Almanzora is a small village in southern Spain (part of the Almeria province). Since the first time I came here for Easter weekend in 1997 it has changed quite a bit. When I first came, all of Guillermo's friends still lived at home and we were social butterflies going out every night and sleeping in all day long from exhaustion. Mama Lola owned a store and there were a few British transplants that would go in to buy stuff. She knew how to say "hello"and "thank you". As the years have passed, the group of people we once spent all of our time with has dispersed. Many moving on from university studies to marriage, jobs, families, etc. Only one, Guillermo's cousin, Andres, still lives in the village. He and his wife have built a very nice house up the street from Papa Guillermo's house. We watch a lot of soccer games there. They have two young children of their own. It's funny to see Carlos and Maria with the little ones. I remember when they were the little ones.
The village is now full of British people. They have come and bought all the old farmhouses on the outskirts and rennovated them. In the summers they have family and friends visiting and it seems that the English speakers outnumber the Spanish speakers. I was joking with the bar owner across the street yesterday that his English should be really great by now, he laughed and told me that they know enough Spanish to order and pay the bill, that's all he cares about. :)
Speaking of the Brits, yesterday the bar was a ghost town. Could it be due to the lack of celebratory spirit after England's loss to Germany?? (congrats to the Kissner girls!) I thought they would all be in the bar watching the game and drinking, as they always are, but nope. Not a single Brit to be found! I guess they had more hopes in the world cup than us Americans... I can't imagine our loss was mourned as widely as theirs.
But, hey, WHO CARES?! Spain plays tomorrow. Carlos and Guillermo have their shirts all clean and ready to wear! The "furia roja" is ready to win! ESPANA!!!!!! ESPANA!!!!!