Last night was our Cena de Despedida or "Going Away Dinner." I realize the majority of us have just over a month left, but our classes at the Centro ended officially yesterday and many of us have already finished our Facultad course as well (myself included, but those two papers are still looming over my head).
Anywho, it was a lovely evening. The restaurant was built into a Carmen, which is a detailed but massive garden that are common of old houses in the neighborhood of the Albaizín neighborhood, set in the intricate and hidden hills of Granada. We had a beautiful view of the Alhambra all night.
The dinner consisted of gaspacho, a seafood salad with orange in it (will work on getting that name, Mom), jamón serrano con queso, Spanish tortilla, musakka, steak, and a plethora of desserts. It was wonderful. Just following dinner, one of the girls in our program, Hannah, presented a beautiful collage of pictures of all of us throughout the year for our director, María. Our overall program director, Dr. Martin was there as well.
Sao and I with the lovely María. She helped me out so much this year.
After we presented the collage, we all went a little crazy for taking photos. Again, we still have about a month left here, but a lot of us are traveling and wanted to get in as many last-minute snap shots as possible. Plus, we were all dressed up and it was a total excuse for vanity, I'm sure. So here's a look at all of the lovely faces of my program-mates whom I better see in various trips to Sonoma, Sacramento, Humboldt, Monterey, San Marcos, and wherever else I can crash on their couches. :]
Jade (Humboldt State), myself and Chris (Sonoma State).
Arisa (San Francisco State), Jason (San Francisco State), and I. Arisa was definitely my travel partner this year. Best part was that I knew both her and Jason before coming here. :]
Zach (Monterey Bay) and I. Or better known as Dragon Siblings.
Rachel (Sonoma State) and I. She's the sweetest!
Armando (Chico State) and I.
Sao (Sacramento State), Jessica (Monterey Bay State), and I.
Sarah (Sonoma State), Amity (Sacramento State) and I. We're professional side-line gossipers at all of the futbol games "¡Cotilleo, cotilleo!"
Chris (Sonoma State) and I. Chris' father and my father worked together in East LA for about ten years and we didn't figure this out until we got here. Chris is wonderful. We'll be seeing each other while we mob our friend Joakim's house in Sweden in June.
And of course, we took a family portrait. Or, "San Marcos + Laura." What am I gonna do with these spazzes living in my house next year?
It's so hard to believe that it's been exactly 9 months since we had our Welcome to Spain dinner back in Madrid. And we were already attached then. Hah. The Madrid days, August:
Then, our directors surprised us with a beautiful flamenco show. The dancers were incredible, the singer took my breath away, and the guitar was so good, I almost got weepy. (Or. Could have been all the free wine.) Dr. Martin giving us a speech. (Which I also have on video for later).
And the show commenced! I'll try and upload a video or two of the show later. (I have to admit, I stole these from Sarah because she had a great seat and excellent view.)
After Flamenco, many of us walked the winding paths to the Mirador where we sat and stared the magnificent Alhambra and twinkling lights of the city. Nine sold months, and it still blows me away. It was nice to spend it with a bunch of wonderful folks who will go home feeling the same euphoria as I will from this life-changing experience.
"It's the time of your life that may last a lifetime."