Let's see if I can recap for you...
I was in Maltrata, Veracruz for almost two months for the fieldwork for my thesis. Overall, it was a fantastic experience. In terms of my thesis, I was able to meet, interview and get to know a bit about the experience of people who had gone to the United States and are now back in their hometown.
On a personal level, I enjoyed getting to know another side of Mexico. I've been living in the DF for over a year and a half and have traveled a bit to other places. However, Maltrata was a very different experience. It's a small town with a "everybody knows everybody" feel. I stayed with an amazing family who adopted me as one of their own. I really enjoyed the daily conversations, sharing meals with them and trying new food, and of course playing with my little buddy (who, just for the record, loves "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" song).
Maltrata also has a ton of traditions, which I enjoyed learning about and at times participating in. (My plan is to share some of those traditions -- along with photos and videos -- in a separate blogpost. Now just to find the time before it's Holiday season again!)
|All dressed up|
|Baltimore pride in Maltrata|
|the newest addition to the family, who was|
born the same day I got to Maltrata
UNAM and other academic things
I came back to the DF for the second week of classes. (Somewhere between Maltrata and the DF I managed to come down with a nasty cold which slowed the "catching up" process down significantly).
This semester I'm just taking two classes: one in the anthropology department that focuses on organizing and analyzing data collected in field work and another called The Nation-State and the Indigenous Issue in the Andean Region, which looks at Indigenous social movements and historical antecedents in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Colombia.
I decided not to take Portuguese this semester to be able to devote more time to my thesis (it's crunch time!). I did find out though that I passed my Portuguese reading comprehension test, which means one more graduation requirement out of the way. (Now I just need to take the English test since they won't count that it's my native language -- seriously, UNAM?)
I've also attended two conferences recently, including The National Conference of Social Sciences, Challenges and Horizons of Change: Mexico in the XXI Century and FLACSO's International Migration Seminar, Challenges in today's world: A look at transnationalism, borders and rights.
|Boaventura de Sousa Santos giving the inaugural lecture|
at the National Conference of Social Sciences
in San Ildefonso
I'm back to rehearsals with the choir. We've had 2 concerts so far this semester. The first was at a Senior Center and the second was at a high school affiliated with UNAM. We have another on Saturday at an International Conference. Lots more concerts and plans lined up for the semester!
|Senior Center where we sang|
And in news the doesn't really fit anywhere else.... there were a random hail storm a couple weeks ago that was really intense and left the streets, sidewalks and cars covered in little balls of ice!
|hail storm as seen from the Historic Downtown|