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Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain
I recently earned my Masters in History at NWMSU and am now working as a language assistant in a Spanish elementary school.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Very Spanish Thanksgiving

Earlier this week, Cody, Emma, and I went to the La Garena supermarket, Hipercor, and bought the turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner. When Cody and I got it back to the apartment and opened it up, we noticed that there were still a few feathers intact:
Otherwise, it was a great bird. I got done with work at noon on Thanksgiving and went back to the apartment to put the turkey in the oven. I also made a fruit salad called Ruby's pink fluff from a recipe my mother sent me. When the turkey was done, we walked over to Jacqui's place with our food: turkey, fluff, and sweet potatoes. We stopped at Plaza Cervantes where we waited for Emma, Tamara, and Carmen.
When we met them, we all walked down the street to Jacqui's apartment. Everyone brought something and worked on the final preparations as Pilar arrived, followed by Kristen (a teacher at the school who was born in the States). As Thanksgiving is unfamiliar to Emma, Tamara, and Pilar, we watched the Macy's Day Parade, which someone had posted online. We ate after this. The turkey turned out great, as did everything else. Here, Cody cuts the turkey as Emma waits:
Here is our group befor the meal. Left to right (first row): Tamara, Emma, Carmen, Pilar; (second row): Cody, Jacqui, Me, Kristen.
It was a fun evening that everyone enjoyed.

I had to get up early the next morning to get my NIE (an extended visa which we have to pick up in Madrid). My appointement was at 8:45 in the morning. I arrived to a long line outside the building. Kevin's appointment was on the same day, and I saw him there. We waited in line for two-and-a-half hours. When I finally reached my destination across a marble counter, I handed by papers to a middle-aged Spaniard who handed me more papers to sign and exchange and a small square to place my fingerprint. He then gave me back my papers (now stamped and with even more papers attached). Feeling official, I left the building and headed to Puerta del Sol. I ate at a sandwich shop there, then took the metro to the old Jewish district of the city (now an ethnic neighborhood of North Africans and Indians). The area is called Lavapiés (meaning washed feet after the religious ritual of washing the feet before entering a synagogue). The Spanish composer, Isaac Albéniz composed a song inspired by the district, and a small plaque here commemorates this fact. I also saw the Escuela Piés, an old religious school, which the supporters of the Spanish Republic burned down in 1936. It has recently been converted into a library, but it still resembles a ruined building:


  1. I love hearing the children's comments! I found some photos that Emma shared on your facebook page of the class room with the kids. Would love to hear more about your class room experiences.

  2. The food looks great! I'm sure everyone had a wonderful time and i love that photo of Cody packing that Turkey down the street. We really missed you this year!