When we were asked to blog more about the program on the website I knew I was one of the guilty ones for not putting words to the experience so far. I’m not usually one for a loss of words and I hope “el jefe” will excuse me for writing in English, but for this week the activities in my life have been so different from from what i normally do it seemed like words may not do it justice. I will do my best though to share with you some of my insights so far.
I landed in Mexico City in the early hours of the morning along with my colleagues to the sparkling lights of Mexico City sloping up into the base of the mountains that surround the city to welcome our
plane inclusive of a magnificent lightening show off in the distance that I gazed at through my window seat as we touched down smoothly in Mexico City. I met up with the team members flying in from Brazil and we headed to the hotel where we had our first meeting and afternoon of bonding with the entire team. Everyone in the group was new to me and most spoke a foreign language, Portuguese, Spanish and Scottish…but we have quickly became friends despite the language differences.
Trying to speak Spanish and doing okay, but it is humbling to be in a country of native speakers with only four months of Spanish lessons. First a trip to the home office in the heart of Mexico City, if you think New York and CT traffic is bad…think again, Mexico City has them beat! We meet our colleagues from Iberdrola Mexico and the volunteers who will be supporting us during the program and have a tour of the offices.
Excitement builds on the bus as we head to meet the students at Fonabec. We can’t wait!!! Both morning and afternoon groups will be there to meet us together at once for the first day. We leave the bus and walk through a local neighborhood smelling of homemade tortillas, up a steep street to the school and are greeted by a sea of students and staff and we ready to start our first activities. The “getting to know you activities” are fun and nerve racking at the same time because I literally didn’t know what was going on. But magically it all came together and instead of me helping the students the students and other volunteers are helping me and we have a great time playing a variation of rock, paper, scissors and a memory game. During the final activity I have to introduce myself in Spanish. I stand in front of 40 students staring right at me and for a moment I freeze. I can’t get the “palabras” out that I was practicing in my head a moment ago but then I quickly snap out of it and in the best Spanish I can muster I tell them a few sentences about myself. It was a great start to a week that has continued to get better and better each day!.