I hope this picture suffices for the reasoning behind the tardiness of this blog… I mean really, how can you be mad at that face??
To sum things up quickly, we took a rock climbing class in the month of May with our trusty friends at ADMEET (who also lead our mountaineering classes). I was lead climbing on a rather difficult route and about to reach my next anchor when I fell about 15 feet (4 or 5 meters). If you know anything about rock climbing, you know what it’s like to fall when it’s a complete surprise. Falling around 15 feet (4 or 5 meters) was pretty intense to experience my first real fall. Don’t worry – helmet and harness were perfectly suited. At the hospital, they let me know that I dislocated my clavicle from the tendons in my back. The remedy included four weeks of an isolated sling and five weeks of daily physical therapy. I am happy to say that I am officially done with physical therapy and on the road back to full strength!
Anyway, that’s my good excuse for the absence in blogging this past month…
- Cinco de Mayo celebrations are not a big deal in Mexico, unless you’re in Puebla.
In case you didn’t know, Cinco de Mayo does not celebrate Mexican Independence Day even though we celebrate it as such in the USA. It’s not a commonly celebrated holiday here in Mexico, because the day actually celebrates The Battle of Puebla against the French (yes, even the French tried to conquer Mexico!). Since we’re living in Puebla, there were quite a few festivities and a state fair at the site of the battle!
- Our small apartment can quickly exceed capacity, but ni modo because our hearts are full. We had some of our best friends come and visit us this month, which meant cramped quarters in our small apartment. We really didn’t care though because we had some of our best friends come and visit us! I laughed more in those two weekends than I have in a longtime. Thanks for coming to visit us, amigos!!
- There are places in Cholula that make me forget that I am in Mexico.
In case you didn’t know, we live close to what would be considered a hipster city. When we go visit some of those areas, we always enjoy good food, drinks, and most of the time… great music! Jazzatlan, pictured left, is a Jazz club that is within walking distance from our house. It gives me flashbacks to Seattle and it gives me joy to know that a refuge is so close to home.
- Self-care is not synonymous with isolation. I have been talking (and thinking) a lot about self-care recently, but that’s mainly because I am still discovering how to incorporate in my daily life. One aspect I have learned this month is self-care does not have to be done alone; in fact, it can be very enriching to invite others to the table as well. We had some time to relax with other Volunteers and we set up our slackline in these apple orchards next to hammocks.
- Understanding Spanish whenit literally depends on your life can be slightly stressful. We took a rock climbing course, as mentioned above, and we learned everything in Spanish. It was challenging at first, but once we learned some essential verbs and relied on our instructors to do visual checks, everything relaxed a bit. To be honest, learning how to salsa dance in Spanish is way more stressful than learning how to rock climb!
- Our access to healthcare is amazing. After my fall, we headed to the hospital where they were waiting for us. All I had to do was show my Peace Corps ID and off I went into the “Urgency” room. The doctor knew I had dislocated my clavicle joint even before I had an X-Ray. Everything was taken care of efficiently and thoroughly. The best part is that the PC office handles all of the paperwork! No bills or mishaps with health care coverage.
- Putting your pesos where your ethics are is totally worth the extra effort. In a small town outside of Seattle, we read a poster that stated, “If you like this store, pledge to spend at least $50 a month to keep us afloat.” It really changes our perspective on how much our money can support our community. This month we’ve been trying to spend as little money as possible at bigger stores with imported goods. Instead, we have been supporting small, local stores like this fabuloso cafe a half block away from our office; hands-down rivals Seattle coffee!
- Cooking transforms completely when you start using local ingredients and stop hunting for ingredients left behind. A common ex-pat problem is missing your home-culture cuisine. We missed Adam’s peanut butter for a longtime. That was until we figured out how to dry roast peanuts and make our own version! You can learn how to make your own peanut butter too here, here or here.
Thanks to everybody for your support this past month!!! I want to give a shout-out to Neal who clean every dirty dish made for the month of June, since I couldn’t due to my injury. You are a rockstar!! I look forward to being back on the blog and updating you all more frequently.
Abrazitos (with two arms!),