We hope you're having a good week! It's hard to believe that we come back tomorrow!! We can't wait to see you all in Chicago! Today was our last week on site. The students took it really well, but it obviously hit them post-Campeche that this was it! In support and success groups, we worked on preparing for re-entry--what to expect and how to deal with it. We expect the students to have signs of reverse culture shock. They might seem frustrated, melancholic, listless, or a little too excited to be back. All of that is perfectly normal post-program. Here are some articles that might give you some hints on dealing with the aftershock:
Reverse Culture Shock: 10 ways parents can help
What your child wants you to know about reverse culture shock
On Monday, we did an administrative wrap up. We finished out the program magazine that the students were working on all summer, and they had a chance to write individual thank you cards to their host mothers, which were distributed to them during the farewell show on Wednesday.
|Hard at work trying to put into words this wonderful experience.|
The rest of the week (Monday afternoon through Wednesday) was spent rehearsing rehearsing rehearsing. In theatre class with Daniel, that meant performing the play and the sketches over and over, working on tone, volume, and keeping our backs away from the audience, as well as arts and crafts to make the prompts we needed for our (minimalist) theatrical production.
|Prop making. Aaron is supervising.|
|The Mayas: Cecilia (the witch), Ariel (the princess), and Malachi (The king)|
|The Spanish: Spencer (Fray Franscisco), Emma (Fray Diego de Landa) and Aaron (The executioner)|
|Two cultures meeting. Spoiler: It doesn't end well.|
In Choir class with Odalys, that meant polishing off the dances and practicing practicing practicing!
|Practing the trova yucateco, Esta tarde vi llover|
Behind the scenes: Puebla, correographed by Olivia, Claire, and Devin.
Behind the scenes: Quimbara, correographed by Jaigh, Ainsley and Niara
Behind the scenes: Robarte un beso, correographed by Piper, Kaleigh, Katie, and Cassidy.
The farewell show was a big success! The students worked hard all summer and it really showed!
The farewell show, in all it's glory, is below in three parts. We apologize for the shaking--Daniel made a tripod out of a paper cup that would have been amazing, except there was no way to put it so that it captured the whole stage, so he recorded it on his phone standing against the wall, which is more of a workout than one would think.
And finally, to end the blog, we thought it would be fun to re-present the students and their host families. In the first entry from Mérida we included the pictures we took the first week, and here they are again at the end. We don't know how she did it, but Diana always manages to match her host moms with the perfect students, and we are so grateful.
|Doña Rebeca, with Emma and Kaleigh|
|Doña Magda, with Ceci and Oli|
|Doña Fabiola with Aaron (actually smiling!)|
|Doña Blanca with Ainsley and Katie!|
|Doña Leonor and Niara (feat. Samantha, Leonor's granddaughter!)|
|Doña Angélica with Malachi and Spencer|
|Doña Amira, with Piper and Claire (those are happy tears, we promise)|
|Doña Irene, with Cassidy and Jaigh|
|Doña Diana, with Devin and Ariel|
|Insructor team with Tania, Diana's assistant!|
|Instructo team with Diana, our amazing Onsite Coordinator!|
Thursday morning, we had a very abbreviated day to give them more time to enjoy their last day in Mérida. We started with the Spanish exam we gave them at the beginning of the summer (they'll recieve these scores in their final evaluations along with comments on their participation), which they breezed through, and then we had a quick overview of our day tomorrow, along with last minute reminders and rules.
|Even during an exam, Olivia's ready for a photo!|
To round out the summer, we took a surprise excursion to a local ice cream shop before turning them loose to enjoy their last 12 hours or so in Mérida.
|It was... a long, hot walk.|
|"You're buying us what??"|
|Katie, Ariel, Cassidy, Aaron, Spencer, and Jaigh|
|Claire, Devin, Olivia and Kaleigh|
|Niara, Ainsley, Emma, Malachi, Ceci and Piper|
With this post, our summer in Mérida is over!! We can't believe it!! Tomorrow we leave Mérida at 6am (the grumbling has already begun), and we'll be in Chicago around 2pm. It will probably take us a bit to get everyone through customs and security, so please be patient with us! We look forwarding to seeing you all there! Once again, a heartfelt thanks from the instructor team for sending your students with us this summer! We truly had such a great time! It's so hard to put into words what the student groups mean to us, and even harder with such a truly outstanding group of students. It was such a pleasure getting to know this bunch and seeing how far they progressed.
|The last team photo|
|Actually, the last team foto.|