September 7, 2002

9/7/02 Hacinas

Going to grandmother's house

This was my last day in Salas and my last lesson with Amparo. I only hope I use my Spanish as well as she has taught me. I will always value the effort she put into getting the language to sink into my thick skull.

The highlight of the day came when we had dinner at Nati's aunt's house. It is the home of Nati's grandmother and it is over 200-years-old. Made of adobe brick, the entire house only has one small window in the front room. But the best part is the kitchen. A lot of the old home have an odd cone-shaped chimney called a chimnera. Inside I found out why it looks that way. The kitchen has not ceiling because the entire thing is the chimney. It's function is to allow all the warm air to help cure all the meats in the household that would be hanging from the walls of the chimnera. The inside was pitch-black from 200-years of smoke from the open fire. So, we ate meats cooked over the fire along with fresh bread, drinking a little wine, all the while sitting on benches talking. I think my aunts and uncles would have enjoyed these people I'm met.

Grandmother's kitchen