Dear Mom and Dad...
Patrick Crave is a dairy science major at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is from Waterloo, Wisconsin. Patrick chose to write a letter home as a portfolio entry.
Dear Mom and Dad,
How are things back in the U.S.? I hope that everything is going well and that you don't miss me too much! Our trip is almost over and I have been having a blast so far with our group. We have had a great group of native college students with us throughout parts of the trip and they have been very nice and willing to show us their culture. Since you guys have been to Mexico before I'm sure you already know this, but I have been blown away by how nice the Mexican people have been to us on our trip, it has been one good deed after another.
One of our first stops was Alpura, which is a huge company that produces just about every dairy product you can think of. They are a big time company in Mexico and they are very strict with their policies on visitors like our group. Michel said that a previous year he tried to take some pictures of the place and got yelled at! This year, however, the staff was very generous and willing to take us around. They gave us a tour of the plant explaining how they do things and after the tour we went to a conference room where we had the opportunity to meet with the director of the plant and ask him questions. I thought this was very nice of him to take over an hour of his time to sit and talk with us about things ranging from operations at the plant to him coming to Wisconsin to go to a badger football game; it was a very generous gesture on his part. When we were getting ready to leave he handed each member of our group big goody bags with an Alpura cookbook, a cooking apron and other things. I thought this was a very good deed.
Another good deed that stuck out to me was when we went on a visit up in the mountains to visit a small farmer and his family. He had about six cows, a donkey, a horse and some chickens way up in the mountains. After talking with him and his family about how they do things they cooked us a real mountain dinner with all of their home grown food. Sorry to say this Mom, but it was probably one of the best meals I have ever had. I am typically a cautious person when it comes to trying new foods but I tried just about everything on the table and it was all delicious. This really stuck out as a good deed because the farmer and his family obviously are not made out of money. They have enough to feed themselves and not much left over. Seeing the spread that they put out for dinner it was amazing that the family was willing to sacrifice food that they could have used for themselves to show us hospitality. It really meant a lot to me that they were willing to do this for us and I was surprised at how happy they were just to share a meal with us. It was an eye opening experience for me and I think people in the U.S. could learn something from it. I think it had an impact on our group seeing this as well.
Throughout the trip members of our group volunteered and told our hosts what we got out of our visits and how thankful we were to have been with them. All of our hosts were very generous and showed us some good deeds and so we in turn tried to show them good deeds of our own. There were a lot of good deeds that I saw on this trip which made me very happy, but these two were ones that really stuck out to me.
Well that's all for now. I will try to send another email to you soon letting you know how the rest of the trip turns out!