A Basque in Boise

¡Feliz Día de la Madre!

Pues aquí estoy, de vuelta en la cama por orden de Maitane. Hoy es el Día de la Madre en los Estados Unidos y algo se trae entre manos en la cocina. Ya empecé a sospechar ayer cuando me preguntó que a qué hora tenía pensado levantarme hoy. A las 7:30 am han empezado los ruidos de armarios y cazuelas, así que he hecho tiempo en mi habitación mirando el Facebook y leyendo no sé qué hostias sobre el gallo de Manel.

Y es que ya lo comenté hace unos años en este mismo blog, en una entrada que dediqué a mi ama para darle las gracias por estar siempre para mi hermana y para mí. Bueno, y no ha cambiado. Sin embargo, mis hijos siempre me dejan a la altura del barro. Vale, ahora tengo la excusa de estar lejos y no poder prepararle el desayuno a mi ama, por ejemplo, pero es que tampoco lo hacía cuando vivía con ella. En cambio a mí, los enanos me tratan como a una reina. No lo cuento, lo demuestro. (Y de paso, me despido, que tengo hambre).

¡Feliz día a todas las madres!

Growing pains

My son’s journey into adolescence is well on its way, and it shows. He is no longer that little kid who openly cuddled with me before bed every night. Luckily, he hasn’t (yet) become unbearable or withdrawn. Quite the contrary. The closer he gets to being a teenager, the more questions he has, and he doesn’t hold back. I barely have time to put my computer bag down when I get home from work before he fires at me with his usual opening line: “Amatxu, I have a question.” Shit.

It has been quite the experience to revisit my teenage years as I strive to answer all of Andoni’s questions. Not so much because I’ve had to rescue old memories well hidden under thirty years of new ones, but because I’ve realized how little things have changed (in general and for me specifically) since I was young.

It all started a few months ago when he went to the arcade place with a girl he liked, her grandma and her sister. I dropped him off and asked him to call me when he was done. He did, an hour after the girl and her family had left. He told me once the girl left he was finally able to enjoy himself, and whether first dates were different for adults. Yeah… Nope. First dates are as uncomfortable as a wedgie, so you either suck it up or avoid dating like the plague (works for me).

Then, after breaking up with his first “real” girlfriend of three weeks, he wanted to know why he felt so crappy and is it the same when you get older. That’s right, boy. Breaking up sucks no matter how old you are. And just wait until someone you like breaks up with you. I can’t wait to help him with that one! Hopefully he’ll be twenty-one by then because other than wine, I have nothing to offer him.

There are also questions about testosterone and does that subside (I don’t know!), do I also feel something when I like a guy and how do I go about it, and so on and so forth. I thought I was better at handling this stuff now that I’m older and supposedly wiser, but in (trying to) answer his questions I found that I am only kidding myself. Three decades, two kids and a divorce later and I’m as clueless as I always was. Hopefully, listening and being there for him will help a bit.

Probably it’s just me and other people are super responsible, well-adjusted adults who no longer struggle with these types of things. If that’s you, please email me with the answers. Andoni and I will forever be grateful.




Etxauzia: Euskaldun bat, Euro bat campaign

Astero‘s weekly bulletin always brings interesting news related to the Basque Country and the Diaspora. This week, we learn about an initiative to save the Etxauzia castle in Baigorri, Lower Navarre.

Euskaldun bat, Euro bat

Etxauzia, or the “Navarran’s home,” is a castle located in Baigorri, Behe Nafarroa, that has a thousand-year-old history, which is currently owned by a couple in Florida. The couple is now interested in selling the property and so this organization was created with the intention of buying it, and preserving it for generations to come. To this end, they have launched the campaign “Euskaldun Bat, Euro Bat,” meaning that if every Basque donates 1 Euro, then enough funds will have been raised. The hope is to purchase the castle and open it to the public, thus promoting the local economy and supporting Basque culture and heritage. Additionally, it will strengthen ties with Basque people around the world, and welcome those from the Diaspora to Etxauzia.

A representative from Etxauzia will be in the states from May 26th till June 4th attending both Bakersfield and San Francisco picnics, in order to present the project and be on hand to answer any questions. For more information on the project, you can visit the organization’s website, Etxauzia, zabal eta bizi or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

If you’d like to make a contribution to the effort, click here.

To see views of the property, watch this film on YouTube.

If you would like to have Astero, NABO’s weekly bulletin, sent directly to your inbox, you only have to fill out this form.

Get trained to teach Basque language and culture abroad at the summer courses of the UPV

For the seventh consecutive year, the Etxepare Basque Institute, in collaboration with the University of the Basque Country, will offer the Excellence in Basque Studies summer course. The course is aimed at people interested in teaching the Basque language and Basque culture abroad. This seventh edition will take place on the 10th and 11th of July, at the Miramar Palace in San Sebastian.

Sign up now online via this link.

This year the course will focus on analyzing gender studies related with different disciplines such as literature and nationalism. It will also emphasize the international dimension of gender studies.

