Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Walking with donkies

So I get off the combi (a large volkswagen van that is the main trasportation system) today and start to cross the street. I looke over to my left and a donkey is walking along with me. I look around wondering where its owner is. Finally she appeared, with about 20 sheep to go into the fields to eat. Sometimes I wished I carried a camara with me everywhere. It is interesting to see something like that, while crossing a busy street with cars.

Which reminds me - have you ever heard a donkey? I think that they must be the loudest animal alive. I have been pleasantly surprised this visit. The neighbors donkey must have died or something, because it isn´t waking me up at all hours of the night with its noise.

There are some baby sheep that live next door. They sound like a baby crying. The first time that Edith heard it, she asked me where the baby was.

Some say that there are more dogs that people in this town. At night I can believe it, because they are all howling. It isn´t too bad though. It is amazing how you start to filter things. Like when we first arrived, I thought the stench of cow manure was going to kill me. But now I don´t even notice it. We don´t have pigs though, so everytime we pass by someones house that has pigs, it makes me want to gag. I am not sure that I could get used to that smell. It is really horrible.

I haven´t really heard from anybody in a few days, so I am feeling a bit disconnected. The computer is my link to home. I am glad that I get along so well with my sister in laws. They are a lot of fun to hang around with.

Monday, July 28, 2008

childrens comments

Okay, so I just interviewed my children. It was funny, sad, and surprising at the same time. I love kids answers to stuff.

Edith´s all about mom tag

1. What is something mom always says to you? be quiet while you´re doing school
2. What makes mom happy? if you go in the room and stay in the room forever
3. What makes mom sad? when I do nothing
4. How does mom make you laugh? tickle my armpit and neck
5. What was mom like as a child? she had fun
6. How old is your mom? i don´t know
7. How tall is your mom? um, like this tall (she finds a chair to stand on)
8. What is her favorite thing to do? eat and laugh at jokes and go to the computers and play, and go to our cousins house
9. What does your mom do when you're not around? maybe just go somewhere
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? for not doing the right things
11. What is your mom really good at? playing cards - the memory game
12. What is your mom not very good at? playing soccer
13. What does your mom do for her job? the hospital
14. What is your mom's favorite food? pizza and spagetti and noodle soup
15. What makes you proud of your mom? because she does stuff for me
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? a queen
17. What do you and your mom do together? we play cards
18. How are you and your mom the same? we are brown
19. How are you and your mom different? she´s peach and I´m brown
20. How do you know your mom loves you? because I eat my food and then I get to watch tv

Balthezars about mom tag

1. What is something mom always says to you? turn off the computer and Let´s go to so and so´s house

2. What makes mom happy? when I give her lots of hugs and kisses

3. What makes mom sad? when dad leaves

4. How does mom make you laugh? giving me tickes

5. What was mom like as a child? I don´t know, you had glasses

6. How old is your mom? 31

7. How tall is your mom? I don´t know

8. What is her favorite thing to do? wash clothes

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? go to my cousins

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? making pies

11. What is your mom really good at? making mistakes

12. What is your mom not very good at? fake crying

13. What does your mom do for her job? nothing, she doesn´t have a job, she goes to school.

14. What is your mom's favorite food? Taco Time

15. What makes you proud of your mom? I can´t think of anything

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? I don´t know

17. What do you and your mom do together? go out with my cousins

18. How are you and your mom the same? we like to eat meat

19. How are you and your mom different? she´s fluffy and I´m skinny

20. How do you know your mom loves you? she says so

Friday, July 25, 2008

Trip To Tepeaca

today my sister-in-law Delia and I went to a nearby town called Tepeaca. They have a huge outdoor ´plaza´which is where people sell stuff. She needed to buy new uniforms for her kids (all the schools have the whole catholic school girl look going on) It is an experience. The people are packed in like sardines. People are yelling everywhere - 5 pesos, 10 pesos, get your ------ here!!! I bought a couple of pair of footless leggings for Edith ($3 each) a hat for me and the kids - sunscreen isn´t enought, I still get burnt ($4 each) a little back of homemade baby donuts ($1), new socks for Balthezar ($6) 3 tacos ($1.80), orange juice fresh squeezed while I was standing there (70 cents) and some cute miny pots for Gens classroom ($2) --- all paid with cash - no one here takes visa!! (as I was describing that, all I could think of is those commercials) And yes, the experience is priceless.

