Thursday, May 13, 2010

Merida, como te quiero!

I believe I left off the telling of my excellent adventures in Mexico with meatloaf. Tasty, tasty meatloaf. Meatloaf is one of those things that people can just bond over, no matter their culture. Anyway, so the meatloaf was good. After we ate, I slept, and then we went to FHE with our group. It was fun. We had a great lesson by Profe Hague, and then we played I've never. Oh the interesting things you learn while playing I've who's been arrested, or to the tanning bed...or streaking. I won't go into any more details than that ;) It was a lot of fun. Oh, we also had a hilarious conversation about Steve, an occasional visitor to Bekah and Lauren's bathroom. Profe Hague was rather worried at first, but he eventually surmised by our giggling that he needn't be concerned, whoever this Steve character was. It was quite hilarious to those of us "in the know." Our awesome padre gave us a ride, so we didn't even have to take the bus. It was great. On Monday, Bekah and I only had 1 class, and we came back to our casa afterwards, ostensibly to work on homework. I didn't get as much done as I'd planned to. I'm pretty sure we didn't really do anything else. Tuesday was somewhat similar. I had a lovely morning. We didn't have to do anything at 7 am, so that was very nice. We didn't have class until 11:30, and we didn't have to leave until 10:30..compared to 6 am, that's so late and wonderful. While we were walking to school, some guy wolf whistled at us..but he didn't just whistle. He had these pipes, and he kind of played the wolf whistle. It was funny. Let's was fine. We went back to our house afterward and again attempted to do homework. Eventually, we walked to 7-11 and back. That was about it for Tuesday. This blog entry has been relatively boring so far. It's about to get more interesting. Yesterday, we went to see La Ultima Cancion (The Last Song) with Miley Cyrus, which was a pretty good movie. When were walking home from this is when things got interesting. We were walking by 7-11 near our house, and there were a bunch of what seemed to be college aged kids rallying for a local politician, Javier. They were waving flags and giving away lots of free stuff, like bracelets, t-shirts, posters, flags, and lighters. We walked through them the first time to get home. After a while of walking towards home, we decided we needed to turn around and go back to 7-11 for Lauren to get a drink, or in other words, to get free t-shirts. So turn around we did. We went to 7-11, and Lauren did, in fact, get a drink. (Lauren is one of our roommates. She enjoys chocolate, hanging out on the beach, reading books and chilling at home, and is terrified of small fish.) We exited the 7-11 and commenced standing around outside talking about getting free Angelica merchandise. Angelica is a local politician. She's running for the office of "Presidenta Municipal" which, as far as I can tell, is the mayor of Merida. This woman has her face plastered on basically every surface of this city. She's on bus stops, buses, taxicabs, street corners (which have fence/walls around them), billboards, people's cars, and various other surfaces. She's always there, wherever we go, watching us. She's like big brother. Only female and smiling out charmingly from her many posters, banners, stickers, and other advertisements. The slogan on her posters is "Merida, como te quiero," (Merida, how I love you), hence the title of my blog entry. We all really wanted some Angelica merchandise. I've still got my heart set on a poster. So eventually, the people at the rally, who were rallying for Javier, another politician of the same party as Angelica, came and swarmed us and were trying really hard to get us to wave flags with them. It was all very exciting, but for now, this blog entry is going to have to be continued...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Madre Day!

