Dispatch # 5

Trip Start May 17, 2007
Trip End Jul 21, 2007

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Flag of Mexico  ,
Tuesday, July 10, 2007

.. Hola friends and family,   It's been a busy final stretch for all of us, and our apologies for not getting out this dispatch sooner.  In this dispatch we are hoping to share final thoughts and conclusions about our projects, as well as announce the winner of the Luchador contest.  As always thanks so much for tuning in and supporting us, and we look forward to seeing you all again in a couple weeks.   Projects: Political Sciece (Sean):  I've gained a much greater appreciation for the political system of Mexico.  Initially I was told, by a friend, that a sinonym for politics in Mexico is corruption, and while at times this may be true, in the last 20 years Mexico has made many improvements to the legitimacy of their government, as well as opening up the door to new parties and potential leaders.  I also am amazed by Subcomandante Marcos and the Zapatistas, and hope to continue my research on this political orgranism.   Diabetes Diagnosis (Molly and Melissa): Today was our last day for taking blood.  The samples are going to be picked up today and processed in Mexico City.  We had 40 patients in total which isn´t bad at all.  Hopefully they will find the results of the preliminary research in about a month.  This is an ongoing investigation so the patients that we took samples from will be tested every two years.  We had a lot of fun taking patient histories and blood samples from the patients.  We only made a few bleed (Molly much more than Melissa).  We hope that this research will provide valuable information in the fight against diabetes.   Mi Barrio Periodical (Sean):  Well, I've written three articles that will be published in the online portion of the next Mi Barrio.  I wrote two, in Spanish, on our projects.  One concern our computer classes for the members of the neighborhood council for El Barrio de Santiago.  The second concerns the diabetes research of UPAEP and the many projects they are implementig to diagnose Diabetes in both Puebla and all of Mexico. The last was a story on my perceptions and experience in Puebla, and I had the fortune of writing in in English.   Estacion Infantil (Molly and Melissa):  We have had a lot of interesting times with the children from the Estacion Infantil.  The first couple of weeks it took the kids a while to warm up to us in the mornings.  However, now when we come through the door they greet us with hugs and smiles and they are sad to see us leave at the end of the day.  We have all formed bonds with the children and will miss them terribly when we leave.  Last week we put our newly developed balloon animal skills to the test and had an afternoon of balloon fun!   English and Computation Classes at the Primary School Don Antonio de Mendoza (Sean):  Well, my students are now out of school, and I attended their beautiful graduation ceremony for the 6th graders and the oldest preschoolers.  The graduation not only included the students getting their diplomas, but also many traditional dances and a performance by the school orchestra.  I'm going to miss my "kids," and the school itself, as it's been my most enjoyable project.   Computation Classes for the Adults of El Barrio de Santiago (All of us):  Well, we are concluding our classes with internet lessons.  We've created email accounts for each of the class members, and hope to keep in touch with all of them this way.  More valuable than the classes themselves, was our ability to get to know each of these adults.  We had dinner with them several times, and these events brought with them a greater appreciation of the cultural vibrancy of Mexico.      And now... perhaps the moment you've all been waiting for... the winner of the luchador contest is Lou Kaucic with the name:   Torture-tilla    Lou wins a mask of Mistico, the most famous Luchador in Mexico, we´ll send it as soon as we get back to the states.   Other honorable mentions include:   Comer Fuego con Indigestión (Fire eater with Indigestion) - Nick Pedersen For the new guy who isn't very good: Out-to-Lunchador       - Scott Conner El Gordo Guapo (The Fat Beauty)          ;           ;                  - Jim Pfeiffer El Payaso Rabido (The Rabid Clown)                                  - Nick Pedersen Krispo Kremo                                                                      - Lou Kaucic FoxFire... I wear an animal mask with a red cape with gold flames -- the crowd roars when I enter the ring.  The "chickens" cower.                                  - Catherine Conner Guellermo el Conquistador                                               - Mary Kennon   Don't forget to check out more pictures at our travelpod: www.Travelpod.com  Search for Puebla Team   Thanks so much to all the participants, and to all of you for following our journey,   Muchas Gracias, Molly, Melissa, y Sean
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