Which brings me to the fact that yes, I am doing well. The week I was sick all I could think of was coming home. Now I am in the swing of things. I have two hours of english class from 2-4 in the afternoon. I usually make about 8 dollars. It isn´t much, but it is enough for basic stuff during the day - ie, my coke addiction, and the donuts that the kids love, oh, and I am embarrassed to say this, so I will write it down, my twinkies.

Okay people. When is the last time you tried a twinkie? They are so freaking good!!

I had plans to study a bunch over the summer, and have the kids do more work in their summer workbooks, but that hasn´t really happened. The kids aren´t speaking as much spanish as I would like, but I have to remind myself that they have a great start, and I can´t force them. If I could learn it as an adult, they can pick it up in bits and peices as kids.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Our border is safe from ´Terrorists

So I got a call late last night from Moises. He had spent the weekend on Orcas Island with his boss and cousin/coworker Juan, working on a house. All went well, until Moises and Juan came back to Anacortes on the ferry. Everyone getting off the ferry was stopped, and you guessed it, it was Border Control. Juan was taken into custody. We don´t know how long he will be there, or where he is at, or where they will take him. Moises is beside himself. He wishes he had thought about it, and had Juan hide in the back of the truck. His boss will probably get fined too -although he didnt know that Juan is illegal. Moises is also worried about his residence being in trouble since he has helped Juan. Hopefully, Juan will not say where he has been living, and he will be okay.

Juan or Juanillo as they call him, is a really nice kid. He is 22 and they oldest of 8 or 10 children. He has been working with Moises for almost 2 years now. Making 10 dollars an hour, he has been able to support his entire family, plus save for himself and his future. He paid taxes, medicare, and social security on each check. When he gets back home, he will probably find a job working about 60 hours a week and making around 120 dollars. It is enought to scrape by on here. The food prices have gone up dramatically here too, and other necesities cost about the same as at home.

This isn´t a political rant of mine. It is just basic facts.I know that Juan broke the ´law´by crossing the imaginary border that we put on our countries. That is how it works. I wrote a really good research paper winter quarter, which I thought was as unbiased as I could possibly be, looking at all the options and the positives and negatives of the immigration issue.

I have been a little preoccupied lately with poverty here. I know they are lucky here, it could be like Africa where people are starving and living with an AIDS pandemic, but I haven´t been there and actually seen it. It would probably be too hard for me. Everyone here is doing well and happy. It is just hard sometimes to see how hard people work, and what they have to show for it. I have 4 sister in laws here. Delia, Leticia, Martha, and Maricela. None of their husbands have ever left to go to the US. A lot of the time though, in order to make better pay (200 or so a week) they will leave for work in other parts of Mexico. They go for months at a time, but it is nice for the families to have some extra money. Right now, all are working near home, so things are tight. Leticia´s family eats black bean soup almost every day for lunch and dinner. They come over often to eat with us, since right now my mother in law is getting 400 dollars a month to live on from her other two sons, Aaron and Antonio. I buy bread or fruits and vegetables and always have it available to the kids when they come over. If I go to visit, I make sure that I bring something extra along with me. It is interesting for me to be ´rich´here, because at home, I scrape by on 400 dollars a month plus 300 in food stamps.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

mexico phone number



I am always interested in people and what they think and remember, so when I found this on a friend's blog, I had to try it.

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses.If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

dry heaves are worse

So my kids were sick but both got over it pretty fast. Me on the other had, I got sick and spent 3 days in bed and 2 days out of bed but feeling like hell. I never really vomited because I hadn´t been able to eat, so instead I would just dry heave. I think that is the worst feeling in the world.
I called my mom last night to cry and get love over the phone. I was feeling so horrible. My brother Josh was there and told me about the medicine I am taking and what to ask for the nausea. Today I am doing quite a bit better, but still have a little fever and sweating and all that fun stuff.

Balthezar is on a soccer team down here. It is with a group of kids that live in the neighborhood. He is becoming such a ´man´because I asked him how it went, and he was like -good- and thats it.

Edith is getting better and better at spanish. At first, when I would talk to her in spanish she would look at me with a sour face and say, ¨don´t talk to me like that¨ as if I would being rude or something. She says that since I am from, english, I must talk in english.

