Thursday we started the day off with a short class and then took the bus to Jerez de la Frontera. In Jerez, we explored the last of the city’s eight mosques with its evidence of both Moor and Catholic influence in its architecture and design. Its Islamic influence is easily identifiable through the keyhole-shaped doorways, star-shaped pond and small domes for worship (with side rooms facing Mecca). It also has these old gardens with an early irrigation system. Much to the disgust of other tourists and the delight of the rest of the campers, Soli decided to take a dip in a pool of dark green water off to the side of a dome. We explored Jerez a little but the heat was a bit much for me so we sat down at a restaurant for water and a croissant. Much of the city was closed for siesta so after the snack and some shopping, we went back to Cádiz.
In Cádiz, everyone was given a few hours and 10 € to make a type of tapa to share with the group for dinner. With the help of our homestay mom, Soli and I made carrots with a sauce of cumin, garlic, paprika, oregano, and vinegar. The other tapas ranged from mini hamburgers to a Spanish tortilla to guacamole and chips. We ate on La Caleta (the closest beach) and afterward most kids decided to go hang out on the nearby swings. It was a really nice evening with a cool wind and lots of people around.
Friday we sat for our last class and then took the bus to a waterpark called Aqualand. They had a bunch of different waterslides and a wave pool. My favorite part of the day was when they called people into the wave pool and we started dancing to Spanish pop music. A lady was dancing in the front of the pool and there I was among old people, little kids, and teenagers, copying her moves. Before today I would’ve never seen myself participating in a public dance party but it actually turned out to be a lot of fun :).
Later in the day we took a siesta and then went out to eat at Malandros. We had a very nice three-course meal together and Chris said a couple words bidding some of the students goodbye. We clapped and the whole room of people decided to join in clapping as well. It was a nice ending to the week and a nice closing to the camp for the kids leaving early Saturday morning. All in all, great first week in Cádiz!