The Spanish Club

One of my favorite things about the university experience is that there’s a place for everyone. No matter what your studying or what groups you identify with, you’re bound to find a place where you belong. I love the Spanish club at OU because it brings together people who would otherwise never come into contact with each other. The members of the Spanish club share a love for the Spanish language and all of the cultures that are associated with it, which really allows us to quickly find a common ground and s place to belong. Almost all of the members of the Spanish club are either majoring or minoring in Spanish and are passionate about the language. It’s really fun to watch people discuss the language and have a time outside of the classroom to share their feelings and thoughts and plans for the future concerning Spanish. The Spanish club offers meetings once a month (which usually include snacks) that are a really chill time to meet other students at OU who share the same interests as you! There are usually once-a-semester events, such as the Dia de Los Muertos event last semester, that are open to the community. If you’re looking for a place where you can connect with other people who love the Spanish language, definitely check out the Spanish club!

Casa Hogar Getsemani

Over spring break, I was blessed to have the opportunity to serve at Casa Hogar Getsemani, a children’s home in Morelos, Mexico. I went with a team of thirteen–six women and seven men–to cook meals for the children at the home during the week so we could give the house parents a vacation of their own. The men travelled each day to the nearby town of Allende to build an outdoor tabernacle for Pastor Oscar, whose family and church we have grown close to in the past four years of making these trips. It is always such a joy to be in the presence of people who are so in love with the Lord and who really see each moment as an opportunity to bring him glory. I’m always so overwhelmed by the love of the kids at the home and the genuine joy they have in whatever they’re doing. It’s hard to put a trip like this into words, so I’m going to share some of the pictures to (hopefully) give you a glimpse of what I was blessed to experience this week.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
a selfie with baby Danny 
Processed with VSCO with x1 preset
Daniél
Processed with VSCO with b1 preset
montando en caballo 
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
playing on the playground
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
more selfies 
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
coming in after playtime 
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Jessica y Danny 
Processed with VSCO with x1 preset
taking a break 
Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
working on the tabernacle 
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
“real vanilla ice cream is yellow” 
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
close to being finished 
Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
the peacocks 
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
another one of baby Danny 
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
riding in the tractor 
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
the food is so good I could honestly cry 
Processed with VSCO with x1 preset
an albino peacock (how cool is that??)
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
elote en un vaso 
Processed with VSCO with se3 preset
Victor and his chalk art 
Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
more chalk art 
Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
“you are the most beautiful of all the planet. I love you 100”
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Victor y Rocio 
Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
playing futbol 

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
my walk every morning 
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
my backdoor neighbors 
Processed with VSCO with b1 preset
the people who started it all 
Processed with VSCO with se3 preset
some of my other backdoor neighbors 
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
honestly can’t describe the impact these people have had on my life and how grateful I am to them for it 
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
I didn’t know there was a Taco bell sauce hotter than hot but there you have it 
Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
my sister being cute 
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
my sister braiding Jessica’s hair on the trampoline
Processed with VSCO with b5 preset
where I spent 90% of my time (and loved every minute)
Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
can’t get over how beautiful it is 
Processed with VSCO with x1 preset
another kitchen pic 🙂 

Nadia Villafuertes

One of the things I love the most about OU is the wide range of international events that are offered by the different colleges on campus. This fall, the OU Humanities Forum invited Nadia Villafuerte, a Mexican author, to come and host a creative writing workshop. Afterword, she and my professor, Dr. Julie Ward, held a bilingual reading in the library of “Cajita Feliz.” In my Spanish Literature and Culture class, we read a chapter from her book Barcos en Houston entitled “Chica Cosmo.” It’s the story of a young woman who is trying to reach Juarez, Mexico but has to betray a fellow immigrant in order to do so. Villafuerte now lives in NYC and is a professor at NYU, where she is working on her next novel. Her work has been chosen to be part of an anthology of Spanish works, which is incredible considering that she has only been published for about ten years.

I love that OU promotes such an international environment. Both of my Spanish professors this semester update us regularly on new international events on campus, and one of them offers extra credit if we attend. There are so many events on campus that it’s impossible to attend all of them, but it’s important to make an effort to be internationally involved and informed because our society is becoming more and more global. Listening to authors and speakers from other parts of the world is an amazing way to learn more about their culture, their language, and about how they see the world, so if you have the opportunity to attend events like this one, you definitely should!

An Interview with a Spanish Major

What’s your name, major, and classification?

Maegan Brewer, I’m a Spanish Pre-Physical Therapy major with an HES minor, and I’m a sophomore.

Why did you choose to major in Spanish?

Because I have a passion for the Spanish language and culture and, being pre-PT, I hope to be able to serve more people better because I’m bilingual.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully, I’m a physical therapist in Tulsa who owns my own PT clinic that can serve a wide range of people from all backgrounds and ethnicities.

What’s your favorite Spanish word?

