Well..... today was amazing.
We saw so many things - and learned so much... I had one student say today that school would be a lot more interesting if we could learn this way...... (I kind of agree!!)
Anyway, our day started out very well - a very long and traffic congested ride to Teotihuacan. The Mexican people are in the midst of the construction at this present time, and with 8 million cars in the city, you can imagine the parking lot conditions that the roads must endure. It kind of reminded us of Highway One - west of the Port Mann Bridge.... except - multiply the congestion by millions!
Our arrival at Teotihuacan was awe-inspiring. You can see the pyramids from quite a distance and I tell you - wow... amazing..... I was in the van with our Mexican superstars - Mayus and Martha - as well as pseudo- Mexican superstar chaperone Shelli (whose Spanish is getting much better! - inside joke.. I will explain later...) and one our student ambassadors, Nick. I hear from the other chaperones who traveled with the other ambassadors that the first peek of Teotihuacan generated many oooohs and awwwwws...... Not surprising from this group, as I am getting quite used to the looks and sounds of utter amazement as they continue to absorb this culture.....
Mayus and Martha have worked their magic again. We were a small group today (just the 16 of us) - with an English guide who spent three hours with us as we traversed the Avenue of the Dead, climbed the Pyramid of the Moon, stood at the base of the Pyramid of the Sun (the third largest pyramid in the world - Thanks, LB!) and learned about the people of Teotihuacan. We were even lucky enough to observe an archaeological excavation in progress! I am not sure if Mayus and Martha arranged that, but - wow. That's all I can say. The amabassadors were very well behaved and incredibly interested in everything that the guide was able to share. One student ambassador even said, "Something very powerful went on here over 2000 years ago... I can feel the energy here." You know things have made an impression with students (from a teacher's perspective) when students gaze into the face of what they are learning and cannot share their thoughts. I experienced a lot of that today. There was an incredible amount of thinking and reflecting going on today. I was very proud of our ambassadors. I won't take the time to tell you any more about the pyramids we saw today, as your children should be able to share what they learned too....... I will leave that discussion for the ride home in the car on Thursday night!
Of course, the vendors were plentiful at Teotihuacan today. From the pictures you can see that your children are getting very good at bartering. I think it's time we come home, if they continue to barter, you're not going to have any money left....... As well as full brains of knowledge, we left with hands full of bags today. I hope you all have a place for Mexican inspired masks, silver bangles, onyx pyramids and other such treats! Clean off the coffee table, because you all are going to be sporting new knick knacks!
After Teotihuacan, we headed over to the Grand Tecall Restaurant for our full afternoon meal (comparable to supper in Canada). Very fancy and very, very high class..... Our ambassadors did really well...... We sat at a large table and were priveleged to fresh tortillas that were cooked in front of us, a buffet meal that included bbqd ribs, fresh fish, and other such delicacies! We had a very good meal and then were entertained by traditional Aztec dancers in full traditional dress! The children were able to participate in the wearing of the traditional feather headress and as soon as I can figure out how to download still photos from my video-camera, I will post them to the Picasa site. Funny photos! But to the ambassador's credit, they rolled with it! After the traditional dance, two members of a Mexican band appeared to serenade us with popular versions of Mexican songs. I was sooooooo touched to hear our 12 (or so!) students sing the chorus to "La Bamba"...... it was a true Canadian moment!
When the singing and dancing was finished, we headed out to the one of the largest cactus type plants to learn how it has been named the "perfect plant that gives us everything we need!" Through an amazing translator, we learned that this plant (and I can't remember the name of it right now!) provides us with food, clothing, medicine and entertainment (in the form of a beverage)...... A very professional and entertaining presentation - you know the kids were interested because they were crowded aroung the presenter so tightly that he could barely move..... It was truly educational and inspiring. Again, I am amazed at how proud these Mexican people are to share everything about their culture and history.
Our ride back to the city was uneventful, although the parking lot analogy still held true. I don't think Mexico City has a rush hour...... it's always busy!!!
Hope you enjoyed today's entry........
We are off to the Palace National tomorrow as well as to do some visiting at the Zocalo (main square) - should be fun as the entire school is joining us on this field trip - (just a note - not just anyone gets to see this venue - reservations have to be made and Mayus had to apply to enter the National Palace way back in September!)...... Can hardly wait! Tomorrow night will be spent with the homestay families and packing will be a major priority!
We're not talking about what is going to happen on Thursday (some of our girls were already sniffling today because they don't want to go home....), but suffice it to say that I will be stopping at the supermarket tomorrow to pick up a box of Kleenex.
This has been an incredible journey..... Your children have been taken care of so well and have been given the title of "honorary Mexican".
Have a pleasant night..... And wait for the final entry of Mexico 2011 - coming to you tomorrow night.
Me gusta Mexico....