Ko'ox Boon Summer Camp

Meet the Ko'ox Krewe: Liz Allen & Meriweather Bean

Meriweather Bean, Liz Allen & I (Alex Melnick) will travel to Yucatán in late May to work with the community of Yaxhachen, the home of Camp Ko'ox. Learn more about how to show your support for the camp  here ! 

Meriweather Bean, Liz Allen & I (Alex Melnick) will travel to Yucatán in late May to work with the community of Yaxhachen, the home of Camp Ko'ox. Learn more about how to show your support for the camp here

I always say this, but I will say it again. I have the best co-workers in the world. Part of the reason Ko'ox Boon works so well is that all of us get along famously, and all love to spend time with each other. (We better, if we're going to live at Kaxil Kiuic, Millsaps College's 4,500 acre Bio-cultural Reserve, together for six weeks this summer!)

I hold in my heart a special place for two particular Ko'ox Booners: Meriweather Bean & Liz Allen. These Boon Babes, as I call them, are to thank for much of Ko'ox Boon's success in Jackson. Bean and Liz are the wind between my wings and the frijoles to my arroz. We all spend a lot of time together and go on adventures, from Cafe Ole to late night facetimes & phonecalls & giggling endlessly.  The Boon Babes all have each others' back and want nothing more than to help each other succeed. I'm always chatting it up on the Arte y Vida blog, so I figured it was time for me to give them a little shout-out. Meet the Boon Babes!

Meriweather Bean

Major: Anthropology with a business minor
Fav Drink:   Sparkling Water
Fav Song:  "How Will I Know," by Whitney Houston
Fav Spanish word: frijol 

In her lessons for Camp Ko'ox, Meriweather will focus on nature walks, connecting Maya heritage to present day life in Yaxhachen, and having some good clean fun with the kids this summer. She's teaching the six to eight year olds ninos, whose group in Camp Ko'ox is informally known as the "corn grinders." She's really excited to do yoga & dance with co-leaders Alex Melnick & Shaun McDonough, despite none of us knowing how to dance. (The kids will have to teach us.) One of my favorite things about Meriweather is her "can-do" attitude and tireless cheerful spirit. No matter what obstacle or crazy thing that stands in our way, Bean (as I call her) is ready to meet it. Meriweather is also quite the traveler, having visited Yucatán before & studied abroad in Tanzania the year prior. Meriweather is the real exploradora of our group, and a very kind spirit. 

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                                         Liz Allen

Major: Communications Studies, with an art history minor
Favorite song: A tie between 500 Miles by the Stranglers and Big Poppa by Notorious B.I.G.
Fav Drink:Coffee
Fav Spanish word: Oso

Liz is focusing on teaching Media Literacy this summer to the older children & helping them explore their world. From cameras to book binding, Liz & her co-leader Sara Sacks hope that they can empower students to tell their own stories. After camp, Liz will begin her Millsaps College 1 Campus 1 Community Fellowship, and spend the year connecting community members in Jackson to Millsaps & facilitating community engagement.  My favorite thing about Liz is her sense of humor, & her commitment to the Jackson community. ( Also her love of possums.) Liz has the silliest sense of humor of anyone I know. We once went to  a Mississippi's Museum of Art's Pop-Up Show & I'm pretty sure I made her cry laughing when I pointed to a (very nice) drawing of an aardvark & gravely told her: "This is a terrible cat."  I'm the least funny person I know, but Liz will always laugh with me, if not at me.  Liz is also a selfless friend and an excellent travel buddy, & an incredibly talented artist.

Spring Break Forever: Alex & Shaun's Foto Blog

Adventures of Alex & Shaun, circa SB2k15.

Adventures of Alex & Shaun, circa SB2k15.

Ko’ox Boon Kamp Kounselors Shaun McDonough & I were lucky enough to spend our spring break together this year, and we took some photos to share with all our friends on the  Arte y Vida blog! We packed an impressive amount of adventures into one short week, and spent a lot of time planning our lessons for camp & calling our fellow Ko’ox Booners.  When not researching the Yucatán or creating lessons, nostros fuimos a la playa y el manatiel. We also brushed up on our Spanish by visiting a restaurant called “Latin American Restaurant Cafe” on the side of the road, and had amazing plantains. (It made me really miss the Yucatán!) I also apparently turned twenty one, but forgot to have more than one drink. 

My favorite part of the break was probably when I convinced Shaun’s roommate to get a Lil Bub tattoo, or all the free time we had to create summer camp lesson plans! My least favorite part was when I found out Shaun hasn’t seen most of Harry Potter or even read the series. (He thought there were fifteen of the movies.)

I asked Shaun what his favorite part was, and he said "spending the day with my favorite person on Satellite beach ( my favorite beach) was the most enjoyable day of spring break. Being able to relax, have no obligations to worry about, and take a leisurely ride back to South Florida was exactly what I needed.  Even though the only place to eat was a Waffle House with a sticky floor, it was an excellent adventure."

Shaun & I really love photography & documentary making, so we couldn't resist sharing a few shots from this spring break. 

Ko'ox Boon intern Alex Melnick figured she should give herself a little shoutout

Ko'ox Boon intern Alex Melnick figured she should give herself a little shoutout

I love Jackson almost as much as I love interning for Ko’ox Boon. (Who is this “I,” you ask? Read on. Even if you don’t particularly care who this “I” is, read on. I promise it’ll be worth it.