In 2012, Lisa and Mary vacationed in Barcelona, testing the waters of this Spanish city by the sea. Art and political activism abounded like this sculpture memorializing the old fishing shacks bulldozed to make a beach for Olympic tourists, Education is a Right graffiti, and Gaudi’s parks, apartment buildings, and soaring Sagrada Familia. We struggled with Spanish, and Catalan flummoxed us completely. We loved the food, people, bougainvillea and cacti that reminded us of Tucson, and the relative warmth of October. Yes, we could live here. So Lisa investigated two American schools during our stay, and a few months later, one school hired her!
Barcelonetta 2012: L’Estel Ferit (The Wounded Shooting Star)
The long paper trail for Spanish visas began with assorted documents collected and Apostilled from U.S., Arizona, Connecticut, Pima County, and Tucson governments, doctors’ notes assuring the Spanish government that we were free from disease, and several trips to the consulate in Los Angeles.
Next came months of apartment searching on the internet, packing and purging and re-evaluating schedules. Here’s what Mary thought might happen:
One month from departure–I think I’ll go for a mountain bike ride in Patagonia, AZ, and visit my friend. Didn’t happen.
One week from departure–I think I’ll have lunch with my Patagonia friend in Tucson. Didn’t happen.
Two days from departure–I think I will email my Patagonia friend during my airport layover in Houston. Yes, mission accomplished!
Lisa completed her grant contract and began a busy month of dealing with repairmen, A/C installers, irrigation experts, researching luggage, finding the perfect renters and caretakers for Gray the Cat, and distilling years of educational materials into the perfect package for Barcelona students and teachers.
August 2013 begins with us in transition, from Ana’s Guesthouse to our generous friends’ Gracia apartment while we wait to receive the keys to our apartment located just down the tree-lined pedestrian street.
© 2013 by Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds. All rights reserved