What have I been doing in Campeche?
I have been here over 3 full weeks now so I can now give you plenty details. On a weekly basis we have a number of events at Xaman Ex (Mayan for north star) our cultural house, community centre and accommodation. Including;
-Tuesday 1800-1900. English exchange with coffee & cake, as a native English speaker I lead small group conversations on agreed topics. (link to pic in the FB page to follow)
-Thursdays typically 1800-2000. Workshop on various topics “zero waste” (link) & “essential oils” (link) so far I listen and take vocabulary notes.
-Friday 1600-1730. Green explorers, an Spanish/English play session for kids 3-10 years old. I help prepare the information and where I can with the session.
-Saturday 0800-1400 set up and be present at Mercado Verde (link), this is a green market for many green / sustainable / responsible producers and businesses of Campeche. Also see Vive Verde (link) and Huerto Urbano (pictures of plants above)(link).
-Three days a week we host a local yoga session. I have been once and learned the Spanish for yoga terms like inhale and exhale. Head, shoulders, hands and feet. It’s fortunate I have done yoga for 2 years because otherwise I would have struggled to follow the class (pic to follow).
-On a daily basis, between 1230-1330 we take it in turns to collect compostable food waste from 5 local restaurants that are in the “Green Collective” for Jon & Amy’s chickens (pic).
-Also perhaps twice a month Jon Bonfiglio Central America correspondent for UK talk radio speaks to Paul Ross on current affairs. (for example http://talkradio.co.uk/radio/listen-again/1534291200 – specifically between 03:00-03:30).
-The rest of my/our “working” days are spent I the office between 09:00 and 15:00 are spent preparing for / researching into the above noted events and topics.
-I imagine there is also so much more going on that I’m not yet even aware of.
Key tasks on my agenda are;
- to research into local botanicals chaya, moringa, neem, purslane, aloe & lemongrass (pic above).
- Learning about mp3 & wva & other audio formats to create a library of the Talk Radio pieces.
- Creating a handbook for the Xaman Ek accommodation (now published see link)
- Keeping on top of the recycling at Xaman Ek, it’s been overlooked for a few months as there have been a series of short stay volunteers. Entonces, now that I’m here it’s going to get sorted. Tidied and on the straight and narrow.
- Sorting a myriad of glass jars either for reuse or repurposing.
- Keeping crates packed and stocked for the various activities so that all necessary items can be transported from venue to venue with relative ease.
- Spanish lessons, including specific vocabulary for all the stock we sell at the Mercado Verde.
- Helping develop the Green Explorers activities and being an English speaker there to aid with the bilingual aspect of the club.
- Preparing for the Usumacinta River expedition, I am currently checking the first aid kits are in date; visually acceptable; and categorising.
- Maintaining the shop at Xaman Ek.
Details of the city itself will follow. It’s not on the UK tourist route. But it is a lovely place and great if you know a bit of Spanish and want to see the real Mexico. Now, I’m not going to lie there are a few carbuncles, but that’s the same everywhere else…. Until next time, hasta luego.