We were having dinner in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France when I received the call. As soon as I saw the incoming call from Mike Henriques on my iPhone screen I knew there would be no spring term and my heart sank.
Life is unpredictable. If you told us that this spring we would not be in France teaching but instead writing this blog from our unheated shop, turned into quarantine home in western Washington State, it would be hard to believe. Our son and his wife live in the house and Jen and I are quarantining. We all have social distancing stories to share I'm sure - here's ours.
For the last eight weeks, five Proctor sophomores have been immersed in Costa Rican culture, living with local host families, and learning an incredible amount of Spanish. Proctor in Costa Rica affords a language and cultural immersion experience to Proctor sophomores every winter and spring. Studying at the Monteverde Institute Costa Rica and living with local host families, students not only learn an incredible amount of Spanish and continue their regular sophomore level courses, but immerse themselves in one of the most biodiverse regions of the world. The sophomores studying on Proctor en Monteverde this winter reflect on their winter term abroad.
Our final trip while in Spain was to Málaga, down south in Andalucía and in the same region as Sevilla. Everyone met at the bus station as we normally would. And blast off, on the bus to Madrid, then to the subway, then finally to the high-speed train. Three hours later were walking through the streets of Málaga to get to our hotel, taking in murals and graffiti, as well as the warmer temperatures. The rest of the afternoon consisted of free time to wander the city, shop, and explore. I got lost. Then we joined back with Ryan for a little orientation, getting gelato, and seeing an ancient Roman theater in front of an old Moorish castle. The day wound down with an excellent dinner at a Spanish-Argentinian fusion tapas restaurant.
Our day officially started at 1:30 pm when we met up at the aqueduct to head out to Madrid. We filled the bus for the hour-long drive we had all come to know well. We arrived and ate our bocadillos in the gardens in front of the Palacio Real. We sat absorbing the sun and enjoying the good weather as we finished up our lunches.