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Transitions

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On Monday, we had a feast day here (the patron of El Ejido, so a very local feast) and my community went for an outing together. We passed this:





I giggled for miles. Erh, kilometros.  I'm still a little giggly about it. I don't know that they can be seen well in the photo below, but there are also tepees and storefronts. This area was used as a filming location for "spaghetti westerns," including also some scenes from The Good, The Bad, and The  Ugly.  I'm not sure what else. It is in many ways like the southwest of the United States...and yet it is so far away.








*Giggles*

Across the highway was a medieval Arabic (Arabian? Not sure the right word) castle... we couldn't find a way up via car (I think we could have hiked, but that wasn't on the agenda).




Our destination took us past "mini-hollywood" to a town called Sorbas, population 2,400. It's just a sweet little pueblo in the mountains of Spain, surrounded by olive trees. It has several craf…

Holy Week Processions!

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I had the great fortune to be in Granada over the past few days, where there is a great tradition of processions for Holy Week. They are beautiful, and solemn, and totally different. They begin with groups of penitents who wear pointed hats of different colors (each group, called a confradia, has their own colors and traditions). They have women wearing mantillas, children handing out holy cards and candies to the children watching, and other groups of penitents carrying crosses. Then, the highlight is the paso (I think that's what it's called) carrying the statue of Christ with his cross, followed by another one carrying the statue of Mary. We went to two, one immediately after the other. The first was called Via Crucis and the second Esperanza (for Our Lady of Hope). Granada was filled with tourists for the occasion.

From Via Crucis....









The statue is carried by about 40 men underneath stepping in unison. I love how it moves.

And the second procession, Esperanza.











Auto Sacramental

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Sunday evening was the auto-sacramental: a dramatic rendering of the events of last days of Jesus life and his resurrection. Here are some pictures to enjoy. They did an amazingly professional job, considering how tiny this town and parish is!






This last photo is the resurrection. Because, of course.

Beginning Holy Week

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(I wrote this on Sunday and just now am getting to post it... enjoy!)

Holy Week is upon us! Living in a Catholic country means that it is a holiday for us here, with no classes to teach or offices open. It also means a bunch of celebrations/events, many of which I'm told are unique to Andalucia.  There is a confradia here that has had its own triduum these past three days, culminating in a postres contest (desserts) and the giving of medals to new members, who are mostly very small children (even one baby). I know they have something to do with up-coming processions, but I still don't exactly understand what.

Today, Domingo de Ramos (which literally means Branches' Sunday, rather than Palm Sunday) included a lovely mass with many more people in attendance than usual... Here are some pics and a little video of the parish during the blessing of the branches before we entered the church.







This evening there is what's called an "auto-sacramental," which I guess is …

A little spring beauty

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Sometimes it's just necessary to go to the beach... We had guests with us all weekend, which means my brain was on Spanish language overload. Sunday we took them to the beach--it was a beautiful summery day for walking along the boardwalk. I love being able to listen to the waves come in. This was only the third time I've been to the ocean since coming here over two months ago. If I had my way, I'd be there every weekend! Alas, that's not how life works. I'm very grateful we had time to be there now!

This week is right in the middle of my time here in Spain

. Knowing this makes me a little reflective of what's going on inside me. I don't share a lot of that here because it's such a public space! Yet, there's a ton moving in my heart and passing through my thoughts all the time. I'm understanding more every day why people are on the move, why they leave behind everything in order to come to a place where they don't know anyone or have any conn…

These last weeks...

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Oh, it has been far too long since I've updated this space! I can't begin to include everything that's happened since the last time. So, a few glimpses at life here.....

1. Food. I survived cooking for a week! Actually, I was given a two-day reprieve, so it was five days in a row. My community were treated to tacos (none had heard of them), chili, and tuna casserole, among other things. I am happy to report that it was all well-received. (More or less... I only messed up one thing!) And no one went hungry.















Also, I had an occasion for churros y chocolate. Mmmmmmmmm........


2. We visited another community to have a conversation around the future of life in the Society of the Sacred Heart, following the Dreamcatchers process given to us by the congregation. It was in a sweet little town called Priego de Cordoba, which is in the middle of fields of olive trees. One of these days I'll compile a collection of all the weeping Madonnas and bleeding crucifixions we say ther…