Finally Here!

Asun and Daniela arrived on Sunday! It's wonderful. My "exile" is over, and I survived, somehow. Crazily, after just a few days I'm back in Malaga by myself, but Asun will be here Sunday. She's staying in Madrid this week with Daniela, who started ballet less than 24 hours after the plane touched down. They are with Pili, staying at an apartment that was lent to them by one of Pili's coworkers. Daniela is taking classes at Victor Ullate's school, a very serious place which has produced some internationally renowned dancers, including Tamara Rojo, the star of the Royal Ballet in London. (I just read a funny quote. Rojo began her career with the Scottish National Ballet when she was 20. She commented that when she got there she didn't speak any English, but that it didn't matter because neither did they.) It was hot in Madrid, but very dry, so not too unbearable. Yesterday we saw the Residencia where Daniela will be staying the next couple of weeks and it seems fine. It's right in the center of Madrid and there's a bus that takes the dancers out to the school. Daniela really surprised me (but I guess I shouldn't haven been surpised) because as soon as she got here she turned the Spanish language button on in her brain and she's doing fine. She's got a great, confident attitude. I can see that she wants to immerse herself, and fast. It's a struggle, but she's already communicating in Spanish more than I had anticipated and by mid October she'll have returned to a very high level of proficiency. Within six months she'll be completely bilingual again. What a night: this morning just before six a car parked on the street almost right below went up in flames. I have no idea how that happened but I suspect it was some punks just being jerks. In any case, it was quite a fire and the bomberos took a while to get here, by which time the car was thoroughly destroyed as was the little van parked next to it. The stench from the burning tires was awful. And before that, around 3:30 in the morning, a few drunks decided to continue their "conversation" after the bar closed right below us on the Paseo. Very loud and obnoxious. I launched no less than four water balloons, but these guys were so drunk they didn't even notice. No wonder I've had a hard time getting going this morning. I guess I'm also a little tired from the drive down from Madrid. (The photo is from Cristina's graduation in June.)

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