Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sahuarita, Arizona (September 22-29)

After spending 5 weeks in Mexico, we headed back to the United States. Our first city back in the USA was Sahuarita, Arizona. My host family for this city actually was from Green Valley...which is only a short distance away from Sahuarita. My roommates were Joshua from Arizona and Clothilde from Belgium. Below is a picture of my family in Sahuarita.

For the next 6 weeks I am going to be a crew leader for our Community Impact Projects. My first project was CI at a local day car center. About 20 UWP students went to a day care center and split up into three teams. Group 1 painted ten bathrooms, Group 2 made and decorated bulletin boards and Group 3 organized storage closets. Everyone that participated in this CI had an amazing time..we even sang to the children before they took their naps! Below is a slideshow of pictures from the day!

I was also able to take part in the project called "Stand for Peace!" It's when we go into elementary and middle schools and do a lesson with the students promoting peace. I wasn't supposed to take part in this activity..I was signed out for dance workshops, but since so many people called in sick they asked me to fill in for someone. I was in a 6th grade classroom of all girls. Our lesson went pretty well and the students seemed to enjoy themselves. After lunch, the entire cast put on a mini show which at the schools we refer to as a "peace rally!" Below are pictures of signs that were hanging in the school!

After we were finished with the "peace rally" we were fortunate enough to meet the founder of Up With People Mr. Belk. He spoke to us for a little while and gave us some more background information on the organization. The pictures below are of him and his wife.

On regional learning day we went to a farm. We were able to go on a hay ride and through a maze. Some cast members even saw pumpkins for the first time!

Saturday was show day! This was not only our first show back in the United States, but a lot of important people were present at this show. Before every show we have something called "green room" where we all gather together play games, sing songs and get psyched for the show. Below there are a few pictures from "green room."

Me in my "Step into the World" specialty costume.

One of the other dancers from "Step into the World" and myself.

We also had the opportunity to go to an assisted living facility called La Posado and serve the residents dinner! The people sitting at my table were a joy and we had a great time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hermosillo, Mexico (September 15-22)

Our arrival day in Hermosillo was absolutely amazing. We arrived into town on the Mexican Independence Day and were invited to the governors reception. We were able to meet the governor, watch mexican dancers perform and see fireworks!

My host family code was Genio and they had a large posterboard with a Genie on it waiting for me!! After meeting my family, I found out that I had 3 host brothers and 1 sister. We had sooo much fun together...whether it was going to starbucks, bowling, out to dinner or just hanging out at home! Here are some pictures of me and my family in Hermosillo!!!

My host brother Hector and my host sister Ana spent an afternoon with the cast. They helped out us out with our CI project of fixing up a basketball court and were able to watch our BTS.

Since it's extremely hot in Hermosillo, we were told that we weren't allowed to set-up the equipment after a group of us were on super set-up and went to set-up the stage at 5am. Below are some pictures from our bright and early morning setting up.

On regional learning day we went to a beach resort and met another governor from Mexico. We were also able to go on a tour of the town I was able to go on a kayak ride and spend some time in the was an absolutely gorgeous day! Below is a slideshow of pictures from the day!

Culiacan, Mexico (September 8-15)

The next stop on our tour was Culiacan, Mexico. When we arrived in the city, we were taken to a local high school that we were going to be using as our main location for the week. When we arrived at the school we were greeted by a large banner!

At the start of our allocation meeting I found out that my roommate was going to be Marion from Switzerland. Our host family code was Soldado. Below are some pictures from our first night in Culiacan, the beautiful sunset and going out for tacos with our family!

While in Culiacan we had 4 host sister and 1 host brother. Below is a slideshow of pictures from our time in Culiacan.

We also had the amazing opportunity of going on a zip line!!! We took the zip line across the river, went through a ropes cross and than came back across the river on the zip line. There are a few pictures below from our adventures.

It's not very often that we are able to watch parts of our own show...but during our rehearsal we were able to watch our cast members do the love medley. Below are a few pictures of the "love medley" portion of our show!