A Basque in Boise

Lyrics in Basque and English for Gatibu’s new song, ‘Infinitoratz’

The winter in Boise has turned out to be one of the toughest in recent history. According to the Weather Service, last month was the sixth coldest December since record-keeping began in 1875, with an average of 23 degrees. And with 14 total inches of snowfall, December 2016 clocked in as the eighth snowiest since record-keeping began in 1898.

Unfortunately, I don’t like skiing or driving around in treacherous road conditions, so my evenings are pretty quiet these days. Binge-watching Criminal Minds on Netflix is ok for a while, but after the second week in a row, my eyes started watering and the murders began to blend into a big ass fucked up massacre. So I decided to take a break and tackle the translation of my second favorite song from Gatibu’s new album, ‘Aske maitte, aske bizi‘, titled Infinitorantz.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


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Renowned Basque pianist Joaquin Achucarro to perform in Boise

Joaquin Achucarro (Courtesy of www.achucarro.com)

Joaquin Achucarro (@ www.achucarro.com)

Internationally famous pianist, Joaquin Achucarro, will perform with the Boise Philharmonic on Friday and Saturday, January 27-28, at the NNU Brandt Center in Nampa, and the Morrison Center on the Boise State University campus. Born in Bilbao, Achucarro has been enjoying an uninterrupted international career. He has toured 61 countries with more than 205 orchestras in all the major cities of the world. He also holds the Joel Estes Tate Chair at Southern Methodist University, adjusting his teaching periods to his busy concert schedule.

An artist of Achucarro’s talent would normally be out of the realm of possibility for a city of the size of Boise, but the pianist himself contacted the Boise Philharmonic and agreed to perform for their standard fee because he had heard so much about the local Basque community and wanted to see for himself how the culture has thrived here. Achucarro and his wife will arrive in Boise on Tuesday, January 24. Plans are underway to introduce him to the Basque Block, the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, the Ikastola and the Basque Center as his schedule permits.

Concerts begin at 8:00 PM on Friday, January 27, at NNU Brandt Center in Nampa and Saturday, January 28, at the Morrison Center in Boise. Tickets are available by contacting Al Erquiaga at 853-0678 or online at www.boisephil.org.

From this week’s Astero: Basque International Summer School, Laburbira Film Circuit, and Go Basque Tours

Astero‘s weekly bulletin always brings interesting news related to the Basque Country and the Diaspora. This week, we will learn about the Basque International Summer School (organized by the University of the Basque Country/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea), getting your club or center’s Basque film featured by Laburbira, and touring the Basque Country with Go Basque tours.

Basque International Summer School

Once again, the University of the Basque Country/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, is organizing an educational and fun program through its “Basque Culture II. International Summer School.” This two-week program will run July 3-14, 2017 in Donostia-San Sebastian, with courses taught by international experts, and an agenda that includes several cultural outings. Classes will range from literature, dance and music to science and technology. For complete information on the program, including tuition fees and lodging, visit their website, or email them at: basque.culture@ehu.eus.

Basque Yourself 1st International Summer School 2016 from UPV/EHU on Vimeo.

Laburbira Film Circuit


Laburbira film circuit is currently accepting requests from those wishing to participate in this year’s tour. If your club or center is interested in featuring a Basque film between the dates of March 9-April 12, 2017, then make sure you get your request in by January 30th. The intent to participate form can be found here. They have received 22 films to choose from and the final list will be provided in the beginning of February. For complete information, visit their website.

Go Basque Tours

Go BasqueWe have also been contacted by Go Basque, a young travel and tourism agency based in Donostia-San Sebastian. This company specializes in designing custom tours throughout the Basque Country, and their mission is to share “the culture, identity, and long-standing traditions of the Basque region by giving visitors the opportunity to interact directly with locals….” To watch a promotional video on what they offer click here, or simply visit their website to see what kind of tours they can arrange.

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


On Dec. 30, watch the Basque Country vs Tunisia soccer friendly on eitb.eus

Tomorrow, December 30, the Basque National soccer team will play against the Tunisian national team during their annual Christmas friendly. The game will be at 12:30 pm MST in San Mames. You can watch it online on eitb.eus.

