Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Rainy Season
Rain is an understatement here in Mexico. I was lucky enough to get here just in time for the rainy season. Although the rainy season doesn’t make its official debut till next month, it has done a good job at welcoming the new teachers to Mexico. Although it’s blazing hot during the day, somehow almost every day, it ends up raining around seven pm. Now, although it only rains for the few hours, the damage is massive. Since the city has a small draining system, the streets decide to flood on a regular basis. The streets literally turn into rivers. Lucky for me, the main streets that flood just so happen to be the street that I live on, and the street that the Help school is located on. When I asked the owner of the school how I was supposed to get home one night, she cheerfully replied “You bring shorts and flip flops and walk home.” The first night I attempted this, I had water up to my knees crossing a few intersections. My poor roommate Gina fell into a construction hole on her way home from school one night and now has a massive gash in her leg. We spent about an hour trying to fix her up that night, and she has just barley taken off a twenty four hour bandage. The pictures I am posting don’t do the flooding justice. These pictures were taken at the start of a flood, and already the streets are covered. For the next two months my life will consist of rainy nights. I guess a poncho and rain boots would have been a good thing to pack.

Who knew that food could ever be so good? I really had no idea that Mexican food could be as delicious as it has been. I am utterly in love with Taco’s! They are taking over my life! I live with this super cute couple names Mrs. Tede and Ramone. Ramone is studying to be a chief and likes to prepare all sorts of yummy dishes for the four teachers that live with them. Earlier this week, Mrs. Tede decided it was her turn to cook, and boy was I excited! Although Ramone is amazing, he doesn’t make us Mexican food. Mrs. Tede blew my mind when she made us tostadas and taquitos this week. I literally gorged myself this week during dinner. She makes the best homemade guacamole in her blender in less than five minutes and it’s the best thing I have ever tasted. There is a lime tree on our back patio and Mrs. Tede likes to collect all the limes and cut them up to squeeze onto all of her fabulous dishes.
The street food has gotten me hooked as well. On the way to discovery, there is an adorable taco stand run by this super old lady. We like to call her magic lady. She is only open for a few hours a day because she always sells out. She makes her tacos fresh and right in front of you. It’s only five pesos, or fifty cents for a taco! It’s a steal of a deal!
I am hoping that I do not thoroughly regret all of my taco eating when I get back to the US and find that none of my pants fit.

“Teacher your so injustice!”

“Teacher your so injustice” just so happens to be one of my kid’s favorite sayings here in Mexico. It cracks me up. Whenever my dear children at discovery think something is unfair they yell this at me. Teaching has been quite a bit of an adventure. I knew from the start that I have never been a huge kid person. Anyone that knows me well knows that kids are not my forte. You may ask why on earth I decided to go to Mexico in the first place. To be honest, it was not teaching kids that attracted me, but the experiences I would be able to have here. Surprisingly though, I have gained a love for my kids that I was not expecting. Not only are they some of the most adorable human beings on the planet, but they are eager to learn. It’s amazing what these kids have learned from ILP teachers. Although I know many of them don’t appreciate the skills and knowledge they have gained now, I am sure it will greatly improve their future. I wish I would have learned Spanish as child. Now as an adult, I am attempting to learn Spanish and it has been a roller coaster of emotions. It’s so hard to learn a second language, and I commend these kids for doing so well. As for now, I am just that injustice teacher making it one day at a time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mexico, oh Mexico! Where do I even start? This past week has been full of adventures!

First off, getting past my first week of classes was a huge step! The kids the first day were crazy! They were expecting new teachers and wanted to walk all over us! We all limped out of our classrooms exhausted and quite over whelmed! The rest of the week was better as we were able to get more control of our kids and obtain some classroom management! I am personally still working on finding a balance between discipline and fun! I have this crazy awesome kid named Juan Pablo who loves to make a mess! I have a feeling that we are going to be great bud’s this summer!

Luckily, we had our first vacation almost right away! We were able to head to Oaxaca and Huatulco this past weekend! It was a great get away from a stressful first week of teaching! We stayed in Oaxaca only a few hours and were able to see the ruins of Monte Alban! They were beautiful and full of so much history! The ruins were covered with the biggest bugs I have ever seen! There were hundreds of nests and they all made the loudest sounds!

After Oaxaca we headed for Huatulco! The view during the drive was spectacular! Most of the drive consisted of a scenic foggy mountain pass. Villages lined the streets of the busy windy roads and small black haired children frequently crossed in front of our speeding car. Sadly, the drive may have been some of my worst hours here in Mexico. The road although beautiful, was ridiculous. I easily get car sick and was placed on the windiest road I have ever been on in my life! It was three hours of up and down and up and down! Needless to say, I threw up twice! It was not my best moment! When we finally arrived, we were able to find some great places for ten dollars a person a night! We spent all day Friday at the beach! We found a great guy to take us snorkeling with all the gear included for five dollars! Although the fish were somewhat spare, the water was warm and it felt great to swim around. On Saturday we were able to find a deserted beach. A group of us rented boogie boards for only a few dollars a piece, and then we were handed three free boogie boards from a few local boys. The waves were huge! I must admit that I wiped out on several occasions and had a stomach full of salt water by the end of the day. Kelly, Brian, Corey, and I were in for the long haul and were the last people to leave the beach in our group! We walked away having had a successful mud fight and multiple sunburns.

Yesterday may have been the best day yet in Mexico! It was crazy busy, but so wonderful! I started the day off by preparing for lessons. At eleven I had Spanish class. I was happy to find out how much I actually knew as far as conjugations and what not. What I learned was that I can understand what is written on the board, but I have no idea how to put a sentence together. I am hoping that having Spanish class a few hours a week will greatly improve my lack of skills. I am still ridiculously scared to practice with locals. My mind usually goes blank. After Spanish class was dance class. Teo (One of the owners of the school.) CAN dance! I was able to pick up on the dance steps pretty easily and had a blast letting Teo throw me all over the dance floor! By the end of the hour I was sweating like crazy! It was one of the best hours in Mexico so far! My classes went really well and I was able to team teach with for both sets of lessons. After lessons, I got my game face on for Soccer. Mother’s day was celebrated yesterday here in Mexico so most of the teachers spent the night with their host families. Since I am without host family, Brian and I strutted our stuff to the stake center for soccer with the locals and Teo. Boy, do I suck at soccer compared to the locals! Sadly, it started to rain so I was never allowed to score that game winning goal! Hopefully next week will allow for a longer and much more coed soccer game!