Too sappy to be punny

Today started with sleeping in (my favorite)! Because we had a free day, I woke up around 9am. We had plans to go to a museum, but unfortunately, it is closed on Mondays. So instead we went to eat lunch at a restuarant we visited our first few days here in Mexico. Lunch consisted of baguettes, salads, milkshakes, frappes, and other fruity drinks.

Blair, Brittany, and I decided to walk around, to do some shopping, while Katie and Kyrian stayed back to work on homework. Later, we all met back up and walked around browsing through all the street venders in order to buy the last of  our souvenirs. Kyrian and I decided to celebrate the day with a nice, refreshing icee! After shopping, we all returned to our houses to do various things; I packed :/

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We all met back later that night (around 8pm) for a final dinner. Dinner included us 5 girls, our host families (mothers & sisters), UAQ faculty and their loved ones, and anyone else who we worked closely with while we’ve been here. As you might have been able to gather from this blog’s title, tonight was a very heartwarming night. Mary started with some words of welcome and a prayer, followed by words of welcome and thanks from a UAQ faculty member. Tonight was full of gift giving, happiness, many hugs, and great conversations with even better people. It was a very nice dinner, with wonderful food, and I felt it was such a blessing to be able to spend the night in the company of such outstanding people.

After dinner, my host family and Brittany and I, walked around el centro and enjoyed a nice night out. I think tonight was one of my favorite nights because I feel I’d reached a level of Spanish where I can joke around with others rather than just talk the basics. Tonight, I was able to joke around with my sisters, like I would with someone in English. I feel I bonded even more with my host sisters and mom.

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As this is my last blog post, I would like to express how grateful I am for this opportuinty to have spent 3 weeks in Querétaro. It has gone so much better than expected, which I didn’t think was possible and I know the reason for such an unforgettable experience is primarily because of my host family. Their continuous compassion, understanding, and friendliness is overwhelming at all times; not to mention how much fun they are to simply spend time and joke around with!

There have also been so many other people that we’ve had the pleasure of building relationships with – UAQ staff, nurses, students, and more. Also, all the faculty at the university are beyond welcoming, which helped make staying here so much more wonderful. Of course, the other 4 girls I traveled here with are another reason as to why this trip is so amazing. We all were able to bring something different to our group and have all been able to bond so well with eachother. It’s been a real pleasure to get to know each of them more and I would not have wanted to spend my time in Mexico with anyone else!

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It makes me sad to have to leave Querétaro but I know this will not be my last time in this city. I know I will see my family again – as I already have been planning to return to Querétaro and to stay with them, again. I truly feel like I have a home here, thanks to all the wonderful people I’ve met over the past 3 weeks. 🙂

And thank you, to all the readers, for following along with our blog posts. I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about all our great adventures in Mexico. It’s been more than fun!

-Becky

i’m always a soccer for a punny title :]

Today was our free day so of course we started the day by catching up on some sleep. I woke up a little after 10am and then ate a wonderful breakfast consisting of mango and melon with nutella, toasted bread with some type of cheese-butter and blackberry marmalade, pan dulce (sweet bread), and a glass of orange juice (all pictured below).

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Brittany and I decided to laundry for the first time since we’ve been here. We put all of our clothes into the washer and when it was time to dry our clothes we hung them up on the line outside. We learned that most people don’t have dryers because of the heat here.

After finishing with laundry, we met up with everyone in el centro for lunch. We all ate paninis at an italian cafe; they were wonderul! After lunch, Blair, Brittany, and I walked through many streets looking for stores while Kyrian and Katie started working on their homework. We met up a little while later so we could meet up with Isa (Blair and Katie’s host sister) so she could take us to play futbol (soccer)!!!

IMG_5273     Soccer was so much fun – and so tiring!! Two of Isa’s friends joined us so we were able to play 3v3 plus a goalie. After an hour of some great teamwork, sweet goals, many water breaks, and a few minor injuries we decided our legs had had enough and we soaked up plenty of sun for one day. Please enjoy the picture below of the aftermath of us playing soccer in 90 degree weather – I repeat, it was 90 degrees outside when we played (and it was already 5pm)!!!

IMG_5279     After soccer, we all returned to our homes (big thanks to Isa for driving us there and back) to enjoy the remainder of our night. Tonight has been fairly relaxed in our house. We waited for our host sister to get back from work and then all ate a lovely chicken, vegetable, and pasta dinner! We attempted to continue with our homework but ended up watching a Spanish movie instead – hey, we’re just trying to improve our spanish 🙂 I suppose that’s all I have to report on for now. Talk to you soon!

