Sarah, Hopefully

Saturday, September 04, 2004


Yesterday I was in the middle of writing this MONSTROUS post to my blog, but it was stormy here and the power blinked off. Bye bye, blog! :( It was very sad. So today I will try to recapture some of what I was saying, although it probably won´t be as great.

This has been a crazy, busy week. After finding out about the Visa To-Do List from Hell on Tuesday, I was rushing around trying to get that stuff done, on top of it being my first real week of working at Heidi y Pedro.

Wednesday I didn´t have to go to the agency, so I decided to knock a few of the items off of my list. Right after classes I went to the Intercambio office and the secretary, Alejandra, helped me to fill out the 10,000 forms and told me what I needed to do to finish the other stuff. Then I went to the bank branch on campus and paid the 537 peso fee. Bleeeh. Then I ran into Katie, who had been searching all over for me. Oops! Heehee.

As Katie and I were leaving campus to get some lunch, we ran into this guy from her Spanish class, "Señor Juan". He´s Korean. They ask a lot of the Asian students to pick Mexican names so it´s easier for their teachers, etc. Not all of them did it- most of the Japanese girls didn´t (My conversation teacher still can´t keep Megumi, Kazuyo, Yukali, Mayu, Naomi, and Yuka straight!) but the Korean guys were pretty good about it. Anyway, this guy is in his 30´s and married, but his family isn´t here yet and he´s still looking for a house to rent for the next couple of years while he´s here. I think he gets pretty lonely. He has to eat every meal out. Anyway, the three of us were talking and he invited Katie and I to go eat with him- he would pay. Who can argue against free food? We went to a place called Toks right across the street from the University. It was good food, and the guy was really nice. He gave Katie and I presents before we left. Seriously! The guy invites us to lunch, pays for our food, and gave us gifts. Korea must be a very nice place. Thank you, Señor Juan!

After that lunch, I went back to the University to do some more stuff... I took my 7 pictures at the photo lab, made the millions of photocopies of my passport and visa stuff, and bought the posterboard I need for my Conversation final. Then I went home and collapsed. Phew!

Thursday after classes all of us IPSL undergrads had a lunch meeting with John Russeau, the guy from the New York office who is in charge of our program. We went next door to Vips, which is basically Mexico´s idea of Perkins. We got to talk about what we thought of the program, our experiences, and give suggestions. The two main things we talked about were getting more information before arrival in Mexico (the first couple of weeks were extremely lacking in the information department) and doing something to restructure one of our classes. We have to read this book and keep a journal about our experiences and then turn the journals in every week, but the class period is only spent talking about the book we read and not about our reactions to it or our experiences, which is what we think it should be. The book is supposed to make us think about our own experiences in Mexico and be a jumping off point... we´re not studying the book. You know?

Anyway... I went back to Heidi y Pedro on Thursday. They had me writing questionnaires (which I can´t spell, even if Spanish weren´t shooting all of my spelling skills to crap) for a couple of positions they were going to interview for yesterday. I guess they trust my skills? Hahaha... I don´t know why! Jahell, the woman I mainly work with, seemed pleased with my work, though, so I guess that´s a good sign. Maybe she was going to change it all later, but if so, I don´t know about it. ;) When I left it was POURING rain. I had my rain jacket, but I was wading through about 6 inches of water to get to the bus. My jeans were all rolled up to near my knees, my legs were soaked, my bag was dripping... Hello, Guadalajara´s rainy season! :) Oh well.

Yesterday was the field trip to Tequila with all of the students in the Spanish program... basically, all the international students. So about 100 Korean, Japanese, German, and American students piled onto these four buses and rode an hour and a half to Tequila. It was fun... Katie and I sat by her friend from class, Nicole, and Nicole´s roommate BeBe. They´re really nice. First we went to the place where they grow the agave plants. (Tequila comes from agave plants.) We watched this really corny video that reminded me of a political advertisement or something... then we got to walk around and see the actual plants, how they plant them, how they´re harvested, etc. They cut off all of the leaves and then use the piña, or heart of the plant, to make the tequila. They call it the piña because it actually looks like a pineapple. If pineapples weighed 50kilos. I don´t know how to convert that. Anyway, the things are huge. Like two human heads.