I've had a good couple of days. Yesterday, we went to Celestun. We met at a park and took the bus for about 1.5 hours or so..maybe more or less. I'm not sure. After we got there, we got to go out in boats to see the flamingos. On the way, we made a stop at a little island with a lot of crabs and tiny fish. Then we got to go see flamingos! They were so cool. I was excited to get to see them. Then we all went to swim in this gorgeously clear natural pool next to the water. It was way pretty. It looked like the okifanoke swamp or perhaps a jungle. There was a crocodile, and someone got the idea it was fake, so a couple of people in our group were starting to go in the water with it. Our professor came running up behind us saying No, no, I'm sorry! It's real! It was so funny. After that, we got back in the boats to go back to the restaurant on the beach where we met in the first place. The boat ride back was really fun! It was really wavy, and our boat was going fast and bouncing on the waves. It was so much fun! I love boats. The people in our boat were singing pretty much the entire time we were on it. It was a blast! After the boat ride back, we went to the restaurant and had delicious food (all of the food here is delicious), and some people played on the beach for a while. I didn't because I wanted to avoid the sun. Also, there was a man who looked like a biker in a speedo eating his lunch...did I mention he was wearing a speedo? It made me laugh every time I looked at him. And he was right in my line of sight, so I ended up looking at him more than I wanted to. It was really, really funny. Also, the bathroom signs. The women's bathroom sign was a pair of lips, and the men's bathroom sign was a pepper. It made me laugh a lot. Oh, and when I went to the bathroom some lady told me I had really pretty hair, essentially, but she told me first in English, and I couldn't understand her until she switched to Spanish because she had a really strong accent when she spoke English. That was pretty funny as well. And after that fun day, we headed back on the bus. When we got to the park, our mama was waiting to take us home, which we were happy about because we hadn't been expecting a ride. So we went home, and eventually went grocery shopping. Our papa gave us a ride to the grocery store and we walked back. I don't think much else happened last night, so on to this morning. We were running late for church because Bekah had an ear infection, so our papa took us to church after giving Bekah medicine for her ear, which was really nice of him. He is so cute..he's always got this little smile on his face, and he doesn't talk a whole lot, but he does talk. Anyway, church was good. In relief society, some or all of the primary kids (I'm not sure), came and gave the mamas roses and sang them a song. It was cute. I want kids one day! Not now by any means, but eventually. And then we went home and chilled a bit and I made meatloaf and homemade mashed potatoes for lunch. Everyone seemed to enjoy them, and our mama wants me to teach her how to make my meatloaf. It was fun. I love to cook. And that is all for now :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Raspberry Red

I seem to be in a constant state of sunburn here. It's getting less painful, though. This one doesn't even really hurt. Bekah, Lauren and I went to the beach yesterday. We were going to meet up with some other people from our group, but we couldn't find them, so we just hung out with Chase and Landon, who we met up with on the bus. It was windy and wavy...pretty much perfect. Lauren and I were both wearing sunhats and outfits that made us look like tourists. We got a picture. It was pretty epic. On the way back, we went to Costco and got samples. We were going to try to get food, but we didn't find anything we wanted. Then we went back to our house and ate and such. After a while we went and got delicious palotas (amazing popsicles) with our mama, and then she bought us very good tamales that some guy was selling out of the back of his car at a gas station. It was pretty sweet. After eating the tamales, we talked with our mama about the strange things men sometimes wear. After that, when Alyssa and I came up to go to bed, we turned our air conditioning on as usual, and it was leaking. So there was a lot of ensuing drama which ended with our air not leaking anymore, so that was good. It was pretty funny. Also, we have a hammock in our room, which I would have slept in last night, but it was right under the air, and therefore uncomfortable. Such is life here in the Yukatan!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Yeah, I'm still here...

Dear readers, I do believe I left off my last blog on Saturday night, so I will start off now with writing about Sunday. Sunday morning we had 9 am church, so I went to that. Afterwords we went to the birthday party of tia Gladis, who is the sister of our host mom who took care of us for a few days. Then we went home and chilled and made cena (basically dinner but usually smaller) for our padres. Monday, we had our first real roommate split. Lauren and Alyssa went on the turibus, a tourbus that goes around the city that you can basically get on or off whenever you want to for a whole day. Bekah and I went to a fabulous water park with the institute kids called Rio Salvaje. It was a blast! I had so much fun. We met these girls on the bus named Vidi and Lidi, and they got our email addresses, and we met a 12-year-old girl named Karen and her sister Dani, who invited us to come play at their house. Karen told us we were her hermanas (sisters). It was very cute. And we went on the Cobra, the tallest water slide in the park. It was basically a blast. I had tons of fun. The rest of Monday we just chilled at home. Tuesday, Lauren and Alyssa had school, and Bekah and I (we have the same class schedule), went with tia Gladis and her granddaughters, Anacarmen and Valeria, to see the school where she's basically a vice principal. We then went to the mall and walked around. After that, we had lunch with our host parents and their kids, who are all married and live in Merida, and her nephew and sister. Later, we went to el Colon, this fabulous ice cream shop (essentially) for someone in the group's birthday, Melia. Then we walked around in the centro for a bit before returning home. Yesterday, Wednesday, Bekah and I went home and then to the centro with our host padres. We did a lot of walking, which was nice because I need the exercise. We got back and had lunch and waited for the other girls to get back. After they got back and ate, our mama took us to have laundry done, and then we met with our group to see Ironman 2 with Spanish subtitles. It was fun. It only costed 40 pesos, which is a bit less than 4 dollars!! I love how cheap movies are here. It's been a fun time here so far in Merida :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Viva Mexico!

