Week 1 in Mexico

Posted on June 11, 2011

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I have officially been in Mexico for one out of the four or so weeks that I am spending here, and I can say that it is a really cool place. At first I was having some issues, because I was tired and having separation anxiety from Guatemala (more on that trip later). Now, I am ending my first week, and I can say that things have been going pretty well.

Day 1
I arrived in Mexico, to find that I was all alone and could not find the mysterious person that was supposed to pick me up. After standing/sitting around for an hour, I asked in my very bad Spanish if there was any other place that I could be picked up. The answer was no. Of course. After about maybe 2 hours of waiting, I was near tears and not anywhere nearer to getting to my host family. Thank goodness, a nice maletero directed me to this place called OXXO (like a 7/11) so I could buy a calling card and call home for some help. No one picked up. Of course. I was finally able to get a hold of my brother who broke into my e-mail and helped me find the right address. From there I was able to get a taxi to the house safely (even if he did hit on me all the way home).
Meeting my host family and roommate was not as frightening as I thought it would be. They are very warm people and they really remind me of my own family back home in the States.

Day 2
This was the welcome to school day. The university is a 10 minute walk from the house that I live in, so it was really easy to find our way. We met the other people in the program, got a tour from some students who attend the high school branch, and got sort of settled in. A slow day, but thank goodness the week would start to build momentum.

Day 3
Two history lessons and a Spanish placement test. We got a rundown of thousands of years of Mexican history for the first two hours, and then a more in depth conversation about pre-hispanic organizations after the placement test and lunch. I was tired and kind of fell asleep, got caught, and now I am slightly embarrassed.

Day 4
First day of classes! My teacher is extremely friendly and nice. I have two other girls with me in the class, and our first topic in Spanish was about boys, Spanish boyfriends and our ideal men. Of course I am the only single girl in the class, so I was particularly put on the spot.
After class, we got some lunch at the place called Amanecer en el Condesa (Sunrise on the Condesa) and then headed out for some museums. We did a brief visit to the Museum of Anthropology, but in all honesty, I wish I could have stayed longer. Our history teacher knows a lot about the history of Mexico, and he explained a lot of things to us. We were told it would probably take days for us to get through the whole museum.

Museum of Anthropology

We then went to Chapultepec Castle, and saw a lot of the rooms that were used and learned about the stages of Chapultepec Castle.

A mural in the castle representing a boy who wrapped himself in a flag and threw himself off the castle to protect it

Chapultepec Castle

Day 5
More Spanish class, a lecture on Mexican Muralism (very awesome) and a walking tour of the neighborhood. Was it fun? Yes. Did they get us terribly lost? Yes. Can I now get myself around the neighborhood? Kind of?

Day 6
Spanish class, an afternoon free. Wooh.
Unfortunately, we don’t really know anyone, so the girls and I decided we were going to just go out by ourselves. We think the coordinator of the program did no like this idea, because next thing I knew, I was getting a call from one of the students in charge of the welcoming exchange students to Mexico program and getting an invite to a club.
That night was crazy, but fun. I really got to know the other girls, and learned that they really know how to have a good time in Mexico.

Day 7
Today was really long, but really cool. We took a Turibus (tour bus) to the center of Mexico DF and saw some of the sights. Downtown we met with our history teacher and we were able to see the National Palace, the Cathedral and more of the downtown area.

Cathedral

Talking to a friend the other day, she told me that she hoped I was around for something epic, and I am proud to say that I found that epic something. Mexico is celebrating it’s bicentennial of independence. For this, they opened up the place and the public (for a limited time) was able to see a large exhibit of Mexican history, the presidential room, bones of the heroes of Mexico, etc. I wish pictures were allowed, but the best I can offer is some Diego Rivera paintings and some outside pictures that were allowed. We were also treated to naked bikers outside of the National Palace. Very interesting.

We also found out that Mexico DF was built over Aztec ruins. They have been excavating for years. THey have found a lot of really cool things, if anyone really likes rich history, they need to go to Mexico.

Outside the Cathedral

Week Two starts tomorrow, and I cannot wait to see what is in store. At this point, I have a fear that I might like Mexico so much that I will try and stay another month, which is not a good thing considering that I need to go back, make some money, and start organizing things for school.

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Posted in: Mexico City