Professionals from different fields will take part in this course, led by Mari Jose Olaziregi, expert in literature. Enrollment is open to all. The main purpose of Excellence in Basque Studies is to prepare people interested in teaching Basque language abroad. The course is also geared to future readers from the Etxepare international network, covering themes related with Basque culture in general.

The 2017 Summer Courses include a total of 15 different cycles, distributed in 137 courses, workshops and professional working days. There are 20 congresses, 5 open activities and 20 online courses held throughout the year. 24 courses will be taught in Basque, 20 in English and 2 in French (generally scientific congresses).

From this week’s Astero: Gaztemundu

Astero‘s weekly bulletin always brings interesting news related to the Basque Country and the Diaspora. This week, we will learn about the new edition of Gaztemundu.


The Counsel of the Basque Government approved the 2017 Gaztemundu Program this Tuesday. This year’s edition is scheduled for September 2-17, 2017, and is dedicated to traditional Basque Instruments.

Gaztemundu is a training program open to individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 who are members of recognized Basque clubs all over the world. Participants will be given the opportunity to learn about these instruments from expert professors, as well as meet musicians who play them. Over the two weeks, they will also travel, and learn more about the country of their ancestors.

Application information will be made available after it has been published in the Official Bulletin of the Basque Country. If you are interested in applying, please stay tuned to www.EuskalKultura.com as they will publish the criteria as soon as they are made available.

Boise’s Teresa Franzoia, during the 2014 edition of Gaztemundu @ www.irekia.euskadi.eus

If you would like to have Astero, NABO’s weekly bulletin, sent directly to your inbox, you only have to fill out this form.

The Bombing of Gernika: 80th Anniversary Commemoration and Exhibit Opening at the Basque Museum & Cultural Center

For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
Basque Museum & Cultural Center
Annie Gavica, Executive Director
Phone: 208.343.2671
Email: annieg@basquemuseum.com

The Basque Museum will mark the 80th anniversary of a Basque tragedy with a survivor’s discussion panel and exhibit opening

Boise, Idaho (April 13, 2017) — The Basque Museum & Cultural Center is opening a new exhibit on April 26. Gernika Gogoratuz – Remembering Gernika will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Bombing of Gernika, a horrific event that arguably led to the surrender of the Basque Country during the Spanish Civil War. The anniversary will be marked by a discussion panel let by David Lachiondo, PhD. and will include survivors and eyewitnesses of the day’s horrific events. They will give their accounts of their time growing up in Franco’s Dictatorship and their experiences during the market day on April 26, 1937.

We will follow up the discussion panel with a commemoration of the 80th anniversary at the Basque Museum (611 Grove Street) with participation by the Biotzetik Basque Choir, Oinkari Basque Dancers, and representatives from other Basque organizations in Idaho. Finally, we will observe a moment of silence to honor all those that perished that fateful day and then open the Basque Museum & Cultural Center’s exhibit “Gernika Gogoratuz: Remembering Gernika”.

On April 26, 1937, the small town of Gernika was busting at the seams for their weekly market day when German aircraft flew overhead dropping incendiary bombs on the quiet town. As people were running for cover, planes came back around and gunned those down that the bombs may have missed. It took more than 50 years for Germany to take responsibility of this devastating event, and it is to be argued that Spain have yet to acknowledge their involvement. The city of Gernika is now a thriving city full of vibrant culture & history and is now home to the Peace Museum & considered by some the Peace Capital. Through the exhibit at the Basque Museum & Cultural Center, we will share not only the tragedy & triumph of that small town, but also the impact it had around the world, especially in the United States.

The Basque Museum & Cultural Center’s mission is to preserve, promote and perpetuate Basque history and culture. The Basque Museum also hopes to educate about the Basque history and culture in the Basque Country as well as their migration and influence on both the sheep industry and the general cultures and traditions of the western states they called home. The Basque Museum & Cultural Center is located at 611 W Grove Street in downtown Boise. Hours are Tuesday through Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday 11am to 3pm. For more information, visit basquemuseum.com.

We invite anyone interested in learning more about the bombing of Gernika and the significance to the culture and this Idaho community to take part in this event.

Boise’s Korrika 2017 in images

The 20th Edition of Korrika has come and gone, leaving millions of memories etched in the minds of participants all around the world. From our little corner in Boise, Idaho, we’d like to share with you our celebration in support of the Basque language.

Special thanks to The Basque Museum and Cultural Center for organizing the event and Maialen Goirizelaia for documenting it.


Korrika 20! BatZuk! Boise, Idaho USA

Posted by Basque Museum & Cultural Center on Saturday, April 8, 2017



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Mark your calendar for the New England Basque Club Jai-Aldi

I would love to make it to New England’s Jai-Aldi one of these years. Unfortunately, it’s a bit out of the way from Boise. However, if you are luckier than I am ― maybe you live closer or are travelling through Connecticut in May ― stop by and say hi.

All New England Basque Club members and friends are invited to participate in our Jai-Aldi Celebration on Saturday May 20th at Riki Lasa’s farm in Connecticut.

Where: 426 South Grand Street, Suffield CT 06093
When: May 20th, 11am to 7pm

This year’s program will include a memorial to remember our deceased loves ones, an exhibition of Basque rural sports, a Paella Challenge with the participation of the different chapters of the NEBC, and a Mus Tournament.

