Ma’lob Ja’atskab K’iin
To start this morning off, I have a thought for you. “I will Survive” sung in spanish……. I do not know if this was as life changing for you, but it kinda blew my mind a little bit. Maybe you just had to be there.
Last night a group of us walked to the end of the Paseo de Montejo (the Champs Elysees of Merida) to view some of the festivities of the NOCHE MEXICANA music festival that the city hosts on saturday nights. I actually hadn’t known that this was going on, as our class has spent nearly every saturday away at some other fabulous location in the Yucatan peninsula. The first place we stopped on this musical route was at the Plaza Santa Lucia in downtown Merida. Here the city orchestra was laying down some fresh beats, so we stopped and listened for a while. After they finished I approached the director and thanked him for the music… he proceeded to have me thank the band before himself, and then said yes to a picture with him. He was actually pretty excited that we were studying in Merida and he pointed out some of the better concerts that occur on a weekly basis. What a cool cat (pictures to come)!
In terms of actual work, our group will be spread out across various locations for the next week interning in these locations for the benefit of our health care experience and an enhanced understanding of the Mexican healthcare system. I myself am going to be interning with one part or another of the nursing staff at the Public (seguro popular which basically means universal coverage) hospital called the H’Oran in downtown Merida. We actually spend two weeks doing this, and both I and a friend will be living in the village of Dzoncauich during the second week to study in the clinic located in the village (also a seguro popular clinic). My hope is that my spanish becomes much more enhanced during my time there and actually I hope to learn bit of Mayan too. If any of you were wondering, the title for today is indeed written in Mayan and it means “good morning”.
In regards to my spanish, I feel as though my ability to speak is definitely getting better. Although at times my comprehension very badly lags. This has a lot to do with speaking speed and the accent of the speaker. For example, I spoke with a nine-year old boy at the Zoo yesterday whose name was Jorge. He spoke a million miles an hour and rarely paused to take a breath. However, I surprised myself and was able to get the main ideas out of the conversation, and a few pieces of my own experience and knowledge to the conversation. We had fun talking about Aikido and salsa dancing, of all things, for a good 15 minutes while we waited for the safari wagon to pick us up.
Pictures will definitely come from the zoo at some point today. I actually saw my first, real giraffe (jirafa in espanol), wildebeast, water buffalo (pronounced boofalo en espanol – really cute when a bunch of three year olds are screaming at their parents to look at the Boofalo) and so many other animals. This is actually one of two zoos in Merida and I will be attempting to visit the second during one of my “free” afternoons this week. The other half of the central college group went there yesterday and said it was really cool! Anyway, digress…
As my time here passes, sometimes far faster than I could have imagined, I get into a bunch of philosophical tangles about the world and the meshing of culture. I know, very cliche. However, it does not help that the focus of my work here is the incredible gap of income inequality and all of its effects throughout this area of Mexico and the world as a whole. This topic actually came up very recently for myself, although our health coordinator Erick Diaz spoke about the massive inequality when we arrived, as I began to narrow the subject down for a final project in one of my classes. As I looked further and further into the past and present research of global income inequality I began to realize how much this universal problem links links culture. The goal of my career is to build cohesive relationships between people, groups, and maybe even countries someday, and to complete this massive action I have been reaching out to find a really great common line to link vastly diverse cultures. The other night I had the great fortune to speak with an incredible scholar that is living here in Merida, his name is Charles Pigott and he is here to study culture and the Mayan language. I mentioned my work in community structure and societal cohesion and he gave my some inspiration based on a challenge. We spoke about how the perception of change constitutes the hindering factor in the equation of global progression. Although this may sound like a conundrum, think about it – in general people will dig in their heels about something “new” or “untraditional”. To be fair, there is not a single one of us who has not had a thought against change and I feel as though it is as much a part of humanity as each individual having on heart is.
So how to we solve this conundrum of educating and implementing change within the global population. I mean I have no idea, but my best lead is to learn as much as I can about various populations across the globe. I want to become as much a part of these cultures as possible to instill that sense of belonging and trust so when it comes time where and implementation is necessary, that action will be possible. This building of trans-cultural knowledge and experience is an enormous part of our education system today, and I hope that it yields the ability to complete some of this process. I know that I am not even close to alone with the desire to see and learn about the world. I feel as though each of us has that internal desire to know and do more.
With that in mind I bid ado for a couple days. I have some more writing and photos to catch up on and more than enough exploring to do across the city and beyond. Until the next time