It´s Not Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas
Trip Start Aug 19, 2008
41Trip End Oct 29, 2010
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HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION: I honestly don't know where to begin with this one. First, high school graduations take place months after the kids actually get out of school so that they can receive their test scores from the government and also raise money to have their graduation ceremony. Second, (as applies to everything else in this country) when something is supposed to start at a specific time, it never does. The graduation I attended started more than 3 hours late! I got there an hour late (I was told to show up an hour late because that's when it would start) and still had to wait 2 hours! Third and most entertaining, since it started late (at 6pm instead of 3pm), not only did most people just leave after they received their diplomas, in between announcing names, they blasted reggaeton music! I couldn't stop laughing because the whole situation would never happen in the United States, but for that reason, it really was an unforgettable experience. I wish I danced across the stage to reggaeton to receive my diploma!
BUSINESS CARDS: I made business cards for myself (my first ones I've ever had) because I found out we do a surprisingly high amount of networking in order to connect people and projects and funding. When I showed my project partner my business cards he immediately thought it was a great idea and wanted some for his business (he owns a Larimar gift shop). A few days later I brought my laptop over and my camera to help design his cards and the whole process was an experience. First, he wanted to basically put every piece of Larimar he could into one photo for the card. Next, he essentially wanted to write a novel on the business card, explaining the history of larimar and his gift shop. Last, when I told him that he would have to put just one piece for the card, he didn't understand why you couldn't fit all of the pieces onto one small business card.. It was interesting because during training we learned about push and pull techniques and when it is appropriate to push your ideas on the community or sit back and let them pull you in. Well, I pushed. The cards turned out great and he was grateful for my opinions, so I'm glad that it all worked out. I mean, I understand where he was coming from; if I made cool Larimar jewelry I would want to showcase all of them as well.
THE REST: is going well. It was odd being away from my friends and family during the holiday season because it really is so different here, but I was glad to experience a new culture's way of celebrating. The 6th of January (El Dia de los Reyes Magos) is when they actually give toys to children and not on Christmas, so in a sense, I did get a 'Christmas' experience. In terms of projects, I'm still working on my community diagnostic and will be starting to write a grant for the eco-tour project in a week or two.