No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
– John Donne
One of the great things about traveling abroad is the new people you meet and the new foods you put in your mouth. Special conversations happen when you chat with folks over a meal. This is not a new insight, but it is a true one: food and drink do a great job breaking down cultural barriers. Julie and I often think about how we would have never come in contact with these people if we hadn’t taken the journey. In this week’s post is we’d like to highlight a few of them.
St George’s Anglican Church. Today, we celebrated a calçot feast after church. A calçot is cross between a green onion and a leak. The calçots are cooked on the grill and get black on the outside. With helpful instructions from local Catalan “experts”, we learned how to strip the outer skins away, dip the calçot into a special tomato, garlic, almond sauce, and then slide it into our mouth and eat it. Messy, but yummy.
John Chapman – John is the chaplain at St. George’s Anglican Church.
Julie and I had a wonderful lunch with him on Wednesday. John is Scottish, and his wife Deborah is American. They have had some incredible experiences in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. It was great to discuss God, politics, life, and how things don’t always go according to plan.
Jorge Nunez Segura – Jorge is my art teacher.
He’s 84 and I love chatting with him as much as the art lessons. Jorge served in the Spanish Navy for a short stint. He worked in Paris as a graphic designer at the very beginnings of the modern advertising age. After that, he worked as a book cover illustrator with more than a 1000 pulp fiction book covers to his credit. He is a great painter and a fascinating man.
Janet Webster (Jorge’s Wife) – Janet is one of the most kind, inclusive and welcoming people you could ever meet.
She has an incredible gift for connecting people together. If we had a question about anything in Barcelona, Janet would be the first person we’d go to.
Julie and Janet enjoy tea and a chat when George and I are painting in the studio.
Unknown Nuns and Monks – We had heard about nuns who make and sell cookies (thanks to Jana Lechner).
We did some research and found a small shop by the cathedral that sold cookies from a variety of monasteries…plus some specialty liquors that monks had brewed deep in the basements of their abbey.
Thank you, nuns and monks. Although we didn’t get to meet you in person, your homemade goods were yummy and sparked some good conversations!