Over the last month I have successfully finished up my second class and entered the period of fieldwork. I am still waiting on the official approval of my research protocol, as it has been a bit delayed, but I am making all of the arrangements that I can to be able to start as soon as I get the “go ahead.” In the meantime, I have already started periods of observation at some key sites in the city and begun consulting with government agencies and non-governmental organizations that work with my population and/or focus on issues related to my research topic of HIV/AIDS and ITS prevention among indigenous university students.
Aside from my academic work, I have been able to share some beautiful cultural experiences with my friends inside and outside of Rotary here in San Cristóbal. For example, for el Día de los Muertos (the day of the dead – the Mexican version of “Halloween”), Cecilia helped me build my first traditional altar in honor of my ancestors. I also joined the Rotarian members of my host club in painting my face like a “catrina” (skeleton), another traditional custom done for the holiday. Last week, I coordinated the cooking of a Thanksgiving meal for my host Rotary club, and we celebrated the holiday at our weekly meeting. I have loved these moments of intercultural exchange!
Sending my best from here in Chiapas,
NOTE: Briana, with her Mexican Rotary Host Club, will be joining us at the All Clubs Conference, in April, by Skype to present on the Global Scholar program.