Monday, June 18, 2012

The Stretch Drive....

Mr. Malandrakis, Mayor of

Attentively listening to lecture, given by the mayor.
It is hard to believe that we are in the final week of a very exciting and demanding EC Mediterranean and Security Studies program, which is hard to summarize in a few lines. Last week beyond the 6 hours per day of in-class instruction, including 2 hours of Greek every day, we met the mayor of the local municipality, took a tour of the firing range of the NATO base on the island, went to the beach every afternoon, had a Cretan night celebration in honor of the Emmanuel faculty and students. The students have been great, and I believe that it will take some time before they fully appreciate what they are experiencing in these last two weeks. 
Presenting Mr. Malandrakis

The weekends have been equally full, fun and exhausting. Last week we crossed the 18 km Samaria Gorge on Saturday, while we visited the beach of Falasarna and the lovely seaside town of Sfinari on Sunday. This past Saturday we visited the Minoan ruins of Knosos, took a tour of the city of Heraklion and went to the beach and shopped at the lovely Venetian harbor of Rethymnon. On election day Sunday we celebrated Fathers' Day by taking a cruise to the pirates' stronghold of Gramvousa and swam in the lagoon of Balos. (many pictures to follow)

One of the highlights of last week was the Cretan Evening celebration, that the Institute of Cretan Studies organized in honor of the Emmanuel College students and faculty. Faculty and students danced and the celebrations lasted into the early morning hours.

This week we are looking forward to a visit and two guest lectures by Professor Martin, and a week of lectures by Professor Kulich. In addition we will continue to follow the historic events in the area, including the follow-up and fallout from the Egyptian, Greek and French elections of last weekend, participate in a couple of after school local events, and daily beach visits at our favorite local place, that has become a students' favorite.

Although, I could be writing for a long time and sharing many stories of the last two weeks, an impressive evolution is the level of Greek that the students have learned in a matter of a couple of weeks. At the end of this week as part of their overall evaluation, the students will be visiting local stores and will be evaluated on their exchanges with the store owners.

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