A Debut

When a bullfighter appears in a certain number of novice fights (novilladas) without picadors (the lanced men on horseback), he can make debut in a novillada with picadors. The bulls are more massive, older, and generally more intimidating. Making your debut means you’re one step closer to becoming a full-fledged matador. Just a few days ago, Jose Monje made his debut in El Puerto de Santa María. The novillada (Spanish-readers click for a link to the article at mundotoro.com) was a good one, and the young Jerezano – who I interviewed on my last day in the city – cut an ear.

[Read more…]

Tientas in Ávila at the Ranch of Andrés Hernando

My sister Maria arrived early in the morning at the Madrid Barajas airport. I was with two friends, Joe and Ken from Scotland and California, respectively, in a rented VW. Our plan was to pick her up in the AM and immediately travel for an hour and a half to the countryside bordering the city of Ávila. Pass Ávila on the Renfe train and you’ll immediately recognize the great, intact medieval city walls enclosing an old town center. I never got a chance to explore within Ávila’s walls, but I admired from a distance on several occasions. We were headed for the bull ranch of the ganadero Andrés Hernando, but didn’t get on the road until Joe and Ken sorted out the details of a minor parking lot collision that occurred while I was hunting down my sister. Apparently, a gentleman from the Vietnamese embassy who spoke neither English nor Spanish backed into our rental and left quite the dent on the passenger door. Once I found my sister, Joe and Ken were filling out some paperwork and said that the damage would not be a serious issue.

[Read more…]

Stateside

Good evening Charles Center blog. I apologize for the lapse of time between now and my previous post. Since I last wrote, I have returned to the states to begin the fall semester at William & Mary. I left Spain on July 10, which unfortunately was earlier than I anticipated. I had cut the trip a few days short to prepare further for the MCAT and to polish up my AMCAS general application to medical school. I managed to get a lot of the application done while in Spain, and quickly finished it once I returned home.

[Read more…]

Bulls, training, and interviews

It’s been a while since my last post and I’ve done a considerable amount of writing and documenting in a separate Word based “Spain Journal”, so much like last year, forgive me, Charles Center blog. I’ve got my “Writing a Paper” mix playing, so let’s see how this goes:

[Read more…]

Big Changes: The Escuela Taurina de Jerez de la Frontera

Until approximately one week ago, I thought I would be training with the bullfighting school in Salamanca. The title of my first post, as well as my project proposal, are evidence of this fact. Yet it turns out that there was a bit of a misunderstanding between me and my contact in Spain, who was my liaison with the President of the Andalusian Association of Taurine Schools. Even though I thought I’d be in Salamanca, the President thought I wanted to be in Jerez (which is what I told him originally when I thought I’d do William and Mary’s program in Cádiz). Given that location was of lesser importance than actually being able to train with a school and that the school was still awaiting me in Jerez, I booked a homestay online, and purchased my train ticket in Madrid. As of now, I’m in a three story apartment complex on the outskirts of Jerez de la Frontera and have already trained for one afternoon with the city’s taurine school.

[Read more…]