Here you will find Kate's photos and brain space. Mind the gap.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

first days in Mexico

Welcome to Mexico!!
I am here!! And so is this guy. This is Miguel Hidalgo, and he is considered the liberator of Mexico. This mural is enormous and located at the Palacio del Gobierno (I think) in Guadalajara. It was painted by Jose Clemente Orozco, who I had heard of, but I had no idea. this is about 1/4 of the whole thing, which takes up the whole ceiling and walls of this huge stairwell. It's amazing.... and this guy is pretty scary.
Nothing to see here, I just liked the picture.
Sushi and cerveza anyone? This is right by my house. Sushi is huge here, and they even sell it out of carts on the street. I find that truly horrifying.
These plants are everywhere (though they are usually growing out of the ground). I love them!

So I am here in Mexico! And have been for almost two weeks. And I have started school, found a home, and figured out the transport system. Yay! I have not yet figured out how to buy groceries, get good service in a restaurant, or stand in line. So slowly I am adjusting.

The basics for those who don't know are that I will be here in Guadalajara for almost four months studying Spanish and "how to do business in Latin America." I am in a class now with 7 classmates who I met in South Carolina. We have class from 10 until 4 but due to the conditions of living in Mexico, I am usually gone from about 8am until 7pm. Which is ok but makes the week pass by in a weird way. So far on Saturdays we have taken trips, although our last one was yesterday. So I will start having my own travel soon. I love being in a foreign place with a ton of people I know.

Guadalajara is huge and generally rich. The bus to school takes us past two huge malls that have Applebee's, Prada, and Wal-Mart. People drive BMWs. So in some ways I don't feel like I'm in Mexico. But you can also get 50-cent tacos and coconuts off the street, so there is that. The university is a private school on the outskirts of town, so it is very nice. For beginners, the pollution, which is terrible in the city, is not so bad. There are lots of trees and the campus is designed to be outside. And the weather is incredible. It is chilly at night but during the day it is splendidly warm, and during the lunch hour some student group is inevitably blasting Bob Marley. So in some ways it feels very relaxed. However, unlike what I have been told about Mexico, you have to be on time everywhere, eat lunch in less than 2 hours, and not drunk coffee at every moment. So that is a bummer.

I am living with two Mexican women who are never home. So they are both very nice but I have a fair share of quiet time and that is okay with me. Starting this week we will start having classes and whatnot with the local MBA students so that will be a good opportunity to meet folks. So far I know my roomies and the folks at the school so that doesn't bode incredibly well for a Mexican social life. But we shall see.

In other news I have gotten confirmation that I will indeed be doing an internship in Bolivia starting in May! Another classmate will be there as well so that goes a long way towards my being able to be excited, because boy am I excited. I'll be working with CARE in Bolivia, though more specifically with a cooperative of local and international NGOs documenting best practices and networking with different groups. I feel like this will be the peak of my education (which is good because its what I want to do with my life), not to mention that I am totally psyched to be going somewhere as far away and weird as Bolivia. Also the fact that I'm going somewhere far away and weird means that my bro and his wife will come visit me and that has me excited.

In summary, I am in Mexico. Thanks for reading. :-)


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