Wednesday, July 30, 2008

ya ya ya.... oh oh!

Since my parents left, I felt like life speeded up around here (is that a word?!). I had my cousin's girlfriend come visit me also since she was in town, and together we escaped to Veracruz for a weekend where I had a serenata de Mariachi's serenade us at night... although it was just us two girls, luckily we did not get into any trouble, and had a really good time relaxing in an air conditioned hotel (I think i needed that rest to continue). Also, I have been wrapping things up with my internship visiting this and that place, which has left me somehwat tired physically... but i have really enjoyed it. I have had conversations about government funding quite often and learn an entire new concept or idea or a new something everytime i visit my internship and their sites (im "on the field" most often). Today i met with yet another presidente municipal... i.e. city mayor. I got to hear their towns major needs, and what they are doing with their funding...

My research project is beginning to come together, lets say i have the skeleton... but i still have to actually write it all down - which im not too worried about as long as i give myself the time to do it when i get back.

Honestly though, I am getting kind of exghasted of living in the enviroment that i am in within my host family. I have been uncomfortable for a longer time than I am comfortable being uncomfortable... i dont know if that makes sense. But obviously, this has served me well in a number of different areas...

as of now, I am begeninng to say my goodbyes... i have about a week left here in veracruz before i go to Mexico City for a few days, before i peace out back home!! Although i am REALLY excited to be back home (um, i miss BAR B QUE Sause... BAD. What the heck?!!)... i am REALLY bumbed, and actually kind of upset at the fact that i have to leave.

If everybody from home would come live down here, that would just great. Oh, and Disneyland would relocate, that would be even better... what do u think of my plan?!

I personally hope u guys are doing well... i haven't been all there with my communication first of all because it is very diffivult for me considering my circumstances, and second of all because it has been good for me to be away from the exessive need to be in constant communication with the world... see? I've not been in full communication and the world is still functioning just as it was before... so, there's ONE out of the inurable lessons i have learned thus far.

Dont know when i will write again, but as of now i return to LA within 2 weeks... and we begin again with a whole new chapter in my life.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My parents visiting. Great for me, a disaster perhaps for my host family...

on an update...
my parents came to visit me this week!! :) It has been amazing, and i am encouraged to finish up the second half of my glt... although it has been very interesting to see the interaction between my parents and my host parents... um, yeah. a lot to talk about that.

Lets just say economics are playing a huge role. And i have never in my life seen myself as rich (because well, we all know this is a false statement... at least in our eyes). But my parents brought home videos, my sister's wedding video, pictures, and little things like the location of things and my kithen and yard come out in the videos, which shows a stark contrast between the place my host family is in and my own home. First of all, all my family is all way lighter skin than my host family... that was the first thing they noticed. And taller. They all said how "chulos" we all were (beautiful). This got me kind of sad because just because they, or we (yup... i am of really light skin here) are lighter skin, that automatically makes us "beautiful." nooo! As you could imagine, this is a mindset prevelent throughot the world i do not want to accet as true.

Anyways, my parents.

My parents, being very proud of their economic accomplishements (because they too were once in an economic situtaion like the ones my host family is in right now when they were kiddos), say, not in a showing off manner, but in a literally happy mode... "look! Thats my van, thats my husbands truck, mercy's car, damaris' car, and tony's car, my son's car..." etc.

This came up beause of a video that was taken outside my house with my nephew (who by the way just the thought of that little bugger makes me teary eyed!!! punk).
nobody has a car within the host family i live with, and it is necesaary to have one here too. Something in their face changed after they saw the video... this is terrible! I felt as if this home video, which was meant for them to see my sister and brother on video, turned out to be terrible... i feel as though it functioned as a mirror which showed my host family everything they DONT have. Um, NOT good.

The stove, the fridge... we have two fridges at my house (the one in the kitchen and one in the garage) and two stoves, two washing machines, and a dryer and dish washer. They saw all this in the video... i wanted to turn that thing off ASAP but no, they all wanted to see it because of its content... but it was literally hurting me to have them see these things in the foreground... i literally almost felt sick. And then i craved chocolate chip cookies really bad (they dont have ovens in Los Idolos - its too hot, i say, and also, they use up too much gas which they cannot afford).

This is extremely difficult for me to accept. Not only that, but my parents bought food and groceries the entire week for my host family... talk about POWER DYNAMICS. ahhh!!

