Sunday, September 23, 2012

A life lived in Fear, is a life Half lived.

I think it would be fit to say that this blog was inspired by my roommate Erin, in Granada. 
A person I am in awe over and who made me find a new perspective, a new punto de vista. 
Erin is 22, from Michigan, and she is blind. Upon realized this small detail, I thought, really why would she want to be traveling abroad, by herself for that matter? It is kind of a burden to everyone around her, people have to direct her on where to go and what we are doing ect. And how scary would that be to travel to a new country while being blind? I couldn't see her reasoning. These were my first thoughts. 

But in reality, what a leader. How courageous is that. I being perfectly healthy, having no disabilities, still was stressing out on missing a flight and on moving in with strangers, being alone in a new city, new country, this girl is doing all of that, and not seeing a thing. Like isn't a big part of traveling being able to see these amazing works of art, ancient building, new styles and being able to compare them to familiar things? Being her roommate allowed to me see what kind of work it takes. Walking to the room I would place my hand on her shoulder and direct her, straight, slight left, to the right, your going to feel a wall, ect. She had a stick to feel if there were things in the way or different floors (carpet to tile) but what a leap of faith. She had to be able to trust in me that I wouldn't lead her the wrong way that I would get her to the right place, that I was being honest and there to help. I can't imagine the difficulty in having to depend on another human being to be able to walk down a hall, I mean sure when I was two my mom taught me how to walk and she would hold me hand and guide me but if she where going to try and lead me into a fire pit I'm sure even at two I would go the other direction or be able to see I was in danger. Erin doesn't have that ability. I walked her in the room and would grab her hand and tell her to feel the walls, walk around and find her bed, the closet, the bathroom door, the toilet, the flush, the trash can, the sink, the soap, the towel, the shower so that she had an idea of how to move around. 
Eating, I would ask her what she wanted let her touch her plate, her cup, her silverware and tell her what she had, she did great with everything, she had to feel her food of course but she did really well you really couldn't tell she was blind.

It really didn't dawn on me the difficulty or the realness of the situation until I thought to turn on the bathroom light for her, i realized, well, that isn't going to do anything. Like click, her life is darkness, she lives everyday as if she is walking around in the dark. I didn't think as fast as I spoke and I said okay I'm going to turn on the light, and she made a joke, " Ah I can't see!" . I thought that was great humor, spoke a lot about who she was in the 10 minutes that I had been getting to know her.

She took a different stance on life. You keep living, no matter what happens, no matter what difficulties you may have, you keep living, or you get buried alive. Just wow. Just because she can't see doesn't mean she is going to stop living be depressed, give up on life, no all it does is make her a better person, she doesn't let life get to her, she takes the challenge, I think that makes life so worth living, would would want life to be so easy. Like grandma always said, "Anything worth having, is worth working for", I'm a blessed human being to have had all of those amazing sayings passed down to me and it makes me see life for what it really is. Life is a struggle, but if it wasn't, it would be boring, you wouldn't have any good stories to tell. Just way to turn a sad story into a success story a story worth sharing. Erin has other blind friends which I think is key, to know that you are not alone, that this is a 'norm' for some people to not think your weird or that you don't belong because your different, the human race needs support systems, teams, interest groups, friends, family, they let us know its okay it'll work out, others have been through the same. She's even had a boyfriend! But broke up with him before she left for Europe! Shoooot Get it Gurrrrl! 

Just an inspirational story and anyone that is down, know that your not alone, got your heart broken, well your not the first, got your window shield cracked, theres been a few, low on income, join the club. It makes living a little sweeter when you can say you overcame something that seemed to be taking over your life, it really does make you stronger it "builds character". 

In the gardens of Alhambra, they had lots of Gardens and mazes. 

At the torre of Alhambra- the very top of the castle, I know the red and yellow flag is the flag of Spain, the rest I couldn't tell you. 

