Saturday was my little sister's 9th birthday! Marta has been super excited for her birthday and been talking about it forever.
I spent Friday night at Shanna and Emily's house, and when I walked back home in the morning I saw Marta right away and she was so happy and excited that it was her birthday. The phone kept ringing with family members calling to say Happy Birthday to her and it was really cute. We hung out at home for a while and I taught her a few American card games. I also gave her a little birthday present. I got her a little pink bear keychain that says London on it while I was in London, a sheet of stickers (cuz she LOVES stickers), and I gave her one of each of the American coins!
Here's a picture from the family party. She asked me if I'd come up and sing Happy Birthday to her in English, so here I am singing to her. And Vanessa and Noelia kind of knew it too :)
We went out to the finca again to celebrate, but it was with the family this time instead of with her classmates. I knew quite a few of them already, but met quite a few new people as well and they are all very nice. We talked and hung out, ate lunch, and had coffee after lunch. Oh my gosh. You will all be so surprised and impressed by the food I ate there yesterday. I remember Nuria saying I might not like a lot of it because a lot of it had fish in it, but I decided I'd try some new things. We were all sitting around this huge table, like a grand Thanksgiving meal. There were tons of little dishes of things: Spanish tortillas, meat, chips, crackers, cheese, jamon cerrano, chorizo, bread, sandwiches, and a lot of things with fish on top. They all think it's weird that I don't like to eat fish, because they live right by the sea and grow up on fish. There was another woman who didn't like fish though! So I didn't eat any of those, but I ate the rest of the stuff and enjoyed it. Oh, I just remembered there was also octopus or squid or something. YUCK. It looked so gross. I didn't try that. After I was pretty much done eating, they were passing around some more interesting looking foods. Manolo handed me a bowl of something and said something about pig meat and it just looked like pork. So I grabbed a piece and put in on my plate and then he said ear. It's a pig's ear. I ATE A FREAKING PIG'S EAR. But let me tell you, that was NOT good. The meat part of it was fine, but the cartilage was so weird to eat! It was like hard and crunchy and the texture was killing me. It was definitely a forced swallow. Hahaha. I also ate a cow's tail after that. Which wasn't too bad! I just gnawed the meat off the bone, kind of like an animal myself. There was one more interesting thing like that which I didn't figure out what it was because I wasn't brave enough to eat it. Just looking at it was too much for me to do. I'd had enough cultural eating of the day. I couldn't believe how much they like those pig ears! They'd grab big forkfuls and shovel it down!
After a few hours I left and went to Shanna's. A bunch of the students ventured to a big gravesite/memorial thing here in Spain for the kings, but we were a few of the kids who had decided not to go so we hung out for the rest of the afternoon/evening. We took the bus to the mall to pick up a few things, and then came back to my house. My family was not home so we sat up in my room and jammed out hard core. We both love to sing and are always singing when we're walking around the streets, at school, on the bus, wherever we are. But it's hard because there's always people around and so it's hard to belt it out and just sing in public without driving people crazy. We sat on my bed and jammed out to songs from Wicked, harmony and everything, and it was so much fun. My family came home a while later and then Marta wanted us to play some of her new games she'd gotten for her birthday with her. Noelia and Celia (her cousins) were staying the night so they played with us too. Celia is only 4 and she's so cute when she speaks in Spanish. We played Jenga Boom!, which is like Jenga, except the base of it is a ticking bomb and when it explodes the whole thing tips over. Hahah. Kind of violently.
After that Shanna and I went out to meet a group of friends at Adolfo's and then we headed out to this big fiesta thing that was happening in the park. It's a big famous fiesta that's happening this weekend and next. Spain really loves their fiestas! It was kind of cold and icky outside though.
Overall I think Marta had a really good birthday and I learned a lot from celebrating with them and seeing the two different parties. They do things a lot differently here, but there's still so much joy and happiness in a birthday! Marta got a tablet (which I've been helping her figure out how to use), some clothes and shoes, quite a few games (Jenga Boom!, Rummikub, Monopoly), a new backpack, candy, headbands, lots of things. She also got a guinea pig from one of her friends! Haha. So we have a guinea pig now. Her name is Lola and she's really funny. She's pretty skittish, but gets better each day. I'll have to take a picture of her one day. Her hair naturally grows in like 5 different directions so she looks a little crazy sometimes.
Here's a picture of one of her cakes... The Princess Cake!
Today the whole family has lunch together again because it's Sunday, so that'll be fun! I have a lot of homework to do today as well so I better get started!