Pose: Standing Half Forward Bend
Sanskrit: Ardha Uttanasana
Location: Doñana Parque Nacional. When we first confirmed our housing in Seville, our host wrote to us that he wanted to “make a gift” to us of driving us to a national park and taking us out for tapas. We were finally able to schedule it for today. It was nice timing because it was also my brother and his wife’s last day in Spain. E (our host) and his partner A, picked us up in the morning. We had to drive in 2 cars because there were so many of us, so we decided that since B and I spoke the most Spanish we would split up and each car would have a translator. (Neither E or A speak a lick of English). I was a little nervous at first to spend an entire day with the cognitive burden of speaking another language and interpreting for my sister-in-law and daughter (neither of whom speak a lick of Spanish). I am pleased to say, not only was I able to carry on a conversation about all kinds of things with E, I had no problem translating. There were still times when it was a challenge and we succumbed to iTranslator, but all in all it went very well.
Our first stop was in the town where E works. He is an elementary school teacher. We had a “second breakfast” of gambas and white wine. These are gambas. After this, we assumed we would be heading to the park, but we made our next stop in the town where E and A live and had lunch. (The Spanish meal schedule still baffles me). For lunch, they ordered several different dishes for the table and we all shared (family style). It was all delicious and I’m amazed at how different the food is just a short drive out of Sevilla. There were camarones, stuffed anchovies, and a duck stew. (I have paused my vegetarianism while in Europe. A discussion for a different post).
After we were thoroughly stuffed and ready for a nap, we finally headed out to the park. This particular park is a bird sanctuary where among others we were to see storks and flamingos. We enjoyed the short drive out to the countryside (as E calls it) and occasionally stopped along the way to use binoculars and bird watch. Once we arrived at the park entrance we got out of the car and went for a leisurely stroll around the park. Unfortunately we did not spot any flamingos but we saw tons of storks. They make their huge nests in trees and on top of posts. E told us that right now is egg laying season so all the nests had birds in them protecting their eggs. Along our walk we also saw a bunch of cows and Momo actually got one to walk up to her and she pet it (and named it Philip). After our walk, we got some coffee at the park’s cafe and E brought out some postres (dessert) his mother had made for us. We had some kind of delicious chocolate cake and a couple different kinds of cookies.
I am so thankful for such a kind and generous host. I am thankful for his patience as we stumble through our Spanish and for his enthusiasm to show us a good time while here in Sevilla. I look forward to spending more time with him before we leave.
Photography Credit: Momo