I had a wonderful last week in Mexico. I successfully finished up all of my homework and managed to get A’s in each class. Classes started for many of the local students during this week so it went from being mostly just study abroad students on campus to a full campus of native Spanish speakers. It was fun to have more people around to interact with although it made for some crazy bus adventures. All of the sudden the buses were packed full and they came at different times then they had been the past month.
We went out to the main centro most nights to see as much of the city as we could before going home and I feel satisfied with all of the things that we did. I feel like I got to do everything I wanted to do. On our last day we had a goodbye lunch with all of the students and their host moms. My host mom was unable to make it to the welcome lunch on the first day so I was very glad she was able to come to this one. It was really cool to get to see the improvement in all of our speaking skills. I remember we all had our difficulties speaking to our moms at the welcome lunch but everyone seemed to be doing just fine at the goodbye lunch. It is amazing how much improvement can happen in just 5 short weeks. I feel much more confident with my Spanish now and while I know I still have a long way to go, I know I would not have gotten to where I am now for a long time if I hadn’t had this opportunity to be a part of the Spanish culture for 5 weeks.
Now I am home and am working on readjusting to The United States. Before coming home I had no idea that there would be things I would miss right away. The biggest thing that I miss is speaking Spanish. It was fun to actually be able to understand and communicate with people in another language and now that I am back to speaking English all the time it seems almost too simple. Although it may take me a while to stop thinking “gracias” first before I say thank you to people. And I can’t get over the fact that water is free here. There are many things that I have here that I take advantage of and I am much more aware of that now and am thankful for a lot of things that I haven’t had for the past 5 weeks.
The trip had its ups and downs but I learned a ton, made some wonderful friends, and pushed myself to do things I never thought I would. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to go to Mexico and to be a part of the culture there. I may not ever get a chance to go back but I know I will never forget such a beautiful city!
Another full week of school and fun! For one of my classes I had to write a 4 page paper (typed and 1.5 spaced) in Spanish so my evenings were filled with research and typing in Spanish on an English keyboard…but I finished it with time to spare and still had tons of fun this weekend!
Saturday some of the other girls and I went to a huge shopping mall. We spent hours there and didn’t even come close to seeing everything! Then on Sunday we spent most of the day at an amusement park/water park. Lots of sun and fun with great people!
My Spanish has most definitely improved since I have been here and I am feeling pretty confident. I only have one more week to go so I am doing my best to make sure I will get to do all of the last minute things I want to do before coming home and still get all of my homework done. I am looking forward to being done with classes but sad that I don’t have more time to explore the city. It will be nice to come home to familiar things though. I know it’s not quite over yet but it has been an amazing experience that I know I will remember for a long time.
Another great week in Mexico! Over this past week we went to the movie theater for the evening and watched two movies. We watched How to Train Your Dragon 2 in spanish and Transformers 4 in english with spanish subtitles. It was fun to watch How to Train Your Dragon 2 in spanish because I have already seen it in english so it was interesting to hear how the sentences were phrased differently in spanish even though they essentially had the same meaning. Transformers was good as well and I found the spanish subtitles very useful when there were people speaking chinese. The rest of the week was fairly uneventful; lots of homework and school.
Saturday we went to San Miguel Allende for the day. We explored the central plaza, which included a huge church that looked more like a disney castle to me, ate some yummy food, and went to lots of shops filled with trinkets and other interesting things. We finished our time there at a hot springs resort.
On Sunday I went to church again and this time I brought two of the other girls with me. After the service there was a potluck so we stayed and ended up having a really good time. We tried a lot of new food and made some local friends that we will be spending time with later this week.
Only two weeks left and I am looking forward to all of the things I have left to do. We are coming up on a lot of tests and papers but I am not too worried. I know everything will work out. I am looking forward to coming home but will be sad to leave this beautiful city!
This week was busy with lots of school and homework, but this past weekend was amazing! We all headed out to Mexico City for the weekend. It was about a 3 hour bus ride and the very first thing we did when we arrived was to visit the pyramids. We got to climb to the top of one and the view from the top was quite impressive!
