Travel Fails & Wins

First off I just want to mention that some of the photos from my December trip to Mexico were featured on Toemail, a blog dedicated to pictures of feet which is (interestingly?) not sexual. There’s a blog for everything!

So, I’m now in Mexico! I wish I could say the traveling went off without a hitch, but it did not. I think the mistake I made was packing up and leaving for Houston immediately after I woke up. My brain was obviously not online yet, and with each passing mile marker I remembered something I forgot. First was the cutting board that I had bought as a gift for my host family. I face-palmed, but decided that could be remedied in Houston. The next things I realized were missing were my pillow and my stuffed elephant, Ephelant. I do not travel without these things, anywhere, ever. Major face-palm, but then, I could survive without them. Once I was at my parents house I noticed that I’d left my sunglasses. These are majorly needed in Mexico, and though they are easily replaceable, the ones I have are just so damn cute. Fail, fail, fail, but I could make do without. It wasn’t until my mom casually asked, “you do have your passport, right?” that I freaked out. I saw it in my mind’s eye, sitting on my counter back in Austin. That I can’t do without, and my flight was in the morning.

Luckily, my boyfriend is pretty much the greatest guy ever, and agreed to drive a few hours to meet us half way between the cities. (My dad drove me, so big thanks to him, too). I got all of my belongings, and was ready to go.

I changed planes in Mexico City, and for once in my life I was happy to have a window seat. I had never seen anything like it in my life; the city stretched from horizon to horizon, and every time I saw what I thought was “downtown”, there emerged an even bigger and taller cluster of buildings behind it. Truly a huge metropolis. I ran right through customs and got to my next flight with time to spare. I landed at the airport in Merida ten minutes early. The airport here is small, with only one baggage claim carousel. Miguel, who runs the school, found me immediately and drove me to the home I’m staying in.

Let me tell you about my family! First, let me tell you what Miguel told me about my family before I arrived:

You will be staying with Tere Sansores and her family,   Tere is a housewife and lives wit her husband  Milo Barrera, who is a retired business man.   Her daughter Maria Jose is 30 years old and works for a restaurant chain in an administrative position.

I can’t believe he left out Yacu, the family’s amazingly adorable labrador! As soon as I walked in the house Tere greeted me with a big hug and a giant plate of papaya, pineapple, and mango. She doesn’t speak English, but her husband Milo does a little bit, and we sat and talked for a long time. They told me about the other students they’ve housed from all over the world: Sweden and Ohio, to name a few. I told them about Austin, and Tere asked me (in Spanish and gestures) if I rode a horse to school! LOL! I guess those stereotypes stretch far and wide. I tried to explain as best I could how Austin was different than the rest of Texas. I finally hit the nail on the head when I said (in Spanish) that there are lots of young people in Austin, and we don’t like George Bush. That got the point across and they laughed, agreeing with me.

This morning I went to the grocery store with Tere, and even though we don’t speak the same language we managed to communicate and laugh a lot with each other. A lot of miming is involved at this point, but I’ve managed to say “I want to learn because I have a lot to talk to you about!” and they understand my predicament. I don’t have any photos to post yet as I’m just getting settled, but there are many soon to come. That’s all I have time for now, we’re about to head out to lunch. Adios!

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