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Domingo el 10 de julio
Elena&Notes
elenaciampa
10 julio
Jorge, the husband of Elena (Bea's sister), miraculously comes down to la plaza every sunday to grab his Prensa to read all about Hercules, CF, his team out of Alicante. We are down here in the bulding of el Ayuntamiento, he is reading, I am writing. No hay niños, it is quiet. La plaza is full today of an outdoor market that has everything, food clothing, stuff. I wish I brought my money and my own car! Today Pablo is cooking for three parties. Always paella on sundays. La comida is lunch, around 2:30. He has 3 propane tanks going with three big pans. His special version includes bogabandes, which look just like lobster, but they insist that bogabandes are different from lobster so I just nod. They buy these bogabandes down in Castellón, the big city near here, and freeze them. they arrive alive, of course, from Canada....I tried to give them the heads up that lobsters would come out of my ears if I asked them to, that I am a girl form Beverly, Mass, very close to Canadá, and there, we call those things lobster. But hey, there is only so much I can say. I think there is some meaning caught up in the word "langosta" in Spain's peninsular Spanish. But those bogabandes are really good in paella!


5 julio
Feliz aniversario de boda, mi amor
Today is mine and Eric’s wedding anniversary. I have no internet access up here on the mountain which is a good thing—we are at almost a kilometer high, away from the rat race—and a bad thing, for cummunication. Today we were lucky to hitch a ride down to the plaza with Bea, who was bringing Óscar, their little one, to the pediatrition. While they were there we were able to skype with Eric, finally a nice long FREE conversation. We were down there for 2 hours. After that, we had la comida at around 3:30, and spent the afternoon playing.

Simon and Lucia have been running around with Ángela, Raquel, Aitana and Óscar, throwing a ball to each other from one landing to another (The hotel is four different rooms built at different levels of the incline, amidst trees and walkways. Turns out these rooms were put up only 18 years ago), dancing to out-of-tune songs I am attempting to play on a resurrected kids’ guitar that Bea found, creating stone sculptures with the kids using wood glue (which will wash away when it rains...) and putting them on exhibit in the planters, in between the struggling specimens, whose livening up will be part of my job, I think next week?

Pain in Spain
Unfortunately with all the playting, Simon fell on the rocks and got hurt. His right knee sustained a pretty deep one. Then, a few hours after he was patched up), and after a few glasses of TriNa (Citrus no-bubble sweet drink…I reasoned that the poor kid’s on vacation…) he and Lucia are running around, the adults are having beer and chips, it is 9 pm, nobody is anywhere near even feeding the kids dinner yet, let along the grown-ups…Simon and Lucia are chasing each other again. Down he goes on the same gruesome cut (padded slightly by the bandage). Red spot soaks through right away… ugh. He screams in utter pain. I have to monitor my own breathing as I carry him to get cleaned up. The overloaded maletas, or suitcases, come in handy. Cotton balls, Bactine, antibiotic ointment, gauze, and bandaids. I wish I had packed the Epsom salt, though.

Now we are sitting here, Simon is keeping his knee straight in bed, eating his dinner at 11 p.m. like a good little injured Spaniard. He asks me, “Do you want me to stay in bed for five, four, or six days?”


“Qué pesadas son las moscas.” Bea, waving them away
We have a fly problem here in Lucena del Cid. Flies outside and in. Not a buzzing hoard, but enough to notice that these are too many. There are screens, but the doorways are open all day and have the hanging chains or beads to walk through Maybe the flies hitch a ride when people are walking through. They don’t bite, but many will land on you at once, like seven of them, sometimes, and it is a weird tickling feeling. I look over at Lucia and she’s got about 3 sitting on her head, camouflaging into her brown hair. I wonder how I must look. We are trying to kill them with our quick hands. “Hey. I know another way to kill flies—sit on them,” says Simon.

On the topic of flies, one of our assignments is to sometime take a walk in the forest and collect wild chamomile, which will repel them, and braid the herbs into arbor and garland-length adornments. With those we could decorate the outside eating area. I think I should weave myself a chamomile face and head mask for the mornings, when they come to fan me with their wings just before sitting on my earlobe, forehead and eyebrow.

9 julio, sábado
Swept away
Last Friday, later in the day, in a flurry, Bea assigned me to sweep dirt, leaves and pebbles from the walkways and concrete areas into the bordering brush, before guests arrived for la cena, dinner. The driveway is concrete, there are walkways and different levels where lighter-colored flagstone has been laid. Very pretty to look at, very difficult to sweep. More difficult with the instrument I was provided, a somewhat large and heavy pushbroom. Those little leaves and stuff are so hard to move when you’ve got a multitude of cracks to sweep them through. It was a bit like searching for an inland waterway to connect the Atlantic to the Pacific: I got a little stuck. Two items ensured the job was done: my bullheadedness, and Simon’s asking for an additional broom from Pablo. The smaller one he acquired was helpful in retrieving stubborn debris. Both Simon and Lucia applied themselves in helping me with the enterprise.

Then yesterday was Friday again, and I realized…by the way conversations were heading, and by Bea’s use of the passive voice while addressing the topic…that this must be my special weekend job. The dread! Haha. Not only that, but there is also a lower recreation spot, a concrete area the size of a large playground basketball court, just above the animal corrals and fields. It has a hoop to one side, there are great views, and the space can be used for anything. Shows are going to be put on each weekend this month; the location needed to be majorly cleaned up. So much dirt had accumulated in a few places there, as a result of rainwater carrying it downhill during the past year. Between the upper sweeping and the lower, it was probably a 6-hour job. Simon repeatedly asked me when I could come in the pool with him, to which I continually replied that my job was too big. It felt good to be able to say a guilt-inducing sentence out loud and to know that probably no one would understand me but him. Finally he decided I must need help, so he swept like a madman, then literally filled a whole wheelbarrow with dirt (what?!), which I carried away and filled again. He’d been hounding me to try a Fanta limón soda. Boy, did he earn one. We did it! The show was muy guay (awesome). After all that we were up quite late with cubatas (drinks) and now I am half-dead. ☺

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