September 4, 2002

9/4/02 Hacinas

Welcome to Salas de los Infantes - II

Although the day started out dreary, it turned out to be a wonderful.

I decided to go into town early so I could finally get a chance to see the Paleontology Museum here in Salas. But the whole valley was covered in a cold shroud of fog, getting thicker as I neared the city.

The museum is said to be one of the best in Spain. It's great that a city this small has put so much into a project like this, especially for the young people. The exhibit had quite a collection of fossils and antiquities from the surrounding area. I also got a chance to talk with Sergio, another of Nati's brothers who works a the museum and has a PhD in Paleontology.

Big Bones!

Outside the weather seemed as if it was getting cooler. I had hoped to find a quiet park bench somewhere to study, but it was too cold to stop moving. So I walked about the the city until it was time to go to class.

This morning Santi picked up Amparo's newest student at the airport in Madrid. Tina came from Malibu, California with her five-year-old son, Ian. And her mother came along and will be here for a week or so. Tina and Ian want to be here three months or more if they can. Like my first day, the long air flight was hard. Tina said she's only slept two hours in the last forty-eight.

For me, meeting them was great! I took full advantage of kindred spirits from American to speak English a lot and as fast as I could. Poor Amparo and Santi could not keep up. Sort of like me at one of Nati's family gatherings with everyone speaking a mile-a-minute. I know it's my first impression, but I think Tina is going to like it here.

Poor Javier is still sick, although he's eating some. He just can't understand wy he can't eat what the grownups are eating. Tonight wonderful Nati made marvelous American food, hamburgers. But Javier was restricted to fish. He was so upset that he wasn't allowed to put ketchup on his fish like we did to our hamburgers. These sick days are wearing on both parents. After Javier finally fell asleep, I gave Nati one of my 'guaranteed to fix what ails ya' massages. The smile on her face was all the payment I needed. She loved it.

Nati said that after that massage, I can have hamburgers anytime I want!

José, Nati and I stayed up to 1:30am talking about work salaries and cost of homes both here and in Kansas City, along with talking about my work in a hospital. I will genuinely miss this family.