ASB2010 in Mexico

Students are traveling to Xalapa, Mexico, as part of Alternative Spring Break 2010 to work at an orphanage, serve food and help at a clinic with the nonprofit organization Caritas.

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Goodbye to Caritas

An update from Sarah:

It’s a rainy day in Xalapa, and as I sit here drinking my coconut atole and eating my vegetarian tamale, I am longing for warmer days … and it’s funny because I’m in Mexico and it’s supposed to be sunny. Which, to be fair, it has been every other day except today.

ASBMexico.jpg Today was our last day at Caritas. It doesn’t seem real to me – I was expecting more closure, more ceremony. Instead, we finished washing dishes after serving lunch and said goodbye to the kids in the nursery, just like any other day. I wonder if they know we’re leaving forever, and I wonder if they’ll remember us.

Just like any other day, we made it to Caritas around 9:45 this morning – a good 15 minutes late since we always underestimate how long it takes us to walk there. Today I helped chop lettuce, cucumbers, and beets for the kitchen before going on our daily ice cream run. Today was different, though, because we brought popsicles (called paletas) back for the nursery employees. I wish we had done that every other day this week – it’s just a nice thing to do, plus it couldn’t hurt our reputation for the employees that were still a little wary of us.

After a busy lunch hour (Fridays are usually busy, we were told, because Caritas doesn’t serve on Saturdays and Sundays), we went out to lunch with some of the nuns. I wish I could have spoken with them more than I did – stupid language barrier!

We didn’t return to Caritas after lunch and instead spent some time wandering around an alleyway littered with street vendors. As much as I wanted to buy something, I didn’t. I felt embarrassed about not speaking Spanish, and I was afraid of getting ripped off, even for little dollar-store trinkets. I have a list of people to buy gifts for though, so maybe I should suck it up and blow my pesos in style.

Tomorrow, our group plans to go repelling. I’m a big baby about the cold though, so if it turns out that tomorrow the weather is gross, I won’t go with them.

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