Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Monterrey Magic

We had a few incredible days in Monterrey:

Friday, March 28th-- our "regional learning" day was full of sightseeing and not seeing. The cast was on a rotation through four sites. Included were a blast furnace and museum that gave the history of Monterrey's steel industry-- we rode to the top display deck, and looked over the city, had a boat ride down Paseo Santa Lucia, which is a river walk with restaurants and fountains-- very beautiful and similar to the famous one in San Antonio, the Mexican History museum where we had a whirlwind tour/ crash course in pre and post-colonial history, and "Dialogo en la Obscuridad." Translated to "Dialogue in the Darkness" this was a hour and 15 minute blind experience. We were in groups of eight, with canes and with a guide named Joaquin who was blind. He led us through simulations of a park, grocery store, crossing the street in a city, a boat ride, and a coffee shop-- all taking place in complete darkness. It was a fascinating experience, and felt like a very safe space to try out walking around in the dark, feeling our way and trying to determine where we were.

I felt very confident in touching things because again, I knew it was a simulation, but I can't imagine running my hand along the trash can at the bus stop, for example, in real life. Also, using a cane was challenging to get used to, along with crouching down right underneath yourself so you didn't lean forward and smack your head on something you couldn't see.

It was especially insightful as I am traveling a second semester with Jessica Rojas, a student in our cast who is blind, and I felt myself moving my body in the way I see her move hers everyday.

And finally, at the end of the day, we visited a social services facility for children called "Ninos de Capullo", which translates to children of the cocoon. It is a transition center where children live and receive care if they are removed from their homes. We spent a few hours there learning about the center, performing a few songs for the children, and having them dance for us. We also had time to play games for a little while before it was time for their dinner. Most of the cast wanted to stay and play longer... (and so did the kids).

And the day ended with an incredible party at Casa Paraiso (Paradise House), which is a house that is owned by an alumna and is rented out for weddings and events. We danced and had fresh-grilled tacos, hosted also in part by CARE (pronounced Car-eh), which is the university student org that was our sponsor in Monterrey. They brought a DJ and invited a Mariachi band who played a few numbers. Host families brought tons of other food, and we danced the night away!

It was also very fun to hang out with Carlos and his parents. Carlos brought us to the party friday night, and we had a relaxing and wonderful afternoon with him and his parents on Saturday. They took us to Chipinque park, which was up in the mountains that overlooked Monterrey. We ate a wonderful late lunch in the restaurant on top, and wandered through the park. We then drove down to a little puebla called Santiago, walked through the main square, peeked into the church where there was a quinceinera ceremony taking place, and then, still full, went to a fabulous little italian restaurant owned by friends of the ORdonez family. It was a lovely day, and helped us catch up on relaxing time, which we often forget to do.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Wow what an adventure you are having in Mexico! I can't wait to see your pics and hear the stories that go with them.
Love Mom