“If you love something, let it go.
If it comes back to you, it’s yours.
If it gets run over by a car, you don’t want it.”
That’s how you all should feel about me. If I come back to you, I’m yours. If I get run over by a car, you don’t want me. Okay, that sounds really horrible. But the way people drive here, I almost get run over about five thousand times a day…or at least ten. So I won’t get run over by a car and you guys can all keep me-theoretically.
To answer my aunt’s question about how I update so much, I’m not that busy with classes yet. I’ve only had a few homework assignments and none of them were much work-yet. But I have two classes in which I’ll have to write four papers, each, over the next three months. I also have a couple classes in which I’ll have projects. And then I’ll just have lots of homework in other classes. I’m taking five classes and none of them look to be particularly easy. I’m retaking Advanced Spanish Grammar and it looks like it’s going to be over different stuff than the course I took last winter. But in about a week and a half, we’re going to Madrid and Toledo and that will keep me busy for a few days as well as provide me with lots of pictures and stories. A couple weeks after that, we’re going to the South of France for a day and then about two weeks after that we’re going to this Bio-reserve or something like that. All I know is that there are prehistoric caves there or something. And it’s also in the same region as Loyola, birthplace of St. Ignatius Loyola; I think Xavier is also near there. (Yes, Xavier was home to St. Francis Xavier. I think they grew up in villages near each other. Someone who knows more about the Jesuits could probably answer that question better than I could.)
This weekend, Reba and I are planning on going to Zubiarte, the big mall that’s really close by. (We see it from the bridge that we cross on our way to and from the Uni every day.) There’s also a concert in town Friday night and we’re planning on doing that too. I’m not sure about Saturday; I’m free all day and the family is going to be out of town. I need to go for a walk and find that other church that Antonia told me about. And I want to explore more of Bilbao. It’s a fun city and it’s pretty safe. There is a bad part, obviously, but most of the city is pretty safe.
Last night, I got talking with Antonia about having children. And somehow it came up that I know a lot of people from large families. (Large families=more than 7 kids, FYI) And so she asked me if I wanted a big family. I had to say yes. I think some of it comes from growing up in community and around Christ the King and being exposed to these big families. I think I really have taken to heart the idea that five or six kids are “a good start.” Here, women tend to not have children until they’re in their early-mid thirties and then they only have one or two kids. And they’re starting to look at a population crisis. They have more “viejos” than children. And it’s getting to where more people are dying than being born. The country then has to look at its pension programs and things that are similar to our Social Security benefits. It’s apparently a big enough deal that we’re going to be looking at it in my Contemporary Spanish Culture and Civilization class. It’s weird to look at things here and see this amazing culture but also see that it is beginning to die. (Spain is, obviously, not the only European nation facing this phenomenon.)
And I think that this nation is the perfect place to hold World Youth Day 2011. In my experience, WYD brings the youth, the heart of the Catholic Church to one place for five or six days and it is an exhilarating, enlivening experience. It is a good experience for the Church in that nation as well as for the youth of the world. Maybe it will help wake up the faith of this nation and remind them why they were a traditionally Catholic nation for hundreds of years. Or maybe it won’t. But we can pray for this country. In the past, this was the home of many holy men and women-San Isidore of Seville, Santa Teresa de Avila, San Juan de la Cruz, San Francisco Xavier, and San Ignacio Loyola. Surely the church can be revived once more.
On a cute note, last night before dinner the family went out for a while and when they got back, Daniela gave me a pink rose. It’s really pretty. I took a picture of it that I’ll post probably on Monday. I felt loved. Then she wanted to lie on my bed and talk to me until dinner time. But we were supposed to be setting the table…I really feel like the big sister in this relationship.
And after dinner, Dani and Gabi always want to play “gimnasio” and do their best impressions of Nastia Liukin doing handstands on the couch. Ay, it’s ridiculous. But they’re sweet kids. I spent part of yesterday afternoon coloring with Dani and it was great fun. But this afternoon after lunch, I’ve got homework to do! I think school is starting. I might lose all my freedom.
Santa Fe, are you there? Save a place for me…for a dreamer night’s the only time of day. Sorry, last night I had a dream about that song and Christian Bale in Newsies. I need to watch the movie again soon.