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Showing posts from 2009

december/christmas celebration in mexico

So I'm going to try to summarize my month to give an idea of Christmas in Mexico

The girls brought Christmas a little early when they went to a nicer area of Mexico City and bought some food that you can't find in Santa Fe. I was excited about bagels and hummus...yum. In fact, the morning after they bought it I was so excited I woke up early and throughly enjoyed a bagel.
I formed a Christmas list which consisted mostly of hygiene products (I mean that's what I actually need), but also had some things I miss (Trader Joe's trail mix...I literally asked for pretzel bread (from Trader Joe's...99 cents) because I feel like here all they have is sweet and man, I like salty) and I asked for a couple splurge items as well as a few clothes/things I left at home. I told my sister and she took care of everything, dividing it up between people who asked, etc. Thanks Karen! =) (Everyone probably just would have gotten annoyed with me for not responding to emails for a ve…

merry christmas/happy holidays/feliz navidad

i still haven't quite figured where i stand on the should you say happy holidays or merry christmas and luckily i haven't had to think about it this year. they only have one here...feliz navidad

i just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all merry christmas/happy holidays and let you know i love you lots and miss you.

you can look for an update (a long one) on my holidays once they're all over.

holiday season

So the holidays are DEFINITELY different here.

So for Thanksgiving we had dinner at our house. It was pretty hectic and insane. There were around 50 people there and our house was filled to capacity...meaning very few people sat down, definitely not us and I was on stuffing duty so I put stuffing on everyone`s plates. I also felt pretty awful and I`m pretty sure i had a temperature so it was an interesting night. Definitely not like any Thanksgiving I experienced before.

There is preparation for Christmas here too including lights and trees. I went to the mall yesterday and was quite disturbed to see a plasticy white santa claus taking pictures with the kids. I think he was wearing a mask. I`m loving advent as usual, but it`s weird to have the advent wreath and be wearing a tank top to mass... Also at the 1 o`clock mass we usually go to we`re usually crammed in the back standing so I didn`t see the wreath until last night when I went at 8 (yes I went twice yesterday because at 1…

a day in the life


a normal day as i head out the door, except i`m alone because melissa is sick. but that feeling only lasted a couple seconds as i see completely stopped cars and one side of the street there were no cars...only people walking-some running. Apparently there was a protest because a lot of people in santa fe do not have water right now (and haven`t for about 2-3 weeks). They didn`t get a warning that the water was being turned off and they say it was for repairing a pipeline, but there are doubts as to the real reason...

I arrive in my classroom before the kids and I was very surprised and excited to see all new tables and chairs. Soon after the kids finished breakfast and i was so happy i got to see all their SUPER excited faces for the new tables and chairs. =) Poor Cristofer was so excited because he got new tennis shoes, but all the attention was directed at the new tables and chairs so he came up to me probs because he knew i would acknowledge his shoes, which i …


i got to talk to my family quickly thursday and my brother asks "why do you have to work tomorrow?" no...thanksgiving is not a holiday here, but we sort-of celebrated with a large dinner at our house (i`m going to estimate 50 people came).

with my reflections about thanksgiving i`d been planning a thankful post for awhile (i have a lot to be thanksful for) then when thanksgiving passed and i didn`t have a chance to do it, i was just going to let it slide, but yesterday as i was swinging in a park overlooking 3 soccar fields full of games, the mountains in the distance & the beautiful sky i realized i still wanted to do it.
better late than never.

I usually love Thanksgiving. I think it`s a great chance to thank people who are particularly amazing in my life so this year i thought i`d send a big shout out through here.

i want to thank my family for their support in life. support as i finished college and entered into a new adventure. event if they didn`t/don`t really sup…

lessons w/ the indigenous

there was an indigenous conference at the parish saturday focused on saving water. i thought it sounded very interesting, but considering my lack-of spanish decided to run in the morning instead of attending the presentations and show up for lunch time with caro.

