Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Wrap Up

After creating holiday ornaments and celebrating The Winter Solstice, I have been reflecting on the last year and the places that we have traveled to (in spirit, of course) and how each place had something that really set it apart from the other countries that we visited. I decided that it would be fun to do a year end wrap up. I came up with ten questions and each of us answered them, kind of like a survey I guess. My intention is that it will give us each a moment to actually remember the wonderful countries of this past year before moving on to new ones next year. Also, I thought it might be fun to see if we all had the same experiences of each country and to see what things we might do differently or like to add to the adventures for next year. Another interesting tidbit is that I answered the questions first and then asked each person separate from the others, so none of the answers were influenced by each others answers. 

1. Do you want to continue learning about other countries and "traveling" the world from home in 2012? 
Aiden- Yes.
Eliana- ah-huh.
Preston- Yeah.
Raina- Yes, definitely.

2. Which country was your favorite to learn about?
Aiden- Mexico
Eliana- Greece
Preston- Pakistan
Raina- Morocco

3. Of the countries that we learned about, which food did you like best?
Aiden- Morocco and Mexico
Eliana- Pakistan
Preston- Australia and Ireland
Raina- Greece and Pakistan

4. What was your favorite craft that we did?
Aiden- The Mati necklaces and making The Mexican Flag.
Eliana- The Piñata, because I liked painting it and I liked hitting it.
Preston- The Piñata.
Raina- I really liked making the Matis, I like that they represent the evil eye are meant to ward off the bad. 

5. Which country had the best music?
Aiden- Mexico
Eliana- Mexico
Preston- Greece
Raina- Greece and Pakistan

6. Were there any animals that you hadn't heard of before learning about other parts of the world? Or animals that you were surprised lived in a particular place?
Aiden- I did not know about the animal in Pakistan. (The Markhor)
Eliana- A kangaroo. (Side note: I'm not really sure why she feels that this is the best answer as she has certainly heard of a kangaroo before, but that is her answer).
Preston- The markhor from Pakistan.
Raina- The markhor was an animal I had to google to see what it was. I also was shocked to learn about the hamsters in The Netherlands.

7.  Is there anything that you would like to change or add to our monthly "tours"?
Aiden- I would like to put on plays for each country.
Eliana- I want to learn more about what kids do (in each country).
Preston- I think it's good the way it is, but more snacks throughout the month would be good. 
Raina- I wouldn't mind sampling more foods throughout the month like afternoon snacks, etc. I also think it could be fun to expand our learning to include more information about design (but I don't know if that would interest anybody besides me in my family).

8. Choosing from the countries that we learned about, which one would you like to visit the most in real life?
Aiden- Mexico
Eliana- Pakistan
Preston- Greece and Ireland
Raina- Greece and Morocco

9. Was there anything that you learned about another country or culture that you really liked and/or would like to incorporate into our lives if possible? If yes, what?
Aiden- I like eating with my hands like they do in Morocco. 
Eliana- I would like to eat the fruit salad from Pakistan more. 
Preston- I would like to continue to celebrate the Day of The Dead. 
Raina- I am really fascinated by the idea of Sadaqas that are held in Morocco (40 days after a loved one dies, a Sadaqa is held and people come and bring food and anybody who shows up is welcome to come in and eat because Sadaqa means "charity"). Also, I think that we should continue to celebrate Dia de los Muertos.

10. What are two countries that you really hope we learn about in 2012? Why?
Aiden- Egypt, because I like to learn about ancient Egypt.
            Iceland, because it sounds cool. (how?) I don't know.                      
Eliana- Peru, because I like alpacas.
             St. Lucia, because ??? (I read a list of countries to her and that's the one she picked, I guess because it sounds cool :))
Preston- Russia, because I don't think I've ever eaten Russian food.
               Belize, because I want to learn about the rainforest and eat the food.
Raina- Cuba, because one of my favorite paintings was painted in Cuba and I have a Cuban friend that I went to college with that I think is pretty cool, so I'd like to learn about her culture a bit more. 
Cambodia, because I don't know nearly enough about Cambodia, but the flag looks ridiculously difficult to recreate, so I'm not sure yet. :).

So now that we have all answered the questions and we have wrapped up our 2011 "travels" nicely we are preparing for 2012. I am looking forward to starting a new year and a new country. I hope that you'll continue to follow along with us as we learn about this wonderful world. Thanks for reading!

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