Primera impresión de Nuestra Cabaña: un mundo de posibilidades / First impression of Our Cabaña: a world of possibilities

1 1era impresión NC

(English version below)

¡Hola a todos! Mi nombre es Antonella y me vine desde Argentina hasta México a trabajar y vivir por seis meses en Nuestra Cabaña. Soy Guía desde que tengo memoria porque todas las mujeres de mi familia son Guías, pero oficialmente soy parte del Movimiento desde los 5 años, o sea que soy Guía hace ¡20 años!

Cuando mandé mi postulación para venir a trabajar acá lo hice casi sin pensarlo, creyendo que de ninguna manera me iban a elegir. Resultó que si! Así, sorprendida, saqué el pasaje de avión, armé mi valija y me vine para acá.

Cuando llegué a Nuestra Cabaña conocí a mis compañeras -compañeras de casa y compañeras de experiencia- que me recibieron con abrazos y con un montón de alegría.  Me hicieron un tour ¡en ingles! y nos preparamos para empezar a trabajar. Ni bien llegué me di cuenta de algo: este lugar está lleno de posibilidades flotando en el aire. Un mix de gente nueva y diferente, música, colores, olores y sabores que se te vienen encima como una ola gigante que te salpica la cara.

Nuestra Cabaña está llena de flores y de personas que sonríen todo el tiempo. Cada día de trabajo es una nueva aventura y una nueva posibilidad para aprender cosas y crecer.

Así que, si estás leyendo esto y siempre quisiste conocer un Centro Mundial te digo: ¡NO ES IMPOSIBLE! Alcanza con animarse y ponerle cabeza y corazón a lo que te propongas para lograrlo. Te prometo que no te vas a arrepentir.

ENGLISH VERSION

Hello everybody!

My name is Antonella and I came all the way from Argentina to Mexico for working and living for six months at Our Cabaña. I’ve been a Guide since I can remember, because all the women in my family are into guiding, but I’m an official part of this Movement since I was five years old (that actually means I’ve been a Guide for twenty years now!)

When I apply for this work I did it almost without thinking about it, maybe believing that there was no way they were picking me. Apparently they did, so, very surprised and kind of in a shock, I booked a plane, prepare the luggage and came here.

When I first arrived to Our Cabaña the best roommates and co-volunteers that I could have were waiting for me with a hug and lots of smiles. They gave me a tour (in English!) and we started getting ready for work. A soon as I got here I realized something: this place is full of possibilities floating in the air. A really cool mix of new and different people, music, colors, smells and tastes that splashes you like a huge wave.

Our Cabaña is full with flowers and people that smile all the time. Each day of work is a new adventure and a new chance of learning things and grow.

So, if you’re reading this and always wanted to go to a World Centre I’m telling you: IT’S NOT IMPOSSIBLE! You just have to be brave and put your head and your heart on whatever you intend to do until you make it happen. I promise you that you wont regret it!

 

 

Sopa Azteca / Aztec Soup

sopa-azteca

(English version below)

Desde la cocina de Nuestra Cabaña en #TastyTuesday, nuestras excelentes cocineras Mago y Carmen comparten esta semana un clásico de la cocina mexicana: La Sopa Azteca.

Sopa Azteca

Ingredientes ( 4 porciones)

  • 12 tortillas de maíz
  • 2 litros de caldo de pollo (opcional)
  • 4 jitomates
  • ¼ de taza de queso oaxaca
  • ½ cebolla
  • 1 diente de ajo
  • 1 aguacate
  • 1 rama de epazote
  • ¼ de crema
  • Aceite
  • Sal y pimienta al gusto
  • Pollo desmenuzado

Preparación:

  1. Corta las tortillas en tiras largas y delgadas.
  2. Posteriormente pon a calentar en un sartén el aceite y fríe las tortillas.
  3. Saca y coloca en una toalla de papel muy absorbente para retirar el exceso de grasa.
  4. Cuece los jitomates con la mitad del caldo de pollo (o agua)
  5. Mueve los jitomates con el ajo y la cebolla
  6. En una cacerola con un poco de aceite fríe la mezcla y el resto del caldo de pollo
  7. Añade el epazote y salpimienta y déjalo cocinarse por 20 minutos.
  8. Pon las tiras de tortillas en un tazón y agrega el caldillo de jitomate caliente.
  9. Para finalizar, agrega el aguacate, el queso y una cucharada de crema fresca.

