Monday, October 27, 2008

Warm Hospitality in Huelva

We were invited to spend the day in Huelva by Roger's interpreter, and his wife, Andrea. They are Chileans who moved here a few years ago and they could not have been more kind to us.
Huelva is the biggest city near to Valverde, and we found that it had some good department stores, beautiful pedestrian malls, and as always - great outdoor cafes. Throughout the day my Spanish got put to the test and it was encouraging to see progress as I started to form sentences (albeit in child-like fashion) while talking to Andrea. Fortunately Claudio was there to interpret, but we didn't want him to feel like he was still working so we both tried to speak as much Spanish as possible.

One of the purchases we made was a portable heater because our apartment doesn't have one (very odd not having a place with a furnace!) and the forecast is for colder weather. I know, I know ---- "cold" is a relative term as we'll never see snow here and so I'll try to refrain from talking about "cold weather" in the future!

After shopping, they took us to their apartment that they share with their 3 children: Andrea who is 3, Miguel is 8, and Pillar is 12. Claudio's wife went to a lot of effort to prepare a wonderful meal of Chilean empanadas, salad, shrimps, and my favorite - flan for dessert.
I could hear lots of birds chirping, and when I poked my head out their kitchen window saw many apartments with bird cages hanging on their outside walls which was neat to see.
To work off the big lunch, we took the children to Punta Umbria, a resort town on the coast about 15 kms from Huelva where we walked on the boardwalk and then went to the River Odiel to see where the boats were moored. Little Andrea loved having Roger carry her around like a sack of potatoes and apparently has been asking to see him again. It was fun seeing them talk to each other with a bit of English, and a bit of Spanish.

It was a really wonderful day and we'll remember the warm hospitality from the Villanes family for a long time to come.
Hasta luego.

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