Monday, June 23, 2014

Eve of St. John the Baptist

This is my last week here in San Sebastian, and I can't believe where the time went!  Last weekend, mi amiga, Molly, came to visit me!  She is also studying abroad in Salamanca and we both study Pharmacy at ONU! It was nice to see a familiar face again, and we had a great weekend. :)  

Molly got here on friday night, and stayed with me in my host-family's home until Sunday night.  On Saturday, we went to the beach, and then had lunch with some of my host-sisters boyfriend's friends that were traveling around Europe from the US for the month.  We had homemade paella with mussels and shrimp (YUM).  

(Miriam asked me if the food, mussels, and muscles on your body are spelled the same--and I go hmmm.. yeahhh I think so!  After we looked it up, we joked that maybe I should learn English first before I try to learn Spanish haha:P)

After that, we climbed to the top of Mount Orgull!! (We like to make it sound like it was such a strenuous hike haha)  But it's such a good view of the city and overlooks the island and the ocean!

Then, we went out to dinner with another friend, and I showed Molly what pintxos are all about here.  On Sunday, we spent most of the day beach bumming before Molly's train took off! 

If you all have been paying attention to the FIFA World Cup that's going on, it's a huge thing here obviously!  Spaniards love their fútbol.  Spain lost already and are out, but my host-dad doesn't like them anyway although it would be cool to still have them in it!  US played last night and tied with Portugal.  This morning, I even enjoyed my daily coffee and croissant watching some good ole fútbol (btw coffee here is super strong, and you ONLY need one cup haha).

Tonight (June 23rd)  there will literally be hundreds on bonfires in the province of Guipúzcoa, including several in San Sebastián to celebrate the eve of the feast of St. John the Baptist (June 24). People jump over the bonfires for good luck.  The date of the summer solstice varies between June 19 and 23, while Midsummer is pegged to June 24, which is St. John’s day in the Christian calendar. The Pagan festivities of the solstice were appropriated to the Feast of John the Baptist, the cousin who baptized Jesus and announced that he was the savior foretold by the Hebrew prophets. The baal fires became fires of St. John, whom Jesus called “a burning and shining light”. 

I also have lots of homework, given that this is our last week and we have finals and presentations galore!  But, I'm going to try to go out to watch the tradition for a little bit after I get all of my work done for the night if the rain stops! 

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