ENGLISH VERSION

Aztec Soup

From Our Cabana kitchen, our excellent cooks Mago and Carmen share this week a classic of Mexican cuisine: Aztec Soup.

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 liters of chicken broth (optional)
  • 4 tomatoes
  • ¼ cup Oaxaca cheese
  • ½ onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 branch of epazote or dry epazote
  • ¼ of cream
  • Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded chicken

Instructions:

  1. Cut the tortillas into long, thin strips.
  2. Afterwards, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the tortillas.
  3. Remove and place the fried tortillas in a very absorbent paper towel to remove excess grease.
  4. Cook the tomatoes with half the chicken broth (or water)
  5. Move the tomatoes with the garlic and the onion
  6. In a saucepan with a little oil, fry the mixture and the rest of the chicken broth
  7. Add the epazote and sauté, let it cook for 20 minutes.
  8. Put the tortilla strips in a bowl and add the warm tomato stew.
  9. To finish, add the avocado, cheese and a spoonful of fresh cream.

International Friendship / Amistad Internacional

fullsizerender

(Lea este articulo en español más abajo)

By Lashauna Smith

United Kingdom, Tanzania, Venezuela, Argentina and Canada. 5 countries, spanning 4 continents are represented this Spring by Our Cabana volunteers and interns. I feel very lucky to be living and working with such a diverse group of women.

We have different backgrounds, careers, education and languages. Some of us can cook, some can’t. Some of us like crafts. Some don’t. Some of us can dance. Some have no rhythm whatsoever (can you guess who?).

Despite these differences, we have become fast friends. From trips to the mall, to celebrating birthdays, to watching ‘our show´ on Netflix at the end of each day, to laughing until our stomachs hurt, to copious numbers of group selfies, we have definitely been having fun.

Beyond the fun things, our group looks out for each other in good times and bad. Some of us have been ill – so we have taken turns running to the pharmacy for Gatorade and cold medication. One of us sprained an ankle – so we pushed her in a wheelchair. One of us had a bird poop in her hair – so we cleaned it with water and a napkin. I also came down with a very bad lung infection. My friends were there to come with me to the doctor to translate (thanks Anto!) and to help administer my injection antibiotics (thanks Dr. Helga)!

The great thing about World Centres is the ability to make fast friends. While Our Cabana is the only centre I have visited, I can imagine that the same thing happens at each of the centre.  Everyone that comes here, whether staff or guests, make quick connections with each other because we are all Guides. I would encourage anyone thinking of visiting a World Centre to take the leap and do it. You won’t regret it.

Versión en Español

Por Lashauna Smith

Reino Unido, Tanzania, Venezuela, Argentina y Canadá. 5 países, que abarcan 4 continentes, están representados esta primavera entre las voluntarias y pasantes de Nuestra Cabaña.

Me siento muy afortunada por estar viviendo y trabajando con un grupo tan diverso de mujeres. Tenemos diferentes orígenes, carreras, educación y lengua materna. Algunas de nosotras pueden cocinar, otras no. A otras les gustan las manualidades, a algunas no. Otras pueden bailar muy bien mientras otras no tienen ninguna idea sobre ritmo (¿puedes adivinar quién?). A pesar de todas estas diferencias, nos hemos convertido en amigas rápidamente.

Desde los paseos al centro comercial, celebrar un cumpleaños, ver “nuestro show” en Netflix al final de cada día, reír hasta que nos duele el estómago, con un número infinito de selfies del grupo, definitivamente son cosas que prueban que nos estamos divirtiendo.  

Más allá de toda la diversión que tenemos juntas, lo más importante es que hemos aprendido a ver unas por otras en las buenas y en las malas. Algunas hemos enfermado -y nos hemos turnado para correr a la farmacia por Gatorade y medicina para la gripe-. Una de nosotros se torció un tobillo -por lo tuvimos que empujar su silla de ruedas por toda la Cabaña-. A otra le cayó popó de pájaro en el pelo -así le ayudamos a limpiarlo con agua y una servilleta-. A mí me dio una infección pulmonar muy fuerte, pero mis amigas estuvieron ahí, me acompañaron al doctor para poder traducirme lo que él decía (Gracias Anto!) y me inyectaron los antibióticos (gracias Dr. Helga).

