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 ;)