-Becky

So many new birthdays to celebrate today!

If you have been following along with our daily blogs, you’d see that Kyrian’s blog from yesterday mentioned we would spend today in the labor and delivery unit. And that we did! The unit is very different from what you’d see in the United States. Patients don’t have their own rooms but instead are in a big room, which I suppose makes them a lot more accessible for the nurses and doctors.

By the end of the day I saw three babies delivered, helped administer medications, apply compression socks, observe the insertion of a strait catheter, hold a new born baby :), practice inserting IV’s with the nurses, and help with new born assessments. If I could describe watching someone give birth in one sentence it would be: it’s the most beautifully, terrifying thing that I’ve ever experienced. It was definitely a day filled with lots of new experiences! Unfortunately, I cannot post pictures of the labor and delivery area because of confidentiality but we did still have some pictures from the hospital of our colorful scrubs! The cartoons were a nice break from our all white uniforms.

 

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After the hospital we returned to the University, where we ate at the café on campus. We sat outside, enjoying the beautiful weather while working on some homework. Blair and I went for a run around campus today. It was nice to be able to explore the campus and venture places we hadn’t seen before.

Tonight we have plans to go to a local Salsa dancing club! I’m sure you’ll get updates/pictures tomorrow about it. We will also be heading to Guanajuato to spend all of tomorrow and most of Sunday there. More to come on all of that later!

Hasta luego.

-Becky

Today we climbed a mountain…and it rocked…

Today we climed La Peña de Bernal, which is considered the 3rd tallest monolith in the world! Unfortunally, we weren’t able to climb to the very top because you need special equipement for that, but we were still able to climb pretty high! It took us about an hour to climb up, including a few water breaks here and there. The view was spectacular and we could see out for many miles!IMG_5013

Of course after our hike we had to get some great authentic food! We went to a nearby restaurant – it had outdoor seating under a big tree that had branches that spread over each table.

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After lunch we spent an hour or so shopping and wandering in and out of many different stores. We finished the day with some ice cream and then all took a nice siesta (nap) on our way back to the university to meet up with our host families.

We went to the mall today with our host family, which had many similarities and many differences. The mall we went to was outdoors and bigger than any mall I’d ever been to. There were many of the same stores, which surprised me (old navy, addidas, forever 21, sears, and more). There was also a lot of people there! The stores were all so busy and the lines so long!

Later in the evening mi familia surprised me with a birthday cake (today is my birthday). Our tías (aunts) and prima (cousin) came over and we had a mini fiesta (party). They sang happy birthday to me, in spanish of course, and even got me a bracelet! I feel continually blessed by their constant generosity towards me & I could not have asked for a better host family 🙂

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-Becky

 

First Day in Queretaro

Hola!

Much of our day today was spent traveling from Hope College to Queretaro, Mexico. Our first flight left around 8am and our connecting flight near 11am.

Before meeting our host families we went to a small resturant which sold Elotes. Elotes are corn on the cob that is cooked over an open flame and then spread with mayonnaise, cheese, lemon, and pepper – it tasted so much better then I’m sure it sounds!!

We then went to the university, that partners with Hope, to meet our host families! I atleast, was a little nervous but they could not have been friendlier. I already feel welcomed into their family. Today was El Día de Los Madres (Mother’s Day) so we had a big celebration at the house. A lot of my host families extended family came over and there was a lot of food — all of which tasted very good!

After dinner my host family took us around the city just to show us around. We stopped at “El Acueducto, which is an archway that extends over 3 kilometers (google it, it’s beautiful). Currently under each archway is temporary outdoor art exhibit which is composed of many animal-focused sculptures. All the sculptures were made from paper mache and are quite extravagant.

I was quite worried that I would arrive and my Spanish wouldn’t be good enough to be able to converse with everyone but I feel very comfortable talking. My host family isn’t bothered if I ask them to repeat something or if they need to talk a little slower. It seems like my Spanish isn’t too bad because they appear to understand what I am saying. Everyone seems to be very patient with us, which is very comforting.

So far Queretaro is a beautiful town and I’ve loved touring around to different parts and getting to know my host family! Sorry I don’t have any pictures yet. Hopefully many to come soon!!

-Becky