From Barcelona with Love

by Sabrina Raven

 

 Picture1  [Plaza España]

 

When I first found out I would be spending a semester in Barcelona, I expected my life to be something like the film ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’. Fortunately, my experience was nothing like that, because a) it is an awful film (sorry), and b) my time was so much better.

Picture2[The Top of Tibidabo Mountain]

 

The city itself is a magical place; in part a living manifestation of Gaudi’s wonderfully twisted imagination, and also a historic landmine rich with culture and a strong Catalan identity. Lost in the labyrinth that is the Gothic quarter, you feel yourself going back in time and retracing the steps of those who once walked the same cobbled paths thousands of years ago. Yes, Barcelona is a remarkably old city, first founded by Phoenicians and Carthaginians in the first century. It’s past is almost tactile with numerous cathedrals and castles dotted around the centre. However, it is one of their most recent additions that became a great favourite of mine – the beach! In Barcelona you get the best of both worlds: the trendy city vibe, with always something going on, and a relaxed beachside getaway. Barcelona’s beaches are not the worlds best, but the people it attracts and the surrounding bars and café’s are truly unique. I found my inner hippy amongst the street musicians, the organic food stops and the unicyclers.

 

Picture3[Barceloneta Beach]

 

The young artistic talent brightening Cataluña’s creative scene in Barcelona should also be noted. They make art that provokes emotion and not just something pretty to look at. Much of their work is showcased at various festivals the city hosts throughout the year. I was lucky enough to arrive right as the Festival de la Mercé began. It is a weeklong celebration of concerts, parades and exhibitions held around the city. By far the most impressive event was the fire procession. Paraders take to the streets carrying dragons made of fire. These dragons burn their way through the streets as onlookers keep a comfortable distance. The entire sky turns a deep red as they leave their mark. A personal highlight of mine from the Mercé festival was a free performance held by Manu Chao, Barcelona’s resident celebrity and renowned reggae star. It seemed like the whole city had arrived to watch him, everyone in high spirits.

 

Picture4[Inside La Sagrada Familia (Gaudí)]

 

Throughout my time in Barcelona I interned at the international office of one of Spain’s leading universities. Here I helped international students prepare the necessary documentation involved in acquiring and renewing their visa. I was able to build up my work experience as well as stay in touch with the student experience. Everyone on the Erasmus programme was friendly and open to trying out new things. I got to meet people from across the globe, including many Hispanic American students with whom I was able to practice my language skills.

Picture5[Classical Architecture]

 

I began the semester a total stranger to the city and it’s people but I emerged out of it a true Barcelonesa. By the end, I felt like a native: I got to know the people, the history, and the culture. I now realise this time abroad gave me an invaluable gift, a home away from home. Had I not received the Edith Baer Prize I do not believe my experience would have been anywhere near as enriching and educational as it has been!

The Closing Ceremony of the Olympics Game in Rio de Janeiro

By Paige Cornwell

Last year my birthday so happened to fall on the day of the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympic Games. I had been living in São Paulo for about a month by the time my birthday came around, so I decided to go to Rio de Janeiro for my birthday weekend. Two of my SPLAS friends were living in Rio too, so it was comforting knowing I wasn’t going to spend my birthday alone!

 

Picture1 Morning of my birthday on Copacabana

Having been unsuccessful at getting closing ceremony tickets for a few weeks, me and Benjy were expecting a quiet night in watching the ceremony on TV. As you can see from the picture above, it was winter in Rio and my birthday was a cloudy and rainy day – a very different reality to what I had in mind of an all-year sunny and hot Rio.

 

Benjy kept profusely apologising about how my first birthday abroad was turning out to be underwhelming and boring. Sitting in a café in Ipanema, we tried one last time to get closing ceremony tickets at the Maracanã Stadium. By some sort of miracle, the website refreshed and we could buy two tickets for R$100 each (£25)!

Picture2

 

For £25, we had the best seats in the house, about 10 rows from the front – we couldn’t believe it. My cloudy, rainy, uneventful birthday suddenly became one of the most memorable nights of both my year abroad so far.

