This week, students took their finals in Spanish and psychology, we celebrated with end-of-the-quarter activities, and Las Fallas, the huge Valencian festival, began to take over the city. Each community (some 500 in number) prepares for an entire year for the Fallas, building a falla or ninot, planning events, and selecting the Fallares (an honorary position requiring quite a bit of work). This week, the Fallas went up all over town, as did bunello stands and large white tents for community meals. The mascleta, the daily firing of firecrackers in the center of town, continues unabated, and is now accompanied by random firecrackers going off day and night. Today is the Friday of the four-day weekend during which Las Fallas reaches a fever pitch, and then on Monday all but a few of the Fallas will be burned at midnight. Should be something to see!
Our Spanish class tackles the future tense. We will all miss the Chinese, British, German, and other students who have made our classes so rich and who have become our friends.
Students finishing papers and preparing for exams.
Many resorted to chocolate pastries as a coping device.
My Psychology of Adjustment class is happy to be finished with the final exam.
...as is my Cross-Cultural Psychology class (smallest class EVER).
We had a nice farewell meeting where we were able to give our instructors gifts and hear from the director of AIP about how this is just the beginning of our journey...
Each of the students (and I!) got a certificate for Spanish. Miguel showed a slide show of our experience, bringing us back to the very beginning 10 weeks ago.
The meeting was followed by a great meal at a nearby restaurant, with our "profesores" as well.
Meanwhile, we attended another Mascleta...
...another soccer game (Valencia tied)...
...and an excursion to the amazing Oceonografic Aquarium...
...along with the nearby IMAX Theater, both at the City of Arts and Sciences.
Fallas are going up all over town. Here's one being transferred on a truck.
A Fallas display in the Supermercado.
Cranes are used to install the Fallas in many different neighborhoods.
Here's one we really liked.
We're all excited to see what this weekend will bring.