Comunidades 4,5,6

Juan Fleischli

Passport: Panama 4th six weeks

What happened?

I watched the first episode of Passport: Panama which is hosted by Tatyana Ali. Tatyana is also known from the pop TV show, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Tatyana being half African decent and half Panamanian, she wants to reconnect with her Panamanian side and learn her mother's heritage. From the moment she arrives, she quickly encounters the mixed cultures and customs of the area and is made whole.

What did I learn?

This being my second passport video I have seen, I have learned many customs of the panama area. Music and dance is a very important aspect to the culture of Panama. Along with that, the environment in Panama is like no other. Tatayana was amazed when she went zipping and saw the spectacular rain forest around her. I also learned some history of the Panama canal and how Tatayana's grandfather was one of view Latin american leaders in the construction of the cannal. But ultimately I learned that your roots and family is the most important thing in one's life and wit out it you have no self identity.

What will I take away?

I will take away a great understanding of the culture in Panama. I also got a great view of what it is like to live in Panama, which is absolutely beautiful but there is impoverished areas which can be seen when Tatayana needed bodyguards when visiting her grandmother's old house. This also made me want to visit Panama area. If I ever visit Panama, I will know a good some information which will enhance my experience.

Café Madrid
5th six weeks

What happened?

I dinned at Café Madrid and enjoyed the Omletta de tortilla de Espanola and it was very good. The taste was very interesting and it reminded me to the French dish, the Quiche. It was very rich and was loaded with potatoes. It was also served with this tangy green sauce that I did not enjoy that much. Mauricio and I both attempted to order in Spanish. I think waiter understood me clearly, but when he the spoke back I had a tough time understanding what he said because he spoke so fast.

What did I learn?

My visit to Cafe Madrid gave me a small perspective of how Spaniards would dine. The general atmosphere was relaxed and the waiter was very friendly and treated Mauricio and I almost like family. This was especially true when the waiter would have extended conversations with the family sitting at the table next to us a like they were old friends. Along with the atmosphere I learned how other European countries could of mixed dishes like the quiche and the Omletta.

What will I take away?

What I will take away from my dinning experience at Cafe Madrid is a strong sense of familiarity when dinning in a Spanish environment.  This experience really showed me the difference between American and European cuisine and how it is so different ranging from the influences all the way to the atmosphere of the restaurant. I really enjoyed this experience and I hope this occasion taught me to feel more comfortable in a new dinning environment and using a foreign language.     

Podcast: 165 La Tomatina
6th six weeks

What happened?

I listened to a indie traveling podcast group based in England discuss their experience when  traveling to Buñol, Spain. They talked about their personal experience when they traveled.  The main discussion through out the podcast was how poor the infrastructure was.  Despite the poor infrastructure, the sheer amount of people, and the crime they saw,  they really enjoyed the unique, tomato throwing experience that is Tomatina.

What did I learn?

This podcast supplemented my preexisting knowledge of the festival by adding personal experience rather than giving me straight facts.   It was really interesting to hear about how out of control this festival really is. It really shocked me to hear how they were taking some serious precautions so that they would not get their belongings stolen and so they wouldn't get hurt from the mosh pits in the streets. Along with the hosts, I learned that though it is not the most user friendly festival, it is a very unique experience that some day I can too experience.   

What will I take away?

What I will take away from this podcast and the unit about Hispanic parties is how important and diverse their parties are. In comparison to American parties, Hispanic parties have more passion and emotion to them. I am honestly jealous of the experiences that the Spanish speaking world gets and I hope some day I can have just a taste of the amazing festivals and I can use my knowledge of them to maximize my experience.

Conclusions

The two things I learned from my second semester of doing comunidades is familiarity with a foreign culture and gaining a new perspectives on cultures I've learned about in the classroom when experiencing them outside the classroom. The familiarity gained through these experiences has given me a sense of confidence and the knowledge that if I were do apply the things I learned on that day I would fit in with the culture. The new perspectives are great because I know the facts and details because when learned them in class, but now I see certain subjects with a more personal lens which goes hand and hand with my familiarity and the confidence.

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