Sooo last night I met up with two of the other people from my program, Elizabeth and Matt, who had just gotten in and we explored for a while then had a picnic! We met up again this morning and walked around, got lunch (side note: when selecting lunch meat at Carrefour, do not choose by which is the cheapest. You will get the ickiest ham substitute ever made.) and then I took a train to Laudio (Llodio if you want to google it, the Spanish name is better known) to go see my school!
First, let me tell you about my school. It is about 20 minutes from Bilbao, or 30 minutes including train ride/transit from my apartment door. It's pretty giant and includes junior high through high school students. I met up with Esteban, my program mentor, and he showed me around and gave me a million papers with things like school maps and schedules and I learned and promptly forgot about 20 Basque words. I go back on Oct. 1 for basically the same thing, but meeting more people and getting my weekly schedule. I'm so excited!! Also, my school has several small breaks for local festivals and THREE spring break weeks (one in March, two in April). Heck yes.
The town, from what I saw of it, was really little and nice. When I was in Madrid I mentioned to Antonio, my friends' landlord, that I was going to be teaching in Laudio and he is like "oh, there are lots of ETA terrorists there." I do not think I saw a single terrorist but on the other hand, they had "bring the Basque prisoners home" posters (which is normal) but they were around the official town hall (which I've never seen before). Also, I counted six (6!) Guardia Civil trucks. So I think pretty separatist is just how Laudio rolls.
Now I'm off to give Ismene (one of my soon-to-be roommates) my deposit for the room! Things are settling into place nicely now.