I haven´t heard anything about my accident yet. I went to physical therapy everyday for a week before I came here. It was nice to get a massage everyday, and the difference was remarkable. I am keeping up on my stretching, but still feel pain in my back sometimes. I also pinch a nerve somehow, because for a while I would wake up and my leg would be numb and then tingly and painful. I was given some stretches for that too.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vomit Stinks

I have spent the last 2 nights with sick children. The first night it was with Edith. Unfortunately, it was in the middle of the night, and she vomited 2 times. First all over the bed, then all over me. Next she had diarhhea 2 times in her sleep and so that made more of a mess on the bed. I spend the entire next day washing sheets and blankets. Everything is done by hand. Fortunately, with Balthezar, he was awake and able to get to the toilet in time. We got a bowl and he vomited a few extra times. I rinsed out the bowl, and he fell asleep with his head in the bowl. Everytime I tried to take it away from him, he woke up and insisted that he needed to have it. He was very afraid of vomiting all over like Edith.

Besides that things are going well, I suppose. I start teaching some english classes today. I hope that it goes well.

I usually have more to say, but I am just not feeling it right now.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Christmas in July

What a week! My bags got here on tuesday, and so did Moises. It was nice to finally put on some clean clothes - although, I dont think they got too dirty, and I was able to buy a couple of pairs of underwear in the meantime, and a pair of sandles. People here are really formal when it comes to going to a party. So, me showing up to the graduation wearing pants and tennis shoes would not have been good. Nobody would have said anything, but of coure to each other they would say - oh my gosh, look at the gabacha (they don´t say gringa) Look at what she is wearing! I read somewhere once that you can tell who is american in Mexico because they will be walking around the city in flip flops, and Mexicans would not do that.

Yesterday we killed a sheep and had barbecue. They do it like the Hawaiians do it. They dig a big whole in the ground and wrap cactus leaves around the animal. When they kill the animal, they save all the blood to make soup, and cut off the head, and take out the intestines and stomach to make a different soup. They boil the head and stomach, then cut it up and add chili and tomatoes. My suegra (mother in law) had Feliciano (my sister in law Delia´s husband) cut open the scull so that she could eat the brain. It is her favorite part. My suegro (father in law) ate the eyeballs. I did my best not to gag. I have tried lots of weird foods, but I don´t think I could get myself to eat eyeballs and brain.

As soon as I get some pictures on a disk, I will post them.

Oh - they christmas part! They always call me Santa Clause because I come with bags of clothes to give them. They probably haven´t bought new clothes in years. It always feels really nice that I can help other people like that. I am beginning to understand why mom likes to buy gifts at Christmas. It does feel really good.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Always pack clean underwear in your carry-on!

Wow, what an interesting couple of weeks. First my accident. Then my mom got MRSA. She was suppossed to come down to mexico with Moises but she got out of the hospital 2 days before he was leaving, and her doctors told her she shouldn´t go. I was excited to show her around. I know she would have enjoyed it. She is doing much better, but it still on medicine.

Then there was my trip down here. The flights went pretty well. The kids slept all the way from San Franscico to Mexico City. We were up at 3:30am to get to the airport, and Balthezar didn´t even go to sleep until 1 am. He was too wound up.

The flight was late arriving by about half an hour, which I wasn´t really concerned about. We went through customs really fast. There was a guy who was taking care of all the families with children, so we got to the front of the line. (for those who have traveled abroad, you know how long that can take) Next we went to pick up our bags - but only 4 of the 6 were there. I had someone looks and look, and then another guy on the phone calling around. Aparently they were still in San Fransciso. Nice!! I hope that they had fun there.

I filled out paperwork so that United could send them to me and then we were off to buy bus tickets to Puebla. We got tickets for the next bus that was leaving in only half an hour, so that was nice. But because we had been so late at the airport, by the time we got to Puebla, all of the connecting bus companies were closed for the night.

I started to freak out a little at this point. A bus station in Mexico is like a bus station in the states. Some travelors, people selling stuff and homeless people. I wouldn´t normally be afraid that some homeless person is going to steal from me, but in Mexico I am. I called Moises and told him what was going on (and found out he had been delayed in El Paso and would have to spend the weekend in Juarez with some cousins to wait for some paperwork to be done - so he is way behind schedule) He called around because he has cousins in Puebla, but they happened to be here with family.

I called my mom and freaked out a little. She helped me calm down, because she called the travel insurance people (wow - first time I ever buy travel insurance and it actually paid off!) and got things rolling on that end. I will be reimbursed a couple hundred dollars for my bags being delayed. We ended up taking a taxi for the 1 hour or so drive here. It was about 60 dollars. Not bad for the states, but really expensive here.

I am currently wearing the same clothes that I have been wearing since early Saturday morning. Nice, huh? My bags should get here today, and I look forward to changing!!