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I had a great experience with SDSU on Rancho Ojai for the four days I was there. It was a different experience in many ways, such as the group itself. In the opening circle I came to find out that almost every person there was only there because they were forced to by their school in order to graduate. This was truly an eye opener and made my perspective on the upcoming week totally change. I was nervous and worried because I did not know how they would react and deal with Mexico and its different culture.
The first day we were scheduled to finish two foundations in Tecate. We all went there with a positive attitude ready to work. It was a slower pour but we finished everything just as planned. The group bonded with the family and enjoyed their first adventure. The group intertwined with the family for lunch and everyone left the neighborhood with a big smile.
The second day with them was different but at the same time not as extreme as I thought it would be. It was not a work day which is something I am not used to. But the group was getting along with each other and the students were opening their eyes and minds to the experience. We went on a nature hike and studied different species of plant life and the surrounding terrain. We walked a lot and did not eat for awhile but the group did very little complaining and overall had a great second day.
The third day people really started opening up and embracing the experience. We had a nice day at the orphanage playing with the children for about three hours. I had a great time and I know everyone in my group would say the same.
The fourth day with my group we went to the Kumiai museum and learned about the indigenous people of Tecate. It was very informational and the group took many notes and was very interested since many of them had never heard of the natives in Mexico before. After that we had a nice lunch and then headed to the Tecate Brewery for a tour. It was a fun place to visit and learn about. After the tour was over we sat down and enjoyed carne asada with some fresh cerveza. It was a great way to end our time together in Tecate. By then we had bonded and shared many new experiences together. I can honestly say me and my group had a wonderful time in Tecate and enjoyed the staying at Rancho Ojai very much. We all learned a lot and had four days that none of us will forget.