I can’t believe we’ve already been in Mexico longer than half a year! Time is flying by and we are still loving life down here. Our work projects are starting to get off the drawing board, which makes things even more exciting and worthwhile. We are still learning things – and I know we will continue to learn things over the next few years. I am so thankful that you are listening, reading, and learning with us!
- Living without a car is a blessing and a curse. As Peace Corps Volunteers, we are not allowed to operate a vehicle, bus, truck, or motorcycle. That pretty much whittles down the transportation to taking buses, riding bikes, or walking. Sure carrying your groceries blocks and blocks can get old, but I certainly do not miss paying for gas and toll roads. I do not miss the stress of parking or wondering if your car will be where you left it. However, we are extremely limited on what we can actually buy due to the whole lack of a car business.
- Making new friends is challenging, but so worth it! When you’re thinking about packing up and leaving
everything behind, you also have to come to terms with the fact that your relationships and friendships will also change. We have been wanting to make new (Mexican) friends since we’ve been here and are just now finally beginning to crack into actually having amigos to spend our weekends with.
- Exercise is really important to our livelihood. We rediscovered self-care in March and are now trying to make it a part of our daily life. In case you missed the self-care blog, I’ve linked it here.
- Bus routes can change weekly or daily depending on road construction. If one road closes, the bus may need to drive two blocks more and make a u-turn. If another road opens that was part of the original route, the bus will start taking that road again. Makes perfect sense except for the fact that the routes just change without notice. We have wasted countless hours waiting on the corner that we waited on yesterday just to find out that the bus routes have changed again.
Buying a used bike is not as simple as looking on Craigslist and picking one out. In fact, no one uses
Craigslist down here so we have had to canvass our entire neighborhood for used bikes for sale. We find out that there are plenty of used bikes, but they are beyond repair and used for parts. We have been on the hunt for bikes for months and finally stopped to ask one of our neighborhood bike shops if he knew of any used bikes for sale. He gestured toward a frame with wheels – no handle bars, no seat, no gears or pedals He said it would be finished by the end of the day (which could mean never in Mexico), so alas we return at the end of the day to see a completed bike! It was a Frankenstein bike – different rims and gear shifters – but it was a perfect fit. Now we just have to find a bike for Neal!
Reuniting with our Peace Corps friends is good for the soul. We have been at site for 5 months now, which means that we have not seen a majority of our Peace Corps group since then. Peace Corps brought us together for Early In-Service Training where we got to reunite with our group of volunteers. I laughed and smiled more in that week alone than I had the whole 5 months prior at site. Okay well maybe that is an exaggeration, but it was incredibly comforting to be around people who are experiencing similar situations.
- Go to Teotihuacán early and avoid going on Sundays. Don’t get me wrong, you should probably go visit
if you are in the area. The place is huge and can accommodate plenty of people (probably more than 5,000 at at time), but avoid going on Sundays as it’s free to nationals and foreigners with identification of residency. If you don´t want to wait in a huge line to go to the top of the Pyramida del Sol, you should also probably visit as early as they open.
You should always sit on the right side of large buses so that you can see the luggage hatch. We didn’t have any problems, but we did feel relatively nervous anytime the luggage hatch was open. It’s better to be safe then sorry!