A reflection by Hannah:
Today was Thursday. We toured the downtown center #1 and Gota de Leche, which means “drop of milk” in English. They serve needy women with babies by offering healthcare, milk, and other things.
After touring Gota de Leche we went sight seeing. Our main objective was the cathedral, called the companion of Jesus (or something like that). Being an outsider to Catholicism, I found the experience was quite like a museum. Everything inside the building is symbolic, and there were many, many stories that Sister Mary told about Catholic history. It was an enlightening experience for me.
At the center #1, we dropped in on some classes taking place. The second graders recited the poems they wrote their mothers for Mother’s Day. Of course, it was in Espanol, but the children were very theatrical. They used their arms and one boy even used a rose to perform the pieces. Other classes sang for us and we sang for them!
After touring center #1, a painting job was waiting for us, and now we are splattered with paint! You may have noticed the photo of Elizabeth. Isn’t she the cutest? Needless to say a shower was mandatory for me that night (I had been getting by before this).
Traveling with a group has been difficult for me. I prefer to be a loner, especially when I am experiencing new things. I like to reflect and explore on my own, but we have had to do a lot as a group. This culture is also very big on interpersonal communication. Everyone greets everyone. When I say “everyone” I mean everyone greets each. individual. person. in. the. group. This was quite tedious for me at the beginning, but now I can appreciate it for what it is- their culture. Which, I dare say, is more focused on relationships and therefore may be healthier than our own. Still, I prefer my own culture. I like to get lost in the crowd and to not be expected to acknowledge every person’s presence.
One great thing I have learned while being here is the importance of hard work and education. Really, I valued these things before, but now I understand them. It is as if I have found new vigor to pursue my own goals by seeing how important an education is in order to do anything. Hard work backs it up quite nicely, and I will admit I’ve been slacking this past year. I would not have guessed that these values would be personally stressed during my time here, but I am happy to have found them bright and shining as ever.
Three days has felt like a week. We have done so much all ready! I’m in need of some rest or something so that I can slow down and think. I have been journaling, and average ten pages (not double spaced) per day. There is so much to document!
Well, I will write more next week. And as some say here, Ciao!