Sevilla 2008 Part XVIII-Writings

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Sevilla 2008   Part XVIII

Our Flamenco Journey Continues

Friday October 24, 2008
     I had a wonderful 64th birthday yesterday. The night before, just after midnight, Freddie wished me a happy birthday. And again, in the morning he wished me a happy birthday. I received many birthday wishes through email as well.
     When I arrived at my group cante class with Alicia, Alicia gave me an incredible book about La Niña de los Peines, a famous woman flamenco singer who was born and lived in this Barrio (neighborhood) and died in 1969. The book, which is in Spanish, has beautiful photos and the words to her songs, as well as the story of her life.
     Alicia wrote (in Spanish), “Thank you for your enthusiasm and your art. Happy Birthday.”
     Later that day Lakshmi, Freddie and Miguel went out shopping. After they got back, Keith and Yvonne called to wish me happy birthday from Sanlucar. They sang both Las Mañanitas and Happy Birthday to me.

     At 6:30 that night, after I had returned from Concha’s class, Miguel and Lakshmi came over and started cooking a fabulous feast for the party.
     And the party was wonderful. Ines Bacan came with her brother Juan. Of course Juan del Gastor and Lucy were there, and Nina, Jill, and Lynn. Rebeca and her two little daughters, Sofia and Rocio came with Juliana, a friend from the States. We met Rebeca and Juliana when they came from the Midwest to a cante workshop that Juan gave at our house in California about four years ago. Dan and his friend came too. I met Dan through the Internet when he ordered a Concha teaching DVD for his friend. Then later he wrote to me and we discovered that he is a good friend of Ethan and Cihtli’s. He has very recently moved to Sevilla.
     Part way through the night, Heather and Sylvia surprised us with a visit. They had just arrived from the US. Heather used to live at our house and both Heather and Sylvia studied Flamenco with us. Of course Chris (our guitarist friend who now lives upstairs) was there.
     Angel couldn’t come at the last minute because his daughter needed some attention. And Paco and Pilar and Soleá couldn’t come either because just before they were ready to leave, Soleá fell down while roller-skating and hurt her knee and couldn’t walk. She was still crying when they called us. (Today she is a little better and the leg is not broken). Concha and Curro (her son) were both sick so they and the family all stayed home.
     But those who were there celebrated. Juan had me sing Alegrías, Soleá and Bulerías as well as dance. I felt unprepared but I did it. And of course it was fun. Miguel sang and played a lot of guitar and Lakshmi sang some too. And everyone sang Happy Birthday to me.
     Both Freddie and Nina gifted me with beautiful earrings. Freddie also gave me a beautiful silk scarf, which I wore this morning to breakfast.
     Late that night Elun and Josephine (my son and granddaughter) reached me through the Internet on Skype. It was great to see them and talk to them through the computer.
     I felt so loved. It was a magnificent birthday and I am so thankful to Freddie, Lakshmi and Miguel who made me have the party. “Will you still love me when I am sixty-four?” That Beatles’ song kept going through my head. And yes, I felt very loved.
    Today the rain of yesterday has stopped and the sun is out. This beautiful fall day seems like Sevilla saying goodbye to us.

Saturday October 25, 2008
    Today Sevilla is warm and crisp with sun and blue skies. We are packing still.
But I just had a great cante class with Juan and sang 4 letras (verses) plus a colatilla (an ending) of Alegrías, 6 letras of Soleá and 10 different Bulerías without reading the words. This was my goal, to be able to sing without reading the words and to sing at a fiesta. I actually amazed myself. I am happy.
     And Juan said I sang well at my party, but my Soleá was just a little to fast. I was probably nervous because Ines Bacan was there!

Monday November 3, 2008
     We have been home for a week and are very slowly recovering from our jetlag. We left Spain after having only three hours of sleep because our friends came over to say goodbye and to help us and we ended up playing music, singing and dancing. Who can be sensible when the Flamenco is happening? After all, it is for Flamenco that we go to Spain. So we traveled on three hours of sleep and got colds on the plane ride home. These photos have been posted in the Photo Gallery in the Spain 2008 album.
     That last night Miguel came over and, since we hadn’t planned for dinner or eating, he decided to cook us a gourmet meal with of our left over food. Chris came down from upstairs and cooked his wonderful baked potato slices to add to the meal. During the day Lucy came over and helped us pack. She was incredible. That evening she and Juan came with Linda from Canada, a friend from Concha’s class whom I had referred to Juan for classes. Lakshmi, who had been over earlier, of course came back. We also said goodbye to Angel.
     When everyone left to let us sleep, Lakshmi promised to come back the next day to do the dishes and take the rest of the leftover food. We had scheduled Nina-the-housecleaner to come after we left, but we had wanted to leave the apartment fairly neat for her and to not waste our leftover food.
     And so we got up Monday morning at 4:15 AM and were ready for our taxi to the airport at 5:15 AM. And yes we were sleepy, but we wouldn’t have changed that wonderful send-off evening for anything!
     Now we are home at our beautiful land and house with plush Oriental carpets and rainy weather. Freddie is thrilled to be home and I am not so sure. At this point we plan to return to Spain for about three months next June.

November 4, 2008
     Obama won the presidency! Now I am glad we came home.

     A note on the older photos: some people have been having trouble seeing the photos that I posted with iweb. 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!

Click here for the Safari Photos & Writings

     However, we are now putting the newer photos on the Photo Gallery on our website in the Spain 2008 Album. SEE LEFT HAND MENU FOR PHOTO GALLERY. You can access this with any browser.

End of part XVIII

  End of Sevilla 2008    

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