Being an account of Miriam’s global adventures: a four-month study abroad experience in Spain in 2008, and an 11-month service term in Zambia, August 2011-July 2012.


4 responses to “About

  1. Hey,
    Thanks for the comment! Glad I could bring back some wonderful memories. I’m working at Vall d’Hebron, which I highly doubt is the Moderniste hospital. I’m also technically at the research institute, in a squat white building that nonetheless satisfies all my science needs.
    Any recommendations on Spain? If you’re interested in learning about interesting things in Zambia, one of my friends worked there last summer with an AIDS education program that worked in schools using sports and team-building kids to engage kids and get them to think about AIDS and HIV in new ways. I also know someone who lived in Zambia for years and started an AIDS/HIV education NGO that is now run by a Zambian board. Regardless, I hope you have wonderful adventures, and thanks for your comment.

    Jess (UnlickedEnvelope)

  2. The Modernist hospital appears to be Sant Paul. It is very much NOT squat and white. I spent an enjoyable afternoon walking there and then wandering around on the day that I forgot to get more money but went to Casa Battló anyway, resulting in only barely having enough money to eat lunch, much less pay for tourist attractions.

    Most of my wandering-around-Spain experience was in the south, but let’s see:
    Toledo I enjoyed, in a this-is-a-bit-touristy-but-really-cool-and-medieval sort of way. I wouldn’t want to spend terribly long there.
    Segovia — I think it was Segovia — has a charming golden-yellow castle based off of that Neufwanstein (sp) one in Lichtenstein (?), which is very awesome on the outside and somewhat disappointing on the inside because a fire wiped out all the original furnishings.
    Yes, that was Segovia. El Escorial is also somewhere around there, which was Imposing Architecture, and . . . fine. I liked the library.
    Granada is definitely worth seeing. I enjoyed the city, and Alhambra is very much worth a visit, even with the bother of getting in, if you at all appreciate Islamic architecture and Iberian history.
    Málaga has a beach, not at all worth comparing to Barcelona’s, and a Cathedral that did not leave any noteworthy impression after four months of Impressive and Overdecorated Cathedrals of Spain. There’s also a nice Roman ampitheater and some Islamic ruins that pale in comparison to Alhambra, but were worth a wander. Overall, not much of a destination city, from what I saw of it. (Also, I did very poorly on cheap accomodation there. I’m not sure if there wasn’t any, or if I didn’t find it.)
    On the topic of Overdecorated Cathedrals of Spain, I was not terribly impressed with Zaragoza (Our Lady of the Pillar? Something like that).
    The university city that starts with an S and has a frog on the pillar . . . Salamanca . . . had some nice cathedrals, to my sensibilities. Otherwise it seemed a bit dead, but presumably that’s different when school is in session. I did enjoy the astronaut on the ancient-looking carving.
    Sevilla has nice gardens and a completely acceptable cathedral with a REALLY REALLY HIGH tower that you climb using a ramp.
    Overall, I think you’ve already seen and posted pictures of one of the cathedrals I quite liked — one of the lesser-known ones in Barcelona — and I can’t remember off the top of my head where the other ones were, and am not going to spend my evening looking through blog backentries.
    Bilbao was fun, had a very nice youth hostel, and the Guggenheim museum is of course very impressive (in a ‘I enjoyed it, despite having little appreciation for modern art’ kind of way, not a ‘three tons of gold plastered to a wall’ kind of way). Some of the little seaside towns in that area are pleasant, but don’t go on a Sunday; almost everything is closed and it’s hard to find food to eat.

    And, of course, Córdoba. I can’t help being fond of it, but I say without bias that the Mesquita-Catedral is pretty darn amazing. (Personally, I would’ve liked it better without the Catedral part, but accept that architectural pillaging is probably what kept it intact and cared for.) The ruins at Medina Azahara (“Medinazara”, and sometimes there’s a t in there, I think) are probably comparable to the ones in Málaga, but with a better view (at least, I like countryside better than smoggy flat city). There’s a nice archeological museum that happens to be built on top of a Roman theater. And the old city is fun for just wandering. Also the Plaza de Tendillas, with the children running through the fountain, and the clock that plays flamenco. (Speaking of, do see a demonstration of flamenco dancing while you’re there. I saw one in Córdoba, but they’re probably all over the south, at the very least.) I don’t think it’s entirely my association with the city that leads me to say that traces of the grandeur of the Spanish Caliphate remain. The Alcazar gardens are nice, the ruins okay.

    • TLDR; I don’t seem to have a way to browse tags on this blog, which I should fix, but not tonight; in the meantime, if you’re curious about a city, there’s a list of tags on the right on the previous incarnation of this blog.

      What parts of Zambia?

      And was the sports organization by any chance Push the Rock? Or are there multiple sports-based organizations running around?

  3. Your blog post on being white in Zambia is so well put. I’m writing a story for a literary magazine about my experience in Zambia and it touches on some of these same issues. If you’d like, please be in touch via my email address.

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