I woke up this morning around 11:45. I'd fallen asleep really late, and had taken a couple Tylenol PM since I didn't really have to get up for anything. I showered and got ready for the day. Around 12:45, I left here on my bike and headed to the Plaza Ayuntamiento to meet my new friends Anne and Muriel (from the concert Tuesday night) at Starbucks. They are my age, from the North and South of Germany, respectively, and are here in Spain for 9 months on a mission trip - sort of. It's through a Christian organization, and they are basically assigned to a church a little ways outside of Valencia (in a town called Cullera). There, Anne teaches guitar lessons to members of the church Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, while Muriel teaches English classes. On Mondays and Fridays, they volunteer at the Misión Urbana (where we direct all of our homeless friends). In their spare time, they also help with different Christian youth opportunities and camps and retreats in the area. Needless to say, they are AMAZING and I am so blessed to have met them! We stayed at Starbucks until about 3:15, and then I biked home.
When I returned, they'd already eaten lunch, but Matilde (as I now call Señora) left my portion in the microwave. It was vegetable soup with garbanzo beans and mixed vegetables (balanced, huh?) - delicious, still. Afterwards, I hopped on the bus and headed to the centro comercial by the metro stop Turia (where we also meet every other Saturday morning to share breakfast with our homeless friends in the park). There, part of our ISA group met to go to the Exposición de Ninot. During Fallas (the third biggest festival in the world, that is located here in Valencia and is coming up soon) every barrio makes a Ninot - made out of cardboard and paper, like paper mache (sp) - that is usually very witty or political. On the last day of Fallas, March 19, they burn all but one. The Exposición de Ninot is where the display all of the Ninots, and anyone who wants can go through and at the end, vote for their favorite small Ninot and favorite big Ninot to not be burned. Every year, a big one and a small one are 'saved' and placed in the Museo Fallera. It was amazing!!! The people work all year long on their Ninot - each one is so intricately designed and absolutely gorgeous.
When we'd finished our voting, Jessica, Macy and I walked around and (I) window shopped a little, while they actually shopped. Lent. Anyway, I eventually got tired of not being able to buy anything, so I caught the bus home. For dinner, it was just me and the folks. We had a vegetable purée and DELICIOUS pollo frito (a kind of fried chicken). Afterward, Matilde clued me in on her secret stash of delicious dulces (sweets). She introduced me to Turrón, a type of candy that is made in Alicante, just south of Valencia. It is ridiculously good, and I'm now addicted.
After supper, I hung out and skyped my mom a little bit. At around 11:30, I met up with Jessica and Macy to go out. We walked around Carmen (the barrio where everything is happening) for a while looking for a place with good vibes. It's incredible, the night life here. The streets are all FILLED with people, of all ages. It's the thing to do - people don't invite others into their homes... they all meet outside of them. Anyway, we walked around for a solid hour and a half scoping out different places. When we were about to go into what we'd decided would be a solid place, we ran into Lukas, Jacobo, and Johnny. We went with them to go meet up with Jazmín, Claudia, Cristina, Abi, y Dovis. From there, we walked around again some more. Around 2:30 we began to have a botellón in the streets when a topic of conversation arose that would change my weekend forever.....
TO BE CONTINUED