Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dispatches from Mexico: Last week in Morelia

The 10 officers from our department who went to further their Spanish language skills in Mexico for five weeks have returned home! Here's a wrap-up of their last days there from guest blogger Sergeant Lionel Colon:

This week wraps up our immersion experience. A lot of time will be spent studying for finals and getting in the last minute shopping for souvenirs.

May 16
Sunday Free-day! We all met at the school shortly after noon for a visit to our professor Lucia's new home for some socializing and snacks. On her wall were group photos of previous Spanish classes. On the couch and dinner table were accents from Kansas City's Pier One.

We then took a 45-minute ride to the mountain restaurant El Rincon De Villa. Lucia's extended family met us there for some fine dining. We were held up for about an hour by and unexpected rainstorm. It started out quite refreshing but soon turned into a muddy mess surrounding the area. Thankfully, our bus was only stuck in the mud for a short time.

May 18
Happy Birthday Morelia! Again, class until early afternoon ... homework ... etc. The downtown was all in a buzz. The streets were shut down all day. Parades and other festivities filled the area.

May 19
After classes today, we met at C.C.L. for our last Spanish/English exchange with the students. This has been one of the most rewarding exchange experiences. Many of the students are preparing to study in exchanges in the USA.

May 20
Last call for questions for the teacher! We spent the day reviewing and preparing for Friday's final exams. Later that evening we met again with your professors to make up hours of study due to earlier scheduling conflicts.

May 21
Finals...what we have been prepairing for but now faced with the daunting task of completing the one year's worth of Spanish instruction that we tackled this month here in Morelia. Between exams, we found time to celebrate one of our birthdays with a tres leches con chocolate cake. Wow, did our taste buds sing!

After the last exam we all sighed relief and went home to prepare for our return home to the USA. Later in the evening we all met at the mountaintop to celerate our accomplishments and also the birthday.

May 22
Last day, last-minute events - time with our respective hosts families, the zoo, the market, the movies, the packing all squeezed in our last moments here. The clock is ticking until we meet at 0330 hours to load up the bus and head to the airport.

The 10 officers in Spanish immersion training.

Thank you to the KCPD, the KIIS staff and our host families for investing in our lives. Morelia, Michoacan, is a city rich in culture and warm people. We hope to return better equipped to serve our Department, our citizens and our families as this experience has had an impact in all areas of our lives.

Bidding farewell to Morelia at night

 Be Home In A Few!

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