 

Picture3 The firework display

The closing ceremony was full of all thing carioca (related to the city of Rio de Janeiro) such as Carnaval samba dancing and a medley of Carnaval anthems. It felt like they played the song Cidade Maravilhosa more than three times. For me the highlight of this night was definitely seeing the ‘warm-up’ for Tokyo 2020. I’ll never forget seeing the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe dressed as Mario jumping out of a warp pipe. For my first birthday away from my family and friends back home, it was a birthday I will never forget.

 

In August, I had only been living in Brazil for a few weeks, and so the ‘Brazilianness’ of the closing ceremony did not really resonate with me as much as it does now. As I write this blog post, I have lived in the city of São Paulo for almost seven months and have visited Rio two more times. Thanks to the Edith Baer bursary, I have been able to travel to Rio and many other Brazilian cities and really made the most of my time here in Brazil.

 

 

 

My Experience as an English Language Assistant

By Isabella Kallan

I am currently on my year abroad in Saint Raphael, a small coastal town in the South of France between Saint Tropez and Cannes. I am an English language assistant at two French schools. In order to practice my Spanish on a daily basis, I have chosen to live with a Spanish language assistant, Moises. He is from Venezuela, so some of his Venezuelan slang is rubbing off on me. There is a group of Spanish language Assistants in this area that meet up every so often for celebrations and travelling, which has been an ideal way of practicing my Spanish and discovering this charming part of France. I have been able to explore the French Riviera, visiting lots of small quaint villages, beautiful rocky beaches and vibrant towns such as Nice.

Picture1I wondered through the small narrow streets of rural Nice called Vieille Ville and climbed up to the top of Parc de la Colline to discover the breath taking views and get sprinkled at the fountain. I have also been relishing the French cuisine, which includes their variety of cheeses, their sweet grapes and a plethora of desserts. I also have to point out that the fantastic weather doesn’t hurt!Picture2

I have also been able to travel to other countries in this area. I visited a small town in Italy called Ventimiglia for a daily excursion, to sunbathe under the warm sun and amble through the town. I also went to Monaco, walked to the top of Montecarlo to see the view of the harbour.

Picture3Monte CarloPicture4Begur

During the Christmas break I returned to Jaca, my little cozy Spanish town tucked in the Pyrenees. I went for a few cold hikes in the mountains and enjoyed some hot chocolate and churros. Although it is small, Jaca is a lively town, filled with life in winter and summer. Whenever I go to Spain I always end up in a bar, having a cold caña and some delicious tapas. I also got to spend some quality time with my Spanish childhood friends, who come back to Jaca whenever they can. I then spent a week in Begur, a town an hour north from Barcelona, right by the beach. It is a cute little town, with narrow streets of Moorish architecture. There are some prepossessing neoclassical mansions mixed with contemporary modern houses. I spent hours walking along the coast, soaking in the sun and watching the waves crashing against the rocks. As it is close to Girona, we decided to spend a day in this medieval city, wandering through the small narrow streets in the walled Old Quarter, known as Barri Vell, and visiting the grand Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona, featuring Romanesque and Gothic style. I also got to practice my Catalan, which was a little rusty but I was able to ask for directions and order an ice-cream.
It is thanks to the Edith Baer bursary that I have been able to travel as much as I have and really made the most of where I am. I can finally fully enjoy my year abroad and just focus on enjoying every moment.

Volunteering in Columbia

By Peter Hopkins

Colombia is a fantastic country! I highly recommend it. I also recommend taking a break from studying to do something different. Thanks to the SPLAS department I was able to live and work in an orphanage for three and a bit months and it was amazing! The kids were great fun and living with them day to day talking all the time really helped me to improve my Spanish! Having a bursary from King’s is well worth applying for as well. For me it meant that I could do some fun things with the kids like, for example buy some musical instruments for the house and take them to see the football, which was amazing! In Colombia there are fans who dance and sing continuously for the full 90 minutes!

