First things first.
I would like to say hello/hiya/g’day to each and every one of you readers! And since I know there are a great deal of other blogs and such to be read, I realize there might actually only be one reader (and in that case….HI MOM). Nevertheless a written record of my studies abroad was a must-do for me and after procrastinating like the good ol’ college student I am, here it is.
I am a Senior at Santa Clara University, Class of 2013 (SO FRESH SO CLEAN) majoring in Anthropology with a double minor in English and Communications (believe me when I say I would major in everything if I could) and I will be spending the upcoming Fall 2012 quarter abroad, although in El Salvador they are on the semester system so it’s technically a semester. I will be going with the Casa de la Solidaridad program that is affiliated with SCU
I know I tend to ramble/go on unrelated tangents. So please bear with me, with any luck I will come to a valid point (eventually). I know that the longer a post is the less interest readers will exhibit and so I’m going to try to keep everything at a “reasonable length” (although multiple professors have taught me that the definition of that phrase is highly arbitrary). I don’t imagine I will posting all too often as we don’t have 24/7 access to the internet, I don’t even know if I’ll post more than a handful of times, but I started a blog and therefore I can cross it off my to-do list and feel accomplished.
A lot of people have been asking about what I’m going to be doing in El Salvador, or why I chose this particular program and, to be quite honest, I’ve had a hard time explaining it/I still have not entirely grasped what I will be doing myself.
But here’s the gist of it:
1. My Grandfather was born and raised in El Salvador. When I was younger I didn’t understand what this meant other that the fact that it also made me part Mayan (yes, the apocalypse ones) and I never really grew curious about it until after he passed away. Because of this, I figured the best way for me to learn about his life was to go there myself.
2. I went on the immersion trip to El Salvador last year, and I can honestly say it changed my life. To all SCU students: I highly recommend you doing one before graduation. The Salvadoran people demonstrate and incredible amount of strength and generosity that was inspiring to me and ultimately drew me back when the time came for study abroad applications.
3. As a part of the Casa program, 26 other students and I will be taking classes at the UCA and participating in a praxis site twice a week from 7:30-5. These sites focus on community involvement and personal growth as well as an opportunity for me to gather information for my senior Anthropology thesis in which I will be focusing on childhood nutrition in marginalized areas.
4. Quite appropriately number 4 on the list are the 4 pillars of the Casa program: accompaniment, academics, community, and spirituality. These are pretty straight forward.
5. I want to become fluent in Spanish. No better way I can think of than to travel to a spanish-speaking country and live there for 4 months.
6. Simple living. This means, among other things, limited internet access, no hot water, and separate trash bins for toilet paper because the pipes can;t handle it.
That being said, the title of this blog, “Keep it Simple” is meant to reflect both the simple living that I will be partaking in as well as the simple posts I will be writing (although this one is already yikes 700 words…woops). Although I can imagine the early posts will be very long considering I will be so excited to be there and there will be so many people to meet, and things to do, and eat, and see, and eat (I’m only a little excited about the food). Note: pictures will also be included on the blog.
I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m completely prepared, and I’m devastatingly unprepared…who know what the next 48 hours will bring, but they are sure to end with me being in El Salvador’s paradise (probably in a hammock).