DOnt get me wrong... i really loved having my parents. I am always cuddling with one of them. But observing the power dynamics and how econmics plays a role has been difficult for me to accept.

i did talk to my parents about it, but then my mom had a point. "Well, are we supposed to lie and say thats not where we live?" Of course not. Maybe i just dont want to be seen as someone from a higher class, or much higher class in this case, because this might include responsibility on my part. or maybe im trying to avoid feelings of guilt. And plus... as you know, i have not been seen as a person of privilige in the states. u know the area i live in... we are not considered high rollers in the states... but well, honestly, to them, i am fild with wealth. ahhh!

i dont know. but i try to explain that we live in a not so good area (ya'll know...). I talk about the descrimination that exists in the US, and explain how my parents have already been in the US for 30 years and are obviously already well established... and that they work hard also... i tried to erase the pretty picture they saw on the TV because i was also fearing that them seeing my parents as hardcore tourist who also migrated would encourage them to migrate... um, NO. I did not come to rural mexico to INCREASE migration to the US...

my parents are still here, but we will be in mexico city for 3 days before they take off. I think this week has been really hard though because of the power dynamcis and accepting my class. and i do NOT want my host family to feel BAD for what they have, or in this case, DONT have. THey do have the basic necessities... i thought i had basic necessities too, but wow. I have sheets. I have luxuries in this place.

Maybe thats why i like being in mexico city... things are a bit more "normal" here... somewhat. Cuz then here i am atuamatically emerced into an even higher class than middle class... its intense extremes constantly.

But with my parents, we were able to do touristy things... which was also difficult because my parents did things my host family has never done. Like visited certain areas around Veracruz. But we went to Veracruz Puerto, and my parents invited my host family (a given). They had to pay for everything though. From their transportation (three people), to tourist attractions, to food. Also hard for me because they just came along for the ride.

Regardless of all the power dynamics and class structed spelled out infront of me, we did indeed have a good time. At least i did with my parents ;)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

i live here

After about 7 weeks of being on this side of town, i must say i feel like i am living here. I have gotten used to the street signs, the smells, the weather, the currency, the norms, the sharp contrasts, and the people. It has been a really intersting ride... this life im living. I do see sharp contrast practically on a daily basis.. but honestly, the more time i spend here, and the more time i spend with the people, the less idealisitc i become. i am currently having a difficult time with the "live simply so that others may simply live." This somehow made sense to me before... i loved this quote. If you have ever recieved an email from me, then you recognize it from my signature... but i am having a serious issue with it because out of the numerous things I am learning, one of them is: so really, how is me living simply in my home going to better the fact that my host mom still has no hot water for the night?

if u are reading this, chances are the i love u... thanks for reading my blogs... emotional vomits will soon be spurting up in the next few blogs... considering the fact my parents are coming TODAY! :)

ADios amigos!

ps. i got the chance to see the ballet folklorico in the palacio de bellas artes last sunday night in Mexico CIty. W O W.

I love it. i love the sound of mariachi more than i ever did before. And this means, a lot.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

a double life?

There is a lot to write about. But i have not that much time. And frankly i would rather spend more of my time enjoying it and living it than writing all about it.

But bits and pieces of it i do get to share.

Now, im in mexico city.

The sharp contrast is huge. But this time i prepared myself for it. I have learned to accept the class my family belongs to in the city. Have enjoyed it quite honestly. And although i am really enjoying my time in veracruz, it was nice to have a weekend where I could sleep on cold sheets again, and not have mosquito bites itching my right and left leg every couple of minutes.

i took the metro... in Mexico City... all by myself. and loved it.
ha. no big deal. quite the experience though with the overwhelmingly crowded transit during rush hour... every part of my body was touching somebody else's part of their body... everybody. I was afraid to go into the metro honestly... considering i literally saw people's faces smashed up with their hands up holding themselves on the quick metro sliding door. But after two metros had passed without me getting on, i said... "im going in."

I suddenly found myself pushing and shoving in through people until i was sorroundes by them all... my bag was crisscrossed accross my shoulders, and i was holding on to whateevr i could with one of my hands. The other i was holding on to a bag i had with purhcased CDs and of course, a pair of wooden earrings. :) After a couple stops i was able to find a seat. And from then on, a smooth ride.

This crowdedness was because it was 6pm on a Friday evening. When i took it yesterday at like 10am there were definately no people smashed up againts the doors.

Contrary to popular belief i was not pick pocketed... all safe and sound...and fast. Wow. I went from one side of the city to the other in about 30 minutes... um, mexico city is quite the size... so it was quick. All for $2.50 pesos... about $0.25 USD.

And... It didnt even smell :)

i kind of had a sence of acomplishment everytime i arrived to a destination. maybe u should come here and try it yorself... but with me ;)

With my cousins' guidance as to which route to take, i could go anywhere i feel! Oh, what freedom!

