Year THREE in Zacango here we come...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hangin' Out

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Kids Summer Group

We're leading a kids group for the summer again this year. Once again, the kids have created a garden and we get together each day to work in the garden, do crafts, read books, and make movies (a new addition to this year's program). The kids had so much fun making movies in Bruce's computer classes during the school year that it's become a major component of the summer program. We still hope to post the movies to Youtube in the future so you can see them.

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Garden Work

Collecting "tierra de monte" (rich soil found under trees), sorting through worm compost, and planting the radish seeds.
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Hizee's Clausura

Claururas (graduations) are a big deal here is Mexico...not just graduation from high school but graduation from kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, high school...there is a graduation every step of the way. When people found out that we weren't going to be around for Hizee's clausura from the local kindergarten (we had to go to Honduras for MCC meetings) they felt very sad for her. It turns out we had her big claursura meal (mole) before the actual clausura. About 50 people filed through the house to eat and wish Hizee a happy graduation.
One special aspect of all clausuras are "padrinos" -- the people who "sponsor" you by giving you gifts and flowers. Hizee's padrinos were our neighbors Valentina and German. They even brought special music to be played while they presented her with her flowers and gifts. My good friends Maria, Irinea, and Leovigilda also gave Hizee gifts. Needless to say she was quite happy with her clausura day!
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Father's Day!

Hizee and Zam whipped up a quick breakfast...

breakfast in bed...

a box collaged full of famous Mexican luchadores...

and great homemade cards!
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The Excursion of a Lifetime!!!

When we first started the youth art group back in February I had mentioned the possibility of a fieldtrip to see some Aztec art in Mexico City. Soon after classes had ended for the school year that trip became a reality!
It was a whirlwind of a trip that couldn't have been a greater success!!! In order to keep down costs for the group (6 Zacango youth, 2 parent chaperones, and our familiy of five),we left Zacango on a Monday afternoon at around 4 pm, and after the five hour drive each way, were back in Zacango the next day by 7pm!
The fieldtrip was 27 hours of pure elation! I was a bit worried about loosing someone in the big city or something going wrong, but the kids were AMAZING...not only were they attached at the hip (literally) for fear of getting lost, they had permanant smiles on their faces as they took in every ounce of what there was to see. Many of the youth had never been more than 100 Km from their village and along with the museum, cathedral, temple ruins, and National Palace we visited, were just as intrigued by riding an escalator, cooking in the MCC guest house kitchen and riding the Metro (subway). It was pure joy to share the experience with them!!!
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Exploring the Zocolo

The whole crew outside the Mexico's National Palace. From left to right: Ziko, Zam, Maria, Benigna, Ana Laura, Oscar, Margarita, and Miguel.
I gave them some homework prior to the excursion and they were seri0us about getting it done.
Checking out the ruins of the famous Aztec Templo Mayor with the cathedral in the foreground.
Ziko and his good buddy Oscar whom he refers to as "the fast Oscar" because he has two friends named Oscar. The other Oscar friend he calls "the big Oscar."
After we explored the temple ruins we headed into the museum which is attached to the ruins.
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"Mexico is my Museum"

The signs in this photo say it all "Mexico (City) is my Museum." The kids sure proved that slogan true! They took it all in and did it with style! What a joy to watch them explore their country's capital...a definite highlight of our two years here so far!
Palacio Nacional -- Mexico's National Palace where the president does his work.

Checking out the famous Diego Rivera's murals in the National Palace.

Outside the cathedral in Mexico City's zocolo (town center).
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Los Luchadores de Zacango

The last main event of the season for Zacango's kids wrestling league (before the rainy season set in) included a variety have between -matches events: coke drinking contest, chip eating contest, bubble gum blowing contest etc....It was loads of fun!

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Cute, Cuddly, and Delicious

The above post title is the same title that Bruce used for an article he wrote for the community newspaper which described how we slaughtered and ate one of our rabbits. Wild rabbit is a popular food around Zacango and a few families that we have given rabbits to have had success in raising rabbits. We were trying to promote the domesticated rabbits as a food source instead of just a "pet" as people's rabbit pens are becoming quickly populated. People in Zacango have also had success selling their rabbits.
Lots of meat....sorry to all vegetarians or to those who disagree with the eating of creatures.
Don Zoilo preparing the feast.
The feast.
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Compass and El Norte Have a Baby

Hizee's two pigeons (Compass and El Norte) have incubated their eggs (yes, both parents do the incubating) a dozen times but little pigeon chicks have never emerged. Finally they had some luck a couple of months ago. When the egg first hatched we couldn't believe how instantly large the chick was (not as large as in this picture of her and Hizee but considerably larger than a chicken chick). They (the parents) then nursed the chick in its' nest for nearly two months feeding it the milky substance they coughed up into the chick's mouth (it's very interesting to watch). We were also surprised that she developed white feathers given the purply/grey colour of her parents.
If you google "raising pigeons" you can learn all sorts of interesting facts about these smart birds. Hizee is very happy with her new pigeon named "Cheesy".
El Norte...Papa

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Friday, July 23, 2010

The End of Year English Extravaganza

It's been a while since we've posted...sorry for the lack of updates, we're a bit behind in the world of blogging!
We ended our year of English studies in Zacango with a big program on June 11 at the primary school where we have our classroom. It looked like we were going to get rained out early in the afternoon as we decorated the cancha (basketball court) but luckily it was all a go as the clouds passed over.
The program was a huge success...the students were very proud to show off their English skills to the community through singing, reading, and reciting English poetry.

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The President Attends the Program

We had a great turn out for the program which included the president of the municipality that we live in (a big honour for the students). We hadn't officially invited "la presidenta" (the women sitting with the orange flower pin) but she was in town for the opening of a new dam and when the kids saw her they ran and invited her.
I MCed the program in English and German, the teacher at the primary school and one of the adult English students, translated into English. We worked together for a few weeks putting the program together.
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