Did you know that the Canary Islands are near southern Morocco? They are like... Africa! They are next to Western Sahara. I know, you probably already knew that. But I am an idiot! I didn't really realize where I was until I saw a map in our Hotel Basement showing where the Canary Islands were. I am a bit embarrassed to tell you where I thought the Islands actually were, but that isn't important anyway.
The point is, Ulises took some vacation days and we went to the Canary Islands to visit the beach of course, but also to go on a little hunt for Family History!
Ulises 2nd grade grandfather was born in the Canary Islands and we were trying to find the church and perhaps some records about him. It was a fun adventure! First, we spent the first day sleeping and resting in the nice hotel. The next day we decided to take the scenic route from the southern half of the Island 'Gran Canaria" to the north near the capital, to a city called San Jose where his ancestors are from.. While driving the curvy windy roads I couldn't think about anything else except falling and dying. The roads were only big enough for one car and it was a two way road with many bends and curves. Every turn we took Ulises honked the horn to warm others we were coming around the corner. A few times it was really close! But it was a beautiful drive.
We stopped in towns along the way and we even ran into a man who is perhaps a (2nd, or whatever) cousin of Ulises! Ulises had stopped to ask directions and the guy who helped him has the same last name of his ancestor--Morales (which isn't super common) and his grandfather also has the exact same name! And from the same town! So Ulises took his number and we will investigate more and get back to him. Kind of ironic, eh?
After we reached San Jose, we talked to a lot of people in a lot of government buildings that always directed us to other government buildings. I didn't understand any of it, but Ulises said that although we dont know exactly what church his grandfather was baptized in, he now has the information he needs to contact the right people to move forward with this. we took pictures next to the two probable churches that his grandfather could have been baptized in.
It's really exciting, Ulises' family history has a lot of low hanging fruit and there is a lot we can do with it. This was a great way to start, and also get excited about it!
While we were in Gran Canaria we also enjoyed free continental breakfast at our hotel and a great pool.
We also enjoyed the OCEAN (I think its one of the most amazing things in the world!) and lots of really cool historical places and natural sites. Grand Canaria is known as a little continent because parts of it are really humid and green, while other parts are like the Sahara!
We visited people who live in caves! They have updated them so that they contain electricity and plumbing, but these people have lived in caves for centuries! The guy we talked to was so proud of his natural air conditioning.
Ulises even got to try a jet ski for the first time.
It was a great vacation and we did a lot of things. I successfully stubbed my toe and will lose a toe nail. So that is also a great memory!
Now we are back to real life. While Ulises is hard at work as a waiter, I will begin studying Spanish on my own out of books. I will also be practicing charades and Spanish with his family to try and communicate. In the day time we are often with his family or working on projects. On the weekends when he is at work during the day and at night, I will update my blog, how is that?
P.S if you want to see the rest of our pictures, they are here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10100111297760369.2460935.17815629&l=026c1c018c