Basque national coaches Jose Mari Amorrortu y Mikel Etxarri have called the following soccer players: Aritz Aduriz, Mikel Balenziaga, Eneko Bóveda, Xabier Etxeita, Gorka Iraizoz, Ander Iturraspe, Sabin Merino, Iker Muniain, Mikel San José, Markel Susaeta (Athletic Club), Yuri Berchiche, Mikel González, Asier Illarramendi, Iñigo Martínez, Mikel Oyarzabal, Xabi Prieto, Joseba Zaldua (Real Sociedad), Ander Capa, Dani Garcia (Eibar), Manu García, Gaizka Toquero (Alavés) y Oier Olazabal (Granada).

2014-12-30 / Imanol Magro Eizmendi @ berria.eus

Basque National soccer team (2014-12-30 / Imanol Magro Eizmendi @ berria.eus)

‘Instantes’ (Moments)


Today, I came across this beautiful poem by an unknown author, and I had to share. As the year ends and we start thinking about resolutions for the next one, his words only reinforce what I strive to do year after year. I do not want to arrive at the end of my life, whenever that may be, with a suitcase full of regrets for the things I didn’t do. True, I might have chosen the wrong path once in a while, but I didn’t know it at the time. I do now, because I tried.

~ May 2017 be the year to leave your fears behind and live ~


If I could live my life over again,
In the next, I would try to make more mistakes.
I wouldn’t work to be so perfect. I would relax,
limber up, and be sillier than I have been this trip.
In fact, I know of very few things I would take seriously.
I would be less hygienic.
Go on more voyages and be far more foolish.
I would climb more mountains, swim more rivers,
And contemplate more sunsets.
I would find more places where no one had been.
I would eat more ice cream and fewer salads.
I would have more actual troubles, and fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I was one of those people who lived life prudently
And prolifically hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I’ve had my moments.
And if I had to do it over again I would have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else,
Just moments, one after another,
Instead of living so many years ahead each day.
For that is all life is—moments—
Don’t lose the now.
I’ve been one of those people who never goes anywhere
Without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle,
A raincoat, and a parachute; if I could do it over again
I would go places, do things, and travel lighter than I have.
If I had my life to live over I would start barefoot
Earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds, contemplate
More sunrises, and play with more children…
If I had my life to live over again.
But you see, I am 85 years-old, and I know that I am dying.

Translation credits to Jenn.

For the original poem in Spanish, click here.

Zorionak eta urte berri on!

Sorry folks—especially to those good friends who year after year send me their Christmas cards but get none from me in return—but I just can’t get into the groove of mailing my own. However, I would still like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The greeting might be online, but the sentiment it is still the same:

~ Zorionak eta Urte berri on!

May your holiday cheer surpass that reflected on our faces ~


Henar and Rakel, Ortuella, circa 1983

Kaixomaitia.eus has started featuring content from readers on their blog

After asking for readers’ help, online dating site for Basque language speakers, Kaixomaitia.eus, has started featuring their works on the blog.

As luck would have it, the first featured post from a collaborator came from a Basque in Boise. I’ve never had any of my articles translated into another language, so this is very exciting.

I wrote Tougher Than The Rest a few months back, while I was going through hard times. Reading other people’s heartbreak stories helped me cope, so I thought that perhaps mine would someday make someone else feel better.

I’d like to thank Kaixomaitia.eus for taking the time to translate the post into Basque and make it sound way better than the original.

Here you have it: Besteak baino gogorragoa.

(Courtesy of Me Roe on Flicker)

(Courtesy of Me Roe on Flicker)

Valencia’s Basque Center IV Literary Letter Contest now underway

diasporen-iv-lehiaketa-b-724x1024The dissemination and promotion of the Basque language has always been one of the main objectives of Laurak Bat, Valencia’s Basque Center. Basque language courses, movies, lectures, debates and meetings, among others, are some of the activities carried out so far for this purpose. The first Literature Letter Contest Contest took place three years ago. The outcome was so good that the Basque Center decided to make the contest an annual event.

The contest is open to everybody, especially to those learning Basque in our center and other centers around the world.