These past couple of days have been really fun! Yesterday, we had Monday classes even though it was a Friday because there are no classes Monday. Generally, we have no Friday classes. After class, we hung out with some of the local students for about an hour. One of them was named Tony, and he offered to take us for a ride around the city, but we didn't go. We eventually got back to nuestra casa (the house in which we are staying...our house). By we, I mean my roommate Rebecca and myself. We chilled for a while until lunch. I worked out and took a shower. Then we had lunch with Gladys, our tia Mexicana, and after lunch we talked a while. Eventually, our other roommates, Lauren and Alyssa, got back, and after a little while we went to el centro historico (in English, the historical center) and walked around and shopped a bit. The centro here is awesome. People sell stuff there and tons of people walk around and hang out there. Yesterday was "el dia de los ninos" (the day of the children), and there were festivities for that. While we were walking around, a man tried to sell us a hammock. He talked to us for a while first, though. He told us about the traditional village he lives in, and how he makes hammocks with his wife..he showed us a picture. And he told us about the festivities in the traditional villages right now. He talked about religion and other things. He was way nice. His name was Gregorio. After talking to us for a while, he kept trying to sell us a hammock, but none of us had any money. We told him that, and he kept lowering the price. He went from 450 to 200 pesos for a really big hammock by the end. It was a fun experience. After that, we went to this little restaurant across from the big Cathedral in the centro, and we ate on the balcony overlooking the centro. It was awesome. Then we went and Lauren and I split some sorbate. It was really fun. The sorbate is really, really good there. After we had sorbate, we met the rest of our group in front of the Cathedral and walked over to the temple and institute building for a dance. It was so much fun! We met some of the local people, and we learned how to dance a little :) It was awesome. Dances here are better than in the states, I think. One of the guys at the institute dance named Alan taught me a little salsa. He was funny. Another one named Gerson was pretty fluent in English, which he learned from watching movies...crazy! He helped a lot of us girls get cabs home. In the cab, the driver's name was Tony. He lived in the US for a while. I sat in the front seat, so I talked with him the whole time. He kept on pointing out bars. When we got back, Gladis was locked out because she forgot her key. She's a principal at a high school, and she had been at a fiesta for el dia de los ninos. A very short while after we got back, our mama y papa got here. They are so nice! Our mama Mexicana is soo cute. And our papa is cute, too. He's quieter, but seems really nice. I'm having a hard time writing about this in English right now for some reason. I think I'm kind of writing more in a Spanish style right now. Anyway, our mama, her name is Francis, and she is so sweet. She was just fussing over us and making sure we had everything we needed and everything. I just love her. It was pretty late when they got back, so we all went to bed shortly after. This morning, they had the best french toast I've ever had in my life waiting for us for breakfast, and then we went and met the rest of our group to go to the ruins called Dzibilchaltun, where we had a tour and then got to swim in a cenote, which is a natural water formation almost like a natural swimming pool. It's really cool.

After that, we went to the beach in Progreso. The host families were all there, and they gave us snacks, and we swam and chilled and went back to the house for lunch. Conner, one of the guys in our group, played his Ukalali a bit. It was funny. Eventually, we left, and our madre bought us popsicles. And since then I've just been chilling. And now time for dinner :)