Monday, September 10, 2012

Orientación, parte dos

group photo at Centro Guadalupe with Hermana Raina

After our first week of language school, all the Mexico YAGMs returned to Centro Guadalupe (the convent) for our second week of orientation.  This second part of orientation had two main focuses:

1. Visiting everyone’s different worksites.  This both helped us be not so freaked out about starting work soon, and also allowed everyone to get a sense of what the other volunteers will be doing throughout the year.  The worksites are quite diverse, and it will be interesting to hear how everyone is doing once work starts!
on the roof at Casey's worksite.  We're all jealous of the view!

2. Sharing our “Art and Story” with everyone.  During this activity, everyone shared (part of) their life story in 40 minutes, along with a few small clay sculptures to give some structure.  This was a pretty transformative part of my week.  It’s hard for me to talk about myself for that long, and it’s hard to open up about yourself to a group of people you haven’t known for all that long.  But it was pretty impressive how deep we all were willing to go.  I know more about my other volunteers than I know about some of my friends at home, and vice versa.  I’m excited to continue these conversations throughout the year.

The visit to CEDISH happened on Monday afternoon.  It was great to visit the office, and my supervisors seem really friendly and willing to work with me.  It’s a pretty small office, located above my supervisor’s house.  I’m still not really sure what I’m going to be doing throughout the year, but I guess I’ll find out when I actually start work!
At CEDISH with my supervisors, Mitzi and Magnolia

Mexico YAGM girls on the balcony at CEDISH

Visiting ALEM was a lot more intense.  Because ALEM is an organization for people in wheelchairs, they asked me to sit in a wheelchair for the entire visit.  It definitely takes some maneuvering to get around, and there’s a ramp that I needed help to get around in.  But I’m excited to start work there.  Mayra, my supervisor, is excited for me to start, and I can tell that the atmosphere is going to be good to work in.
getting helped in my wheelchair at ALEM

The week was full of community building, but it was hampered by the fact that most of our group was feeling sick in some way.  Several people had stomach bugs, one girl had (and still has) a cold, one girl hurt her foot last weekend, and it turns out I have an ear infection, so I was in pain most of the week.  I get the dubious honor of being the first in our group to “get to” visit the doctor.  Prayers for the health of our group are greatly appreciated!
we definitely appreciated our pizza dinner!

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