Day 3 – Yucatan, Mexico

Today was chock full of production. It began before 7 a.m. when we woke up at sunrise to get ready for our first shoot of the day. We decided to film a feature with one of the families we met yesterday on our kid walks. We met Jose y Yensi at their home, so that we could see them get ready for school.

It was a whirlwind of translators, boom mike tangle ups and sprinting as I was the A camera for this shoot. Luckily we had wonderful subjects. Jose and Yensi were amazing in front of the camera as they shared their story with us.

On Fridays, Kyle and the staff at Academia Natanael organize a whole day of team games for the kids. When the games started at 10 a.m. the school was buzzing with excitement and cheers. We miked up Kyle with a wireless lav and I followed him around for most of the day to get some footage of him in his element. It was challenging operating as a one-man band, but luckily gaffer’s tape helped me set up a truly professional rig on the Panasonic.

The final production element of the day involved setting up interview with the children. We had to fight some audio issues from game day and the setting sun, but we interviewed about 20 students in a formal sit-down setup. I was most inspired by the kids’ answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We heard teacher, doctor, veterinarian, and psychologist. It was amazing to see the big dreams of these amazing kids.

After all the production, this day was just getting started. Also on the agenda was hosting a WordPress conference for some local non-profit and church leaders. I took on the task of teaching this class with the help of a translator. What a challenge! From the language barrier to the slow Internet connection, I wasn’t sure if the class was going to be a success. However, by the end everyone in attendance had successfully created a free WordPress blog, installed a new theme, and published their first post. Some people really seemed excited about the possibility of establishing a free web presence for themselves or their organization. We even got some press out of it with De Peso newspaper in attendance to write about our work with Academia Natanael.

For our cultural experience today we attended the night Festival in Cacalchen. We’re going to a large-scale bullfight tomorrow night, but we got to see a preview and experience the Three Kings Day festivities, including clown, Kings bread, and a carnival atmosphere. For dinner we were treated some amazing Tacos al Pastor cooked fresh off a fire grill and entertainment by some of the female students who performed a traditional Mayan dance.