Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday: Las entrevistas


Home. We had delicious Italian food for lunch! It tasted like American-style Italian food = delicious! Boiled "macaroni" noodles and the sauce (which was more of a noodle coating, if you know what I mean) was of oil, garlic, maybe onion, and oregano.  Yum!

We were glad lunch was pretty early in the day and cooked quickly because we have a big project due tomorrow that we had to work on with Nate.  So for our culture class, everyone has to, at some point in the term, do a group presentation that lasts 20+ minutes.  Jill, Nate and I formed a group when we found out about the project and started talking about what we wanted to do last week.  We all had been thinking about generally the same thing, which was great, so today we did it! Our teacher said we could use pictures, movies, we talk to people, we could do a ppt, we could do whatever we wanted, basically. And it just had to be about something we'd talked about during the term that interested us.  So all of us wanted to do a video and ask people in the Centro general questions about being Mayan.  We split it up - Nate wrote questions about the language, Jill wrote questions about possible discrimination, and I wrote questions about the general culture (what's your favorite part about it? what's something you think people should know about it?, etc).  So today we went to the Centro!

Oh. My. Goodness. It was so scary!  I didn't think it would be that scary until we got there. I realized that all my questions needed to be asked to Maya people and I couldn't figure out how to find them and ask them without seeming racist.  Also I was terrified to talk to people by myself. Thankfully, Nate talked to the first man and we kind of got a feel for how to start a conversation. He initiated conversation with the second person, but I talked to her. Aaaaaaaand failed. I totally forgot how to speak Spanish like a regular person, plus I quickly realized that my questions were not the questions I should've had.  It was a yucky experience. As the day went by, though, I gained a little more confidence and did better.  They all had really interesting answers.  

t the end of the interviews, we decided to go into the mercado (market where there's a lot of cool shops all put together) and buy some juice.  Funny story... We initially went in there b/c there's a member of the church who owns a juice stand and if you tell him you're a member, you get free juice. Unfortunately, his stand was closed, but there was one right next to it. I got agua de guanábana, which is one of my favorite flavors here.  I really wanted the orange juice, but his gigantic ladle had fallen inside the vat and he didn't have another one :)  When we were walking away after paying, this woman at the neighboring booth said something to Nate and they both started cracking up, but Jill and I had no idea what was going on! Nate told us when we went outside, though - So apparently while Jill and I were picking our juice (and apparently oblivious to everything else going on!) a little girl had come up and patted Nate's back pocket a couple of times. When he reached down to feel for his wallet, he found that it wasn't there! He turned around and started chasing after her dad because he didn't see her, grabbed the dad's shoulder and turned him around and asked where his wallet was. The man didn't know what he was talking about (Nate said that because he was so worried his Spanish was super-garbled), and then Nate looked over and realized he was holding his wallet in his other hand!  hahahaha :)  So he thought quickly on his feet and pointed at the closed juice shop next door and asked what time it closed.  Hilarious! And the woman who talked to him as we were leaving told him what had happened - the girl had asked her dad for a popsicle and he'd said no, so she was patting Nate to see if he would buy one for her.  Jajajajajaj :D

So after the juice incident, we came back to our house to put the project together. I felt kind of useless, which is weird - usually I feel like I do everything when it comes to group projects, but this time I didn't know what to do. We didn't take any of the video on my camera and Jill doesn't have a camera cord, so I couldn't put her videos on my comp to edit them. I don't have Powerpoint, so when we thought about doing a slideshow I didn't have the program to make it.  I don't know how to use iMovie, so I couldn't help Nate put the video together. I felt so silly :P  So we were helping Nate choose video segments to include when Sergio got home and talked to me for a long time... I kept trying to put my attention back to the homework but he kept asking questions and stuff. I sure didn't feel like a very good project partner!  At 8:30 Nate had to leave for dinner and finished the video at home. I hope he didn't work on it all night :P  He sent us a link tonight, though, to the video on youtube, and it is awesome!  For those who can speak Spanish: El Mundo Maya!  Nate did a great job.

Oh yeah - and I got to try guaya today! Nate bought some from one of the women we interviewed and showed us how to eat it when we got back. It is WEIRD. It feels like you have a little baby hamster in your mouth. (They're pretty small - maybe a little bigger than those giant seeded red grapes.) They're like, furry.  The taste is okay but the ones we had were a little sour. I would definitely eat one again, but just know if you ever try one - be prepared for a crazy texture!

So at 9:00ish tonight, I got to skype with Brooke for her birthday! I actually think we might've used gmail video chat, but still. It was really fun :) I haven't gotten to talk to her much since being here, so it was really fun. She showed me her house, which is really cool! Lofts look fun to live in.  And Ariana was in my room for part of the time and stayed in there until I showed Brooke the picture Ariana drew for me. She also told Brooke the English words she knows - mother, father, cheese, fish, apple... It was cute  :)

After chatting with Brooke for about an hour, I had to write a paper for class in the morning. I'm writing it on the disappearance of the Maya language because I've done quite a bit of research on language loss, so I know pretty well what I'm talking about, it interests me, and I know I can fill up the amount of pages talking about it.  Also, we have some questions about that in our video, so it will give me something to talk about during the presentation. Hopefully I'll feel a little better about my contributions to the group after having something substantial to present about :)  Our presentation is supposed to be at least 20 minutes long and our video is only 8, so I feel good knowing that I have something to talk about.

(Update on the paper: I ended up staying "awake" until 1:00 working on the paper and then getting up at 4:00 to finish it up, but I got it done!  We got it back a couple of days ago, too, and I think my teacher liked it! He also loved our presentation.) 


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