Lo bueno de los Centros Mundiales es que son el mejor lugar para hacer amigos de forma casi instantánea. Aunque Nuestra Cabaña es el único centro que he visitado, puedo imaginar que lo mismo sucede en cada uno de los demás centros. Todo el mundo que viene aquí, ya sea como staff o participante, puede lograr conectarse rápidamente con las demás personas, y sucede porque todas somos guías. Si estés pensando visitar un Centro Mundial, no lo pienses más, anímate y hazlo. Estoy segura de que no te arrepentirás.

My adventure in Our Cabana

img_1976

Before leaving my home in the UK to come to Latin America I think perhaps the most used phrase by my friends and family was “stay safe” which is of course very good advice, however is not particularly useful when it actually comes down to it. The most helpful thing anyone told me before I left was “just take one step at a time” which is advice that I will be using for the entirety of my travels and would recommend that everyone should always remember such advice…

Coming to volunteer in Mexico at Our Cabaña was incredibly daunting, not least because I was going to be travelling on my own from Newcastle, via Heathrow Airport, to Mexico City Airport, from where I would then have to catch a bus to Cuernavaca once in the airport. There were so many things that I was worried about; having to change at Heathrow’s terminal 5, getting the bus to Cuernavaca, and flying itself I am not entirely comfortable with! But I just focussed getting from Newcastle to Heathrow and then Heathrow to Mexico City, reading magazines, watching films, and listening to Harry Potter to keep my mind occupied. Once I arrived at the airport I got through immigration and security smoothly, there was lots of airport security around so I felt very relaxed and found my way to the bus station very easily, thanks to the clear instructions sent to me by Our Cabaña before I left the UK.

The bus journey was a mere 2 hours, my luggage was checked into the underside of the bus, which initially I was a little wary of, however each bag had a ticket attached to it, and you were given a matching ticket that you needed to hand over before collecting your bag so it was impossible for someone to claim luggage that was not their own. Once in Cuernavaca I waited in the departures lounge, where I felt completely at ease as it was still fairly busy for 10pm, until Dany arrived to greet me and take me back to Our Cabaña. She took me straight to my room and ensured that I was settled in with my house keys and made me aware of the safety deposit box in the house, before leaving me to sleep- as I had been awake for nearly 24 hours straight at this point! The next day myself and a fellow volunteer decided to do some exploring around the local area, walking about half an hour to one of the local shopping centres; the staff members at Our Cabaña had given us clear instructions on how to get there so I was not in the slightest bit concerned about getting lost on our way down. I realised when we left Our Cabaña that in addition to the large sets of gates (that are kept locked at all times unless someone needs to get through) there is also a security guard positioned inconspicuously outside the gates to keep a watchful eye out for any suspicious behaviour in the surrounding area. Once at the ‘Gallerias’ we found there was also security inside, so our experience was relaxed.

Overall, all of my experiences in Mexico thus far have been nothing but positive. I am very much looking forward to the next four months here at Our Cabaña, not least because of how warm and welcoming everyone has been.

 

What if? What about? Can I?

170127-lashauna

Hola! My name is Lashauna and I am a Spring 2017 volunteer at Nuestra Cabana, from Canada.

When I first thought about applying to volunteer at a World Centre, there were many thoughts that went through my head. What if I’m too old? What about my family, house and pets? Can I go for 4 months without getting paid? What if work won’t give me the time off? What if I can´t share a house with other people? What if it’s too hot? What if I don´t like my co-volunteers?

I´m not a risk taker. I like to plan, think, and analyse all possible outcomes of decisions. However, it was time to stop making excuses and take a step forward – just apply! A wise WAGGGS member once taught me “the magic happens outside your comfort zone”

When I found out I was accepted to come to Nuestra Cabana, the reality set in that I would be going to Mexico for 4 months. As an added bonus, I am skipping Canadian winter!! Perhaps one of my most occurring thoughts while prepping and planning was wanting to represent Canada and Girl Guides of Canada –Guides du Canada well. I´m excited and honoured to represent Canada here at Nuestra Cabana!

Having visited Nuestra Cabana in August 2015, I had a general idea of what to expect in terms of the grounds, operations, activities and events but I didn´t know what it was like to be a volunteer. What exactly do the volunteers do and what is our role? Thankfully, a full 10 days is dedicated to volunteer training and development. This has given us the opportunity to try out activities that guests may take part in, ask questions, make mistakes, and bond as a team.

