Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 1: Newark to Houston, Houston to Oaxaca Departure Thoughts
I literally cannot find the right words to describe how I'm feeling right now. I'm a combination of anxious, excited, nervous, and worried. Is it possible to feel so many emotions at once? As soon as my alarm clock went off today at 7am it hit me that today is the day that I won't be in good old New Jersey where everything is familiar. Honestly, I have traveled outside the United States before but not by myself for over a month taking classes and staying with a host family. I've always wanted to learn Spanish and I'm amazed that I was able to understand some and pick up basic phrases when I went to visit my cousins years ago in Isla Holbox. I guess it helped that I took Italian in high school for four years along with visiting my Italian cousins for a couple of weeks.
Personally, I never heard of Oaxaca and when my professor mentioned that there is a large community in New Brunswick from that area I realized that everytime I got my hair done on French St I would see little restaurants that said Oaxaca or Oaxaquina. I'm very excited to see what Oaxacan culture is like, how the Spanish dilect differs from other regions in Mexico, and the festivities there. I'm also very nervous and excited about meeting my host family for the first time. I hope I don't make the mistake of mispronouncing something in Spanish that ends up upsetting the family. I'm very anxious to see the family dynamics play in the Oaxacan culture and see if there are any major similarities or differences with the American culture. Another thing I'm really anxious about is where I'm going to be placed to do my fieldwork because I really wanted to get started right now and make a difference in Oaxaca. All I know for now is that I am going to make a difference down in Oaxaca by emersing myself in the culture and help at a grassroots level. I know for sure the day I return to the United Stated I will have a more clear understanding and deeper appreciation for the Oaxacan culture.

-Sofya Andemicael

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