People even asked me for directions walking down the street... and guess what... i was able to guide them in the right direction... some ladies from Colombia and Chile who were adorable went along the ride with me towards my metro stop... didnt stop asking me questions about the city, its history, me, and how i learned spanish so well living in the states... um, this is a good sign my friends.

in brief:

*Visited the anthropology museum... amazingly huge! i think i literally had a joygasm with every major exposition.

::NOTE - i saw THE Aztec calendar. 'nough said::

*Went to a Mexico Diablos baseball game with my cousins... the best bad mouthing to players i have heard in the spanish language thus far. and oh, the viraety of food sold at the stands... from peanuts to tacos to pizzas to iced coffee to mexican treats, potato chips, and of course... beer, and mixed drinks... at very low prices... yea, about that...

*Went out to a bar lounge with my cousins and her friends to celebrate my cousins birthday.
*Then went out to have dinner (mind you this is at about 1:45 am)
*Went to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera's house (the next day)
*Had lunch at a really good Oaxacan restaurant
*hung out with my cousins in their European-Style apartment
*Will be attending my cousins graduation ceremony at the Palacio de Bella Artes tomorrow.

Obviously a SHARP contrast to my life in Veracruz!!! Am i living a double life?!

I feel like i am cheating on my own life right now... a weird anology. Will explain later.

Pictures will arrive eventually. For now, leave it all up to your imagination.

Saludos y abrazos
:) !!

Friday, June 20, 2008

i didn't look back. i promise.

June 14, 2008

It was 11:25 pm when we arrived after the long dirt road filled with little rocks sorrrounded by green trees – it looked like we were in some kind of tree tunnel in the middle of nowhere. You could only hear the rustling of the river near by, not even the birds were singing their songs at this hour. And we were too far away from town to hear the roosters, the dogs, the cats, or the people having a laugh here or there. Even though the windows were open in the car, it was still getting warm, and as always, humid. The back of my neck was beginning to sweat, and so was my left arm, which was squished next to Pepe, my cousin (im part of the family already what can I say). There were actually 6 of us in the small low black Honda. Three in the back, and three in the front. Because the car was low and close to the road, we had to be driving extra slow because every few seconds you would hear the scraching of a rock toppled around under the car, possibly leaving its trace behind. This speed though only made the ride longer… and all I wanted to do was get there to be back already…

I thought we had arrived to another side of the pueblo… or maybe a different one considering we had been driving for some time. I was kind of confused. Aside from the typical, I also saw little house-like rectangles, with candles lit inside. They had a door and everything. Some undistinguishable flowers were sticking out of some of the windows of these little cement “houses.” They were the same height as that of a tipical one story house… only a lot smaller. Just a few feet in square inches wide.

We pull up, turn off the car’s lights, the boys get out of the car, open my door and ask… “Vienes?”
“Yo no. Aqui los espero,” said Chela, Pepe’s sister, who is my age.
“No manchen, yo aqui los espero tambien. Yo de aqui no me muevo,” said Esteban, leaning his head back on his drivers seat closing his eyes.
“Tienes que enfrentar tu miedo cara a cara. Ademas, no les va a pasar nada,” Pepe reasurred them.

Pepe is tall, pretty built, and was wearing a tee shirt that folded up right on his “conejo.” I always make fun of him for it. He has tight curly hair that goes up to his shoulders, and he always wears a baseball cap. Even right now.

“Bueno pues, viens o te quedas?” he asked me again.

I decided to take advantage of this opportunity to face my fears as well… after I began a continued prayer that did not finish until well after I arrived back home, I got out of the car and followed with Pepe, Ruby, and Pepe’s friend. Ruby and I were pretty much cuddling as we walked. She is way shorter than me though, and a couple years younger. She's another friend.

“No se asusten, que no pasa nada,” said Pepe with a reasurring voice. I trust this kid. He didn’t say it with a playful tone. This relieved me a bit.

By now it was 11:30 pm. We sat in the center of it, right under the biggest cross around atop a rather large cement block. The moon was bright so i could distinguish some of the little cement blocks because of the shadow of the moon. But this cross we laid on, it wasn’t home to anybody.

I was king of tense, then with the sound of the river near by, began to relax. I couldn’t see it. It was hidden behind the bush of trees. But I could hear it clearly. The boys arrived and laid on their back looking at the sky from the rock the cross was mounted on. Ruby and I were still cuddling.

“What do you feel… are you seriously scared right now?” Pepe asked me again.
“Well,” I said in a low and slow way. “I thought I would be practically pissing my pants right now… but surprisingly, no… I think I kind of feel a sence of peace right now.”

