I successfully made it back to Oregon! I do miss Mexico a lot though, although I am glad to be back home for somethings.
The flight home was the worst part of the trip. We missed our connecting flight because there was not very much time between our flights. Thankfully, we were all able to get on the next flight to Portland and were only two hours behind schedule.
In comparison to before I left, I think that Mexico is a lot more open and not nearly as conservative as I thought it was going to be. While it is still more conservative than Oregon, it was a lot more open and modern than I predicted.
It’s hard to believe that tonight is my last night in this beautiful city. Part of me is excited to come home but the other half of me doesn’t want to leave Mexico.
This week, me and some of my classmates spent time with our ESOL teacher, Cevia. We went out to eat and I ate a delicious salad. I didn’t realize how much I missed salads until I ate mine! We also had some fresh pineapple pastries from the local bakery that were amazing!
Today, I we all went out to eat with our host moms as a large party. The food was good! Not nearly as good as my host mom’s cooking, but still good. I am going to miss the food here a lot. Not only is the food delicious, but it is a great time for socializing with people and practicing Spanish!
Week four has come and gone and my trip is coming to an end soon. In some ways, I am looking forward to coming back to Oregon because there are things that I miss. However, I really do love Mexico and my host family, so I’m not quite ready to leave yet.
This week, I went shopping in the biggest mall that I have ever been too! I also spent lots of time in the Centro going shopping as well, buying gifts for both myself and for others.
On Sunday, I went to an amusement park, about half an hour away from my house in Queretaro. The park had both regular rides and water rides. One of the water slides was the fastest one I’ve ever been on! I had a really good time, although I did get sunburned.
Another busy week has passed and I am now on week four out of five, which is crazy to think about! School has been crazy busy and it has been a challenge to keep up on it all the time, but I still find time for fun things. This week, some friends and I saw “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Transformers 4” at the movie theater by my house. We watched “Dragon” in Spanish and the other in English. Together, both movies were only two bucks, which was exciting!
This weekend we went to a nearby city called San Miguel Allende. There, we saw a beautiful church, ate some delicious Italian food, and went swimming in a natural hot springs. Overall, I had a really great time in the city!
The next day at a study party, Nicolette I found some delicious Chinese food at the mall. It goes to show how diverse it is here in Mexico and you can find just about any kind of food! I also learned this week that I love nopales salad, also known as cactus salad.
I can’t believe how quickly the time is passing here! It is already week two, but in some ways I feel like I’ve been here for longer.
This past weekend, my classmates and I went to Mexico City for three days. Here, Mexico City is referred to as Mexico D.F., or simply Mexico. It was by far the biggest city that I have ever seen in my entire life! Not only was the city itself huge, but it was super crowed with all the huge crowds of people!
We were very touristy and saw many of the must sees of D.F., including the pyramids, Frida Kahlo museum, Diego Rivera murals, and several other important museums. I had a really good time but I am excited to be back in Queretaro. It was nice coming home to a city I recognized, where I knew how to use the buses to get around, and just as important, being home to my host mom’s amazing cooking!
Overall, my Spanish speaking and writing skills are getting better. It was really rough at first, and even though it is still not perfect now, I am understanding a lot more and I am able to talk more as well, which is really exciting!
My first week living with my host family has felt both long and short. I am now getting the hang of my routine and settling in. One of the hardest things to adjust to was the eating schedule at first. In the mornings, it is similar to the US because we have breakfast at about the same time. However, lunch time is a bit different. Here, the lunch is around 2 or 3 pm and is called “Comida.” It is the biggest and most important meal of the day and is very filling! Most days, I have beans, rice, and some sort of filling to put in my tortillas. My host mom makes amazing food so it is always delicious. Usually we don’t eat again until around 8, and it’s usually just a snack, like a sandwich or some fruit. At first it was hard to get my body to adjust to the different eating habits, but now I am getting to used to it and I enjoy every meal!
So far, my favorite trip has been to Pena de Bernal. Bernal is one of the tallest monoliths in the world. While we didn’t get to climb to the very top because it requires real rock climbing equipment, we still made it as far as we could go! The view was absolutely stunning from the top.
Another things that I love so far about Queretaro is the night life. There are lots of places to go, people to see, and things to eat. My friends and I have gone shopping, eaten food, and explored many of the streets that are filled with life during the night.
After our flight was delayed for a bit in San Francisco, we finally made it to Mexico D.F. I was told before hand that the airport was going to huge and that Mexico D.F. might smell funny from all the smog, but I was still surprised to see that those pieces of advice that I was given was true. I found immigration and the paperwork a bit intimidating, but I made it through without too much hassle. Most of the time there is a blur to me because I was so hungry and tired from our long flight. Next, we took a bus to Queretaro. Surprisingly, there seemed to be tougher security and screening to get on the bus than the plane at PDX. Even though the bus ride was a bit bumpy, the scenery was beautiful and the seats were comfortable! Finally, we took taxis to our hotel that we were staying in for the first couple of days. Traffic is crazy here! I never would have believed that so many cars could fit into such narrow streets! We managed to make it all in one piece to the hotel and today I moved in with my host family.
My plane from PDX to SFO preparing for passengers!
On the bus to Queretaro!
My name is Hannah Meador and I will be going to Queretaro, Mexico for five weeks this summer. I leave next week and I am getting excited for my first trip outside of the United States!
When it comes to my host culture, I am expecting it to be more traditional than what I am used to in the U.S. For example, I am expecting that traditions, such as gender roles, like women doing most of the cooking and housework, will be more prevalent in Mexico than in the U.S. I also know that both family and extended families are important in Mexico. The importance of extended families living together is not emphasized in the United States, so there might be a difference of family roles in Mexico.
I think that I will interact well with my host culture, just as long as I am patient and polite. I need to remember to be open minded and willing to accept cultural differences that I will experience. I also need to keep my sense of humor handy and be able to make mistakes with grace.
Right now, I am a mixture of both excitement and nervousness for my trip. I am both excited and nervous because this is my first trip out of the country. I am also nervous that my Spanish won’t be as a good as I believe it to be, but I am sure that if I relax and pay attention, the language will come to me. Overall, I am excited to go to Mexico and experience a new culture, food, and make new friends!