Friday, December 9, 2011

curious surroundings...

Yes, curious surroundings is what I found myself in when I first arrived in Mexico.  Although, thanks to my many spring break trips to Mexico in high school & college, not much was new to me- however, there is a large difference in visiting and living.  On the way to work today I began to think about how this once strange and foreign environment has become my home. Now, don't get me wrong, Puebla is a huge city and I'm still learning my way around- bus, taxi, walking and all BUT I don't look around anymore and think about how strange things look or how different they are from the States.  So, I thought for a good laugh or two I would compile a list of the things about Mexico that I have gotten used to and in some instances grown to love.  Enjoy!

1. When Mexicans are sick, they wear a mask over their mouth.  Like a dentist or doctor.  I was afraid an epidemic was breaking out at first.  Don't worry, it's for your protection!
2.  Buildings are started...and never really finished.  There's always rebar sticking out the top of buildings because... you never know when you might want to add another floor.
3.  The gas trucks, tamale vendors, the man on his bicycle selling elotes and many others that drive around with a loud speaker on top of their car and a trunk full of food.  I may be used to this one but it's still just as annoying.  Although it does serve as a nice wake up call at 7am.
4.  The view from my door of the most beautiful church all lit up on top of a mountain. every. single. night.  It's gorgeous and yet a constant reminder of the stronghold of Catholicism on this country.  What a great reminder to pray.
5.  Food carts EVERYWHERE.  On every corner and lining every street.  You can get just about anything.  And I love quesadillas from street vendors.  I think they have become my new favorite and go-to food.  Simple cheese and tortilla at home or a thick and huge one off the street.  Quesadilla of the day:  cheese with chicharron and squash flower.  Amazing.
6.  Kids not in car seats.  This one's still hard for me but yesterday as I rode in the car with Samy jumping all around the backseat with me, it felt pretty normal.  Still, frightening but it's one of the biggest Mexican norms.
7.  The smells- I can't even begin to explain them to you.  Some good, some awful, but over time I have gotten pretty used to them.  The worst has to be the smell that rises from the taco cart on the street down below while I'm in Zumba...about to puke anyway.  There's a certain smell to Mexico and every once and a while you can find it in Rogers, aka. "Little Mexico".
8.  Driving with no adherence to any sort of rules OR lane markings.  Still makes me nervous sometimes.
9.  Little mini-buses packed with people like a clown car.  Sometimes it's quite a sight to see a group of people climb their way out and there's still not an inch of space left.
10.  Steady yet sometimes unpredictable weather.  Right now, it's generally 35 at night and 75 at the highest in the daytime.  Sometimes this makes it difficult to decide what to wear and how many layers you need to wear or bring with you.  But one thing's always true, because of the concrete buildings (without heat)  it's always colder inside than it is outside.  Thank the Lord for space heaters.

This morning I was thinking there were a lot more things to add to this list but I can't remember them at the moment.  I'll add to later if I think of them.

I praise the Lord that He has changed my once curious surroundings to what's now my very comfortable temporary home.  I know that He is totally responsible for every ounce of peace, joy, love and comfort that I have found here.  He knows everything we need and often gives it to us even when we don't ask for it.  That's what grace means to me.  From the beginning God has put this whole "me and Mexico" thing together and He continues to provide and direct.  I can't wait to see what He has in store.

Can't wait to be home in the states in 5 days and in Arkansas a few days after that!  What a homecoming it will be!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Don't watch Grey's before bed...

I made the horrible mistake of watching Grey's Anatomy before I went to sleep last night.  Although, it was not a particularly gruesome or gory episode- just the one where Izzy's mom comes because she has cancer (for you avid Grey's fans out there).  I even buffered it with a little X-Factor before going to sleep...but this did not protect my dreaming-mental state.  I had the wildest dream that someone who I'm pretty sure was Owen (on Grey's) was performing surgery on me- on my bed.  I was wide awake and apparently felt nothing as he continued to pull things out of my body and lay them on my bed.  I was appalled that he was getting blood all over my quilt that my mom made me and kept thinking of ways I could wash it out.  However, Owen's surgery was unsuccessful and he told me he "didn't want to kill me so he was going to take me to San Jose."  At the time I thought he meant California.  We got on a Mexican style mini-bus and headed for San Jose, but the bus driver said we couldn't go there.  And that's the end...but then I had a second dream that I was thinking about the previous dream and how weird it was and that I should write on my blog about it.  SO STRANGE, RIGHT?  I know.  But what's even stranger is that I was telling Cati about my funny dream this morning and she says, "You know that San Jose is actually a hospital here, right?"  I had no idea!!  What a creepy dream and sequel dream.  I felt that because I dreamed about writing it on my blog, I had better do it.  And, I'm just slightly bored at the moment, so I hope reading this has been as entertaining for you as it was for me to write it.

In other news, I'LL BE IN THE STATES IN T-13 DAYS!  And arriving in Arkansas December 20th!  Can't wait to be home and start the Christmas celebrations with family friends.  So excited that today is the beginning of December! I was feeling crafty last night and made advent-envelope calendars for my family here and some friends too!  Don't you just love advent calendars?  Gives you something to look forward to each day and with sweets it's a great reminder of the sweetest gift that's ever been given- sweet baby Jesus! Hope you are already having fun celebrating...and don't forget...DON'T WATCH GREY'S BEFORE BED!  Don't say I didn't warn you.