Here is part of one of my weekly reflections, ENJOY!
The La Lagunilla library project has been near and dear to my heart for the better part of a year now, and I still believe that the project is important to the people of La Lagunilla and to my own professional development. But, this week I truly had to question why I have never dedicated myself so completely to a service project as much as I have dedicated myself to this project. Though this is a complicated question that I am sure I will have to reflect upon more, the answer I came up with this week is this: sometimes when it comes to my own community and culture I am disinterested and complacent.
Since I have been in Cuernavaca I have complained about not having enough time to see the sites, or truly immerse myself in the culture. But this week I truly thought about that. How much of my own hometown have I really seen? I am guilty of calling Indiana a boring place to live, but how many times have I really focused my energy on experiencing interesting things that Indianapolis has to offer? Perhaps one of the reasons I have a problem adjusting to the Mexican culture is because I do not really appreciate culture as much as I thought that I did.
As I prepare to return to Indianapolis and IUPUI I have been thinking a lot about how the experience here can influence my personal and educational life. I came here expecting to learn a lot about ways to serve the growing Latino population in Indianapolis, and I have learned a lot. But, unexpectedly, I have also realized that it is really important for me to appreciate my own culture and share this culture with others.
When I return to Indianapolis I hope that I can approach my daily activities with as much desire and passion that I have approached this program with. I hope that educating teens in Indianapolis will be as important to me as educating the kids at La Lagunilla has been to me while I have been here. Though I have been frustrated with my inabilities in certain areas since I have been in Cuernavaca, once the dust from the frustration settled I always wanted to push myself to do better and learn as much as I could.
I hope that this drive will follow me to Indianapolis, and though I think I will be happy being back in a place where I know the customs and the language a lot better, I never want to be complacent about what I have to offer to or what I have to learn from my own environment again.