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AventuraTH en ValenTHia: Learning the Spanish Lisp June 3, 2010

Posted by Becky Byler in Travel Log.
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Our stay in Valencia of course started with a tour of the city so that we could begin to familiarize ourselves with the different barrios we would be walking through over the next four weeks. It was a great way to see some of the major buildings, plazas, and shopping areas in Valencia, and even though the tour was rather brief, I can definitely find my way around the city and back to our apartment.

Street View of the Catedral de Valencia

My favorite stop on the tour was the Catedral de Valencia. Not only is it one of the most gorgeous buildings in Valencia, but, inside, it houses some of the most amazing relics and paintings. For example, the cathedral has the arm of St. Vincent, one of Goya’s earliest paintings, and, allegedly, the real Holy Grail.

The "Real" Holy Grail

I was most excited by the Holy Grail, since I find it fascinating that the cup that Jesus could have drank from at the Last Supper is still around today. The cup on display has been defended by historians as being the most authentic, since it dates back to the correct time period; however, the claim to having the true Holy Grail has been made by many different locations worldwide and there is no way of knowing for sure. Either way, it was definitely cool to see a cup that old, and learn that many popes have in fact used it in recent years, such as Pope Benedict XVI when he visited Spain in 2006!

After finishing the tour, I went shopping with a group of the girls before heading back to the apartment. It was a lot of fun just walking around the streets, even if I didn’t buy anything, as well as talking to the locals.

Later that night, a huge group of us decided to check out the tapas bar scene in the port area near our apartment. We had a lot of fun trying different finger foods and drinks, and eventually ended up on a green floating bar/discoteca in the Port of Valencia!

Getting ready to leave for Tapas!

The entire night I had been trying to improve on my Spanish accent, since I speak Spanish with a strong Nicaraguan accent, but it wasn’t until later that night that I truly picked up the correct lisp. We had been talking to a group of guys dressed up as Elvis for a bachelor’s party, and they actually thought that I was from Spain!

It felt good to know that I could blend in, but I hope that there is a way to de-learn the lisp when I have to work in Honduras later this summer, since I might get made fun of a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, it is pretty cool sounding, but when one of the guys told me why people in Spain have a slight lisp, I couldn’t help but laugh! I guess that one of the kings of Spain was unable to correctly pronounce s’s and z’s, so he made it a royal decree for everyone to speak with a lisp. Parent’s taught their children to speak like them, and the rest is history!

The guys could have been joking around with me, but either way, it’s a pretty good story and I am having fun speaking with one… at least for the moment. Pero, ojalá que pueda dejar el THeTHeo cuándo me voy de valenTHia! 🙂

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¡Saludos de España! June 1, 2010

Posted by Maziar Adloo in Travel Log.
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Hello world!

As you can tell from the title of this post, I am now in Cadiz, Spain for the “Healthcare Industry in Spain” study abroad program. Even though I haven’t been out of the US for more than 48 hours, it’s already been a blast! However, this post is going to be about what happened this summer before I left the country. (That means look for super exciting Spain stories in my next post!)

My summer started at 6pm on Friday, May 7th, right after my Organic final ended (which was way more difficult than it needed to be, I might add). I had already moved out, so my family came to Tech, picked me up, and we roadtripped it all the way to Maryland – about 11 hours. We might be crazy to drive all night, but we had good reason; that Saturday was my grandparent’s 50th Anniversary, and we were going to surprise them. And surprise them we did. We managed to hide from them all day and then got to the restaurant to set-up some decorations before they arrived for dinner. The coolest decoration in my opinion was a banner that my uncle made; it was a picture from their wedding, and we got all of the guests to sign it so that my grandparents could have a great, tangible memory of their Golden Anniversary. This is a picture of myself, my brothers, and my cousins (the one in the middle and all the way to the left) with my grandparents in front of the banner. The whole thing was a lot of fun and went very well. Best of all, my grandparents couldn’t stop smiling. (more…)