“See? I told you. What is there to be afraid of?”

Once in a while I would realize… crap, its almost midnight and I am in the midle of the cementary. With crosses of every shape and size. Cement tombstones of all shapes and sizes too. Pepe and his friend did knock on one of the doors where the tombstone was a little house and a candle was lit inside. I snapped at him for doing so.

After lying under the cross for a while on top of the rock that belong to no one, or everyone, I decided to leave back to the car. It was quite the peaceful moment I had just had. Putting me to reflect… relizing that well, in life, we are going to end up like this… under a pile of dirt – if im lucky. Putting me to think that this is the great equalizer of us all. Rich or poor, white or black, (or brown!). Reminding me to invest in eternal things… because I do believe that at least that is what will last… and im trying to see what these "eternal" things are indeed.

I actually didn’t want to leave… but at the same time I wanted to run out of there. We were well lit by the moonlight, which was only a cresecent moon. But with no lights around, the moon for some reason seemed way brighter than usual.

As we were leaving, they talked about the myth that says to never look back at a cementary when leaving it at night… because you will see things… or feel things…
We got in the car, and none of us looked back. I tried to say i didn't believe in myths like that... Jesus was by my side... :) But of course, the guys had to get in their joking mood sometime during the night - but still, none of us looked back.

This elongated my prayer a bit… after we drove again through that long dirt road filled with little rocks sorrrounded by green trees, which still looked like we were in some kind of tree tunnel in the middle of nowhere, I cought sight of the elementary, middle, and high school of the Pueblo. We had arrived to its entrance again…

Will I do this again, I don’t know. But I am glad I got off the car… it was quite the random experience… like everything else around here has been thus far.

May you rest, in peace. Why not desire this for someone else, right?


A good full heartfelt 2 hours... this is the norm around here. and i like it.

June 9, 2008 7:00 pm

I just spent two full on hours kicking it with Martin and Maria next door… no phone to run to, no meeting to leave to, and honestly, not a pressing homework assignment to get done. I get the privilige of simply sitting and talking, and mostly listening actually, to a lot of people around here. Today, it was with my host family's brother and wife, and some of that time was spent with Pepe, one of their sons. I loved it.

First of all, I was able to experience the killing of an iguana… which was horrendous by the way. The way its tail and arms moved looked like it was about to grab pepe by the arms to attempt and do the exact same thing to him in revenge– but we all know that’s impossible. But when I came back to have them help me buy a maca, alli me quede. Talking about my life and all… and talking with el tio Martin! . He is such a cool cat… and most of all, I loved the fact that they brought forth the coversation about religion first. I love the fact that they were able to express to me a bit of how they feel… and the fact that my ear has been trained to listen more.

We were literally able to talk about politics, immigration, life for me in the US, life for them here in Idolos, a bit of Christian history, and a bit of what Christianity means for me… that was the most beautiful part. Literally, sharing the love of Christ with others is indeed one of my favorite things to do now. I love the fact that I did not want to saturate them… "a little salt."

::note - these are people who are "catholic" whom the "christians" in this town prefer not to associete themselves with... because of this mere fact. So having ths conversation was huge!::

The good thing was that I was able to state that well, I am not God and that I am not going to judge how someone else lives their life. I was able to explain that my love and relationship with God was much bigger than things like watching a movie or going to a party. But I did not want to badmouth my host family either… so I didn’t even mention any names and did repeat that that is simply the way I think and that well, others could choose to live their lives their own way and I respect that.

Because I was able to freely express my voice… I once again feel alive.
I mean, after having a coversation with my host dad about what he thinks God will tell us when we arrive in heaven... i have decided to state that I don’t know… all I do know is that I hope that God doesn’t even speak to me because I want to be able to worship and experience Him for who he is in all his glory for the rest of eternity... perhaps a conversation might not even happen. But who knows.

Is religion more than knowing certain songs, going to church, praying to someone when things go wrong, or praising when things go well?

Could their be a difference between a Christian and a follower of Christ?

love. I am not the master at it. Who is? oh right. Jesus.

It is hard for me to love. It is hard for me to love particularly people who hate. I have begun a conversation with God… first of all to teach me to love Him, first and formost, above everything else. But really...

Then, to continue teaching me to love people, particularly those who have distinct different opinions than myself... in this case, the Christians in town who live a life judging others for not being "Christian" enough on a basis of what one wears and says more than on ones actions... where do i fall on this paradigm? Am i more like them than i thought?

I am in a serious form of transformation in a number of different areas in my life right now... just fyi.

