Living in another country and building relationships with new friends, students, and colleagues gives you opportunities to try new things. Recently, I experienced something that is not unique with the Spanish culture, but still really interesting.
Falconry is the art of training and hunting animals using birds of prey.
It used to be one of the favorite sports of the royal courts in Europe. And in Spain specifically, there are records of falconry dating back to over 2,000 years ago.
One of the champion Peregrine falcons
The terrain of the land where we hunted
The hunting begins with the search for the prey (in our case, Partridges) over miles and miles of land. We had so much land to cover that we began by our search in the car.
After spotting a group of birds, we released a falcon. Then, the dogs ran to stir up the partridges, which duck down into the rocks to hide themselves. When the dogs scare one away, it begins to fly (not very far because it can't) and the falcon swoops down at over 200mph to kill it.
Falcons are the fastest animals on the planet.
My student became my teacher
One of the hunting dogs
Mom, can I have a falcon for Christmas?
Although my experience was not of Spanish culture, I did learn some new Spanish vocabulary, and some really cool facts about something very new to me.
Sometimes the things we don't anticipate or plan turn out to be the best experiences of all, no matter where we are in the world!
With our winnings of the day! Ew.