So that last post was a week old and needed to get out quickly to make room for more posts. So right now I am slaving away at the university. Granted I did not have to be here today but here I have free, fast uninterrupted internet use...something I will not miss in 4 days when I am back in Birmingham!!!
I mentioned I was slaving away but not on what. So two weeks ago I finished with my class entitled Procesos de Colonialismo: Norte y Sur. All in all, I think it was my favorite class manily because of the teacher,Sabrina Guerra. There was a lot of reading but because USFQ has a large extranjero population half was in english and the other half in spanish. Everyday however, she managed to call on me for some thing or another. It got to the point where it was a joke between me and a couple of the guys in class about who she calls on first. It was really annoying because the class was taught in spanish so to try and offer up something useful in spanish on the reading in english was a little tricky. But honestly I think I got more out of the course that way because I made damn sure that I read and understood and had something insightful to present in class.
So throughout the course we had to work on a portfolio which was essentially composed of four two page reflexions due during the course. My tema(theme) for the portafolio was syncretized religions in the New World, such as Santería in Cuba and Candomblé in Brazil. I took a class on Tradional African Religions this past semester at UAB and learned primarily about Voodoo, Santería and their origins. Voodoo, Santeria and Candomble though practiced in different parts of the world all came from the same Yoruba root in present day Nigeria.
Anywho I had to connect Norte y Sur in the porfolio and Cuba and Brazil are both considered Sur. So I took the AME(African Methodist Episcopal) Church for my northern focus. For the presentation, I had no clue what to do, so I went to mommy who always has good ideas. We had to present for 10 min on our theme and include a creative component. We decided to make cookie masks. I bought some cookies and icing and m&ms and made little masks for them to eat to represent the mask that Santeria is for Catholocism. Both Santeria and Candomblé mask their african roots with Catholic saints so as to retain their culture and religion throughout slavery. The cookies were a hit and the presentation...a little shady but it worked.
Right now I´m reflecting in this blog as opposed to stressing/working on my other 2 papers that are due on Friday. One is for Andean Anthropology on Blanqueamiento(or mestizaje, which is the mixing of white spaniards and indigenous peoples here in Ecuador to create a caste system for people who are indigenous mestizo and blanco), but with a focus on how it´s effected afro ecuadorians. The other one is for my program´s class...no clue what I´m going to write it on though...something about NGO´s that work to combat racism in Ecuador...any suggestions???
Time to get back to work, but I´ll leave you with some pictures I took the last day of my job at ALDEC where I helped Ecuadorian students with homework in English and other subjects and helped out in the kitchen, a lot more than that...but I´ll post later on it.