The New and the Familiar
~ By Tara
November was a month full of holidays and celebrations, so it flew right by. The beginning of the month was the start of the celebration of Day of the Dead. The schools filled with decorations, and on November 1st I experienced my first altar celebration. I was able to learn about the different levels for both a typical child and adult altar. Afterwards, I joined my students in eating some of the foods that are typical offerings for those who have passed.
Later in the month the English teachers were invited to participate in the Revolution Day Parade with our schools. My teachers were generous enough to buy me a blouse so that I would match with them during the celebration. Each grade at my school learned a different dance routine and had matching costumes. It was fun to be included in their holiday as a teacher in the schools. We even all went out to breakfast together afterward to celebrate keeping all of our children in line during the parade.
After a month of celebrating holidays in Mexico, we were fortunate enough to be given the days off to celebrate our Thanksgiving. We decided to plan a huge roommate feast, filled with our favorite appetizers and sides that our families usually make at home. It was a random mix of food coming from our different backgrounds all over the United States. We thought it would be special to invite a few of our friends from Isla over to try our typical Thanksgiving foods and for them to see how we celebrate. It was entertaining watching them try new things and not knowing half of the foods we were giving them. We spent the whole day cooking and celebrating the fact that we actually pulled off a Thanksgiving meal.
It is a strange feeling knowing that we only have less than a month left on the island. After a month of celebrating with each other and our schools, I know we all have felt included and loved. It is going to be hard leaving such a special community that has welcomed us with open arms. Every day I feel appreciated for the work we are doing. I know the next couple weeks will fly by as well, but I already know they will be as a great as the last couple of months. I already know (and am dreading) how hard it is going to be to say goodbye to my students, the teachers, our friends and the other interns.