My Happy Moment

June 6, 2008

Ya lo había extrañado y ni me había dado cuenta. Estábamos viendo los muchachos pescar en el rió porque había muchísimos camarones que la gente estaba pescando. Cuando de repente nos agarro el agua. ¡Lo verde se veía mas verde, y a mi me empezó a dar poquito miedo porque ya el tío y el hermano de tony estaban pescando, y el rió iba crecer! Empezaba a llover más y más... correle!

The drips of water dripped from my eyelids, nose, hands, hair, and clothes. I missed getting wet just for the heck of it. The weather was still humid, so it was of course, warm. And, I didn’t have to go anywhere so really, it didn’t matter if I had mud all over my feet. I ran, spread my arms open, and laughed with my host family under the rain and warm weather. It started raining harder, those rains that make you hold on to whatever YOUR Kermit is (stuffed animal...)at night a little tighter.

But for some reason, the mud, the rain, the humidity, the thunder, the possiblity of getting sick with some stiken disease... it didn’t matter. Again... the lighting, followed by thunder. Sorrounded by a viaerty of bright green trees, and accompanied by the song of literally hundreds of different bird sounds, some of which I have never heard before, was quite honestly, a very happy moment in my life today.

I loved it. Cant wait to do it again. Probobly will do that tomorrow… and the day after that, and maybe the day after that again.

At least for tonight, by the time the muchachos return, we will have quite the kilos of camarones for a caldo, en ajo, entomatados, rancheros, empanizados, or even on a coctel. All after a few hours of Obed fishing at the rio earlier today. Yei God!

...And the birds keep chirping and making a beautiful well orchestrated song making a sorround sound effect… as if th birds had a 24 hour conducter by their side.

Que bonito es la lluvia. If I close my eyes, I could definitely imagine I an in a selva… but then I get a little scared so I decide to simply take in the moment that I am currently residing off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Its beautiful!

As for later that night... mmmm.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

so... what am i doing?

Do ya'll even know what I am doing down here?

First of all, let me state that Veracruz is a beautiful state... green vegetatoin everywhere and the weather is not so hot anymore... still humid, but now it is slowly becoming into a tropical haven... asside from the mosquitos, frogs, iguanas, and snakes... its all good on this side of town... :)

I am living with a host family in a rural town near the capital of veracruz... where i have internet access. Check this out though... i am staying with my brother-in-law's family here!! Honestly, their hospitality has been amazing... I will be doing a "Family Organization" project which will simply evaluate family norms in this setting, as well as an independant research project on migration away from Los Idolos, Veracruz to study how migration has affected the population in Lod Idolos both economically and sociologically... i.e. work and income, consumtion habits, family relationships, and overall quality of life. Asside from all this, I am interning at SEDESOL which is the Secretry of Social Development, part of the federal government. I am interning with them two to three times per week, one day assisting in the federal office building with paperwork and files needing funding for projects to better the communities in Veracruz, and the other two days i am "on the field" visiting different projects that have begun from SEDESOL to see their importance, quality, effectiveness, etc... I havent done field work yet, that is starting manana!

I am really excited for my research project... and asside from hanging out around the pubelo meeting and simply hearing people's stories, jokes, and them feeding me (they all are on a NO CARBS LEFT BEHIND mission on me it seems)... i have, im not kidding, 15 books i brought with me. Some for pleasure, and some that i have to use for my papers.

Asside from the constant scratching due to the beautiful mosquitos qho had a feast with my body, and walking along the sunsets of the green banana leaf and mago trees all around, i am learning new ways to be still, and to try and jump, at least for a sec, in the life and mindset of a human being who lives and breathes a completely distinct world than the one i do.

i dont know when i will have the opportunity to do this again for this amount of time while on my own... although i miss some people at times (um, yes)... i remember why i am doing this and strength somehow rejuvinates me... i know some of u have been praying for me... and let me tell you...

prayer works.

Saludos amigos... and I will try to update u again with some videos hopefully by next week.


Protestants vs. Catholics... tan tan tan...

You have either heard me mention, or are probobly strangely familiar with the animosity between protestants and catholics in Latin America. Currently, I am living with a protestant homestay family in a little pueblo where about 98% is catholic. I go with them to church of course, but this has been probobly one of the most difficult things for me being here... why?

