On Tuesday we had a very interesting day of class. The gas station Repsol has been leaking gas into the estuary for what seems to be about eight years, or since the earthquake. It became such a problem that they could no longer turn the blind eye and have had to close the gas station and do some major clean up. So Friends of the Eco-city got together and wrote a letter saying that the company should make reparations and put certain things in order (such as put the gas tanks in a concrete container in case of further spills) before they can open again. My class participated in the meeting and then voiced their opinions and concerns over the problem. We then went and were fortunate enough to get a tour of the clean-up process at Repsol and talk to the engineer in charge who gave us a very different perspective on the story. He said that Repsol was being very diligent in the clean up process, that the spill was contained and that nature has a remarkable way of repairing itself. So my students had the opportunity to see both sides of the story and we discussed the motivations behind both. It was very educational and they were all thrilled to be involved in the process and see something that is affecting all the inhabitants of Bahia without them really even knowing it.
Then on Thursday there was a special meeting on Tourism in Bahia put on by the municipality. We went and listened and unfortunately it wasn’t very interesting from an ecological perspective but took on more of an economic slant.
I am having a little bit of trouble organizing my students to teach at schools because they have vacation coming up and many of them are traveling from the 18th of August to the 5th of September. I think that I might not have any students around during that time to even have class!