por Landon Reis
What was that? This was my first question I thought of. As a group we walked up the stairs of some Investment company, then we understood what was about to happen. On Sunday, we went to the opening ceremony of Fallas in the streets of Valencia. They played Spanish music and Latin American top hits that even CCS students could lip sync to 90% of the songs they played. They played hits including Pepas, Quédate, Ai Se Eu Te Pego, and much more. Some mixes of American classics were also involved. This has been a theme in Valencia, Espana.
Back to Wednesday, wow what a day. I thought Fallas was ridiculous. But, when we stood with Rafa, the father of Rafa plus his well mannered and incredible sister, there was a different feeling I never knew. We stood on some mini terraces and overlooked over 10,000 people in the streets of Valencia. We were confused and wondering what was going to happen, then. BAM! An explosion I have never heard nor witnessed. I look out the window and see fireworks inside of a cage near the metro station in Plaza de Espana.
Thousands of loud, banging, almost sounded like gunfire at one point ravaging throughout the City. Yet the crowd kept cheering, as if they wanted more. I kept walking back and forth looking at the Center and down 5-7 roads throughout the Plaza. The more I zoomed in on my phone taking dozens of videos, I would see joy, happiness and so much affection for their country. Nothing that has ever happened in the U.S. Not even the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, or New Years did Americans make this much noise. It felt like I was floating above. I tried to gain grip on my shoes because I kept rising to my tippy toes. One time they had like 350 go off at one time and it was absolutely insane, the noises almost made me go deaf in my right ear. I kept looking straight and it didn’t end, I didn’t want it to end. This was on of the best things I experienced.Onto different parts.
Now, the people of Valencia really like our music and vice versa. We have found great connections with the families we met and different parents for Guillem, Rosario, and Rafa. All great hosts and even better people who really embody their country and respect which you should show anyone, no matter status or stature.
We have learned so much about our colleagues and friends back in the states who we will see after our venture to Europe ends in mid March. Just like Guatemala my perspective has changed drastically. This idea of how the world should run and work needs culture, inclusiveness, and a bit of trust in the fact that everything coagulates then forms something beautiful where everyone will marvel in its successes.
My first trip to Europe has been a smashing success. I will come back. I may stay around the area so I can meet these people again. I would love to meet and be able to interact with Guillem, Rafa and Sarri’s family over and over again. The amount of knowledge I have gained over this past week is at times overwhelming, yet it will push me beyond my boundaries and further beyond anywhere I would ever imagine Landon Reihs would be. 5-10 years ago would not even fathom that I would react like this or think about so many different topics, daily. I said it last year, now I really feel like “My Senior Speech” will be the one that shines above all I have done or gone.
One thought on “The World Should Take Notes From Valencia”
Landon, sounds like your embracing the fireworks of life! It’s wonderful to hear from you and the others about so many wonderful experiences with our CCS families in this part of Spain!