Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Moving Forward

Last night at our young women's empowerment group something really lovely happened. We have this journal that is passed around the group from girl to girl. Each week it is presented to a girl for some reason. For example, maybe she helped another girl in the kitchen with chores. The girl who receives the journal keeps it until the next week when she then presents it to another girl. Yesterday one of my girls wasn't sure who to give the journal to. I think this was because all of the girls her group are younger than her so she doesn't know them as well. What she decided to do was give the journal to the newest girl in the house who has only been here for maybe 4 months or so. What she said when she passed the journal was this; "I don't know you well but you seem sweet and I want to get to know you more." The whole purpose of this activity is for the girls to be able to reach out and support other girls in the group who might need some positive encouragement. Up until yesterday the journal had mostly been passed from friend to friend. It's nice to see the girls moving forward and growing.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Homemade Haircuts

Our young women's empowerment group went really well today- Meesh is my dear volunteer friend who I help to organize the group. She has such charisma which carries the group in such a lovely way. Today we talked about important women in history and great women who have overcome great triumphs.

Before our women's empowerment group, Bailey and I gave a presentation in the leadership group about Social Responsibility. Despite a few technical difficulties, it went pretty well for my first presentation in Spanish.

Well, I'm off to have a 16 year old girl cut my bangs. Wish me luck!

Let's stay up all night and sing

Yesterday after mass I sat on the steps to the girls dorm with one of my girls and we sang. We sang songs in Spanish and songs in English. All of them poorly, but we sang just the same. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Do you like to be different?"

Yesterday was a good day. Meesh and I took a few girls to swim. We played in the very cold water, ate chips and played cards. Later in the evening one of my kids asked me if I like to be different. I said I suppose so, everyones different right....  I wasn't sure if I should be offended or not but then he said "I think its cool that you are different" It's nice to hear that sometimes.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Chicas Poderosas Activity

The other day in our young women's empowerment group we had an activity. We all sat in a circle and each person had a paper and a pen. We wrote our names on the paper and then passed it to our left. The task was to write a positive thing about the person whose paper you had and then pass the paper along so that by the end we all had a list of lovely things written about us. One of my girls wrote the following on my paper,  "Eres super amiga. Te quiero mucho. Gracias por estar conmigo en los dias malos y buenos." Translated this means that I am a good friend, she loves me very much and thank you for being with her on good days and bad. My girls are amazingly encouraging and I could not be here without them.

Ash Wednesday

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. Each year since I was a teenager I have practiced lent. Either giving something up for 40 days or trying to add something that I feel is important to my life. This year is no different. At first I was thinking I would give up television shows. This will save time and allow me to do more productive things with the little free time that I have, I thought. At some point in my day yesterday I decided that not only do I want to take something out of my daily life, I want to add something to it as well. As part of lent, each day I am going to write down something good about a person in my life.

I made this decision when one of the girls who I don’t know as well, told me that she understands her English homework best when I help her. Key word, help. She is incredibly intelligent and she genuinely does want to learn as opposed to the kids who just want you to do their homework for them.

Every time I help her she says thank you and seems so sincere, a few days later she came looking for me again to check over her work. This is such a comfort to me because when I explain English to these kids, I often feel as though I am not making much sense to them so knowing that I am helping at least one child makes it worth it.

This week I saw a kid go to our youth group that normally would never participate in any activity, let alone youth group. And last night before bed a girl gave me a bracelet. It’s these little things that I want to write down each day, so as to not forget one day when I am older and crankier than I am now.

As some of you might know, these last few weeks have been my most difficult so far this year. A mixture of sickness, stress and a dark depression. Each day was a struggle. However, things are now looking up, thank goodness. I just want to send out a thank you for all of the support from my friends and family. Since you are not here with me, a good book and a cup of coffee will have to suffice.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Carnival in Tepotzlan

Sweet Bread

Becca and her cacti 

The colors

A strange moon sculpture

Becca and her baby

Tasting all of the ice cream

Eating our ice cream


Beer with Chamoy 

Marching bands


Traditional Dancing


Monday, February 13, 2012

Pajama Party

This past weekend was my 3rd sleepover with my girls. 
It was the most fun I've had in a while. 
Let me give you a little taste of what was involved in this sleepover.
 I'll make a list because I like lists.
1. Human bingo
2. Chocolate tasting
3. Nachos
4. Popcorn
5. Movies
6. Warm rice milk
7. Tons of girls all cuddled up while we snuggle and
watch our movies projected on the wall

It's funny how the smiles of a few precious teenage girls can turn my whole day around.
"You may be one person in the world, but to one child you may be the entire world."
-Father Wasson

Monday, February 6, 2012

Over The Hump

Tomorrow, on February 7th 2012 it will be 5 months until our seniors graduate high school and move on to the next stage of their lives. In 5 months I will be finished with my volunteer time here in Mexico. These next 5 months will involve as much dedication to these kids as I can possibly muster. I am so excited for what these next few months will bring and for the future of our kids and for my own.