitely not ready and my eyes tear up when I think about it. I love it here.
     But I am happy about being home to vote. All the people we talk to here are pro Obama. They feel that Bush is responsible for their economic problems as well as ours. This includes people on the street, people waiting in the lines at the market, as well as our friends. People are friendly here and talk to each other even if they don’t know each other.
     I hope everyone reading this has already registered to vote! I have been urging my young American friends here to be sure to get their absentee ballots sent here and to mail them back on time. After all, it is they who will have to live their lives with the consequences if Obama doesn’t win!
     An interesting comment on my observation about the familial neighborhood feeling here: I was talking to Lucy about it and she told me that that is quickly changing. She said that more and more people are being forced out of their homes because of the economic crisis here. Their homes are then bought by investors who remodel them to re-sell to people who have more money. So this poor but colorful working class neighborhood will soon be very posh!
     I will not be writing much before we leave. We will be busy organizing and packing six months of us living here in Sevilla. Lakshmi will perform once more while we are here. She will dance at the Peña Torres Macarena, which is near us. She is such an amazing dancer.
     Josh just called. He and Regina are back in Vejer and they will try to come to visit us, probably on Wednesday so they can see Lakshmi dance that evening.
     This morning the wind and rain blew down a tree in the Plaza Duque, the square where the big Corte Ingles is located. It is downtown and has a taxi stand and a bus stand. The tree fell on a bus and split it in two and thirteen people were injured. Everyone was talking about it at the market today. They speculated that the government wouldn’t help the injured people.
     Nina, our house cleaner, told us this morning that last year a branch from an old tree on the Plaza Duque fell on a woman’s head and killed her. Sevilla is not prepared for this kind of weather. It is not normal here.

Sunday October 12, 2008
     It is a rainy Sunday in Sevilla. Last night Susana and Paco took us out to a nice, fairly new Japanese restaurant where their son works. We had a lovely time with them. They are leaving for their place in the country today so we may not see them again before we go home. When we get a link to Susana’s wonderful photos, we will post it. Anyone interested in seeing her work can email her: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." title="Susana Soma y Luz">Susana Soma y Luz .
A note on the older photos: some people have been having trouble seeing the photos. Unfortunately, Apple made it difficult and I have been using their iWeb to post the photos. So, now you must download Safari, which is free, and it will work; you will be able to see those photos!
     However, We are now putting the newer photos on the Photo Gallery on our website in the Spain 2008 Album. You can access this with any browser. But we haven’t transferred all of them, so you will still need Safari to see the older photos.

End of part XVI

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