Friday, December 7, 2007

Raptors are cool

Hey! I got a new charger in the mail today! I wanted to write about last weekend but I didn't have time. On Friday Callie and I went to the science center, which is directly adjacent to our house. There was a terrifyingly realistic moving raptor (dinosaur), a whole bunch of little activities to demonstrate physical phenomena, a butterfly house and, best of all, a raptor (bird) show! The men doing the bird show told us to stay still and had a hawk fly among us, to show how this particular species was agile in the forest. It was so cool to have it right in front of your face--Callie even got smacked by a wing! I'd like to go back there; we didn't even see the main exhibit, which is about poisonous reptiles, amphibians and insects (pretty sweet, right?).

On Saturday we took a bus out to the Alpujarras (mountain region near the sea) and stayed overnight at a sustainable farm. This Swiss-German family moved to this farm about six years ago. They grow olives for sale and a bunch of vegetables and fruits for their own consumption. They have never been on the electric grid and get all their power from sun and wind. They are tapped into a irrigation network that is more than a thousand years old (left over from the time of the Moors), and they produce one trash bag every month. Everything else is recycled. They are these nice hippie-types with these blond, blond children (two girls and a boy) who are so self-sufficient and responsible. It blew my mind, honestly. I have rarely felt so at peace in a place. There was no hum of power lines, no distant roar of cars, no light pollution, and it was warm as September in the Northwest. Their neighbor came over and taught us how to weave this native grass into baskets (legit baskets!), we collected acorns and shelled them and ground them and made them into pancakes, and I was totally uplifted by the evident possibility of living simply. They do it so happily, and I was happy there, too.

I've now had my last class, and finals start on Monday. I leave Spain in nine days. So soon!