Sharing Village Life

March 17, 2007


Mozart was so excited to share her beloved village with her visiting family from California. They were minor celebrities in our tiny village in her circles because Mozart had been telling everybody about them coming for weeks and weeks. She told her friends, her teacher, every shop keeper and anyone who would listen.

First on the agenda was having auntie BJ take her to school to meet her friends , her teacher and see her class room. Mozart thought BJ and her teacher looked a little bit alike and had similar kind personalities and they are two of her favorite people.

Her teacher’s name is Carmen Lucia and Carmen was Mozart’s grandmother and BJ and DaVinci’s mother’s name. She does not speak any English but they managed to communicate and Mozart excitedly introduced her to all her friends who joyfully approved. Then they came home together as Mozart did not want to miss a moment of being together with her family and she is ready to home school full time again.

Grandpa Jess was at a distinct advantage (like DaVinci and Mozart) since he is fluent in Spanish and it was his first language and all he spoke before starting school. (He and Mozart have a shared experience of a teacher who could not understand what you are saying until you spoke her language). He could and did talk to the people in the village and that enriched his experience. He, Mozart and DaVinci didn’t miss the many things that the rest of us did. He laughed at how quickly they talked in our village, but enjoyed the connection and sweet joy of the people.

Early the first morning, our sweet grandfatherly friend Antonio Garcia Rodriguez  (who always says his full name with wonderfully expressive rolling R’s and loves  to gab) came by and is exceedingly gregarious and charming. It was a pleasant start to the day and a good way to get a feel for this village and the typical Andalusian personality that is full of warmth and “Alegria” (joy).

Later Maria, in a store very nearby, got a chuckle about what he had been saying, when Jess told her about it. She saw it all quite differently than his version and had an entirely different take on things. Our guests were quite amused that she and the other store owners had no calculators or cash registers, but just added it up in her head or on paper. There was a funny incident where an English-only-speaking person was confusing her and only Jess knew what she was saying back to him in Spanish.

Our elders liked to hang out at a nearby old community fountain and watch the washer women gather water and people-watch as the villagers handled their day and tourists passed by. Mozart loved showing them around and took them down to the cathedral by herself.

The village and even our home is not an easy place for anyone with mobility challenges since it is built on a hill, most of the stairs are endless and often steep and do not have railings, and cobblestones can be a little slick. So they did not see the whole village but did manage to get half way to the top to one of our favorite restaurants that has some nice expansive views down to the sea.

It is rewarding that now they have first hand experience about our life in Spain and we have shared memories of our time together here. Pictures and videos just can not capture the reality fully like being here. Perhaps they should make a commercial about the value of three generations of Americans with Spanish heritage (from six to eighty) experiencing Spain together for the first time.....priceless!













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