First of all, because i have placed myself under the "protestant" unbrella, now a lot of what i do, or say, is labeled as... "but she's an evangelical isn't she?" The thing here is that, honestly, I have not cared much for what people would say of me. But here the reputation of me, my host family, and my own family is at stake with a shake of a hip to the right to the sound of Gloria Estefan's "Conga." I could feel the confused stare of my host family when i start singing aloud the Vicente Fernandez, or Mana, or the latest Regeton song... I have grown to believe that my love and relationship with God is much more bound than my music tastes... but heres the deal.. this is jsut the surface. To church, we have to wear a veil... thats right. We have to also say "Gloria Dios" or "Aleluya" about every three minutes or I will be looked upon as a heathen. If i want to go to the boda or party happening in town, i am seen as someone who wants to be like the "inconversos." Im all about hanging out with everybody in the pueblo... but i am beginning to see that this perhaps is not acceptable because I am "Christian." I am beginnging to see the root of this, but still feel like i cannot be myself at times for fear of being judged... but then i really dont care... and its the family that I dont want to let down...

but then again i cant change the entire way they think.

What got me the most was that when i asked my host mom if she had ever had short hair, she responded with... "i used to. But since i know of the Word of the Lord, i don't do that anymore."

I was soo confused. I was like.. what does having shorter hair have to do with knowing about God? Once again, i could see the root, but i dared to ask the question. I was looked on like i was blowing bubbles or something... and when i commented that i wanted to cut my hair, my host mom had this worried look on her face asking.. "how short? why?!"

Look, im all ok with people choosing to live the life they lead... and they could live christianity and live up to the "boring" stigma it has.. literally. Everybody has been liek "oh, you go to the templo with them? oh..."

But I know my God and the Jesus I know. Christians in Idolos are known to be boring, judgemental, and crazy. Asside from Crazy, i know christians to be otherwise.

Why is it so hard for us to love and accept? Now me, who is all open to hearing the way other people live, is hard for me to accept the way Christians are choosing to live here... and thats because im in the midts of it all.

I will continue to try to be me, and speaking about my love of and with God, regardless of what I like to do... is this possible?

Honestly, seeing this animosity between protestants and catholics is one of the most difficult things ive encountered thus far...

love... such a hard darn thiing to do.

The powerlessness of the individual

The more time i am spending with the people in Idolos, the more my powereless is shoved in my face. From job opportunities to relationships to education to global warming.

just a thought i had to spit out above everything else.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A new friend?

First of all, I am definately not in Mexico City anymore.

Anyways, Particularly after LA TERM, globalization and me were not good friends. As a matter of fact, I would call it enemies. I hated it.. how it destroyed natural communities and created them all replicas of the US.

But, my heart is in the process of making ammends.

I am staying in a town called Los Idolos, Veracruz... with my brother in law's family! It is beautiful... very tropical. Mangos, frijoles negros, and hammacks are the norm around here. It is hot. humid, hot, and insects are also the norm. Sweat naturally breaks down our backs just sitting inside, or outside a house.

The people have been amazing. They are already making plans for me to never leave... they're trying to marry me so I could stay behind (why do i feel like everybody is on a mission to marry me all of a sudden? lol).

Anyways, it hit me. I got sick. My host mom says she thinks i have a parasyte. Hot weather plus a fever plus diarrhea plus "bichitos" = no good.

But, i am all better. taking it in slowly. And honestly, didnt want to eat posole at 2 in the afternoon in what felt like 110 degree humid weather. seriously.

But today i am all better... im in Xalapa. The city again. Came to do stuff with my internship... there is a huge mall right accross the street from my internship. with AC, and restarants galore. Usually, especially in the past couple weeks, the mall would literally bring me a backache. Today, i felt like it was a space to breathe, and eat me a nice ceasar salad. I am probobly making ammends with globalization... with conditions of course. we'll see.

Dont get me wrong, i like the fact that i am staying where I am... but, a little taste of what is "normal" for me was nice to have on a day like today with my body not in its best aptitude. the weather really wears anyone down... even those who HAVE to work in the fields to eat...

More details on my doings in Veracruz later to come... not too often because the pueblito im in has very very slow internet connection. But when i come to Xalapa, here I could better inform.

For now, all is well... pictures to come later!

Adios amigos,


Bienvenidos a Veracruz

So this is how i feel about it. This song the story of my life at this moment. enjoy and sing along.

