With endings come new beginnings.
These past couple of days have been quiet without the rest of our Nourish intern group, who have all settled back in the States. Starting on Monday during the 24 hour tropical storm, Linda and Anisah finished braiding the headbands made from the recycled scraps that have been accumulating in Maya Traditions for years. Once the braiding was finished and our designed bags were made and picked up from the tailor on Tuesday, we tagged all the products- 33 headbands and 25 bags. And just like that, we can call our designed products project a success! Now, time to make space in our suitcases to bring these products back to the States … Our intentions for the headbands we made and the bags we designed are to increase awareness about the work Maya Traditions Foundation does for the community and and also to support their efforts with the money we raise.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, we began figuring out ideas for the video we plan to make to encompass what we have done and learned these past six weeks with Maya Traditions. Linda and Kira also set up a spreadsheet for the products to account for the manufacturing costs in order to make a profit from the designed products. Anisah interviewed Mayan healer Juan to write a biography about him, which will be added to a collection of Mayan healer biographies that Maya Traditions is working on to create. On Thursday, we spent the morning in the garden working with Edgar and Eko to help tidy the garden up for a mid-morning tour. Kira, Linda, and Anisah worked hard to sweep the stairs and the pathways in addition to cutting down bamboo and moving piles of weeds and plants off to corners of the garden. It was hard work but it was a great last time spent in the garden surrounded by the herbal plants and the gardeners. In the afternoon, we talked to the Maya Traditions director Erin about the Theory of Change and the partnership with Maya Traditions for next year’s Nourish Interns. Through the discussion, it is a definite option for Pitt Nourish to come back next year and spend six weeks in Pana!
During this week, we have also met with Dr. Carlos and the volunteer coordinator Susie from NMGH [Naturopathic Medicine for Global Health] , who set up a naturopathic clinic here in Pana for the indigenous community, and talked to them about starting the first undergraduate club back at University of Pittsburgh next fall. We are very excited to be given this opportunity and hope that Nourish can also partner with NMGH next year for their internship.
Today marks the last day here in Pana and our final day of our internship. We will spend our last hours checking the inventory of the teas at a local grocery store called Sandra’s and finishing up any last-minute ends.
It has been a great six weeks learning about NGOs, experiencing Guatemalan lifestyle, and also becoming a part of the community. We are all sad to be departing and will definitely savor the last corn tortilla we will eat for cena. The people we have met, encountered, worked with in these forty two days have all been so eagar to help us and also to teach us. We can all say we’ve gained a mass knowledge about herbal plants and natural medicine, acquired an interest about the traditions including weaving, and also learned to be appreciative of the beauty around us that we often neglect to notice. We will most definitely be taking a part of their easygoing lifestyle back to the States and will surely miss Pana and its people. Thank you to everyone at Nourish and Maya Traditions Foundation who made this internship possible. A special thank you goes out to Erin, Alison, Marisol, Oseas, Isabel, and Flori, who were there with us from the beginning of the internship and helped guide and lead us through our many projects with the foundation. Without them, our success with our internship could not have been possible. Muchas, muchas gracias.
See you back in the States!
-Linda, Kira, and Anisah
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