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Arriving in the US was a great experience! Being able to understand everything that was said to me was a great feeling! I didn’t have to question whether or not I heard someone right! What has been interesting to me though is that since I’ve returned back I have answered some peoples questions in Spanish. Just simple questions that I answer yes to or say thank you but it sounds funny to me.

I’m thrilled to be back in the US with my family but do miss Mexico!
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Pre Departure: Homeward bound

Time to go home tomorrow morning!

This experience wasn’t quite what I expected but a great one none the less! I had originally thought it would only take a few days to settle into the culture here and for some things I was right but there are some things I’m still not completely use to. For example the timing here is much more relaxed and everything seems to take longer because the people aren’t typically in a big hurry. I’ve really struggled with this and am more okay with it now but I think it would take me a long time to get use to it, if I ever could.

My second host family has been everything I pictured! They are wonderful people that I am going to miss so much! They’ve welcomed me into their home and treated me just as my real family would. I hope that I’m able to keep in touch with them and come back to visit! I’m so happy that I decided to change families and beyond grateful that I was placed here!

As I leave tomorrow it’ll be a little hard for me because I’ve gotten to know so many great people and I don’t like saying goodbye. However, I’m also really excited to be back in Oregon tomorrow night with my family. I’m definitely experiencing mixed emotions and hope that I can keep myself to together when I leave here and when I arrive in Oregon.

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Week 5!

Well my fifth and final week is just about over! It’s surreal to me right now but I’ve had an amazing experience here in Queretaro!

Throughout my trip I have had many struggles with my health, my first host family, and just being away from my loved ones at home. The people involved in this program have really made the experience so much better for me! I have learned so much about the culture here and have had to adjust to many changes that I have mentioned in other posts. Although it was and still is difficult to live in another culture for five weeks and try to understand why they do things a certain way it is eye opening and I would encourage anyone to take part of it. I feel that I have gained so much knowledge by completely immersing myself in the lifestyle here. I don’t think I could have ever fully understood the culture here just by taking a class in the US about it.

In the fall I will continue pursing my teaching degree and my bilingual endorsement. I hope that I keep this experience with me and am able to continue traveling and really experiencing the cultures where a good majority of my students might come from!waldo

Week 4!

And it’s down to only one week left in Mexico! I’m a little sad but am ready to head home! It’s hard being abroad and hearing about everything my family and boyfriend go out an do. I’m having a wonderful experience here but just always feel like I’m missing out. If only I could be in two places at once! Today my older sister is giving birth to her first baby and I’m so sad that I’m not there to see my first niece. But I will meet her in one week!

As I’ve been here I’ve noticed many differences between my culture and the one here. For starters couples, no matter what age, are very affectionate in public. Not something you see very often in the US. I have become more use to it than the first week I was here but it still surprises me. One professor helped me understand why by telling me that children here typically live with their parents until they get married so they don’t have as much privacy when it comes to relationships. In the US many children move out at 18 or go away for college and have more private time which explains why they are more open about it. Makes much more sense now!

The time here is very different also. Being late isn’t a big deal here and everyone is okay with that. Personally I find it very frustrating because I’m use to American time where it’s important to be on time or let people know in advance that you are running late. This morning some friends and I went to grab breakfast at a restaurant and it was a little crowded so we waited but they didn’t seem to be trying to hurry for us to be seated even though there were open tables. Not the worst thing in the world but when when that happens almost every time you go out it gets a little old..but that is just part of the culture here!

All in all week four was a little stressful as were all the others but I’m down to my last week! Three days of classes and then finals! I decided not to go anywhere with the group this weekend since it is my last weekend here. I just wanted to rest and buy gifts for my family and friends and hangout in the Centro. I love Queretaro and hope I can come back to visit after this trip!

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Week 3!

Week three is just about over! Classes have been a little stressful lately but I’m pulling through. Being here is difficult but so much fun! I love the city of Querétaro and am thrilled that I get to spend the day with my host family! We’ve been continuing to go nonstop and today has been so relaxing which I needed.