Having a bursary also allowed me to travel more than I would have otherwise. We took some of the teenagers to help out with a medical brigade in a poor town, working with people who’d been displaced by the Colombian conflict. We were able to take more teenagers than planned because I could contribute towards the travel costs out of my bursary money. We had a really great time and a tangible impact on that community!

Another experience I’ll never forget is another medical brigade we did, but this time with a smaller team, and that was to the Wayuu tribe in the far northeast of the country. We slept in hammocks under a canopy of dry cactus and beautifully clear stars, it was really amazing. We got the chance to help the people there as well, they live in a desert so they’re pretty short on food and water. The team I was working with are planning on going back with some engineers later this year to drill a well!

I got the chance to be a bit of a tourist at the end of my trip, although having lived in the country was helpful for knowing how to be a bit savvy and not get ripped off! There is so much to do in some of these South American countries! There is even good surf! Which I got to enjoy on the Caribbean coast. Colombia is great, and I get the impression that some of the surrounding countries are similar! The people are friendly, the food is great (especially if you like rice, beans and tropical fruit) and the landscapes are so varied and beautiful, from desert, to salt flats, to the humongous Andes, to glorious beaches and tropical jungle. Plus, it’s also a part of the world where you can really make a difference! For anyone planning a year abroad it’s definitely worth considering!

Bienvenido a Quito

by Hannah Baynham
Saturday, August 20, 2016
I arrived in Quito on Tuesday 16th August, ready to meet my new family and see my new home. Tired and a bit groggy, I met the lovely Margarita (my host mama) and her daughter, Ana Karina at the airport at 10am our time. They bought me back to the lovely flat where I’ll be staying for the next four months, and made me feel very much at home!

Margarita has two daughters, Ana Karina, who is married with a gorgeous little boy, Rafa, and Macarena who is my age, both super kind and welcoming. The flat is really great, on the 14th floor and at the top of the hill, each window offers super beautiful views across the sprawling city. It is very cosy and I feel very much at home here.

My time in Quito has already been pretty busy, full of meeting new friends and getting to know the area and my new university.

 

On Wednesday, Margarita and one of her fellow host-mum friends took myself and another exchange student to show us our new route to the university. The campus is in a really nice part of town, in Cumbaya, and really very different from what I’m used to at KCL. So much green space and really characterful buildings.

My first day at the university was on Thursday. I went along with my new friend, Natashia, both of us nervous and excited to meet lots of new people. On arrival we saw that there were LOADS of exchange students, in the same position as we were, all new to Quito, excited and nervous to start at the university. That morning we had a lot of introductory talks, all about being safe in Quito, what to do in case of earthquake, about the university, etc etc. It was very long but all very informative. The talks were followed by a big lunch for all exchange students, and was a good chance to get chatting to people and also the “Ecuabuddies” – a buddy system inside the university linking foreign students to Ecuadorians. The Ecuabuddies also gave us a tour of the campus, which was useful although I’m still very certain I’ll be getting lost regardless when I start classes on Tuesday!

Following a very long morning, we were then invited by one of the other host mums to join them on a bus tour of Quito Old Town for the evening.salsa-buddies-at-plaza-foch.

This was great as they took us all around the city, allowing us to see Quito by night, especially from the amazing view point ‘La Virgen de Quito’ on top of El Panecillo. Of course it was also a great opportunity to meet and chat to other exchange students, and I was super happy to meet two fellow Brits, uni of Birmingham students. The tour finished at a traditional Ecuadorian restaurant, selling impressively gigantic empanadas filled with cow intestines. Living the vegetarian dream!!

Yesterday, Friday, was a really great day. Me and two of the Brits I met the night before, Andy and Grace, ventured into Central Quito to take part in a four hour walking tour covering pretty much every inch of Old Town. Despite it being veeerrry long, it was super interesting, and we learnt loads about the history of Quito as well as Quito at present. On finishing that, we went for a typical Ecuadorian ‘almuerzo’ – $2.50 for soup, juice and a main, and we also went to a couple of museums. A pretty great day, although extremely tiring!!