I invite you to stay tuned to this blog to find out important answers to the questions above. Was I too old? What about my family, house and pets? Was I able to share a house with other people? Was it too hot? Did I like my co-volunteers? (OK, OK. I´ll tell you now. I love them. I couldn’t ask for a better group to be with. We all bring our own skills, knowledge and experience and its one of the easiest groups I’ve ever become part of).

Thanks for reading!

Lashauna

Mexico´s First Impressions- Bethanie (UK)

Hola! I’m Bethanie, and I’m a summer volunteer, here at Our Cabana! Having been a Spring Volunteer at Our Chalet for 3 months, I was keen to discover what another World Centre had to offer. As I arrived in Mexico, navigated my way somewhat successfully through customs, the airport and the public transport systems, I knew that the next three months would not disappoint!

Arriving in Mexico has been quite a culture shock, I’m no longer in the “Chalet Bubble”, high up on a mountain, a 30 minute walk from the quiet village of Adelboden. I’m now a short taxi ride away from the hustle and bustle of Cuernavaca, the city of Eternal Spring. Each morning, I’m woken up by the sound of the traffic, blaring music from surrounding shops, and the nearby workmen. Walking around the markets, the different sights, smells and sounds of sellers, often with their children and pets, are incredible. I’ve become used to eating ‘real Mexican food’, so different from the DIY taco kits we have at home. With its combination of flavours which I would never have imagined could work so well (chocolate, chilli and chicken), and spices I’ve never tried before, it’s safe to say that Mexican is now one of my favourite types of food, and that my idea of what makes a dish ‘spicy’, is very different to that of the locals.

11640380_1000929023253028_1832396559_oThe past two weeks have been filled with training and preparations for the summer. We’ve been to Cuernavca, Tepozlan, and seen the pyramids of Teopanzolco. I’ve learnt how to deliver the fun games and evening programmes that Cabana has to offer, as well as the insightful WAGGGS session, such as Free Being Me, and Surf Smart, which are about issues so relevant to girls and young women today.

Our training is finished, and we are getting ready to welcome our first group of guests for the Pick and Mix and Friendship sessions. I’m so excited to meet them, and to share with them both the incredible beauty and culture of Mexico, and the international and unconditional friendship that Girl Guiding and Scouting offers.

Volunteer: Reflections on the First Week – Heather (Canada) & June (Venezuela)

IMG_8087On our first week, we had two sessions at the same time; Grape Attributes with three lovely ladies from the USA and Pick & Mix with an energetic group from Ontario, Canada. It was fun getting to know the participants and do different activities with them. We went on a few day trips including Visiting Tepoztlan and hiking at Tepozteco, a cave tour at Cacahuamilpa, learning about silver in Taxco and visiting the pyramids at Teotihuacan. We also got to lead activities at the Cabaña. Our favourites were campfire and International night, where we each shared something from our country. We ended the night with a Piñata from Mexico!

Another important part of the program here is community service. We did a service project at St. Vincent De Paul Morelos with each of the groups. First we helped inventory the clothing that they have for sale in their bazaar. Next we made food bags and helped fold clothes as well. Overall it was a great first week and we learned a lot working with the participants and each other.

Spanish:IMG_8089

En nuestra primera semana, tuvimos dos sesiones al mismo tiempo, “Los Atributos de la Uva” con tres amorosas señoras de EE.UU y el Pick & Mix con un enérgico grupo de Ontario, Canadá. Tuvimos la oportunidad de realizar varias actividades con las participantes. Escalamos el Tepozteco, fuimos a un tour en las Cuevas de Cacahuamilpa , aprendimos acerca de la plata en Taxco y visitamos las piramedes de Teotihuacan. Tambien lideramos algunas de las actividades de la Cabaña. Nuestras favoritas fueron la Fogata y la Noche Internacional, donde cada una compartió algo de nuestros países. Y terminamos la noche con una Piñata de Mexico.

Otra parte importante del programa de aquí es el servicio comunitario. Éste lo hicimos en el Centro San Vicente de Paul, Morelos, con cada grupo. Primero nostras ayudamos a hacer el inventario de la ropa que ellos tienen para el bazar. Lo otro que hicimos fueron las bolsas de comida y doblamos la ropa para luego guardarlas en bolsas. En general, fue una excelente primera semana y hemos aprendido mucho trabajando con los participantes y entre sí.