Contest rules:

  1. Participants must write the letters in Basque, in any of its variants. Letters must be original and not have been awarded a prize in any other literary contest.
  2. The maximum length of letters shall be two (2) one-sided pages with 1.5 line spacing, and Arial font size 12. The  topic is open, but the genre must be epistolary.
  3. The competition is divided into two categories:
    A – People who are in the process of learning Basque.
    B – Native Basque speakers who communicate normally in Basque.
  4. The letters will be sent by email and must have a title or slogan and the category chosen, author’s name, address, telephone number, and email address.
  5. Letters must be sent to: gurelehiaketak@gmail.com with the subject “Diasporaren Gutunen Literatura Lehiaketa.” Letters can be submitted by mail or in person to Laurak Bat (C/ Mª Jordán 6, baixos) and Racó de la Corbella (C/ Maldonado 46, Baixos). The deadline is January 20, 2017.
  6. The jury will consist of people representing the world of Basque culture in Valencia and representatives of Euskaltzaleok Euskal Etxea and Basque-Navarre Center Laurak Bat.
  7. The jury’s decision is final and the prize in each of the two categories can be ruled void. The event organizers reserve the right to publish the works presented at the event.
  8. The prize will be a selection of books in Basque for each of the two categories.
  9. The prizes will be given during a literary dinner, which will be held on January 27 at the headquarters of Bat Laurak in Patraix, Valencia (C/ Mª Jordán 6, baixos).
  10. Entering the competition implies acceptance of these rules.
  11. Works not awarded a prize will be destroyed. The winning letter will become property of the event’s organizing committee.

To read the Contest rules in Basque, Spanish, and Valencian, click here.

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Basque online dating site Kaixomaitia.eus is looking for people to collaborate on their blog

logo_kaixomaitia_kolorearekinIt must have been 2009 when I first heard of Kaixomaitia.eus. I remember thinking, “Woa… good luck to the organizers!,” as Basque people already have a hard time dating “normally,” but I loved the concept of using Basque exclusively to communicate with other members. I was also curious to see how Basques would respond to dating online, so I signed up and I’ve remained a member (on and off) since then.

Although the site has a section for the Diaspora (it includes Basques from all over the world), it is definitely not crowded. I realize how impractical it is to use an online dating site where the bulk of the people live 5,000 miles away from me, but it gives me a sense of belonging to the place and people I left twenty years ago.

In 2015, the site underwent a complete style and content revamp: it added a blog section and began organizing events for their members to mingle in person. The blog is by far my favorite part of the site. Every week I get to read interesting articles in Basque which have nothing to do with the precarious state of the world we live in. Instead, I find stories centered on love, sex, and relationships told by people from different backgrounds and points of view.

Kaixomaitia.eus is gearing up to make the blog even better in 2017 and they want your help to make it possible. They’d like to know what topics you wish to read about, or even send them articles you think would be interesting for the Basque community (in Basque, Spanish, English, French…).

You could also become a writer and share your own articles (be it fiction, personal experiences, poetry) in exchange for money or a membership to the site should your text get chosen. Don’t worry if you can’t write in Basque; if they like your work, it will be translated.

For more information or questions, email admin@kaixomaitia.eus, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

To read the original article in Basque, visit: Kaixomaitia.eus-en blogerako edukiak osatzen lagunduko diguzu?

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The Perfect Date

His hands. That’s what she remembers the most when she thinks about that day.

If she had to picture the ideal date, this would be it. Apart from dinner, when they sat facing each other, he never stopped holding her hand. He drove her all over the place, as anywhere she wanted to visit was fine with him. He kept his hand under hers over the gear shift practically the entire time, only reaching over once in a while to touch her face. Mostly they talked, but there were also moments of comfortable silence while the music played.

Their first stop was a park that had been featured in a movie a few years back. She loved the film and had wanted to visit the place for months. It was quite the adventure, not so much because of the attractions, but because they ended up sneaking in. The park was closed when they arrived. She was visibly disappointed, but he didn’t seem worried at all. He always knew his way around, no matter where they were. He smiled and told her to follow. There was another way in!

It was a rainy day, probably gray and gloomy too, but she couldn’t say for sure now. She vaguely recalls him putting his jacket around her to keep her warm. Then, taking her hand in his again, he guided her carefully down the uneven path towards the hidden entry. Truth is, they could have been anywhere, under any weather conditions, surrounded by people or completely alone, and it wouldn’t have matter to her, so long as they were together.

On their way to dinner, they drove past some caves that picked her interest. He could tell, so he turned the car around and bought tickets for the next tour. There was time for a drink before their guided visit but little space in the waiting area, hence they sat close together on a smaller bench. He was so funny and charming that she’d almost forgotten why they were there by the time the previous group emerged a few minutes later. It was damp and chilly inside the caves, yet she had never felt so radiant.

Despite being hungry, she would have rather put off dinner indefinitely. She didn’t want this day to end because she knew that no other would ever be as perfect. She focused so intently on taking in every word, every gesture, that many months after the date was over, after they were over, she could still feel the touch of his hands on her skin, warm and gentle, like a balmy summer day.