Yesterday evening we treated ourselves to our first night out in Quito. Gringolandia, or La Mariscal seems to be the place to be in Quito for a night out, and it was absolutely packed full of people. There was live music, so lots of dancing in the Plaza Foch, practising our non-existent salsa skills, and of course lots of drinking and enjoying the atmosphere. A great night although definitely am paying for it today!!

Translation work by Molly de Dios Fisher, inspired in Mexico!

 

CIGARETTE SMOKE

Esteban Gutiérrez Quezada

Para Ariel

 

The engineer was broad, more so than I remembered, both in terms of height and size, like a solemn sacred statue dressed in a suit and tie. His hooked nose opened the way among the multitudes. Four men, shorter than him and also dressed in suits, protected him from the chaos. The escort appeared at his side, instead of the group of colleagues that were usually seen to gather around him. René appeared from behind me. He came close to my ear because the noise of the crowd gathered in in front of the rectory. “He came! I thought that he was going to bail out last minute”. “It looks like he is going to head the march,” I said, “best move over, you stink of cigarettes”.

 

** ** **

 

Eduardo never liked the smell of tobacco, nor the harsh rotting smell of the smoke, he didn´t like it when he was sixty-three years old nor when he had just turned sixteen in August ’68, and yet he died of lung cancer. “At least he survived to die from that”, joked René. Well, half joking, because everything that René said had some kind of moral behind it, a nostalgia for when he was the same age as we are now. Before the smoke took away his youth and many other youths. “Memory is the only reason that we have old people, so that we don´t die so quickly. It’s so good that you are all here to ask me questions, that way I will live a little longer. But not in this body which I inhabit that is nearly rotten with flies, but in those times when I had limitless energy. Or at least that day, when they hadn’t yet wrenched away the energy and innocence of our youth”.

He sighed a bit and carried on smoking, he never stopped smoking, even though it was what had killed Eduardo. He says that he is more resilient, that he is going to live to one-hundred and beyond, and if he can he will power on until 2068. That all those memories will keep him alive.

“That day we were happy. We were excited, ecstatic. An indescribable sensation. It´s more, I don´t remember ever having seen Eduardo so optimistic, never before and never again. He held a true admiration for Barros since long before that march and the talks and all that. Before being the rector, Barros was Eduardo´s professor. Eduardo was very straight. He was sincerely moved that day, when Barros began his speech –we need to demonstrate to the people of Mexico that we are a responsible community, that we deserve autonomy- and he nearly tried to hit me because I was smoking, and he said to me “cut it out, man! You don´t even stop to listen to the engineer talk about our university and the liberation movement, -we will strengthen, not only the autonomy and freedom in our faculties, but we will also form a fundamental role in the fight for freedom in Mexico-.”

“I have never trusted in any rector, nor any figure of authority in the university. But Eduardo had a hope for Barros that was contagious. And so, there we were. We were going to follow the rector to the march.” He said to us.

 

** ** **

 

-He never arrived late, but he never arrived early. No, I´m serious, he always arrived just at the time that he was meant to arrive. The clock had just struck seven and he came into the classroom, and we were only five or six people because no one arrived on time, only him. I am serious, René. And I liked to arrive before him, because it was amazing to see him come through the door with that heavy but irreproachable elegance. Make fun of me all you like, mate.

“When I was younger I had very bad maths teachers and so had never like maths, but he made it understandable and interesting. And that was back in the day when it was rare that they would understand you even a little bit, to treat you humanely… well he did. Do you remember that time when we read that novel by Rómulo Gallegos and we didn’t like it, but professor Duarte made us see everything that we had missed? I ended up liking it. Well that was what the engineer was like, but with numbers.

 

**         **         **

 

What is happening? What can we do? Where does our ignorance lie? We cannot carry on like this: we are the immediate solution; we have that natural instinct to fight back

“Eduardo was by our security rope[1], as always. He said that he liked to be there, only when there could he truly fulfil his responsibility.”

“Our protest will go as far as the crossing between Av. Insurgentes and Félix Cuevas. That is where we are heading; our raw punches sound with determination on the pavement, and in our throats. The soles of our feet vibrate indignantly. It even faintly reaches the mouth of my stomach.

