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connecting to new cultures

Our focus of inquiry, or theme, for our trip is building bridges and making connections. By definition, the purpose of a bridge is to connect two things. By providing this space to learn, dragons has built their half of the bridge and invited us to take on a challenge. Since enrolling in the program and pushing ourselves by wandering into the unknown, we have built and connected our side of the bridge. At IMAP, we participated in orientation. Rather than taking place in a conference room, we spent the time outside. This not only gave us an opportunity to get in touch with nature but with ourselves as well. We set our goals, created a mission statement, and laid the foundation for our group culture. (which totally rocks by the way!!!) There, we were also provided the opportunity to learn about permaculture, its surrounding community, and politics in mesoamerica. We spent the next week initiating relationships through homestays in San Juan.  Upon departing my host mom decorated my wrists with braceletes she had made for me. My host dad said I was welcome back anytime, their house was my house. It was a tough week, but a memorable one. I learned about and connected to a very unfamiliar culture in a very short time. The night before our trek we did a gratitude circle and felt deeply connected to each other. Along the trek, our group became closer than ever. We supported each other no matter of preferred hiking strategy, worked as a team to organize meals, and played a lot of cards. We had our fair share of bacterial infections, sunburns, and blisters but, the positive vibes and good times are always rolling when we´re together. Anyone who can tolerate each others stench after four days of hiking and not showering seems like a pretty solid team to me. The more time I spend with this awesome group, the more I love them. We´re keeping up the spiratic chats about world peace, colonism, globalism, and what god means to you during our down time as well. Time to start planning X Phase!