Oh, gosh. Probably “zanahoria.” It means “carrot.”

What has been your favorite Spanish class at OU so far?

Um, I guess Spanish Literature and Culture. Con Doctora Julie Ward.

What advice do you have for students looking to pursue a major in Spanish?

Don’t just try and get through it because it’s super good to know Spanish well, especially in Oklahoma. Even if they know English well, people still feel more comfortable being spoken to in their first language. Especially for health fields and things like that. Serving people, I don’t know,

Do you have a favorite Spanish quote or saying?

I would quote Michael Bublé in “Quando quando quando,” but’s that’s Portuguese. Um… “Solo de error se aprende.” Only from mistakes can you learn. It’s from Shakira.

What’s been the most challenging part about studying Spanish so far? 

My participation grades. Just kidding. Probably learning to not compare myself to native speakers, because they know all the answers and they talk so fast. I’m beginning to accept that I’m still learning and that we’re not on the same level, but that it’s okay because everyone is at different places in life.

Do you plan on studying abroad at any point during your time at OU? 

Yes! I’ve heard of a month-long trip where you get to work in a clinic in Spain, which is perfect for me, because I’m Spanish Pre-Health. And I want to do that.

Any final comments or thoughts about being a Spanish major?

Spanish is rad.

Thank you so much for your time! 

How My International Event Led To My Semester Abroad

It was Latin America week. I knew because I had gotten an email about the events and the happenings. It was also the week that I was due to meet with a study abroad advisor to begin searching for options that fit me. I knew in my head exactly what I was going to do a summer trip to Oxford this coming summer and then a spring semester in Mexico. It’s funny when your plan is “set” how life has a tendency to change it up.

As we chatted about my intentions to go to Puebla next spring, her face perked up when I mentioned that I was pre-med. “Well, have I got the opportunity for you,” she told me about how OU’s study center offers a program in the fall- and only the fall- that would let me go on rotation in a local hospital and get some outstanding experience. I was interested, but I wasn’t sure. “Let’s go down, they’re just about to start their program on Puebla.” Together, she walked me down to a room in Farzaneh Hall where a long table was set up with chips and salsa. There were only about six other students, the gentleman speaking (I wish I could remember his name) had wild black curly hair and an excited look about him. He was one of the main people over the Puebla center. He had a girl with him, she was pretty and more on the quiet side. She spoke beautiful Spanish and had study at Puebla the year before.

As we ate chips and salsa, he spoke of Puebla, Mexico, the culture, the opportunities. She briefly covered “pro tips” for studying abroad there. Next, he addressed each one of us and wanted to know what we were studying so that he could tell us what Puebla could offer us. After that, he asked “So what are the reasons for NOT going?” Any concerns we brought up, he was able to answer. I left there feeling fairly confident and sure.

Later in the week there was a salsa dancing class as the Salsa is a big part of Latin American culture. While there is no video proof, I assure you I am a pro salsa dancer.

Just kidding, I’m heading to Puebla next fall, but I’m hoping no one asks me to dance.

OU Spanish Club

If you are a student at OU who would love to learn more Spanish and spend time with others who share the same interest, you should check out the Spanish Club! It is a student-led group that sponsors several on-campus events each year. It meets once a month, usually in Kaufman Hall; during this time, we speak in both Spanish and English and eat delicious food! You can participate in events such as the Tomatina, which is a water balloon fight meant to imitate the Tomatina Festival in Spain, where people throw tomatoes at each other for fun. By joining the Spanish Club, you can meet people who share similar interests and be more involved on campus!

Si estás un estudiante de OU que le gustaría aprender más español y pasar tiempo con otros que comparten el mismo interés, debes visitar el Club Español. Es un grupo de estudiantes que patrocina varios eventos en el campus cada año. Encuentra una vez al mes, generalmente en el pasillo de Kaufman; durante este tiempo, hablamos en español e inglés y comimos comida deliciosa! Puedes participar en eventos como la Tomatina, que es una lucha de globos de agua que imita el Festival de la Tomatina en España, donde personas lanzan tomates unos a otros para divertirse. Por unirse al Club de español, puedes conocer a personas que compartan a intereses similares y participar más activamente en el campus!
You can learn more about the Spanish Club on Twitter, Facebook, or OrgSync!
Puedes aprender mas sobre el Club Español en Twitter, Facebook, or OrgSync!

