23 April 2007

The next few weeks

Wanted to check in and say hi while I have a chance. We have a video shoot this weekend in a small town near where we live that will give us a good impersonation of a street in ancient Israel. Among other things, I was recruiting people to be in costume, not exactly actors, but willing victims. I think I've got 25 people coming. I'm not sure the producer wants that many. Oops. This week I'm arranging rides and details for the shoot. Picking up some replica sandals across town, coming up with some light refreshments probably from a Sam's type place called Makro. Calling a restaurant/bar in the town to arrange for us to use their inadequate toilet facilities. Arranged hotel accomodations for a guy coming in from the States. Normally he would stay with someone but everyone is swamped. Let's just put it this way, every time I get one thing done I think of something else. It's fun, but hectic.

Next week, it will be the same only it will be organizing a shoot of 40 people who will act out a battle scene in a field near here. I'm up to about 18 people for that shoot now. Tomorrow I will go to the Catholic church with some flyers and see if they are interested in bringing a group to be in the video. It's good for my Spanish to try anyway! Anyone want to come be in a video??? Also a couple people from France are flying in for that shoot and will stay at our house. We shoot on May 5 so I'm doing all this recruiting for 5 de mayo - kind of funny it has nothing to do with Mexico.

At the same time, somehow we volunteered to do some things for the All Europe Retreat. We are released to go down and help with that - we are leaving May 7. We need to have a dog/house sitter that week. Hopefully I'll arrange that tomorrow with a girl that cleans the office. The retreat will be nice once we get past the work stuff we've volunteered to do. Do you ever wonder how you get yourself into stuff like that? We know the area because it is where we went to language school so we are more used to that area than most people would be. The retreat ends the day before our anniversary, so we're going to take that Monday as a vacation day. Hopefully we will find relaxation through or after the retreat. It's a hectic three weeks ahead. Not bad stuff, just a lot!

11 April 2007

Easter Weekend Review

We drove about five and half hours north into the state/province of Galicia, still Spain but they have their own language too. The area is known for being rainy, like BB's northwest, and for seafood and for the pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela. We lucked out and had sun and very pleasant weather minus one loud but pretty dry thunderstorm. Dar enjoyed the loud, midwest style thunder.

Because it's rainy up there it was very green and many of the ancient buildings had moss growing on them. It is such a different look than the dry, dusty area we live in that we really feasted on the green.

The church of Santiago.

The church is the image on the one cent coin here.

We feasted on the seafood too. They are known for pulpo de gallega, which is octopus Galician style. They cut the tentacles into round medallions and saute them in butter, garlic, and paprika. Pretty taste really if you can get past the suction cups. The skin (and thus the suction cups) are fatty, so I don't always eat the skin. The inside is meaty, white, like a scallop. They throw a few small tentacles on the plate too. We let Dar eat those. We also ate sardines, shrimp, and fish.

Santiago de Compostela is the town we stayed in and the main attraction up there. The story is that James (as in St. James of the Bible) came and ministered in Spain for 10 years. For some reason he went back to Jerusalem and got himself killed. His disciples brought his body back to Spain to bury. In 800 and something AD, a monk followed a course of stars and discovered the remains of St. James. Thus the city is named St. James of the star course. Then people all over Europe for a thousand plus years walked the Camino del Santiago. Mostly it is from Paris to Northern Spain. The pilgrims arrive all day long and look weary but relaxed. Several limped. Today it seems like most people go from the border of Spain and take about one month to walk it. You have to walk 100 kilometers (62 miles +) to be a certified pilgrim of St. James. We didn't walk it but I am fascinated by the idea of stepping out of life, unplugged if you will, for a period of time like that. Me and Tiff with an old geezer wearing old fashioned pilgrim wear (for photos), a bit cheesy but he did say he walks it every year.

We drove a little of the coast on the way home and then headed for a very long drive home. Turns out there was a 100 kilometer traffic jam that added a couple hours to an already long drive.