As many of you are aware the Spanish people like to party and have a good time. They have a reputation for enjoying life and valuing time spent with family and friends. Add to this the love and unity of our worldwide brotherhood and you have a winning combination.
We have had the pleasure of briefly getting to know a wonderful couple named Josu and Cristina who have been with Bilbao English for a longtime. The had recently graduated from the Christian Evangelizers School and are back in Bilbao arranging their affairs before they head off to their new assignment. They will be helping support a Basque (Euskara) speaking group in San Sebastian. If you are curious as to how this language sounds I recommend that you watch the video on jw.org entitled ‘Why Study the Bible?‘ in the Basque language. It is a very interesting language and is truly unique in how it sounds. Not suprisingly the Governing Body is working to make Bible publications available in this language for those seeking to draw close to Jehovah who speak Basque. In many of the more traditional areas of the Basque Country there are older generations who speak Basque in day to day life. Even though they may speak Spanish they don´t feel that it is really “their” language but instead Basque is felt to be the language of their heart. This is why it is so exciting to see that the first Basque speaking congregation in the world is planned with Jehovahs blessing in San Sebastian. So what does this have to do with Spanish Fiestas you may be asking yourself?
Since this couple will be leaving the congregation naturally the only normal thing to do here in Spain is to party! The whole congregation was invited to the home of a brother who lives in Durango about 30 minutes out from Bilbao. After a nice day in service with the brother who I later found out would be the DJ we started to get ready for the party. Kanicia and I travelled with Danny and Natalia (the couple from Barcelona) and Lidia to Durango. Not only would we get to experience our first party in Bilbao but we would also get to see Barcelona driving skills first hand. Hopefully we would survive to make it to the party. We want to remind you that it has been months since we´ve driven or even been in a car. Something interesting happens when that much time goes by without having been in a car. When you do finally get into a car it seems like you are going extremely fast all the time and you think that you are going to crash and die at every turn. Thankfully drivers from Barcelona are very “efficient” at driving. Like most European drivers, they drive fast and they know where they are going and hopefully you know to stay out of the way. Needless to say we got to the party fairly quickly. 🙂
At the party we saw many faces that we recognized from the congregation. There were also some others that we had not gotten the chance to meet that may live in Durango and find it more of a challenge to attend the meetings regularly. It was a pleasure to associate with our fellow brothers and sisters in a more relaxed atmosphere which allowed us to get to know them better. We were able to spend time talking to ones that we may only see briefly in the congregation and haven’t been able to speak to very much. It was nice feeling the typical African warmth of the family who hosted the party at their home. We also enjoyed the warmth and family-like atmosphere of many of the other Africans who were attending the party. There easy smiles can’t help but make you smile and put you at ease.
As we expected there was plenty of food. We enjoyed chicken, rice, some African stews and plenty of Spanish snacks. One of the highlights of the evening was the dancing. It was a lot of fun to see everyone let loose on the dance floor. It was especially fun to see the little kids dancing because they really don’t care who’s looking. Some of the children take dancing very seriously! We had a great time and we even joined in the dancing circle. As the evening progressed the congregation presented Josu and Cristina with some gifts for their new assignment. As the evening came to a close we were happy to have been able to experience a Spanish fiesta in Bilbao and we look forward to many more!