July 28, 2005

7/28/05 Málaga Spain

Pickpockets on the bus

Even though most people went home early last night, it seemed every student felt drained this morning. It was quite cloudy, so maybe it had to do with a change in the atmospheric pressure. All the teachers noticed our listlessness.

After class, we all gave Peter a big hug goodbye. He is such an hope smiling guy. I never saw him down and he could put a smile on anyone without even talking. The only thing I'm disappointed in is I never got to hear him play guitar. He was also taking flamenco lessons while here in Málaga.

Later I was headed out the door for the store when I ran into Britt. Clearly she was very upset and crying. Turns out someone had stolen her wallet when she was on the bus home. I walked her back to the apartment so she could calm down. We decided to go to the school because I knew Blanca would know what we needed to do. We got things straightened out. She could file a police report over the phone and they had an English interpreter. Britt also called her father who canceled her credit cards and new ones would be here on Monday. Practically had to force her to take some money to hold her over until next week. I was glad I was here to help. Later she felt better and joined some university friends down in El Centro back at the tea shop. Good for her that she wasn't paranoid about getting back on the bus.

Went to the beach for a while and it was practically empty. Not sure if it's the weather or wheat. The sea has a different greenish color to it today.

Had a scheduled short run today of only three miles but could only do two because of some left knee pain. Probably because I rushed myself yesterday to get my run in before the dinner. Tomorrow is a rest day so I hope it gets better. I was thinking of taking a tour to Sevilla Saturday but I know it's going to be a lot of walking. And I have a 13-mile run scheduled for Sunday. We'll see.

But on my run, noticed there are four navy ships in the harbor from Spain, Italy, Germany and England. Couldn't quite figure out from the paper but think it's some joint exercise against terrorism and disaster relief.

For our school activity this week, we had an 'international potluck' dinner. I spent most of the afternoon making that great American culinary delight – Cheeseburgers. And there was food there from Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, Czech Republic, Sweden and of course, Spain. Actually a great potluck. Everyone was pretty stuffed.

Lots of good food

A lot of the student-teachers were there too. Had an interesting discussion with Hakim. His family originally came from Morocco. What he knew of America, Hakim learned about from the TV and the movies. I think he was disappointed that we weren't all cowboys in Kansas City. But he loved talking about the NBA. He spoke excellent English, so we'd bounce back and forth from Spanish.

I didn't realize it until the next day, but I was the only guy student among all those women. Spent a lot of time listening to Ida's stories about her travels to Southeast Asia. Got home late and still needed to do some homework.