The beautiful placards marched high above our heads. It looked as though they were doing it of their own accord.

The street sign reads STOP, but we keep going. Break! We are interrupting the circulation. Now it is our turn to circulate, so as to show that we can, and that we have the disposition to.

We want to live in a regime… “What does it say? Don’t bunch yourselves up over there, spread yourselves out.” not a repressive one. With only that, it would be enough.

“26th July 1968. Martyrs”

Helicopters as well, two or three.

It´s Che Guevara! We cannot be without our leader. He flies even higher than the helicopters.

“Politics are not the Olympics: they are a whole other ball game”.

 

 

** ** **

 

All at once I felt a sudden wave of chaos. I thought that it was the police pushing against the crowd and I tried to head towards where the sound was coming from. I think I kicked off someone´s shoe. They probably never got it back.

I kept getting closer to the voices, between all of the pushes and shoves because everyone was trying to reach the place where the sound was coming from. And basic physical laws tell us that two bodies cannot occupy the same space at a given time, but that day the march was more important than the laws of physics.

The sound of shouting grew as the force of the blows became harder. All at once I could understand what they were saying.

-Zócalo! Zócalo!-

Stuck to our security rope, trying hard to contain the waves of rebels, was Eduardo, his face turned red with an angry expression like I had never seen in him before. The veins of his neck and face protruded, and at one point it seemed- although amongst the chaos everything was so confusing- that saliva dripped from his mouth. That thin thread of drool that reveals our inner demons.

I think they hit him, because for a moment he covered his face, but then he too began to throw punches. I tried to run over as back up, but it was a stupid idea, because they began to punch me too. They split my lip. But thankfully, very soon a group from the engineering faculty came and re-enforced the human barrier, and the aggressors eased off. I think it rained. I felt damp on my lip, but I don´t know whether it was blood or rainwater. They taste the same.

 

** ** **

 

And what would have happened if the march had gone to el Zócalo, Réne? And he gazed blankly at a bare wall, where there was nothing to see. His eyes glazed over with the memories, his voice turned to a sigh. Well for one thing, we would not have celebrated afterwards. That was a grand march. When we returned to Ciudad Universitaria, Barros said to him: we have demonstrated to the world that our institutions play it straight and are heading towards a just future… Each to their own, but Eduardo got it right with that man. Anyway, as I was saying, if we had changed the route, the repression would probably have been worse. Perhaps we wouldn´t even have had to wait until Tlatelolco…

And Eduardo would not have learnt to smoke. Go on, have a cigarette. To the victory. And I remember seeing in his face an expression of joy generated by a distant hope which he tried to hide, the idea that things really could be different. It was the only time he would ever smoke. And that was how he came to die… But it was worth it.

 

EL HUMO DEL CIGARRO

 

Esteban Gutiérrez Quezada

Para Ariel

 

El ingeniero era amplio, más de lo que yo recordaba, a lo largo y a lo ancho, como un solemne monolito sagrado con saco y corbata. Su nariz aguileña abría paso entre la multitud. Lo protegían del revuelo cuatro hombres más bajos, también vestidos de traje. A su lado parecían una mera escolta contratada en vez de funcionarios administrativos.

René apareció a mi espalda. Se me acercó al oído porque el ruido de los compañeros reunidos en la explanada era muy fuerte. «Sí vino, yo pensé que a la mera hora se iba a rajar». «Parece que sí va a encabezar la marcha», le dije, «mejor vete para allá, apestas a cigarro».

 

  • ••

A Eduardo nunca le gustó el olor del tabaco ni la podredumbre alífera del humo, ni cuando llegó a los sesenta y tres años ni cuando cumplió dieciséis en agosto del 68, y sin embargo se murió de cáncer de pulmón. «Qué bueno que vivió para morirse de eso», nos decía en broma René. Medio en broma, porque todo lo que decía René siempre tenía un dejo de enseñanza, de nostalgia por la época en que tuvo nuestra edad. Antes de que el humo se llevara su juventud y muchas juventudes. «La memoria es la única razón que tenemos los ancianos para no morirnos tan rápido. Qué bueno que están ustedes aquí para preguntarme, así vivo un poquito más. Pero no en este cuerpo casi mosqueado y rancio que ven aquí, sino en aquellos años de energía sin tullir. Al menos ese día, todavía no nos habían arrancado el ánimo y las ganas de ser jóvenes».

