Comunidades - Sebastian Shiffer

For my first comunidades I watched a podcast by Rick Steves about the Basques in Spain. This was particularly interesting because I did my project on them. The Basques are a stateless nation in the northeast part of Spain. I learned about their culture and differnent activites they partake in. one for example is a sport where they have wooden rackets and they throw what is like a lacross ball against a wall at speeds over 150 mph. I also learned that many men in the community go to cooking clubs where they enjoy cooking and eating with their friends. In the future I would enjoy visiting the popular tourist destination San Sebastián. The beach looks great and Rick said that the town usually has several fisherman. In the future I would like to convince my parents to perhaps take a trip to San Sebastián

My second comunidades is about my Spring Break.  For my spring break I was lucky enough to be in Puerto Vallarta Mexico.   During my trip to Mexico I had a lot of opportunities to speak to spanish speakers.  I enjoyed talking to the waiters and servers but I really got to use my spanish with the vendors on the beach.  They sold bracelets, hats, shirts, dresses and my favorite tattoos. I learned pretty fast that all of these vendors don't have a set price on all of their merchandise. This means that the prices are negotiable.  When I saw the tattoo man I had to get one.  He wanted to charge me ten dollars a letter for "meow" across my chest, but I think he appreciated that I was speaking his language and he let me talk him down to thirty dollars total.  I attempted to do the same with the sombrero man but he wouldn't go down as much so I was forced to take my business elsewhere. In the future I plan on going back to Mexico, and using my bargaining and spanish skills for more bargains.

For my third comunidades I watched a movie called Sin instructions.  This movie was a spanish movie about a man, valentin who finds out he is a father when his daughter Maggie is delivered to him.  Valentin must then move to Los Angles from his home in Mexico to attempt to find the mother of his daughter and his job of doing stunts.  When he finally does find the mother of his daughter his plan blows up in his face when she wants Maggie back.   Through watching this movie and La misma luna I learned that it is easy to enjoy movies in spainish as much as english ones.  This was a good movie, I really enjoy Eugenio Derbez in both of these movies.  In the future I may watch more spanish movies with Eugenio Derbez because I think he is a great actor.  

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Two of the most interesting things I've learned about this year in the hispanic culture would be about this year from these activites is how much I can actually use my Spainish skills to communicate to other Spainish speakers.  From the first communidades I did where I went to the Harry Hines Bazaar to the time I was in Mexico I could tell I was better at talking the second time, but both times I was able to have a meaningful conversation and have the other person understand what I was saying.  The second thing I learned about the Hispanic culture this year was how enjoyable it can be. Specifically, watching the Rick Steeves podcast and seeing the inside of some Hispanic culture, as well as watching Instructions not included were both surprisingly more entertaining than I first thought they would be.  Also outside of comunidades I enjoyed learning about Salvador Dali more than I thought I would and have since heard references to his work and been able to understand the context.  

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