Kimberly, Guatemala

Kimberly is a junior double major in biological sciences and chemistry in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. As part of SMU Engaged Learning, she is conducting an Unbridled Project in Guatemala during 2012-13. She plans to research health-related traditions, beliefs and practices in the indigenous Mayan community and evaluate how these values and beliefs occasionally clash with Western medicine. Before heading to Guatemala, she is studying at SMU-in-Taos.

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Somebody you used to know?

As part of the Parasitology course, Dr. Ubelaker takes us on the most amazing field trips ever. While the field trip location is astonishing, the most fun we have is on the car ride. Just this past field trip, Vanessa, Jewel, Laura and I decided to sing Gotye’s Somebody that I used to know. Both Daniel and Tom listened to our singing up until the next song on the radio came on and they decided that their iPods had much better music. I cannot say that I blame them. Apparently, since we have been here in Taos, Vanessa, Laura and I have been able to find a total of 3 radio stations that are okay to listen to. Each radio station though tends to play the same songs over and over again…

On the past field trip I decided to take many pictures with my classmates and as you can see the facial expressions some of us make in the photographs are priceless. In the photograph with all of us near the Gorge Bridge plaque can you find the fifth person in the photograph? At our hike at Italionalis, we saw bear caves and Vanessa and I tried to see if we could reach the bear claw marks on the tree.

I must say that I completley respect Dr. Ubelaker as he leads us on our hikes. On the very first hike that we took as a class, Dr. Ubelaker came out with his hiking backpack, and this large walking stick. He turned addressed the class and told us, “Okay everyone, we are going to take an easy hike up the mountain (Cerro Pedernal).” When he turned around and began hiking, he was moving so fast! By the time the class could stop, catch our breaths and open our water bottles to take a drink, he was already moving again! I told myself that I needed a walking stick and maybe this would help me hike better…it is a thought…And so after that first hike I never doubted that Dr. Ubelaker could hike up a mountain with any difficulty. He is also the best tour guide one could ever ask for. As we hike up the various trails he will always stop to tell a joke, inform us about the trees surrounding us and the general history of the trails. I always learn so much from the hikes and am so grateful that I have such an energetic professor!

I have come to call some amazing individuals friends here as we laugh and joke and share awkward moments together.  Whether it be skipping down the Bridge on the Gorge, or photo bombing pictures, even singing in the car, or even having stick fights each individual has made me smile and the memories that have been created I will never forget!


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    About Kimberly Mendoza

    STU UnGrad

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