Two months and counting
Today marks two months of living in México. With the last two months having flown by, I feel much older than I did two months ago. I felt like I entered this study abroad experience very hopeful and with high expectations, but very naïve. I had Mexican friends back home, and expected the Mexico of Yucatán to be the same Mexico that they shared with me. I have to admit it has been hard to get past my preconceptions of what Mexico is and what it should be, but I feel I am finally understanding more of how Mérida works and operates and enjoying it for what it is.
After being here two months, I still have days where I feel hopeless, lost, and alone. And then of course I have wonderful days where I feel fully incorporated into the family and the society around me. Last week though was probably the most difficult week I have had since I arrived. I had a group project in my Mayan culture class in which my best friend Paige and I had to do all the work and the rest of the group put in zero effort. It was frustrating putting in so much effort without receiving any help from the other group members. However, my Dad reminded me that I can’t stay upset and that it is up to me to better my situation. That means that even if I am tired, it is up to me to look for new things to do and to make my own experience rather than thinking that the experience I want will just be there.
Despite a semi-rough week, I had a great time over the weekend and am really looking forward to the next few days. Friday we celebrated yet another birthday (one of five in October). Last Saturday, my friend Paige and I visited Izamal, a town about 40 minutes outside of the city. It is called La ciudad amarilla, or the yellow city as all the buildings are painted a golden yellow. Right smack in the middle of the city is a hill with a Mayan ruin. Clambering to the very top reveals a magnificent view of the Yucatan countryside. Gorgeous. Tonight I am going to my host sister’s bridal shower. Actually, to be honest I’m not sure exactly what it is because it’s technically for Rebecca (her Mom). Tomorrow my host Mom and I are having a pumpkin carving party with some of my friends and we are going to bake the seeds to celebrate Halloween. It should be a great time, as Rebecca has never carved a pumpkin. She really wants pumpkin pie, but I have yet to see canned pumpkin on the grocery store shelves. Friday we are teaching one of our friends, Lalo, how to bake cookies. No one bakes here. It’s too hot, but as the past few days have been cooler we are going to give it a shot. Should be a great time!