Today was my big premiere of my Spanish in front of the USAC students. I am comfortable with the material and can explain things like the power and control wheel off the top of my head, but in Spanish, everything changes and I suddenly become nervous. To combat the fear of suddenly forgetting a word or idea while in front of the class I wrote myself a script.
Today’s workshop began with Carlos speaking about gender and sexual fluidity. The next portion was about figuring out where everyone’s personal limits are for negative behavior in a relationship. Everyone in the class had to get into groups and individually cut out about 10 different situations taken from worksheets and paste them onto a line in order between the two extremes of “permitted” and “not permitted.”
Everyone had different limits of what they would tolerate in a relationship, and the exercise seemed to help each person realize their limits and realize that everyone’s limits will be different.
Next was my part about power and control. I think I got through everything ok, and the class was incredibly respectful and listened intently to my speech. As I looked around at everyone I almost became emotional because I felt so welcome and could see them trying to make me feel comfortable.
Afterward, there was class discussion followed by their assignment for next week: in groups, make a creative presentation based on the ideas presented in the workshops. Also, individually they are to write a letter to themselves about how they can change to prevent violence in their lives. I was so relieved that my speech was over and went well that right after class I had my first meal for the day, a pupusa with salsa made by a woman on the USAC campus. Yum! And later that night I was finally able to have my bread-feast! And it was SO delicious! Afterward I went down to the 6ta calle and bought a pirated copy of In the Time of Butterflies to watch with my friend mañana.
Tomorrow I am going to my friend’s house for the first time and am a little nervous to take the long trek all the way to Colonia Lobos II, a pueblito that consists of taking at the very least 4 buses. I will be taking a taxi in lieu of the first bus to USAC to meet her and then we will make the 3 bus-trek together because I am positive I will get lost if I do any bussing alone.