After seeing where the stuff is grown, we got to go try some Tequila. Before any of you freak out and think I´ve started drinking now and will soon be going to clubs every week, wait a second. I did drink some Tequila, yes, but it was a cultural experience. I didn´t get drunk or anything like that. :) We drove for about 10 minutes and then they let us off the buses. We walked up this dirty little street that smelled like sewage, turned left and went through a gate in the wall, and stepped into another world. Trees that had to be over 100 years old loomed overhead. Manicured lawn, flowers, bushes, sculptures and fountains. A beautiful old building that looked like an old hacienda. We were each given a shot of straight Tequila in a little brown clay mug with the company name on it and a mixed tequila drink. We got to sit at tables, drink our Tequila, and eat our lunches while looking out on the beautiful garden. I took the shot of Tequila with the other girls- someone took our picture, I´m sure it´ll be fun to look at later :P. That stuff was STRONG. It buuuurned your throat and your face felt hot for 20 minutes after it. I took a sip of the mixed drink, but it was seriously gross. Instead I drank my bottled water while eating the 2 ham and cheese sandwiches our house mom packed for me. They had a gift shop place where you could buy bottles of tequila, shot glasses or mugs, T-shirts with the company name on them, and lots of other crap. I didn´t wind up buying anything... I looked, but I realized that none of my friends drink. My dad drinks beer sometimes, but not tequila. I promise I will buy you guys things down here, but I´d rather it be something you will really use. ;) Ooh, but I got to keep my little brown shot mug. It´s sitting on the shelf in our closet right now. :)

On the bus ride back home I fell asleep... you can only watch the Japanese girls take pictures of the people making out for so long, you know. Once we got back to UAG I turned in all of the stuff for my visa. I should be able to pick up my visa and passport next week. Hooray, I´m not getting deported! I´m sure you´re all very relieved, even if you are a little sad that I won´t be returning to America to grace you with my presence until December.

Have you guys been keeping up on all of the crazy stuff going on in the world this week? Not just the hurricanes in Florida, but the hostage situation at the Russian middle school and the complete shutdown of Los Angeles Int´l Airport today. Geeze! It´s nutso. We watch CNN every morning while we get ready for school. We caught the tail end of President Bush´s speech at the Republican Nat´l convention the other night, too. I´m still not sure where I stand in that... I feel like all the candidates have done thus far is mudsling. I´d like to hear what they´re actually going to DO.

I guess it´s Labor Day weekend in the good ol´US of A. I hope you enjoy your Monday off... I don´t have that luxury, sadly. Katie is going downtown with Nicole and Bebe this afternoon. I think I am going to go to the mall and to wal-mart. Maybe get the McDonald´s french fries I´ve been craving, mm! This mall has everything, seriously... McD´s, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin´Donuts (did you know that those two are the same company? They are always paired together down here), Chili´s, Applebee´s... It´s really cool. Maybe I´ll go see a movie or something! Heehee. I don´t know. I´m in the mood to indulge myself this weekend. I deserve it, after this crazy week!

Hope y´all enjoy your holiday weekend. Drink some real Coca-Cola for me... I miss it!!! All of the drinks down here taste like the nasty sugar they use. And they apparantly don´t believe in real fruit juice. It´s just juice with the FLAVOR of orange (which looks like Tang) or juice with the FLAVOR of apple. Aaaaaaaaaaah.


  • Niiice - I'm glad you're having fun. Yes, I've been keeping up with the Russian children hostage thing - very upset to hear how that ultimately ended up. Too sad. Haven't heard about the LAX thing yet, though - maybe I'll ask Matt. We don't watch the news here (still no cable in my room!), don't get the paper... I check a few headlines on Yahoo, but haven't had time to today because of the football game. Sorry I missed you on aim! Jen's friend is visiting, and we're all going out to eat with her brother, so I'll write more later. :)

    By Blogger Courtney, at 1:01 PM  

  • Heyyyyy...thinking you're going to stay there now? Sounds like things are getting easier. I stopped drinking soda and eating fast food 4 months ago. Woot! Lifting weights is fun too...addictingly so. Ho-hum, the news has been fantastic. 300+ people killed in that hostage crisis, 700 wounded...humanity is a sad little monkey. Bush is a sad little monkey. Hell, they are all sad little monkeys right now. Poor Florida and its Hurricane Hell. Poor Iraqi troops.

    On the bright side: I'm going to the Renaissance Festival tomorrow! I'll eat a turkey leg and get my hair braided for you...well...maybe not the hair braids, but I will most certainly admire everything. I found my first sophomore to "initiate". Little Turk went through a stop sign without signaling and nearly made my friend crash. Bad for him that I know his name and where he lives. Muahahahahaha!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:14 PM  

  • And *bleep* me. I forgot to leave my name. Brain fart!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:15 PM  

  • Sar- it sounds like its going so much better! I am so happy. Just tough it out, and if you down a few more shots, you won't remember the bad times. Hell, you won't even remember the good times! ;)
    -Jen, I'm gonna get a blog today or tomorrow. I'll let you know.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:06 AM  

  • Sounds like you had a pretty decent week, getting out and seeing some of the sights definitely beats sitting in the classroom, I miss that kind of experiential learning from the summer. Yay for VIPS! Their chicken tacos covered in green salsa are SO yummy. Believe me, I ate a zillion tacos con pollo and those were the best! VIPS makes me laugh, I like to say it like "veeeeeeps". It sounds so upscale or something like that ;) I promise to email you tonight before I go to bed! Right now I need to go to the library and get some major homework done! Love you sistah! BTW Churro is sitting in my dorm room now!

    By Blogger Julia, at 3:51 PM  

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