The view from up top

Their Cathedral, monument for the Christian settlers

The Alhambra was very Muslim, well because the first settlers were Muslim so everything was in Arabic, this piece alone says "Alla is the only god", all over the walls 

Just about everything was detailed like this, there was writing on the walls, floors, ceilings everything, but the Muslims always but God first, always telling the others not to worship them but to only give worship to God. You could walk in a room, and the floors would be so intricately set with a pattern of stones, marbles, tile, there were drains of marble where water would run through the floors. Ceilings were carved out in the shapes of stars to make it look like you were looking up into the sky, lots of windows and stars and moons carved on the shutters so that when light shines through that is the shape of the light, there was also lots of color in the walls mainly blue and orange.

Little piece of outside, there were lots of little "pools" like this all over the outside of the Alhambra

Different view from outside, you can see that there are mountains, so in the center its like a valley and then more mountains. apparently it is divided between the left, center and right part of the city. Originally the city was founded by Muslim kings, but was taken over by Christian Kings, and they fought a lot about what belonged to who. 


Defense mechanism, this is the outer wall, if anyone tried to shoot cannons or fire arrows, it would not do too much if any damage. 

Where people came to watch shows, if you go in the middle and talk, everyone, even upstairs can hear you perfectly, I think that this was mostly used for opera shows.

The story of the twelve lions, Idk lol, twelve is just a really 'good' number, they are not completely sure why it is twelve but there are twelve months, twelve disciples ect. 
This is a super important room at the Alhambra, the Muslim King had many wives, like
200, but he had a love affair with a man, the other nobles found out and of course wanted to kill the kings lover, they knew what family he was in but he had three brothers so they did not know which brother it was, so they killed all four of them. in the room to the right of this picture there is a "tub" in the ground looks more like a base for a fountain, they killed the brothers in that room, one by one, they would kill them in the tub and the drains in the ground would carry the blood down the steps and out of the room you can see an example of the drains in the middle right part of this picture, in the ground, do you see it? When they did the killings, none of the brothers saw it coming because there was no blood. 

Streets of Granada

Statue of Columbus proposing his trip to Americas to Queen Isabella, in the center of town

Lots of history here regarding Columbus, many admired him and he was very famous here for his "Discovery" of the Americas. 

Queen Isabella and King Felipe are buried in a tomb right next to the Cathedral here in Granada, we went to see their tombs as well, apparently many thought that Isabella was smarter then Felipe, which was a bad thing to admit at the time, but, on the statue of their tomb they are both laying on a bed next to each other, one thing you notice is that Isabella's pillow is indented more than Felipes, to say that the artist agreed with the idea that she was smarter, so her head weighed more than his so that is why the indent in the pillow is lower then that of Felipes. There is a marble statue like (thing) that is on the first floor for the King and Queen and then you can go down stairs to see where they were really buried. 
Also on the statue they are looking away from each other because it was said that they did not really like each other. 

In the market place

Lots of Hookah and bargaining on this street, very Muslim origin, most of the things sold in Granada are from Morocco. 

Beautiful ceiling lamps imported from Morocco. Pero Mucho mas caro aqui! 
Made in Morocco, sold here for waaaay more.

I found Ruby!! :) and girl to the very left is Jennifer, senior at SMC lol I met her yesterday, she's in the Liberal Arts Program, and coincidently she's going to Rome the same weekend I am on the same flight lol ... crazyness

Granada main street, lots of Taparias, ice cream places, bars, discotecas in Granada

Nom Noms

Beautifully decorated "patio"

Me and Sarah and Alejandro, Sevillanos, looking over the city 

Outside of the run bakery. 

Asking for treats from the runs, nuns in Spain do Bake Sales to help the church ha, who would have thought

Gypsy Trick, ask tourists to smell this leaf, when they go to grab leaf they grab your hand and tell you to give them money or they won't let go, mmm scary? a little. They didn't ask me, I walked by them twice, because everyone here thinks I'm Spanish! woo wooo

Thought: Even though we may be so far apart, were under the same moon :)

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