Saturday, September 10, 2011
29 Agosto 2011
Hola a todos! It's about time I start recording my orientation experience of the last 2 weeks. I was in Chicago with the 49 other YAGM volunteers August 17-24 and had an absolutely amazing time meeting other volunteers, alumni, and staff of the program. It still blows my mind how quickly deep relationships can form – what a great and beautiful thing! We had many sessions about living abroad, interfaith dialogue, cross-cultural living, and other reflective subjects.
On August 24th at 5:30am the Mexico group departed for Cuernavaca, Mexico. We were there by lunch time with our only flight being from Chicago to Mexico City. In my program there are 5 young men and 4 young women, and we have been so lucky to have the opportunity to spend LOTS of time together since we got to Mexico. We have been doing a lot of “Art and Story” which includes using clay as props to tell a story of our lives to the group. That and other activities have really allowed for deep community to be built amongst these volunteers and our country coordinator.
The orientation time here has mostly been spent at a convent in Cuernavaca. We've had the amazing opportunity of getting to know the nuns here, not just by being welcomed into their morning worship services which we always read and sing in Spanish and English. The nuns, and the cook here we've had at the Lutheran Center in Mexico City, have made AMAZING food. This includes tostadas, tacos, chile rellenos, avacado and bean combinations, and many delicious spices. We have done a few quick guided tours of the city of Cuernavaca, and it seems wonderful, though it'll still take me awhile to feel adjusted to living there.
We depart from the convent in Cuernavaca for our host families on Saturday at 2:30pm. I will meet my host family (three middle-aged siblings), along with the other host families of people staying in Cuernavaca, on Wednesday evening over a shared meal. I am a bit nervous for it but also after having seen the success of two of the volunteers whose host families from Mexico City got to eat with us last night, I am looking forward to having the stress of not knowing the family gone.
I wish you all much peace in your own exploration!