Archive for the ‘CIDE’ Category

Last few excursions!!!

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Winery- Rioja Alavesa

We went to a winery this week for the business program.  It was such a pretty area.  Our tour guide was saying that this winery is protected from the heat from the south (Madrid and stuff) and the cold weather from the north!  It was just a super pretty place, we toured the company and then we had wine tasting.  I am not a big wine person, the red wine was better than the white wine; in the end they both were not enjoyable.  Also, all my friends enjoyed the wine and said it was one of the best wines they have ever had.  What ever floats your boat!  Even afterwards students bought wine for their family and themselves.  I bought zero bottles; my parents aren’t even wine drinkers! Now I can say I’ve been to a brewery and a winery; now what?!  Fun fact: they have a bottle of wine from every year since they have existed! Which is from 1800s.  So crazy, they only use these bottles for special occasions like the king of Spain!image







San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

Becka, Haley, John, Jankell and I went on a voyage to San Juan de Gazelugatxe, which is a hermitage (where religious people stay in seclusion) atop a mountain off the coast in Bermeo.  The hermitage seemed empty when we went, but it was a good 230 steps to get up there plus the stairs to go down the mainland.  It was so darn steep; I WILL HAVE BEAUTIFUL CALVES WHEN I GET HOME! But the view was stunning and so amazing.  It wasn’t a hot day either, it semi rained; which was better.  I wanted to stay there all day, but we were getting so so hungry! Also, it was a struggle to get to San Juan because we didn’t know which buses went that far from Bilbao!  But it was a great workout and a great experience! yay!image



imageBecka and me in our hiking gear!!imageHaley and me, with John in the background…imageThe view from the hermitage.  So crazy!

Either way, the hike was crazy but the end result was worth it.  Then we ended that day with kebabs!!! wahh

Hasta luego amigos! 

THE RUNNING OF the people from THE BULLS!

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Today I had such an amazing experience.  Our program bought us tickets to go to Pamplona to see the Running of the Bulls!!!  That was so amazing!

Let’s get into some logistics here.  It (the running of the bulls event) goes on for 8 days.  Saturday to Saturday!  It begins every morning at 8am with the bulls running down the streets (that are blocked off so the bulls know where to run) with “trained” runners in their places.  Side note: runners are not allowed to be drunk (dangerous of course).  The bulls run down about 3 blocks then into the Plaza de Toros.  Then, from there the bulls are guided to go into a designated area outside the arena, away from the people and runners.  They do this thing where they put one wild bull into the arena with the people and let it go wild, which they do with about 6 different bulls.  Yes, people get hit and possible broken bones.  In the afternoon, they do a (or a few?) bull fight (I’m unsure of the number). And this repeats for 8 days!  Enjoy it, I guess! (people were sleeping in sleeping bags in the parks nearby and Pamplona looks like a hell-hole… terrible because people just drink all day everyday)! So it’s dirty but it’s a pretty city (just not during this week) when it’s clean.


I will post videos on the event, because I prefer videos over pictures of this!

Anyways, I really enjoyed this thing.  Let’s get to some real stuff here.  So I talked it over with my pops when I arrived back at the apartment, but we basically agreed that this is animal cruelty.  But he was glad I experienced it.  I agree though, basically, they bring these bulls into the arena and taunt them in the morning.  At night, they have a bull fight.  If you do not know what a bull fight is, let me explain it to you, and I just learned about this today so don’t judge my knowledge.  There’s a bull, a matador, and people on horses.  The beginning is suppose to be a beautiful piece (look it up on youtube or something for a visual) of the bull and matador.  Then the people on the horses throw spears at the bull near its head to make it weak enough to not lift its head up to fight.  Eventually, they try to throw a spear at it’s heart to kill it.  Apparently, it was meant to be a privilege for the bull and the matador to do this beautiful piece.  It’s tough to even explain.  The bull is then cleaned and cut up by the butcher.  Ok, moving on. I made my statement.