(Aladdin:) I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering, splendid
Tell me, princess, now when did
you last let your heart decide

I can open your eyes
Take you wonder by wonder
Over, sideways, and under
On a magic carpet ride

A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no
Or where to go
Or say we're only dreaming

(Jasmine:)A whole new world
A dazzling place i never knew
But now from way up here
It's crystal clear
That now i'm in a whole new world
With you
(Aladdin:)Now i'm in a whole new world with you

(Jasmine:)Unbelievable sights
Indescribable feeling
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling
Through an endless diamond sky

A whole new world
Don't you dare close your eyes
A hundred thousand things to see
Hold your breath- it gets better
I'm like a shooting star, I've come so far I can't go back to where i used to be

A whole new world
With new horrizons to pursue

I'll chase them anywhere, there's time to spare, let me share this whole new world with you

A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
No one to tell us no or where to go
Or say we're only dreaming
a whole new world
Every turn a surprise
With new horizons to pursue
Every moment gets better
(Both:) I'll chase them anywhere theres time to spare
(Jasmine:) Anywhere
(Aladdin:) Theres time to spare
(Jasmine:) Let me share
(Aladdin:) This whole new world
(Both:) With you

Monday, May 19, 2008

I had cheese ice cream. it was bomb.

I had woken up really tired Sunday morning from the night before. My cousin Grisel invited me to go out with her friends to celebrate two of her friend's birthdays... we left the house later at night and headed to el Rodeo Santa Fe. Let's just say that I really had a good time laughing quite a bit, and that i took advantage of the fact that I am legal here...

Anyways, I got to see bulls at the midnight hour... a people riding-bulls competition... which the entire Rodeo prayed for at the beginning of the competition. I was actually in shock by what was going on that I didn't even pray. Pero bueno, eso es muy peligroso. It was an interesting sport because the cheerleaders, or the cow girls, were all cheering them on. Um... right. I'm in Mexico.

That was just a small portion of the time. Of course, the rest of the time was spent dancing with her and her friends... so nice to dance with men who know how to dance... it makes things so much easier for me!

Sunday morning though was the day we visited Tepotzitlan. There was a Jesuit cathedral, turned into a museum of Hernan Cortez and the conquest of what is now Mexico. The arquitecture was beautiful and as with a lot of things, pictures don't do justice to the detail found on this cathedral's facade.
> I got to see paintings, artifacts, and actual tools found used by the spaniards to conquer the natives on this exact land. Towards the back of the church was a Huerta... I had not seen so much green in a long long time.
I had me bomb snacks and food and it was more of a small town feel than the actual city... there was a market in the shadow of the church with just about all sorts of typical things to purchase. Of course, there was a marichi which I loves, and great hand made potato chips with a lot of salsa. Tepotzitlan is more on the state of Mexico and not in Distrito Federal although not a quiet village. I had a Sopa Azteca, which was the best tortilla soup I've also ever had, and it was here where I was taken to have dessert... cheese ice cream And i loved it.

Que Fuerza tan Bruta.

I was kind of half asleep and half awake as I was trying to get comfortable cuddling with Nayeli in the back seat of my cousin's red coup. Both of us were kind of cold because we were still damp from the Fuerza Bruta spectacular we'd experience a couple hours before. As I moved my Hard Rock Cafe: Mexico leftover box to make more room for my feet, i looked out the window and had to think twice about where I was at the time. Was I on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills all of a sudden? It was around 11:30 so all the shops were close and there were few cars around. But I am not exagerating, calle Presidente Masaryk is extremely similar to our own Rodeo Drive. THen I keep looking and to the other side was a huge 3 story shopping mall, followed by another one two block after. In the near distance, I noticed the elegant Marriott Tower, and within a matter of seconds we were back on one of the main streets of the city: Paseo de la Reforma. (Notice how I said "seconds"... at this time there were few cars and we were in the fiancial district of town and thus traffic, or lack there of, was beautiful!)

We were coming back from an extravagant show-extravagant in all its worth. It was honestly one of the most exhubirant art experiences of my life. Writing about it will do no justice to its force, hence its name: Fuerza Bruta. I will just say this: a certain use of water, the human body, sound, lighting, wind and space could create quite the experience. I saw before my eyes just about every emotion a human being possesses as I've never experienced before and without the use of words. Amazing acting. a 65 minute performance totally worth it. Although this promo looks kinda freaky, it really was amazing and totally worth it.

After the performance Azu, her friends and I had dinner at Hard Rock Cafe which had the most amazing Spinach and Cheese dip... WOW. Probobly because it had mexican cheese in it... and anything that has any kind of mexican cheese is good, at least in my opinion. Here though I took on more of the spectator role because first of all, I didn't know their friends very well obviously, and I am still in the rough (emphasis on rough) process of unlearning the Spanish I know and slowly transforming it into the Spanish accepted here by a certain class - this has been very difficult on a number of different levels.

