It is amazing to know how "privileged" the prisoners in California are. It is mandated by law that they go to high school and to learn English (if they don't know it). High school graduates are offered vocational programs so that they will have skills if ever they are released. They have amazing healthcare benefits and it may even be possible for them to get free heart surgery if they really need it. I had a great urge to say : Hey, if I need heart surgery, I'll just kill a couple of people and go to prison for free healthcare!
Halfway through lunch we had an intern meeting where all interns did a small persuasive speech to practice for public speaking -- I'll tell you more about my speech later!
Friday afternoon was FREE TIME at the YMCA pool! We had Home Team Olympics where cast groups competed against each other in events such as -- Synchronized Swimming, Fastest group to go down the slide, Diving for Rings (getting rings 12 feet deep!) , and "Chubby Bunny". Chubby Bunny was a fun (but quite disgusting) game where people stuff marshmallow after marshmallow in their mouths until they could no longer say "Chubby Bunny!" -- the person who puts most marshmallows in his or her mouth wins the game.
Ah, 3 hours of free time was pure bliss. I did some laps and felt so stretched and refreshed.
I was so excited for show day because my Tita (Aunt) Miriam and Tito (Uncle) Conrad from Cerritos, CA , and my friend Tiffany from Los Banos, CA came to see the show! The John Muir gymnasium was again such an experience because it was so HOT ! I could feel the sweat streaming down my face and see steam and droplets coming off of everyone on stage.
But it was a full house! Tickets were sold out and we had an amazing audience. It really helped that we spent a lot of time in the schools around the city. The kids liked the show a lot and even asked for autographs!
Sunday, (today!) is free day! I spent the morning with Tita and Tito and Tiffany. We went to the next town to do some shopping (I got an extra pair of formal slacks because we wear them all the time, a new black top because mine is so tight already because I am gaining so much weight, new dance shoes because Tita Girlie said better to get them now than in Europe, some tops) and I ended up with more luggage than ever even if I unloaded some of my stuff! It was so fun to catch up with everyone and to speak my language again :-)
Tomorrow is Travel Day again -- after a Mexico culture presentation -- we will all board the bus to Redding, California. We'll spend the night in Redding then continue on to our next city, Winston, Oregon! The cast will be a big part of the annual Melon Festival.
Work, Work for the Education Team next week! Winston is Ellen and mine's city. As Education Intern, I play a big role in planning and executing internal education for the cast. For next week, we have Debate/ Dialogue and Public Speaking sessions coming up, as well as Community Impact projects and Stand for Peace classrooms. Whew. It's going to be a busy week! By the time we get to Coos Bay, Oregon -- I should be able to run cities on my own. I am so nervous about it!
Goodbye Corcoran! Loved this city!
Look, my own street!