The part where the runners taunt the wild bulls is so confusing.  SO they let out one bull and the runners from the streets are still in this arena and they taunt the bull.  They can taunt it by hitting it’s butt, pulling its tail, jumping at it, or just running from it.  Anything to get it aroused.  They did this about 6 times with 6 different bulls.  I thought this part was fun.  So the main point is to get the bull upset and have it chase you but you being able to escape the bull.  A couple of times, people were fast enough to run away but there are so many people in the arena that it was hard to escape the bull.  I was literally in the edge of my seat the whole time, because people could get seriously hurt but maybe because it was my first time.  Either way, it was so exciting.  The number one rule is to respect the animal.  You’re not allowed to ride the animal or to grab its horns in an aggressive way (like to have control over it)!!!  Because you will be beat up by the locals.  This guy got shoved on top of the bull and was riding it and I was cheering because now he can say he has ridden a bull.  Apparently, that’s not the right idea.  He was hit/punched in the face, slapped, and kicked numerous times and then someone finally said to him to basically respect the animal and don’t ever do that again.  It was funny, but sad.  I was so shocked, but it didn’t make sense that we couldn’t disrespect the animal but it might get killed tonight? Right, what part of it is right!?  Then again, if you think of it as a beautiful piece of art then I guess we have to respect the animal!

In the end, it was an amazing experience, and I’m glad I went.  I actually think it would be awesome to be a runner within the streets! You can always just hide up against the wall and be safe that way.  Chad what do you think about that idea!!?  Let’s do it next year? I told my dad and he didn’t say much! Ehh, it was so exciting and just being in a bull fighting arena that you hear about in history class was awesome! You know?  Just think about that!  Now everything is hitting me that I’m seeing them in person instead of via textbooks or internet!  Crazy and mind-blowing!

Adiós muchachos!

Hey lovely people! Bilbao has been treating me well.  Yes, classes are getting better as we speak….

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Hey lovely people! Bilbao has been treating me well.  Yes, classes are getting better as we speak.  The Spanish 4A (there’s a B class) class is tougher than I thought, but pray for me because the woman talks faster than what I’m use to.  Sorry if I am reiterating this, but there is a guy in my class that speaks French, Spanish, English, German and Arabic… tell me again how I got into this class. Well, he’s not the only one.  There are about 4 other people who are bilingual and are learning spanish as their 3rd language.  Also, it doesn’t help that my host family congregates in the living room and we don’t have dinner together because there isn’t a place to eat meals together.  That’s part of the experience I guess!?  I try to speak to them often, but I feel secluded in my room.  But it hasn’t been a whole week yet either! On the other hand, María complimented me this morning and packed me a lunch for the siesta! (:  And I discovered these beauties during lunch today.  America or UMW needs to step it up. It makes you coffee for like €0,60 (or not even $1) and gives you a good size.  The other machine has sandwiches and some other good options!  Why go out to eat when you can buy a while siesta here?! image


This International Business class is getting really interesting.  Since I am the only person that is not majoring or minoring in business, everything they say is so interesting about how globalization effects people.  It’s just different than what I’ve been learning with math and science.  So I enjoy that aspect of class.

Then, I was walking down the hallway with Brittany and I saw this man that looked so familiar and realized it was Dr. Jose Sainz (the program director for study abroad to spanish speaking countries I believe, I could be wrong?!)  !!!! I didn’t know what was going on but I was so excited to see him.  I gave him a hug and we talked for a solid 10 minutes.  He was saying that he thought about me when he was at the airport because they were about to miss their flight to Bilbao but they made it in time.  But we will have a UMW meeting tomorrow.  He is just a great person and I was so ecstatic to see him. Haha that was a great and happy moment!

Shopping again?! Psshhh yes, we (Brittany and I) went shopping in Moyua!  They had so many sales.  I think I might be broke by the time I get home?! Yeah, ehh WHEN IN SPAIN…  !

Yesterday, I meet this girl from Norway, Ida, and I asked her if she was with a group like CIDE or something at Deusto. She say she found this program online and doesn’t know much spanish but is in Spanish 3.  She knows the basics like hola and adios.  The point is, I saw her today and we had coffee at Café & Té (which is an awesome place to chat and/or do homework!) after class. While in this coffee shop, I talked to Erin B!!!  We were planning our trip to Rome (:  YAY!

Ciao for now! ("bye" in Italian)!

Words to live by: “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign." — Robert Louis Stevenson

Song of the day: Love and Happiness by Al Green