Querétaro Daily: Communication Skills and Chayote Squash


In two weeks, the school will host their annual book fair.

During this event, parents will come and see what their kids have learned so far this school year. For 6th grade English class, I am organizing a skit on inter-cultural communication. That was my primary focus in college, so I have been sharing some of that knowledge with my students. So far we have covered communication differences in Italy, Japan, Germany, Turkey and India. We are learning about different behaviors, customs, beliefs and taboos. Different countries have different perceptions of time, money and personal space. Some countries value family over individual goals and vice versa. Their favorite part of each session is learning about the different gestures in each country. For example, this is a video we watched about gestures in Italy. HAHA.

By the end, they were all acting it out and singing along. 😀

Anyway, this presentation will demand hard work, creativity, and proper communication. In preparation for the project, I have been working with the kids on numerous team-building activities to improve effective communication.


Standing in a circle, they must reach out and interlock hands with a two classmates across from them. It is their job to untangle this human knot without letting go of their partners hand. If they don’t communicate with each other, their knot will become more complicated and almost impossible to untangle. After two tries, they finally figured it out! 😀img_5785


The kids had the challenge of creating the tallest standing structure using only scissors, tape, and one piece of paper with a 5-minute time limit.
squash2At 47 centimeters high, we had our winner! 😀


The kids were also asked to work in groups and create the ideal team member. They gave them a name, as well as, listed all the attributes that made them the ideal member of their team.

Meet LoLo, Cool Carl, and Sedrido. :psquashWe will present these posters to the school on Monday in hopes of teaching the younger students about the importance of communication and teamwork. After all, there is no “I” in team. 🙂


While in Morelia on Sunday, I purchased a bountiful harvest at the local market. 🙂squash3Here were some of my finds.

Chayote Squash squash4Chayote squash is similar to zucchini in flavor and taste. I chopped the chayote squash, zucchini, onion, tomatoes and garlic, then lightly sauteed the mixture in order to create a filling for quesadillas. 🙂

Nopales or Cactus 
squash5These cactus paddles had already been boiled and chopped, then prepared with yellow pepper, onion, tomato, cilantro and lime zest. The nopal reminds me of okra when cooked due to its stringy consistency. The mixture can be eaten as a cold salad or as another quesadilla filling! Absolutely delicious!

Huitlacoche squash7This is literally the fungus that grows on top of corn. I have NOT tried it yet, but I heard it was decadent and has a similar taste to truffle mushrooms. 🙂 I plan on sauteing the fungus in butter, garlic and onion, then serving with cheese in another quesadilla!! Yum!

Today I stopped by the grocery store to pick up other essentials for my quesadillas! 🙂squash8Queso Chihuahua tastes like a mild white cheddar, while queso Oaxaca reminds me of mozzarella. These corn tortillas were also homemade and still warm when I picked them up at the store. *AMAZING*

As I was there, I thought I would point out a few differences between grocery stores in the States and in Mexico.

1. Their priorities are obvious. I hope you like things a little spicy. 😛
2. Eggs are not refrigerated.
3. Stockpiles of RICE and BEANS. No complaints. 🙂
4. Chiccharon or pork skin is served like popcorn.

squash9SERIOUSLY, I saw a woman reach in and grab a chunk to eat as she was grocery shopping. Not cool for the store or for her poor arteries. :/

Anyway, while wearing shorts and a t-shirt on my walk home, I saw this glorious sight.squash6November 5th?? I thought decorations before Thanksgiving were taboo. I guess that is only true when you have a Thanksgiving to celebrate. No time like the present! 😀

49 days until Christmas! 🙂 Night everyone.

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