On Wednesday evening we went to the center of México City to watch the Ballet de Amalia Hernandez in the beautiful Palacio de Bellas Artes. It was an unforgettable and culturally rich experience. The performance started with a line of men, dressed in feathered headdresses and pants, who played the drums while a large group of dancers performed tribal like movement. Following this opening scene were a series of dances that reflected both the traditional and romantic aspects of Mexican culture. The dancers were all dressed in traditional Mexican attire which paralleled the music. The female dancers were wearing vibrantly colored dresses that had long skirts which they used to dance with. While the male dancers were dressed in ranch and mariachi costumes. The stage where they performed had constant set changes which made the ballet more unique. The performance was also interesting because the musicians were always on stage and even interacted with the dancers, showing that they are equally a part of the show as the dancers. The entire show was truly remarkable.
When we arrived to Mexico we all had a feeling of nervousness. We were afraid to meet our hosts and worried about the coming week. We first arrived at Carol Baur late Thursday night, to finally meet our hosts and their familes. They slowly called out our names and one by one the crowd of luggage began to thin. Once we were called we left with our new families for the week, still full of anxiety. After the awkward introductions, my host Yussef and his family took me to get some real tacos. It was 1:00 in the morning. From the lack of sleep and the plane, I was feeling sick. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling any better the next morning and I was prepared for an extremely uncomfortable conversation. My host mom came to me and said not to worry, she’s a mom and everything will be okay. She gave me medicine and a coke with lemon (the Mexican remedy for a stomach ache). For the next two days my host mom babied me. She made sure I took my medicine every meal and got me what ever I desired. Her and my host family’s hospitality was amazing. It eased any nerves that I had about how the week was going to be. Although I felt terrible for two days, I was excited for what opportunities my time in Mexico would bring. The connection I share with my host family is life long, and I know we will stay in contact.
Mr. Queipo’s speech at the conference was amazing. He is such a positive, kind, and encouraging person, and his speech was nothing short of it. Mr. Queipo works as a Director of the Department of Public Information for the United Nations. To begin, he went into a few details of the UN.We learned that there are six main organs of the UN including the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice, and the UN Secretariat. Then, Mr. Queipo discussed the many biases within our broadcasting systems and news casters. He gave the classic example of CNN being more liberal and Fox News being more conservative. He made it clear that the top priority of most news castings is profit. He challenged us to rethink our sources. Next, Mr. Queipo discussed the importance of finding the facts and truth in news, which is one of the many goals of the UN. The most encouraging piece of his talk was emphasis on our generation’s leadership. He believes we are vital to our world’s growth and that our opinions should be heard because we are smart and need change. We are the face of change.
Despite the sore legs, dusty shoes, and sunburns, we had such a fun time visiting the pyramids at Teotihuacán. The day started with a long bus ride full of singing songs in both Spanish and English. When we finally arrived, our tour guides, Carol Baur students, separated us into three groups. In these groups, we started to learn about the culture and history of the abandoned city. Though we don’t know who built these ruins, we know bits and pieces of the unfinished puzzle. We know that these are temples rather then tombs like they are in Egypt. Experts believe that the city was built 1 year after Christ. And every structure was built in the place it sits today for a very specific reason: the pyramids revolve around the Sun pyramid, just as the planets in the solar system revolve around the sun as well. As the trip drew to a close, we all had the chance to eat delicious popsicles and do some last minute shopping of trinkets and souvenirs. The day ended as we got back on the bus and headed back to Carol Baur.
Today marked the final day of BIMUN, which did not end quietly. After an introspective discussion led by Monsieur Bassin of the United Nations International School in New York, delegates returned to their committees for two final sessions. My committee, ACNUR (or UNHCR), spent the time wrapping up talks about plans to aid Syrian refugees, and how to navigate the controversial issue. After writing a second working paper and getting it passed by the entire committee, I finished the seventh and final session with a great feeling of accomplishment. Soon after, delegates and students were treated to a pizza lunch at the school and we were all able to enjoy the incredible weather.
It goes without saying that Carol Baur put on an incredible event and that I and my fellow students are incredibly grateful for the experience. We are sad to finish such a significant part of our trip, but we are looking forward to immersing ourselves in Mexican culture as the week goes on.
After lunch on the first day, our collegiate group dispersed to multiple rooms to have a model UN debate or personal opinion discussion. I represented The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the historical committee to change history by debating the topics of the creation of Israel and the subject of Capitalism versus Communism. As I researched my topic, I was unaware that at the beginning of the committee, the delegates in the committee would vote on which time period we would discuss. I prepared for the debate to be during the time period of the 1920s because the British assumed control over the region according to a decision of the League of Nations and my stance was to create Israel. At the beginning of the debate, Kenta Okaneku, the Moderator of the debate, proposed we do an obligatory speakers list, meaning that I was not able to get a firm grasp of how the committee ran because I have only participated in a model UN mock conference during the fall of my freshman year. It was determined that each speaker would be given one minute to talk about their delegations opinion on the subject matter. I went up in front of the committee and gave a five second speech about my delegation’s opinion before giving up the rest of my time. After everyone went, we entered a moderated caucus to discuss the creation of Israel. Since I didn’t have much research on the opinion of the United Kingdom in 1948, I had to only use the knowledge I learned from past history classes. As the debate went on, I became more and more confident and raised my placard to speak more. I became allies with a few countries, but the opposition still had a majority. The debate is still continuing and the potential resolutions could go either way right now.
After a long night of travels, we all made it to the Opening Ceremony at last. Although we did not get much sleep, the adrenaline kicked in and we were feeling the nerves mixed with excitement. Not knowing what to expect, we all filed into the seats of the ceremony eager to see what awaited us. The beautiful campus of Carol Baur surrounded us as we sat in the warm sun gazing at the breathtaking view of the city. As the ceremony began, we were delighted by the melodious tunes from the Mexican Military. We felt extremely welcomed by many important Mexican officials. Felipe Queipo, a United Nations Member, inspired us as he stated “the youth are not the future, they are the present.” After the ceremony, we were ready to begin in our committees discussing worldwide issues and brainstorming our own solutions together.