2017, Basque, Boise, Jaialdi, Public Relations

Being Basque

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Over the years, I’ve explained Basque to countless people and often times I’ve just resorted to saying “my Mom is Spanish” to avoid the conversation and explaining. But, for your sake and the sake of the blog I’ll explain it again. Basques are a group of people located in Northwest Spain and Southwest France which is known as Basque Country. Basques are considered one of the oldest ethic groups in the world and have a rich history and culture but the population of Basque people in world is relatively small.

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So needless to say, growing up Basque in the Pacific Northwest is NOT common and it certainly isn’t something that my peers know much about. Not to mention, light hair and blues eyes aren’t typically thought of as being from Spain or of Spanish descent.

And although it may not be common, we are proud to be Basque and I am blessed to be part of the community.

 

The Culture

Basques have a rich history of music, arts, sports and cuisine. Goldsmithing, working with silver and other metals is a common hobby and profession. Basques have a unique form of dancing and it is a way to preserve the culture in today’s world.

Basques are also known for sheep herding in the Pyrenees Mountains. The sheep herders would spend months on end in their wagons and they would use carvings in trees to communicate with each other and express themselves. Basque sheep herders found their way to Boise and began their herding the Boise foothills.

Basque sports are focused around strength and stamina. Some common competitions include log cutting, stone listing, hay bale throwing and wagon pulling.

The Language

The Basque language is completely unique. Unrelated to any other current language. Basque was spoken in Spain before Spain was colonized and it is the only pre-Roman language still spoken. Although most Basques also speak Spanish fluently, Basque is also an official language of Basque Country.

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Every five years an international Basque festival takes place in Boise, Idaho. And let me tell you, it is the REAL DEAL. Basques come from all over the United States and other countries to celebrate together. A street in downtown Boise shuts down for five days for celebrations. Basque bands play live music all night long, authentic Basque food is sold on the streets and delicious Kalimoxtos (red wine and coca-cola) are served throughout the day. The days are spent exploring Basque History and indulging in delicious food, the nights are spent dancing and drinking.

My Family

To put it simply, we like to have fun. We love, we laugh and we live life to the fullest. We may not see each other often but when we do, it is a blast and it feels like home.

CN 022702My great grandparents were immigrants from Basque Country and they moved to Boise, Idaho. My grandfather (my Aicheche) was a Basque sheep herder and spent his springs and summers in the foothills of Boise. My Amuma (grandmother) worked as a maid in the Basque boarding homes in Boise where a large Basque population was built.

 

To preserve our family history, every Sunday the family gets together for lunch and we enjoy each other’s company. Our wedding’s are wild and a sight to be seen. But above all else, we have a bond because of our background and our heritage. We have something in common and we love who we are because of it. As the Basque’s say it, Euskadi. We are proud to be Basque.

 

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2017, Public Relations, Snow, winter

The Never-Ending Winter—Reasons Why it’s Time for Spring

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Maybe you can relate, maybe it’s a completely foreign idea to some of you (if it is, consider yourself lucky). But, after three months of having snow on the ground, I am OVER IT. I am a snow lover, I am a skier and I am a little kid when it comes to sledding. BUT, when March hits, it is time that I start seeing grass again.

Never in my life have I felt so strongly towards the beautiful, white, fluffy stuff falling from the sky. Never in my life did I think I would hate it when it begins to snow…again. Snow, it’s time to go and here’s why:

I am tired of layering every. single. outfit.

All my cute shirts are useless. I have to wear so many layers that no one can ever see the cute shirt I’m wearing. My down parka has paid for itself already and thank goodness it was a Christmas gift because I’m positive that I would have turned into a popsicle at some point this winter. Sometimes I just want to walk out the front door with my Birkenstocks on and a t-shirt but I would clearly be one of the many people not appropriately dressed for the weather. So, needless to say it will be miraculous when the day comes where I don’t have to dress like the Michelin Man to stay warm.

People forget how to park their cars when it snows.

Every time I have class I spend 20-25 minutes trying to find a parking spot. For some reason, when there is snow on the ground the majority of individuals like to leave a large amount of space between each car. Not enough to park a car, but just enough to make you think there is an open spot. Just because there is snow on the ground it’s not okay to park your car in the middle of the road or make your own parking spot.

My arm is tired of scraping ice and snow off the car EVERY morning.

Setting my alarm ten minutes early every morning is not luxurious, especially when it’s because I need the time to go out in the cold and scrap my windshield. It is more than annoying to start every morning freezing cold and waiting for my car to thaw. Not to mention, I’ll need new windshield wipers because they have been frozen far too many times this winter.

My house is freezing.

After three months of snow we are tired of paying sky high utility bills. We have limited our heating and we are beyond tired of sitting under blankets and being bundled up inside as we try to do homework, cook dinner and do laundry. My hands are always cold! My slippers are becoming worn out and I simply don’t own enough sweatpants for every single day. And wearing a parka while under a blanket is not exactly ideal.

You can’t play softball in the snow.

It’s March, softball and baseball season are upon us. Spring training has begun in Peoria, yet here we are in Ellensburg, Washington still in a snow globe. Still waking up to below freezing temperatures and a dusting of snow on our cars. We are moving games to new locations because our field is covered in a THICK blanket of snow and ice. We are practicing indoors, taking ground balls off a hard, rubber surface. Our outfielders haven’t seen a fly ball in months and we are immune to lights in our eyes rather than sun beating down.

I’m running out of chap stick and lotion. 

The frigid temperatures have my skin crying for help and hydration. I am sick of the constant chapped lips and cracked skin. I have purchased more chap stick in the last three months than I have in the last three years. I have been carrying lotion nearly every place I go and feeling self-conscious about my visibly dry hands.

I could really use a tan. 

Just like most of us (especially college age girls) I love to have tan skin and a little natural color. Being tan gives you that extra boost of confidence and gives you an extra glow. But snow does not promote tanning and it makes the artificial tanning bed so much more tempting. Bring back the sunshine!

So, Dear Mother Nature,

As much as I love snow and love having four seasons each year, I would greatly appreciate the sunshine and warm temperatures. I would LOVE to see grass when I wake up in the morning and I would be forever grateful. I promise to not complain about the weather you bring, as long as it’s not snow. I’ll even take an extra windy spring. But PLEASE, leave the snow in February!

Sincerely,

A Former Snow Lover