Suspiraba un poco y seguía fumando, nunca dejaba de fumar, ni aunque fuera por el escarmiento de lo que le pasó a Eduardo. Dice que él es más resistente, que va a llegar hasta los cien y todavía más, que si puede se avienta hasta el 2068. Que de tantos recuerdos, seguirá viviendo.

«Ese día fuimos felices. Estábamos emocionados, exaltados. Una sensación indescriptible. Es más, no recuerdo haber visto nunca tan optimista a Eduardo, nunca antes y mucho menos después. Él sí profesaba una sincera admiración por Barros desde mucho antes de la marcha y los discursos y todo eso. Antes de ser nuestro rector, fue su maestro. Era muy franco, el muchacho Eduardo. Se conmovió sinceramente ese día, cuando Barros empezó su discurso —necesitamos demostrar al pueblo de México que somos una comunidad responsable, que merecemos la autonomía— y casi me quería golpear porque yo estaba fumando, y me decía ¡Ya, cabrón!, ni porque está hablando el ingeniero sobre nuestra universidad y las causas libertarias, —afianzaremos no sólo la autonomía y las libertades de nuestras casas de estudio superiores, sino que contribuiremos fundamentalmente a las causas libertarias de México—.»

«Jamás le tuve confianza a ningún rector, a ninguna autoridad de la universidad. Pero Eduardo estaba tan esperanzado en Barros que te contagiaba. Ahí estábamos, pues. Íbamos a seguir la marcha del rector», nos decía.

 

 

  • ••

—Jamás llegaba tarde, pero tampoco llegaba temprano. No, en serio, llegaba justo a la hora que tenía que llegar. Apenas daban las siete y él entraba en el salón, y sólo habíamos cinco o seis personas porque nadie llegaba exactamente a la hora que tenía que llegar, sólo él. Te lo juro, René. Y a mí me gustaba llegar antes que él, porque era genial verlo atravesar la puerta con esa elegancia pesada pero irreprochable. Aunque me hagas burla, camarada.

«En mi infancia tuve muy malos maestros de matemáticas y nunca me había interesado el cálculo, pero él hacía que lo entendieras todo y que te interesara. Y ya vez que en nuestros tiempos es bien difícil que te comprendan un poquito, que te traten humanamente; pues él lo hacía. ¿Te acuerdas que leímos esa novelota de Rómulo Gallegos y no nos gustaba, pero el profesor Duarte nos hacía ver todo lo que no habíamos visto? A mí terminó por gustarme. Pues así el Inge, pero con los números.

 

  • ••

¿Qué está pasando? ¿Qué podemos hacer? ¿En qué somos ignorantes? No podemos serlo más: somos la contrapartida inmediata, la rebeldía vital.

            «Eduardo está en la cuerda de seguridad, como siempre. Decía que ahí le gustaba estar, que solamente así podía saciar su responsabilidad.

«Nuestra manifestación se extiende hasta la esquina de Insurgentes y Félix Cuevas. Allá vamos; nuestros golpes secos resuenan con terquedad. En el pavimento, pero también en nuestra garganta, en la palmas de nuestros pies que rugen agraviados. A mí me resuena un poco la boca del estómago.

Las pancartas, hermosas, marchan muy por encima de nuestras cabezas. Parece que lo hacen de manera autónoma.

La señal de la calle dice alto, pero nosotros no nos detenemos. Interrumpimos un momento la circulación, señores. Ahorita circulamos nosotros, nada más para demostrar que podemos y tenemos voluntad.

«Queremos vivir en un régimen…» ¿Qué dice? No la arruguen de ese lado, extiéndanla bien. «No de represión». Eso mero, con eso basta.

