Lessons Learned: December Edition

Don’t worry, we are alive! We have been without steady internet for the past month, but now we have lovely, beautiful Skype-able wi-fi (pronounced we-fee). It has been incredibly glorious to have the interwebs back in our lives, we aren’t quite sure how we lived without it for so long! One day we will tell you all about our adventure with the internet company. Today is not that day, as it will require too many words that I do not have at this moment. Here are our lessons learned from the month of December (never fear, January lessons learned is coming soon!).

 

1. Having keys is extremely empowering.

We gave up keys to the office when we quit our jobs to join the Peace Corps. We gave up the keys to our apartment when we moved-out. We gave up the keys to our car when we sold it. Now in the month of December, we have keys to the office and keys to our new apartment! Feels so good to have space that belongs to us once again!

2. Really watch where you’re walking. I know, I know… we already talked about this, but now I’m talking about something different. There are no laws here (that I am aware of at least) in Mexico about cleaning up your dog’s poop on the sidewalk. In Seattle, there is so much public guilt even if a person thinks about leaving their dog’s poop, they would feel the piercing eyes of the bystanders and therefore return the sidewalk back to clean standards. So now we know to watch out for missing grates and dog poop. Lesson learned.

3. Don’t actually get on the bus to ask where it’s going – just holler at the driver from the street. We wanted to be kind and avoid hollering one time this past month. The bus driver made Neal pay because unbeknownst to us, there is a small mechanism that counts the numbers of people that get on and off the bus. Of course we only learned this after holding up the bus for a good five minutes while trying to understand what the situation was.

4. If you go to a party, plan on staying a lot longer than you think you will. You should actually just plan on crashing there at the end of the night, regardless how long you’ve know the host, whether there was alcohol or not, nor if they have an extra bed for you to sleep on. One time, our neighbor actually offered a bed for us in case we needed to crash. As if walking up a flight of stairs would be too much…

5. With the changing of the President, this just means a lot of waiting. Plus with the holidays in December, this means that while we were (ahem, still are!) waiting for updates and changes, we were also partying. I’m talking breakfasts and comidas and secret santa and pozole and piñatas. It has been really fun to get to know others in our office this way.

6. Camping really exists in Mexico!

Looks PNW-ish, doesn’t it?

Believe it…. it’s true! We had the chance to take a quick trip to visit the ever-adorable El Chico National Park over the holiday break. We were even able to take public transportation from our house to our camp spot without any worry thanks to our lovely host, Jess. We hiked all day in unexpectedly warm, clear weather and experienced Pacific Northwest hiking-type views. Dinner consisted of famous Mineral Del Chico Quesadillas and artesinal beer. Did I mention that we’re in the Posh Corps?!

7. Güero is the politically correct term for Gringo. Believe it or not, Gringo or Gringa is a somewhat derogatory term and should not be used in everyday conversation. Of course you’ll hear people referring to you as Güero or Güera (or even Güerita) in place of Gringo/a – so at least you know the locals mean well.

8. Our Christmas in Mexico included chilies de navidad, Mexican hot chocolate, and all day Skype dates. Although different than we expected, we still had a great time on Christmas with our Mexican host family. They have taken care of us so well and Christmas was not any different. We missed being with our family back in the States, but our all day Skype dates really helped fill the holes in our hearts.

 

We are catching up on our blogging adventures and will be back in full swing soon. We would love to hear from you – make sure to keep us updated on your lives as well!

 

Abrazos,

CBJ

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