Mexico Trek!   Trekkers DISPATCH: August 14 Shawn's Log

Feeling a little overwhelmed getting ready to go, Shawn?

Feeling a little overwhelmed, Shawn? Today was incredibly hectic. It is our last day to prepare for the Mexico Trek, and I had a list of things to do that takes up a whole page. It seems like this list just keeps growing. For everything I get accomplished, three new tasks appear just as quickly. I am the computer systems administrator for this phase of the trek, and it has proven to be a challenging job. We will be taking a lot of fragile and complex equipment with us to document our journey, and organizing it and making sure everything was ready to go has been a full time job. I also still have to pack and organize my personal life to travel for a month. There just aren't enough hours in the day.

As part of our preparation for immersion into Mexican culture, Monica, Silvia and I took a walk around the Mission, which is a largely Chicano neighborhood here in San Francisco, to check out the incredible murals which depict Mexican history and religion. I have lived in San Francisco for five years, and although I have noticed many of these colorful paintings before, I have never really spent much time to think about what they mean. Really stopping to ponder them makes me aware how little I know about Latin American Culture and how much I am going to learn about in the next month living with a family in Mexico.

My favorite was the Cesar Chavez Elementary School, which was absolutely covered with murals, and a giant portrait of Cesar on the back. We met some young men on the street who had gone to school there, and we asked them why the school had been named after Cesar Chavez. I didn't know much about him, except that he was a farm labor organizer who had died a few years ago. They told us that Cesar had been a great man who helped bring the migrant Chicano workers together and fought for a better wage and standard of living for his people. I decided to learn more about him and the migrant labor movement. Find out what I learned.



Today's Dispatches:
Team: A Taste of Mexico
Team: Right on, Free T-shirts!
Team: Cesar Chavez - a man for the people.
Monica: Food, Music, and... Pollution
Shawn: Overwhelmed
Silvia: Mexican Culture and Murals

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