viernes, 26 de mayo de 2017

What to Expect...When You have NO Idea What You are Expecting

Being open minded about this trip was important to me. I did not want to make assumptions or worry about hypothetical issues. Expectations typically lead to disappointment but sometimes avoiding them is impossible.

            My Expectations 

-Thought the tours would be very formal
-Thought it would be easier to communicate since we would be going to a decently touristy area
-Did not think the indigenous people would be as welcoming because of this language barrier


My Reality

-Tours are casual and the people are willing to answer any question
Many of the vendors actually do not speak english
-The indigenous people are overwhelmingly generous and kind to us 

My expectations have changed because of my experiences. Before each excursion or trip I unintentionally create expectations that I later come to realize when I find myself saying "wow" or "that was surprising". 

The more I try to practice empowerment or the act of empowering others, the less I feel like I should intervene with one's needs. While observing the community's needs, yes I think there are many advances they could make to make their lives easier (such as machinery) but that authentic beauty that lies within their culture comes from the hard work they put into everything they do. For example, when we met a woodworker, there were several safety precautions that he could take that were as simple as wearing protective gloves, but he does not find that necessary therefore he uses his blade with bare hands and has even sliced off part of his finger. How he has only done that once is beyond me. Nevertheless he still produces amazing products and does not complain about the process he uses. 

Growing up with my father being a principal, I also paid attention to education. I have met a few children and heard about how next year for high school they will be going hours away to live on their own just so they can attend a decent high school. This is very common and many of the people that have graduated from a university had done the same thing at that age. I would like to address that barrier someday but first I need to ask what is the cause? Is it the teachers themselves? Lack of money is the most common reason, but is there something deeper?

As we continue to visit extremely talented and smart artisans, I cannot help but see the potential that exists behind their work. In particular, the artisan I am assigned to work with makes beautiful hammocks and is looking for new products to make. His technique is time consuming and limits him and his wife to making only 3 hammocks a day (4 hours per hammock). Their business is great because they do not have much competition so they are looking to expand their product line. It has been a bit of a struggle finding a product that they could make using their same technique. I believe that if they could learn to knit, which I think they could pick up on very quickly, they could find a larger variety of products to contribute to their market. But, making hammocks is all they know because it has been taught for generations. It is part of their culture. In the states, we are constantly trying to attain as many skills as possible so it is very different here because the artisans are not always open to learning a new trade because of lack of time or even their own self confidence. They know what they are good at and they excel in that area so that they are content...That, I did not expect.

No hay comentarios.:

Publicar un comentario

Levels of Perception

For my last post I want to tie my experience together with the theme of PERCEPTION . For me, this was a very important topic to discuss and ...