once we got there we started asking around for how we could help and were stationed at the tortilla station. i think i`m still learning what a staple tortillas are in life here and this experience was further proof. apparently they chopped down the corn that they grew in the back of the parish for this occasion and when we got there the dough was ready to go. first i made balls from the dough. it wasn`t too difficult, but i had to pay special attention that they weren`t too big or small.
then one of the ladies working the tortilla press (?) said she was going to teach me. at first i was very excited because i always like to learn something new. but that faded rather quickly to a bit of fear. so there were 3 steps to ma…


a word that is used very loosely here. i tend to say friend for someone who is REALLY my friend....sort-of. but in comparison to here i use it very little. right now i am really missing my friends at home. after talking about it a lot at breakfast i needed a good laugh.

and this laugh came in the form of trash. we heard the bell and desperately needed to take out our trash so caro and i ran out the door with our big trash can and a couple boxes. we stood where the trash truck always comes and waited. we started to get nervous we missed it and decided to head back to the house. then a man on the way home started talking and basically gave us hope again. i thought we should just walk and go find it (as if we don`t stand out enough here...let`s truck around with tons of garbage). i kind-of felt like i was walking in a desert without water and every largeish white truck i saw i thought was the trash truck, until i got close enough to see it wasn`t and then i suddenly saw in the d…



the kids were learning about animals today in class and Lucy brought in her rabbit for a surprise. oh man did the kids LOVE it!!! it was so cute. i was writing off to the side, but then i looked up and saw the wonderfulness of the activity and decided i just wanted to watch and completely appreciate what was happening. then i wished i had my camera. then i decided no i wanted to completely enjoy it and i feel when you have a camera you have to step back to be an observer (just something i decided though my photo minor with some articles i read and with experience...) So I sat and enjoyed all the excitement of the kids.

All the kids gathered around the cage to get a closer look (obviously leaving some kids in the back where they couldn´t see...13 kids can´t fit around a little carrying cage at once), but they were SO excited. Most the kids kept saying my name to make sure I knew there was a rabbit there...yes i knew. That wasn´t enough for Felipe "ven Lisa ven"…

nueva programa

melissa & i started a new program today =)

we started a conversation english class. after feeling a little frustrated with the lack of help we could give with jess & caro`s english classes (it`s pretty overwhelming with 4 teachers) and miss geo (the english teacher at work) saying her daughter wanted to practice speaking english we started talking and had our first class today.

we were expecting one person to be honest...josue...melissa`s boyfriend (therefore he would be in trouble if he was not there), but 7 showed up and overall, especially for the first day, it went really well.

melissa and i are brainstorming of ways to make it better, but right now we`re feeling good about it!!!

pat on the back =)

a wonderful 24 hours

oh what a wonderful 24 hours i´ve had that i want to share with you!

after returning to work Tuesday and having a pretty normal day i returned home to find i had TWO pieces of mail. a halloween card from my aunt and uncle and a letter and beautiful magnet from kel. it was wonderful. THEN i went to the parish and received a package from my parents. which i was expecting my scarf (which i promptly used that evening) and hoping for a letter and they included all sorts of goodies for me. it honestly felt like CHRISTMAS!
then in the evening i worked on learning a new dance. dancing is so important here and i definitely still need some work.

then today at work i just had a wonderful time.
yesterday i brought a book my mom bought (it´s in spanish). it works on numbers, which is what the kids are working on right now so i thought i should take it to them. i don´t know if they are just super excited for a new book (that´s all in one piece), but it is a very cute book and all the other book…

dia de los muertos

***Disclaimer*** So obviously I am no expert at dia de los muertos considering i celebrated once, but i want to share what i observed and learned duing the holiday =) They definitely celebrate a combination of Halloween (thanks to america) and dia de los muertos here. For example, the kids (and adults) dress up in costumes-like in the US- but here they tend to wear them for 3 days: Halloween and the 2 days of dia de los muertos (one for kids, one for adults who died). And trick-or-treating isn´t big. I wish i could remember right now what the kids say, but it´s not trick-or-treat. So that´s the cliff notes version read on for my experiences.
In honor of their combination of the two holidays i´m going to do my post in black and orange. even though here the colors are not black and orange, that´s what i´m going with.
Day of the dead is actually Nov. 1, but my preparations began Thursday at work. I was still trying to grasp what day of the dead really is and what it means to people, but i fe…


Sometimes it seems to take the yucky, not fun times to appreciate the great things.