Dinner will be cooked and served by the NEBC and it will include bread, an assortment of salads, paella, roasted pork, dessert and coffee. There will be also a cash bar run by the club.

All attendees will be asked to make a contribution of 20$ per person (5$ per child).

RSVP before May 6th to nebasque@gmail.com if you are planning on attending. If you are interested in taking part in the Mus Tournament, drop us a line in a different email.

Volunteers to help out during the event are much needed. Reach out if you think that you can give us a hand.

Thank you very much for your support! Looking forward to seeing you.
Check out the NEBC Facebook page for updates.


Korrika 2017 App available for iPhone and Android

As you know, Korrika, the event organized by AEK in favor of the Basque language, started on March 20th in Otxandio (Bizkaia), and will finish on April 9th in Iruña (Nafarroa). Many Basque entities in the Diaspora also organize Korrika events, including Boise and Washington DC.

If you are in the Basque Country or would simply like to know Korrika’s itinerary, you can download the Korrika 2017 app, available both for iOS and Android devices. There, you will find the events schedule, the Korrika map, real-time updates, links with information, and a section to enter a contest for the chance to win prices if you get all the answers right for that day.

Download Korrika 2017 for iPhone

Download Korrika 2017 for Android

Korrika in Boise! Save the date: Saturday, April 8 @ 10am

The 20th Edition of Korrika will take place March 20-April 9th, and this year will travel from Otxandio (Bizkaia) to Iruña (Nafarroa). The event organized by AEK (Basque acronym for Coordinator for Basque Language and Literacy) takes place once every two years to create awareness of the Basque language and raise funds to support AEK centers of instruction.

Many Basque entities in the Diaspora organize Korrika events in solidarity with those in the Basque Country, and Boise is definitely in the list.

When: Saturday, April 8 @ 10 am (Registration 9:40 am)

Where: Basque Center (601 W Grove Street)

Price: $1-$10 donation per adult (children free)

Wear red, white, or green in support of Euskera!



Basque is a language, a culture, a way of life: the language of our land, our cultural heritage – a way of being and living in the world.
For years now, we Basque speakers and lovers have been on a mission to strengthen our language, with our sights set on a better future.


Korrika 20 reaches out to you with an invitation to discover Euskera, the Basque language, and to join us in using it. So that you too can enjoy the wealth of language and universal cultural diversity, by learning, talking, paving the way for others…


AEK has the ultimate aim to see everyone in the Basque Country speak Basque and thereby fulfil its dream of achieving a plural, diverse world. It also wants all languages and their speakers to live in the Basque Country in equal conditions. It’s a question of justice: the survival of minority languages and defence of the rights of those who use them. We believe in the need to take care of and protect Euskera, the Basque language. Basque must be developed in equal conditions, day by day and in all areas of life, so that everyone, men and women alike, may live in equal conditions, every day and everywhere.


I, you, he, she, we, you, they… it’s important to join forces and do your bit: my language, your language, our culture, our cultures, this world, these worlds. At the end of the day, supporting a language means taking a stance in favour of all languages; in favour of universal culture. We invite you to join the celebration for language equality. To help create a more universal world.


Korrika is organised by AEK, an organisation with the mission to recover Basque and revive the language among the people of the Basque Country. To achieve its objective it teaches Basque language and literacy to adults, also working in other areas such as the research and publishing of educational material, teacher training, organising cultural activities and programmes to encourage Basque use, designing and implementing plans for regularised introduction of the language to companies and institutions, and organising awareness campaigns.

The first Basque literacy groups were created around 1965, when the first campaign was launched to recover the Basque language. As more and more groups took shape, while continuing its work in the field, AEK also started to promote teaching for people interested in learning the language. That mission, unchanged today, led, with the backing and support of Euskaltzaindia (Academy of the Basque Language) to the creation of the first evening schools or gau-eskolak, followed by the euskaltegis or Basque language schools. Today, AEK is one of the most important organisations in the field of teaching the Basque language and its literacy to adults, with over 100 schools and more than 500 teachers, offering support in drawing up plans to introduce the language and programmes to encourage its use. AEK also provides a translation and correction service and publishes the magazine AIZU!

One exciting thing we’ve noticed since the last edition of Korrika is the huge social response to the initiative. On the one hand, more and more people are choosing to use the Basque language in their everyday lives following the call to Basque speakers launched in Korrika 19. But also refreshing is the increasingly greater numbers of people who are coming to our schools to learn Basque. However, as far as public funding is concerned, the euskaltegis still do not receive the financing they need. In the Autonomous Basque Community the situation is not yet regularised, although progress has been made; in the French Basque Country (Iparralde), subsidies have increased, but not to the extent required by teaching Basque to adults, and in Nafarroa (Navarra), despite the darkest years having come to an end, the steps taken to date have been small. It is essential to accelerate the teaching of Basque to adults that is so badly needed, and for greater investment to be made. That’s why all of the funds raised for Korrika 20 will go towards helping the AEK euskaltegis.

For more information, please visit Korrika’s website: http://www.korrika.eus/en.