Monday, April 16, 2012

Live for 32

       Before I forget to write this entry I just want to remember how good this day was. It was the best day yet in Sevilla. It started out as normal with some class and extraordinarily beautiful weather. However, it should be noted that today wasn't just any day. April 16, 2012 marks the 5 year remembrance of the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech. 
     I truly believe the day was enjoyed even more because of a quote I read on a friend's status : 

"I ask each of you to take the time to be a HOKIE this week. Appreciate life a little more, take in every moment around you, count your blessings, tell the people around you that you love them, slow down, remember what's truly important in life, and live for those 32 that do not have that chance anymore." neVer forgeT 4.16.07

     I re-posted the status and was determined to take the quote to heart and I think that's exactly what happened today. 

    I decided to opt out of my 5pm class to enjoy the weather and soak in some sun on a run along the rio. I think it was more than just a coincidence that on my run I passed a little hint of VT.
It's the little things in life that make me smile.

    While I was exercising on the outdoor equipment, a Spaniard woman of about 30 years came over and started talking to me. Basically she started asking me if I was training for a marathon and when I said no she asked if I was on some sort of team. I told her no I was just exercising to try and stay semi-skinny while living in this fattening country. She proceeded to tell me how strong I looked (I know funny concept, me "looking" strong) and how she was a personal trainer. I had a feeling once I saw how ripped she was, especially at her age. You hardly ever see people who are actually toned here, and in all of Europe for that matter. In the end she gave me her number because she thought we should start exercising together, telling me how her friends can never keep up. She mentioned how she could even practice her English with me which I responded with CLARO QUE SI, I’m always up for a new intercambio! I just love how friendly and easy going Sevillanas are.
      After my run, Ray and I went to the plaza de toros to get our bullfighting tickets for tomorrow (which is already exciting enough to make my day). But since there was a corrido already going on we couldn’t get to the office, so they told us to just come back in the morning.
       So, of course, our next stop would be an outside, great ambi [ambiance] type of bar. We knew exactly where to go- a little plaza near Ray’s school that is always crowded with Spaniards standing around tall tables with their tintos and cruzcampo cervezas. We got the usual tinto de veranos and olives, soaking up the ambi of this wonderful place when next thing you know we see our friend Eduardo. We met Eduardo out the other night when our Swiss friends [friends from Tech studying in Switzerland this semester] were here. He’s an Italian studying his Spanish here (on scholarship for his “tesis”). We spoke in Spanish, threw in some English and even learned a little bit of Italian with him and his friend (name forgotten already).  Three tintos later, the sun was going down and it was getting cold so we made plans to meet up again tomorrow. 
This picture lacks the vibrant ambiance of the plaza but still- tintos and olives. They've got a big place in my heart. 

      On our way home we ran into our program coordinator from Lagos (best weekend/most beautiful place/best trip ever/still need to blog about it). Then my Spanish friend Juan called and said he was in the same plaza but I told him I had to head home to work on a presentation (which I should be doing now but I can’t focus- I’m just buzzing with excitement from this day).
        Ray and I were a tad hungry on our way back (and we had already told Maribel we wouldn’t be eating dinner at home) so we stopped at a tapas bar that’s always smelling of delicious fried goodness. We had some Adobo (little fried fish), some Caballa (another small fish with a vinegar-y salsa on top and then we even went blindly into trying huevas (which ended up being weird balls of fish eggs- but not good like caviar- just weird). Nevertheless I’m glad we tried it- now we know we shouldn’t order it again. I washed my tapas down with a crisp, cold coke from the glass bottle (which Dad always says is the best type). I hardly drink soda so it was quite refreshing.
       On my walk home after dinner (Ray biked home- I’ve given up on the belief that I’ll ever be able to ride a bike without killing myself. I’m just way too clumsy and there are too many distractions around here) I ran into Steven- always a great sight for sore eyes. We caught up on our weekend trips and made plans to hang out tomorrow (basically I’m hanging out with A LOT of friends tomorrow WOOOHOO). Then I ran into Lauren at Phoenix Pub eating some phenomenal looking nachos (Ray and I plan to eat them one of these days post-exercising so we don't feel as bad about it. Wash those babies down with some tantalizingly fresh Strongbows and you've got yourself a heaven). 

So all in all it’s been the best day ever and I love my life and I’m so satisfied and I just want to throw everyone I love in a suitcase and bring them to Sevilla. 

I'll leave you bloggers now with one of my favorite quotes:

Vive bien, ríe a menudo, ama mucho.
Live well, laugh often, love a lot.

And the all time favorite.

We are Hokies. We will prevail. We are Virginia Tech.

And lastly a shout out to my friend, and best Aesthetics Director of our Leadership Team, Dane Harrington for his brilliant article in the Collegiate Times

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