September 13, 2012
Nervous. Anxious. Excited. Overwhelmed. That’s how I’m feeling about our first campo Immersion experience. We leave Sunday for our 10 day experience living with a family in the campo or a small village in the countryside. During these ten days in the campo we will be living with individual families and then doing service work as our group. Nervous. The families have little contact with Americanos, so they speak little to no English, meaning that I have to use my Spanish and force myself to step out of my comfort zone to communicate with them. I know this is a big challenge for me, but there really is no better way to learn a language than through an immersion program—so here we go. Anxious. I want to meet my campo family. As of now I know just a bit about them, but am so ready to learn more: Tea y Pavo have a few daughters, two are older and married with children but visit a lot (yay little kids), and the other daughter still lives with them, Marisela (20 years old, same as me). I’ve been told that Marisela is a very bright young lady who does well in school and loves fashion. I’ve been warned that she may want to do my hair or makeup…or argue with me about my clothing choices. We all know one day I’m going to end up on What-Not-to-Wear (thank you in advance, Lexi and Olivia) so I guess I should expect getting some comments about my attire. Anyway, about the Excited part. Our service during our time here at the campo is a lot of construction and repairs. The campo has a school that is not in great shape and is in need of new walls, windows, paint, and latrine fixes. The campo has asked the government for support in fixing the school but their requests have gone unheard since 2007. So us being of service to them is of great help to the community. I am very excited to serve. Construction projects are some of my favorite, especially when I can see the outcome and the impact my work has had on the community. I won’t have any running water or electricity, but I am prepared to live simply with my family in the campo. Overwhelmed. I’ll keep a journal and update you all when I come back, but I’m not sure how much my experience will really make sense. I know I’ll have a lot to share and I don’t want to miss out on any aspect of this experience.