Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spanish Stuff

Though I was a Bi-lingual teacher for 13 years and I minored in Spanish in College, I'm a perfect example of if you don't use it you'll lose it, so I have forgotten most of my Spanish.  Normally this wouldn't matter much but we've decided to go to Spain later this year to spend a week in Toledo and I'd like to be able to say something besides "Dos cervezes, por favor."
So I have been trying to relearn some of my Spanish.  You'd think Mac could help, after all his family is from Spain, but wanting to be true Americans his parents taught their kids to speak English, any Spanish they picked up was purely accidental.  He has a beautiful Spanish accent for the words he does know, can really trill those "r's", something I've never been able to do.  I speak Spanish with a flat American accent.
We're really looking forward to this trip, we haven't been to Spain in more than 10 years.  When we lived in Germany we use to go down there twice a year so we could see the sun.  Spent a lot of time on the Costa Brava back in the late 60's and 70's.  When we went again in the 90's we went with Mac's younger brother and his then girlfriend now wife, and we rented a villa near Malaga.
When Mac asked me where I'd like to go this year I said Spain, but not the coast, I wanted to see Toledo a place we first saw more than 30 years ago and still stays in my mind for its beauty.
Staying in Toledo is going to be painting heaven.  I want to paint, draw and take a million pictures.   We're   renting an apartment in the old part of town near the old Jewish Synagogue.  Mac's only requests were for air conditioning and a balcony, both of which I was able to find for us.  It'll probably be noisy as all get out staying in the city, but that's part of the ambiance.
I plan on rereading parts of James Mitchner's Iberia  before we go, it's an older book, but is still one of the best I've ever read about Spain.  I know it has been more than 30 years since we've been to Toledo and that much as probably changed but I hope not too much.
We're also hoping to go out to the town Mac's maternal grandparents came from, a small town named Macotera,  it's in the middle of nowhere, you head east towards Salamanca and take a small road out to it.  We went there years ago, before I had any interest in genealogy, and didn't really look around, this time we want to see the old church and see if we can look through the old records and maybe the graveyard.
Thinking about this trip made me go and do some more genealogical work on Mac's Father's family, they have been pretty much of a dead end for me, but last night pouring over the ship's register from when they emigrated from Spain to Hawaii I found the name of the town they came from, probably their embarcation point.   His Dad had always said he came from somewhere near Seville and that was all he knew--he was 6 when they emigrated.  Well the register says they came from La Roda, and though I found a La Roda on the map it wasn't in Andulucia, and his Dad definitely had an Andulusian accent, so I'm betting his Grandfather told the immigration people Rota and because of his pronunciation, for an Andulusian "d" and "t" are interchangeable, Rota became Roda.    I pretty much knew they'd left from southern Spain and not the north, San Sebastian or the east, Barcelona, so that helped a little, but not enough.  Mac says I'll never track them down because Gitanos, gypsies, leave no trail.


  1. Lucky you! Mr. M's forebears also come from Spain and we would love to go there someday. Does Mac speak proper Cathtilian Thpanish? :)

  2. P.S. Despite 7 years of Spanish studies I too have forgotten most of it.

  3. That sounds so interesting. I'm sure you'll have a great time. I haven't been to Spain since I was nine years old!

  4. Mrs. Micawber, the only thing Mac can say in Spanish is "un five cents", but his comprehension is a lot higher.


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