«26 de julio 1968. Mártires»

Helicópteros también, dos o tres.

¡Ah, y el Che! No puede faltar nuestro comandante. Él vuela más alto que los helicópteros.

«El juego político no es olímpico»

 

  • ••

De repente sentí el golpe tumultuoso. Pensé que era la policía que arremetía contra el contingente y traté de avanzar hacia donde se oía el disturbio. Creo que le saqué el zapato a alguien. Probablemente nunca lo recuperó.

Cada vez me acerqué más a las voces, por medio de empujones, claro, porque todos querían dirigirse al lugar. Y la física básica nos dice que dos cuerpos no pueden ocupar el mismo espacio, pero ese día la marcha era más importante que las reglas dictadas por la realidad.

El sonido de los gritos aumentaba a medida que aumentaba la fuerza de los golpes. De pronto pude entender lo que decían:

— ¡Zócalo! ¡Zócalo!

Aferrado a la cuerda de seguridad, esforzándose por contener la oleada de disidentes, estaba Eduardo, con la cara más roja y la expresión más enfurecida que le he visto. Le brincaban las venas del cuello y de la cara, y por un momento me pareció —aunque por la agitación era todo muy confuso— que le escurría la saliva por la boca. El hilo delgado de baba que da cuenta de nuestros demonios.

Creo que lo golpearon, porque por un momento se cubrió el rostro, pero después también empezó a soltar puñetazos. Traté de correr hacia él para auxiliarlo, y fue una pendejada, porque a mí también me tocaron porrazos. Me partieron el labio. Lo bueno fue que muy rápido llegó gente de ingeniería para reforzar el cordón, y los alborotadores se aplacaron. Creo que llovía. Del labio me escurría la humedad, pero no sé si era sangre o agua de lluvia. Ambas tienen el mismo sabor.

 

  • ••

¿Y qué hubiera pasado si la manifestación se hubiera ido al Zócalo, René? Y él mira perdido hacia una pared vacía, hacia donde no hay nada qué mirar. Sus ojos se enturbian por los recuerdos, su voz se convierte en un susurro. Pues, en primera, no hubiéramos celebrado después. Esa marcha fue grandiosa. Cuando regresamos a CU, Barros lo dijo: hemos demostrado al mundo que nuestras instituciones son participantes directas de un destino justiciero… Lo que sea de cada quien, pero Eduardo tenía razón con ese señor. Pero les decía, si nos hubiéramos desviado probablemente hubiera habido una represión muy fuerte. Tal vez ni siquiera hubiéramos tenido que esperar a lo de Tlatelolco…

Y Eduardo no hubiera aprendido a fumar. Anda, échate un cigarro. Por la victoria. Y recuerdo que en su expresión asomaba la alegría distante y disimulada generada por la esperanza, la idea de que las cosas en verdad pueden ser diferentes. Fue la única vez que probó un cigarrillo. Y de eso se vino a morir… Pero valió la pena.

 

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Accommodation in Sao Paulo

Apartment to Rent in São Paulo
 
Large rooms,  fitted kitchen, with broadband, cable TV, washing machine in a beautiful spacious furnished apartment in a quiet leafy street in Higienópolis, one of the safest districts in São Paulo. Near a number of supermarkets,  3 minutes from a tube station, 15 minutes from Avenida Paulista and 20 minutes from University of São Paulo.
The landlord is an academic from University of São Paulo and gives preference to rent the apartment to students going to Brazil as a stage in their academic courses. His apartment is available for rent  from January onwards, during which period he himself will be visiting King’s.
 
 
Contact details: alipiofranca@ig.com.br
Phone number: 55 11 36630358
                             55 11 980883753

 

SPLAS Photo Competition Winner

David Chu Lencois

Congratulations to David Chu, 4th year student of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, who was a joint winner of this year’s Year Abroad Photo Competition (sharing the £200 prize with Cleo Pollard from French) for this beautiful picture of Lençois in north-eastern Brazil.

The photo competition is announced each year in May for students away on their years abroad that year — so 3rd years, get snapping!