Día De Los Muertes Festival

 

 

 

 

 

El Día de los Muertes, or the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday that celebrates those who have passed away. The dead are honored by the building of altars, or ofrendas, and gifts such as sugar skulls and marigolds. It is a three-day long celebration, lasting from October 31st to November 2nd, that is celebrated as a national holiday in Mexico and as a cultural celebration in the United States.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

 

This weekend, OU hosted a Día de los Muertos festival, where altars were built in honor of those who have passed. It featured musicians, face painters, vendors, food trucks, a Ferris wheel, and cultural elements that served as a way to both enjoy and learn about Mexican culture. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I ran into one of my sweet Phi Lamb sisters who wore a beautiful traditional dress to honor her heritage, so of course  we had to take a picture. Her makeup was done to look like one of the sugar skulls which is used to honor the dead.
Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

OU cousins built an altar which honored the dead, including Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Einstein, Frieda Kahlo, Martin Luther King Jr., and JFK. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I wasn’t able to stay for the headliner, but this band was still great!
Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe llamas were probably one of my favorite parts, but I couldn’t get a good picture of them, which was a little sad honestly. Overall, this was a really unique experience in Mexican culture, and I’m grateful that I attend a university which supports and sponsors events like this that encourage cultural awareness and acceptance!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

Mexico Day 4 – Tuesday

Holy cow. I’m exhausted, my feet hurt, and I smell like raw cow meat, but life is so great! Woke up late this morning and missed breakfast, but got to help mom and Rebecca in the kitchen for lunch until the butchered cow came. We cut and cut and cut at that cow for what felt like forever, served lunch in the middle of all the chaos, then cut cow some more. Then we ground it, cooked it, dehydrated it, and did it all over again. The whole process took about nine hours, but now the children’s home will have enough meat for a whole year! The weirdest part about the whole thing was that the cow was still warm on the inside, but it wasn’t too bad if you just looked at is as a very large anatomy lesson. Around late afternoon I ran to the market with Bud, who the kids call abuelo, my mom, and Rebecca to get some extra food. We got back, cooked dinner, did some extra thorough cow blood removal and cleaning, then headed back to take another cold shower and hit the hay. Hasta mañana, Mexico.

IMG_0074_2 IMG_0078_2 IMG_0077_2 IMG_0076_2 IMG_0082_2 IMG_0086_2 IMG_0084_2 IMG_0085_2 IMG_0088_2

Mexico Day 3 – Monday

Today was our first full day at the children’s home and it was so fun! I spent all day in the kitchen with mom and Rebecca cutting fruit, baking chicken, peeling potatoes, sneaking bites of brownie, and other culinary endeavors. (My least favorite part of the dorms is their lack of a kitchen.) In between all the cooking, though, we got to play with the kids! Rauil, Miranda, Daniel, Angie, all of them are so precious! We swung, painted nails, see-sawed, played tag, and went down the slide until we were exhausted. In the kitchen, though, I got to know Dulce, an 18 year-old girl, a lot more than I did last year. She can understand English and I can understand Spanish we just can’t speak them, so I talk to her in English and she replies in Spanish and it works really well! She is the sweetest. Around mid-afternoon I rode with two of the house parents to visit Siuri, a little girl who now lives with her sister, to wish her a happy birthday. She got a pair of Frozen shoes and a beanie baby, so she was super excited! We got to see her sister’s baby, and then we headed back to the home. I cooked some more, played some more, ate some food, took a cold shower, and now I’m headed to bed. ¡Hasta mañana, Mexico!

IMG_0030_2 IMG_0031_2 IMG_0032_2 IMG_0034_2 IMG_0043_2 IMG_0045_2 IMG_0050_2 IMG_0055_2 IMG_0060_2 IMG_0062_2 IMG_0064_2 IMG_0069_2 IMG_0073_2

Mexico Day 2 – Sunday

Today was incredible. Absolutely, completely, totally incredible. We went to Pastor Joe’s church for the morning service, 80% of which was singing and dancing and praise. The Holy Spirit was so present: there was weeping, and praising, and rejoicing, which is possibly the sweetest communion one can experience with the Lord on earth! From church, we ate at a restaurant in Piedras Negras that serves authentic Mexican food. I drank lemonade and ate pico de gallo, guacamole, fresh tortillas and tortilla chips, queso, chicken, and steak until I couldn’t fit any more food into my stomach. Then we went to the market, where I bought a gorgeous blanket and some ice cream with my younger sister. We went back to the children’s home for about 15 minutes, picked up some supplies, and headed to another town, Allende, to visit Pastor Oscar’s church. The service was incredible and was such a blessing! Afterward, we set up a movie and made hotdogs, popcorn, and snocones for the kids, which was so fun! I made friends with a 12 year-old namesd Gustavo who helped me carry about 300 snocones and distribute them to other kids. He was so patient and was willing to look after the needs of others and did not complain a single time, which was really humbling for me. He was so excited to hear that I would be traveling to Africa this summer and made me promise to write him all about it! Gustavo is one of those people who affects your life long after you’ve left them. We had to say goodbye, then we packed up and came back to the home. I took a shower (super cold but hey, at least we have clean water) and now I’m about to go to bed! Buenas noches, México.

a family at Pastor Joe's church typical foot picture Pastor Joe's church my ice cream! my sister's ice cream my sister being cute with her ice cream my gorgeous blanket el centro comercial (the mall) Gustavo and I