After visiting the Frida Kahlo house on Tuesday, we went over to the markets and surrounding area at Coyoacán. The markets were filled with vendors selling things from bracelets and keychains to tattoos and piercings, which we sadly passed on. After buying some bracelets and ceramic mugs, we headed over to a famous churro place in Coyoacán, where they sell 35 different flavors of churros, including Nutella, caramel, condensed milk, and mango. Some people tried this corn dish (name?) made of corn, mayonnaise, cream, and cheese. The mayonnaise of it all made it not really my thing, but everyone who got it loved it. After this, we headed home to spend the evening with out host families.
Although this morning was our last morning in Mexico, it wasn’t too late to learn more about everyone’s cultures. We went to the very top of the school to their auditorium to watch presentations from Italy and Thailand. Italy talked about each city in their country and listed a few interesting facts about each one. Watching the presentation made me want to visit Naples and Venice! The Thailand presentation taught us a few words from their language in addition to telling us about the symbolism of their country. We learned that Thailand is the land of smiles and the elephant is a common symbol of their country. After we learned more about these 2 countries it was our turn to tell everyone about the US. For our presentation we made a PowerPoint that covered American music beginning in 1910 all the way to the current music trends. Each era included a few facts and as well as a video representing the time period through music. A highlight of our presentation was when the Italian teacher broke out dancing when we played a song by Elvis Presley!
Since we are leaving tomorrow and we will miss El Zocalo, my host family did not want me to miss out on seeing downtown Mexico City. The Santillán family went above and beyond as exceptional tour guides of their city. Because Monday was a holiday here in Mexico, the traffic wasn’t bad at all. However, typically the traffic can take as long as 2 hours to get downtown. We saw the cathedral which was very exciting because the Pope is visiting Mexico City, and holding a service in that cathedral in a month so everyone is very busy getting ready for his arrival. We also ate dinner at a resteraunt that is overlooking El Zocalo which is the town square. In the center of it is a huge Mexican flag. After dinner, my host family took Alex and I to a market where they helped us bargain for all the souvenirs we wanted. Our last stop was the giant Angel statue which is one if the most famous monuments in México City. Downtown México City is such a beautiful place full of tons of culture. A huge thank you to the Santillán family for being such great tour guides of their beautiful city!
My first time staying with a host family was a wonderful experience. They provided me with everything I could think of needing and went above and beyond showing me around Mexico City. From learning ancient myths about the mountains, seeing a 360 view of Mexico City from the top of a building downtown, and bargaining in the markets, my family could not have made my stay in Mexico feel more at home. Last night after giving them their gifts, we made homemade tortillas, guacamole, and pico de gallo for some delicious quesadillas. My family then gave me their tortilla maker so that I can make them at home for my family. Raúl, my 9 year old host brother, gave me a paper airplane, 5 cough drops, and his favorite Star Wars action figure. My family was so caring and they are a huge part of what made my stay in Mexico so incredible!
Yesterday we went to the Frida Kahlo’s house or “the Blue House”. There we learned all about Frida and her life. I was already aware of Frida Kahlo’s chronic disabilities from having polio as a child and getting into a trolley accident when she was 18, but seeing all the casts and braces Frida had to use to prevent her pain was very eye opening. As someone who loves to paint, it was so amazing being able to be in the house of one of the most iconic painters. Frida created beautiful masterpieces but most people are unaware that these beautiful paintings were created out of her chronic pain and desperation to have a child.
Yesterday the 11 comrades of Mexico ventured to the Teotihuacan pyramids in order to achieve the ultimate goal: making it to the top of the esteemed sun pyramid. It took nothing but blood, sweat, and tears (and also the overcoming of claustrophobia for the lovely Sarah Whitaker), but we all made it to the top. Once the top of the pyramid was reached, we were all able to bask in the glory of our recent achievement by looking down and trying not to have a panic attack about how high up we were. We also got to take unorganized group pictures, and who doesn’t love that? Overall the pyramids were a fun and awesome experience, and also a great change of pace from sitting in the Model UN conference all day! Hoorah for exercise!
Today we started the 7th session finishing the discussion on Syrian refugees. We had already come up with the proposals from the previous day and only needed to finalize and vote. After the simple and moderated caucuses we all voted on the proposal paper. The paper passed with every delegation voting in favor except for Syria. After the vote we closed topic a and went to topic b. However, time did not allow for much discussion of topic b and we went to the awards. We voted for awards for best delegates, best dressed, best smile, best looking and many more. Everyone had fun with the nominations and it was great to vote. Just like the previous sessions, everyone was uncontrollably laughing. Many times we had to stop because no one could get it together enough to speak. Our committee bonded through jokes and having to work together to find a solution. We made Model UN a fun experience and I am glad I went out of my comfort zone to be a part of a committee in Spanish. My committee was unlike anything anyone expected from a Model UN conference with break dancing, games and laughing attacks. I couldn’t imagine being part of any other committee.
My committee is the security council, which Megan is in as well. Today during our eighth session we finally came to a resolution for our first topic. Our topic was civil security in Syria. Once we finished that topic we started our next which was the Iran nuclear crisis. Unfortunately, it was our last session so we were unable to come to a conclusion. Megan and I made lots of friends during our conference and were sad to see it end, especially since that would be the last day we would see many of the other students.