I thought of this yesterday morning while walking to work with the weather. We had straight rain for 24 hours here starting Monday afternoon (maybe that´s a slight exaggeration, but I promise it was close). The last week we barely had any rain and the weather was BEAUTIFUL and I enjoyed it, but not as much as I appreciated yesterday (and today).

I´m going to make an effort to appreciate things more as they happen rather than after a not so fun part...

2 month check-in

So as of today Melissa and I have lived in Santa Fe for 2 months. TIME FLIES! I can barely believe it, but I wanted to provide you all with more impressions from my time here.

Food Yes, it`s different. There are many food that still gross me out (like the common chicken feet people eat off the bone), but I think it`s a whole nother level of not wasting. My stomach is still adjusting, but overall I feel like I`m doing pretty well. It has been a little difficult as a vegetarian, but not awful.

Toilet Paper It`s amazing how fast you can adjust to throwing your toilet paper into the trash can instead of the toilet (their water system can`t handle the waste). The first week I thought I would never get used to it and had to be very intentional, but I`ve got it now.
Things like gas and trash The gas men and trash men come down the street every morning. How do you know they`re coming? Well, the gas men yell "GAS" so we basically hear it for 3ish hours every morning. Trash is a …

News Travels Fast

I was so excited to get back to work because yesterday Jess & I went to a school in a different area where some sisters work to give presentations about being a missionary. I arrived to the usual: lots of hugs & "Lisa Lisa!" so I was happy.

Then I started on the lesson/homework for the day when Pakita (my boss at the Guarderia) came in with the phone so I knew it was Tere (my boss from the program). She hit me with lots of not so happy news as I struggled to hear with all the kids yelling my name-among other things. I plugged one ear and tried to hear as best as possible. And then at the end when I was sufficiently overwhelmed she told me she got an email from my dad. She said she would read it to me. Basically he knows I have sparatic access to the internet and he wanted to make sure I knew my grandma c is in the hospital. I was shocked and it was just vague enough that it allowed my mind to race (of course to the worst possible conclusions). I took a deep breath, fo…

Sun Up to Sun Down Waterpark Fun

We started out the day Saturday with more typical Mexican occurances. Ivonne told us he couldn`t come any more the night before because he had to take pictures at confirmation, which has been planned for a long time and he was one of the main planners. He even bought all the food Friday. Then Pool, the person who`s birthday we were celebrating-so we were all going to a water park for him-backed out. Caro: "So we`re all celebrating Pool`s birthday without Pool?" But the 9 of us set off.

We watched the sunrise as we drove.

More interesting things to note about Mexican driving:
-it is a law to wear your seatbelt, but from what I`ve observed no one does and they notice if you do and generally ask about it
-there is a red line in places in case your brakes go out and you are supposed to follow it and it ends off the road in dirt
-there are tolls that are quite pricey we went about 2 hours away and paid 3 tolls ($5.30, $3, $3)
-no need for google map directions (or at least they`r…

nuevo ropa

Today started out normally: being attacked by hugs as I walked through the door "Buenos Dias"

I prepared the lesson for the day and then Lucy asked me to start tracing these flowers. I wasn´t super excited about it, but I thought 'only 12 lisa' and I asked how many and she said muchos so it wasn´t for the kids i figured out....
so i sat down and started tracing.

then pakita (my boss) came in the room while the majority of the kids were brushing their teeth and had an apron type thing that all the teachers wear (besides melissa & i) and it was for me!!! I WAS SO EXCITED! While she was putting it on me I felt like I was being crowned or something. Then she said, "Now you´re a teacher" YES
Some of the kiddos came back in the room and she asked them how I looked and they said "muy bonito" (very goodish...that´s the best translation i can come up with) and they said it as excited as i felt. =)
so as i sat down to finish tracing the flowers i kept…