Friday, July 17, 2009

A trip to Hydra and a final farewell

On Wednesday we stayed in Nafplio and worked on On Assignment projects in the morning. After lunch, Matt led everyone up over the hill and down to the Nafplio beach where we enjoyed a swim in the Mediterranean. In true National Geographic spirit, some students explored, getting up close and personal with the marine life at the beach. Sea urchins proved to be the most unfriendly locals we have met so far. Fortunately, everyone left the beach intact, tanned, and generally satisfied. Dinner and gelato was followed by a showing of the first half of the movie 'Gladiator'.

Yesterday, we awoke early. An hour later, we were at a beautiful port town to catch the ferry to the island of Hydra. Things looked bleak when a man on a motor scooter came to tell us that the ferry was broken and wouldn’t be coming until 3pm … but after some expert negotiation, Matt secured a private glass bottom boat to take us to Hydra. We arrived half an hour later in the beautiful port. The Island of Hydra is especially picturesque because vehicles are are prohibited from the island. All transport occurs by foot or hoof! We enjoyed a long lunch, a walk around the island, and an afternoon swim in the clear, blue water.

By the time we got back from our day trip to Hyrda, we had just enough energy for a tasty gyro and the second half of 'Gladiator' in our make-shift movie theater.

Today, our last full day of the trip, is devoted to sharing the students' On Assignment work and spending time together. After the presentations we plan to have a final dinner in Nafplio (also to celebrate Gina’s birthday!) and to share our experiences and reflections on the expedition. It has been a true adventure and the ending is bittersweet. We hope that our studnets have learned about themselves and the world.

Signing off!
Breena, Rachel, and Matt