Mexico city was interesting last weekend. It is a huge city! I’ve never been in such a crowded area so that was an experience in itself. It was so different than Querétaro and it was fun while I was there but I was thrilled to go back to my host family. In Querétaro I feel safer and more relaxed than Mexico city but the museums we visited were really neat!

Last night most of the people in our group went to a professional fútbol game. I had a blast! It’s not a sport that I typically watch but being in the stadium with the die hard fans made the experience unforgettable! I’m so glad I went and would do it again!

Today I’m hoping to go do some shopping so I have some gifts to bring home to my family and boyfriend! :) Then tomorrow we’re going to a water park! I’m hoping it’ll be supper sunny and warm the whole time we’re there!

Well time for me to do some homework, shop, and visit with my family!!

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Week 2!

So I’m already finishing my second week! The time is just flying by! I’ve been settled into my new family for almost one week and I love them! They are so sweet and have really made me feel comfortable and do so much to help me. It’s much easier to be away from home with a host family here that I feel like I belong too. Something about them reminds me of my grandparents back at home which is funny but has helped me settle in quick.

This week has been packed with classes and fun activities between them and after them! Today we are headed to D.F for the weekend! I’m very excited but we just go go go so I’m tired! I hope next weekend I’m able to sleep in a little longer because today the bus leaves at 8! I think it’ll be a great experience to see D.F and go to all the museums and see a different city for the weekend and will post pictures on my next post!

The more time I spend here the more I’m starting to understand about the culture and see a different point of view! There are so many things I’ve seen that make total sense now and is helping me appreciate the culture here. :)

Time to finish packing! So excited!

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Week 1

Well I have to say that it has been a tough but fun first week! The first few days we were here were a blast! Since us WOU students had two full days together before we went to our host families we were able to explore Queretaro with Carmen and get a feel for the city. It was a little rough at the beginning because everything is in Spanish but it was a great experience that helped get me prepared for my classes here!

Meeting my host family was fun but not what I expected and I really struggled trying to settle in on Sunday. Monday was still challenging for me because I was in a knew place and wasn’t sure if I liked it. Later that night I ended up getting the stomach flu or food poisoning and hardly slept. I ended up calling my wonderful resident director who took me to the doctor at 2 in the morning! I was worn out for the rest of the week and was stressed from missing my second day of class and having to make up work and try to get enough sleep. This week has challenged me a lot but I was able to have some great experiences in there too! We had two birthdays which I was able to attend because I had been feeling better! Also we hiked Bernal which was beautiful! It was a hard hike since it’s the 3rd tallest rock in the world but it was so worth it!

I now feel much better and have switched host families. I guess the dynamics of my first house just didn’t work out, but that is okay. I’m very excited to be with my new family and hope that my next 4 weeks are easier than the first. Only time will tell!bernal

Arrival

Wake up call! When we arrived In Mexico City everything switched to Spanish which was expected. It was interesting listening to people speaking and not be sure what they were saying. Going through the airport was quite the experience! I was able to keep up with what they said most of the time so that was good and the people were all really nice.

It’s been a super long day after three flights, a bus ride, and a taxi ride to get to our hotel. I can’t wait to go out and explore the city tomorrow! Tomorrow I will really experience the Mexican culture!! Courtney

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Pre-departure

Getting ready to leave and fly out tomorrow! I’m getting really excited but I’m also pretty nervous. I’ve never been to another country that doesn’t speak English so I think when I first arrive I’ll be a little overwhelmed. I don’t know what the culture will be like but I think that I will begin to adapt to it after the first few days. Since I’m going a few days early I have some time to get use to everything before I meet my host family. I’m most excited about meeting them and trying new things as I get to know them and stay with them.

From my past experience abroad I stayed with two host families and learned so much by staying with them and seeing their day to day routines. It was such an great learning experience to spend a weekend with a local family. For this trip I’ll be with my host family for five weeks! I can’t wait to meet them in a few days!  Courtneymexico-currency-28214982 mexico-map-thumb6400406