Hola Spain! We just finished our second class day/second day at sea and we arrived in Bilbao early this morning, Our first day back to class after Portugal seemed to be a rough day for both students and faculty. Everyone was exhausted from Lisbon and the students were catching up on reading and homework. It was hard for them to stay awake! The ship was doing a little rocking in the morning so there were some queasy students. Geno and I put on our patch and didn't have any trouble. After our classes yesterday Dean David gave two wonderful lectures. The first was on the Spanish language, its rapidly increasing importance and urged us all to not be like the typical American and only speak one language. The second was on the history of Spain, it government and the monarchy. He is an outstanding speaker. When he speaks about Spain he comes alive! His passion is truly contagious.
Yesterday we had signed up for a bridge tour. This is basically a tour of the area where the captain and his crew do all of the navigation. We went on one last time we were on the ship but this time seemed even better. Our guide was one of the captain's crew and he was a great guide. We learned about all the navigation and warning systems on the ship. As a bonus, while we were on our tour their was a pod of about 15-20 dolphins that crossed the path right in front of the ship. So COOL!
In the evening after class we had a Spanish language basics lecture and then the cultural and logistical pre-port lectures. This is where we receive all the information on the port, how to get around, safety information, medical information. These are very informative! Sometimes they are long…they need a good musical number don't you think? After the pre-port about 20 of us gathered to play a three round game of Hamchunk. It is a combination of several games on one where you act out clues either using charades or only 2 words for a clue. It got pretty rowdy! This is a really fun group!
Today Geno and I take two of our three classes to a field lab where we will see a theatrical production in Spanish and have a talk back with one of the actresses (with a translator) and tour the backstage. We are looking forward to Bilbao!