Regardless, I had a really good time identifying the intense globalization around here... it is inevitable! The world is so connected... ps, my cousins ordered sushi the night before, and it was dilivered. ha.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Que padrisima la ciudad de Mexico, eh?


i have arrived to Mexico City. It is AMAZING... I've only been here for a couple of days and I'm loving it thus far. I already met with my internship supervisor at a Federal Office Skyrise Building right in the heart of downtown on the 18th floor. Everything has been processed for me to go to Veracruz... about 3 hours from here. I will be working out of their office in Xalapa, Veracruz because they have more ´fieldwork´over there... not a big deal. Because Mexico City has so many sights to see, I will for sure be coming here quite often on some weekends. Working on the homestay situation in Veracruz right now, but not worried. It's all in the process. I would be doing my reserach there too and my supervisors all know that so they're totally willing to help me out :)

So throuhgout the capital you could definatley see remains and influence of the spanish conquest hundreds of years ago... all over the city. From Cathedrals to statues to monuments to the powerful light skin elites. From what I have been able to observe and experience, it seems as though social slass is largely based on dress, amount of pigment on your skin, language, and body type. I feel like I am living straight out of what some sociology books have mentioned.

For a quick example, last night we went to have dinner... and it was 10pm... totally normal around here. We went to have some tacos of course, so i was expecting a little taco truck in the corner or something.

Well, i went with my cousin Azucena to a nice side of town where it was a straight out sit down restaurant with a good 20 minute wait to be seated. Techno music playing, and most of their clients were young proffessionals still in their suits with VALET parking... yup. Valet parking at a taco restaurant. actually, thus far every place uses valet here!! Valet is common... at least with the people ive been with during the past week.bomb tacos of course with 4 different salsas (of course all on my tacos).

Anyways, Azucena and her husband saw a friend of theirs there who was also wearing his suit. Everybody was wearing colard shirts and i felt so outa place considering i was wearing jeans and a tee shirt... c'mon... it was 10;30 pm and we were headed to eat some tacos... cut me some slack.Little Mexico in East LA is its own culture I tell you. Not what im used to at all... and im in the capital of it all. Anyways, thus far friends my cousins have around here are all tall, fairer skin, well groomed, wear name brand clothing, and are working profesionals... and the people working at the restarants we go to tend to have the darker complexion, shorter, and usually tend to be a little bigger. It is so interesting to see who has the power still... it never ends. This sight has been common all week. I went into Azucena's job today and everybody wroking there also tall, fairer skinned and very well groomed (that was obvious because it is a research firm). But this lady walked in who was shorter, had a darker complexion, and was heavier asking me if i wanted a cup of tea or something. Sure enough, she was the one who was cleaning the building.

Anyways, asside from that fact,
last after dinner, at about 11:45pm ish, my cousins decided to go have some coffee at a local coffee shop and walk around. We ended up just strolling around THE Hacienda Hernan Cortez, the Spanish conquistador, first built when he settled in Mexico to please his new mistress, La Malinche. It was beautiful architecture, and had a beautiful garden!! Even though by then it was well after midnight, there were several people walking around having a cup of coffee, oh and yes, a group of bikers were there too, some of which my cousin's husband knew well.... and yes, it felt safe.

I tripped out that just down the street my history book came to life with me drinking a Late with Hernan Cortez' Hacienda! no joke. This part of the town was further away from downtown so it wasn't as busy with cars... but had cobblestone streets and little plazas all around it. My Late coffee was bomb fyi. We returned to Azucena's apartment, which has a beaitufl view of the Mexico World Bank tower, and after hacing a good chat with her aout books and society and the such, I had a good night sleep.

As far as language goes... get this... I feel like a 3rd grader trying to speak spanish... i do have an advantage alright. But the fact that I am a Chicana has never been so in my face before... if not every minute of the day. im telling you, my official language is SPANGLISH. So, i am learning legit Mexican spanish... i kinda get tired honestly... who would have thought?

Unfortunately though I leave Distrito federal (this state) this wednesday. Im excited to see and compare the capital of Veracruz if possible... Azucena says it is also beautiful. A lot smaller, but beautiful none the less. So i get to do turisty things for this week here in this amzing city then will begin my internship soon enough with the Secretery of Social Development in Veracruz.

Thus far I will be most likely visiting el Zocalo this weekend, heading to the Aztec pyramids on Sunday morning, and watching a really legit play called Fierza Bruta where the performances are above the audience on Sunday night - i am really excited about this play. My cousins bought my ticket on ticketmaster already so... im there.

I'll put some pictures up evenrtually...

PS I dont think i have ever had such good salsa in so many consecutive days. And, the fact that i get at least three options with every meal makes my heart almost skip a beat. no, really!

okie dokey.
for now, adios!