Over the weekend we visited so many museums and learned a lot about the history of Mexico. Our professor for one of our classes was our tour guide and it was cool to have him show us paintings and artifacts that represent the things we are learning about in class right now.
We also visited a castle
And went on a boat ride…in the rain!
After such a busy weekend it was really nice to come home to my host family. Laura had me sit on her bed and tell her about my whole weekend. My spanish is improving and I find I am asking people to repeat themselves less often. Only three weeks to go but I know they will be filled with adventure! There is still so much to see and do!
I have been with my host family for a whole week now and I am so happy to be here. Laura is so patient with my spanish and has been very helpful over the past week. My first week of classes went well, I have three different classes and only one is taught in english. I don’t think either of my other professors speak engilsh and if they do they are really good at pretending they don’t. But even though the classes are taught in spanish I am finding that I am slowly understanding more and more and it is not as overwhelming to only hear spanish.
There are a lot of things here that are very different from how they are in America. The food is probably the most noticeable change; my stomach is still adjusting. The eating schedule is also different. Here we eat the largest meal of the day for lunch. This meal is called comida and if you don’t finish your food at comida, you eat the rest for dinner. After comida, everyone takes a siesta before continuing with their day. I have found that I should not take siestas because I fall asleep for too long. Another thing I have noticed is that when someone comes in the house or leaves the house, they make sure and greet or say goodbye to each person in the house.
I have been keeping plenty busy while I am here. There is more homework for my classes than I was expecting which wouldn’t be a problem, but I keep forgetting I am here for school because it feels like a vacation. On Friday everyone in the group went out to eat for the forth of July and Saturday we all went and hiked la Peña de Bernal.
Before going I was expecting something like Multnomah Falls, but this was much more challenging. It was very steep the whole time and the last 20 minutes of the climb we were using our hands and knees and working to find secure footing as we scrambled up the side of the rock. But the view at the top was so worth it. The pictures I took definitely do not do it justice. And I will admit that standing at the top (as far as we could go without literally rock climbing) made me feel like I could do anything! My knees were shaking pretty badly when I got back down to the bottom and I am still a little sore, but I would do it again in an instant.
On Sunday I went to church with my neighbor and it was a solid 3 hours of nonstop spanish. When I got home I took a good long nap because it was so exhausting to put so much focus on translating for that long. I didn’t understand all of it, but what I did understand was really good. It was so cool to get to be a part of what God is doing in another country and really amazing to meet people who believe in the same God and have received the same message in a different country and a different language. They were all very welcoming and helped me if there was something I didn’t understand. One woman gave me her phone number and said to call her if I ever needed anything.
Overall it has been a pretty tiring week, but I am having a wonderful time, making lots of new friends, and learning about the culture and the language of the people around me. I am looking forward to this coming week and this weekend I will be heading to Mexico City to see the pyramids!
Arriving in Mexico was crazy. After flying all night, speaking spanish to the lady at customs and being surrounded by a different culture and a different language was very difficult which makes me very grateful for the few days the other WOU students and I had to adjust to the city before moving in with our host families. Today I moved in with Laura and the first thing we did was have lunch which just so happened to be my favorite meal, spaghetti. Laura has two daughters, neither live at home but they visit and her mother is here often.
I am understanding more spanish than I thought I would and I know I will only get better as time goes by. I will start classes tomorrow but for now I have a chance to rest. So far I love it here and am looking forward to the weeks to come!
After hours of travel I finally made it to Queretaro! The city is beautiful and the hotel I am staying in for the first few days is very nice and thankfully has air conditioning. Today we went out to lunch and ate some delicious food, visited a church, and got stuck in a rainstorm that caused a little flooding…It was a great first day and I can’t wait to see what other surprises this city holds!
More pictures to come!
Today I am leaving for Mexico! I am super excited to be a part of the culture and can’t wait to see what all I will learn during my stay in Queretaro!