Thursday, July 12, 2012

hasta pronto

I cannot even begin to believe that almost a whole year has passed by.
One thing that I do know is that I have really formed a life here, a real routine, and the transition back into my life in the States has the potential of being difficult.
First of all, I love my jobs. I probably have communicated that enough to you all, but I thought I would just say it one more time. I love my jobs. (Okay, that is two more times!) Not only have I learned some amazing skills, such as cooking, embroidery, crocheting, talking about life stories with senior citizens, but I have been able to do it in the presence of some life-long friends. My co-workers are great individuals that treat me with love and respect, and everyone that either lives in the nursing home or goes to the project where they do their art project and have a small meal has a very special place in my heart. I have been blessed for sure in both worksites, which has truly enriched my time here in Mexico.
Second, I don’t just have one family here; I actually have two! I live with a host family, and they are wonderful people. I spend time playing outside with my host sister and cousin, or chatting with my aunt, or helping out my grandma do something. I interact with the family I live with daily, and it is a big family, so there is always something going on here. But, not only do I have my host family, I have also been somewhat adopted into another family. My co-worker in the kitchen, Vero, invited me over to her house in March one afternoon, and I have been going back frequently ever since. They have a lot of young kids living in the house, so I am always outside playing soccer or running around with them, but also helping Vero’s mom and sister cook a meal, or just chatting about the day. I even recently became the "madrina" (godmother) for Fernando's graduation, so I am actually a real part of the family! Once again, another blessing here has been the love and support that I have gotten from my two Mexican families, and I am so grateful for that.
Third, I have some pretty good friends here. Honestly, I didn’t know if I would make any friends here because of the language barrier and also I didn’t know how I would meet anyone my own age. But, after time, I started going out and meeting people, and I have a real solid group of friends to hang out with and be there for me when I need them. We sometimes just hang out and watch movies and chat, or sometimes we will go out dancing and have a good time. I have also learned to make tortillas by hand and make a special bread called Rosca through the help of some of my friends and their families, and that has been an awesome experience as well.
Fourth, I have an amazing group. Just because we are all from the United States and will be going back together, we live a lot farther apart in the States than we do right now in Mexico. The 7 of us really have formed a tight friendship, and it will be weird living in different states and not seeing each other at least once a month like we have been doing here.
There are a ton more things that I could think of that will be missed of my life here in Mexico, such as speaking Spanish, eating tortillas and salsa everyday, other foods that will easily be missed because you cannot find them in the States, being able to get everywhere by bus (even when the bus rides can be a bit bumpy)…and that is just to name a few.
Transitions are bittersweet. I am excited to see everyone and share stories in person, but it is really hard to even think about saying goodbye to some of the people who have meant the most to me these past 11 months. I guess I am asking you all to think of me during these next couple of weeks, that the “goodbyes” can really just be “see you soon” and that I do find a way to really “leave well” from my time here in Mexico. Also, I am asking for patience with me when I return to the States. I truly am looking forward to seeing you all, but I may be quite sad still thinking of some things that I miss. I apologize already that all my stories will start with “In Mexico…” or that I may throw some Spanish words into our conversations because I simply cannot think of the word in English. I did have an amazing year, one that cannot be described in only a few words, and I am sure you all had an eventful year too. I am real excited that we both will get to share stories with one another, and I thank God for all the support everyone has given me this year. I would not be the person I am today without each and every one of you, so thank you so much.
See you all real soon!