Lisbon, July 12
After a few days of orientation, rest, and tracking down lost luggage, the cohort of students split into two groups to begin the program in earnest. Today, Group A took a two hour bus ride from Lisbon to Tomar.
For the day’s first activity students visited a freshwater aquarium and learned about the various native and invasive fish species that live in the rivers of Portugal. While at the aquarium, students also learned about the pros and cons of river dams. They explored dams by constructing a miniature electricity producing dam of their own. The aquarium visit was concluded with a gold panning lesson. Some students even recovered a few pieces of gold [colored] stones.
Students then traveled to a nearby river for a beach picnic and free time. Students used yesterday’s Portuguese lesson to befriend some local teenagers and a friendly game of USA v. Portugal volleyball broke out. For those of you wondering, we won!
Students concluded their day with a tour of Tomar and the Convent of Christ (a centuries old catholic convent). As you can see from the photographs, students (and maybe even their program leaders) never pass on the opportunity to sample some gelato.
Students will spend the night in a local hotel and are looking forward to a day of kayaking and water quality testing tomorrow.