We are closely approaching the anniversary of our arrival in Mexico. It is very crazy to look back at our lives a year ago and remembering all the changes we were going through. We quit our jobs in the month of July and moved out of our first home together. It was difficult to vacate a space that felt like home; it was our first place together as a married couple. I remember I kept telling myself that we would be in our Mexican house longer than the Seattle apartment to try and soothe my nerves. There is so much contentment in our hearts when we think about where we are and all the incredible aspects of Mexico we have had the chance to experience so far. Here are some of our lessons learned from July…
- Months really fly by without any real seasons or change in weather. Okay, well there are only two real seasons in Puebla – the dry season and the wet season. In the peak of either of those seasons, there is a cold spell for two or three weeks where the low temperature plummets down to the high 40’s. All that to say that the weather is freakishly predictable, and time doesn’t quite fit with our previous understanding of seasons. Let’s just say that July didn’t really feel like July should.
- Having a mini-garden is quite fun, and Mexico is keeping our plants alive. I love plants and greenery, but I have been known to kill my fair share of houseplants. Thankfully, Mexico has been nurturing our plants with sunshine, the right amount of heat, and an evening watering. Otherwise, these poor babies would probably be dead. I like to think that I am losing my black thumb (think opposite of green thumb), but in all reality I think it is agreeable Mexican climate that keeps them alive and well.
- Living at high altitude means very few mosquitoes. If you remember the blog posts around this time last year, you remember how I kept track of the mosquito bites I had at any given time. One of the major bonuses of living 7,000 feet above sea level is that the mosquitoes can’t seem to survive. The only evidence I have to back this up would be the lack of bites on my arms and legs.
- Patron saint celebrations are a major cultural celebration. The biggest church in our neighborhood celebrated their patron saint this past month. We first noticed something was different when a churro truck set up shop outside the main gates of the church. The next day – vendors of tacos, hot dogs, and corn on the cob. Then, the foosball tables and arcade games showed up. The day before the actual festivities were supposed to start, fair rides like carousels, bumper cars, and kiddos first “roller coaster” set up right in the middle of the street! During the weekend, a mini market popped up selling small toys, movies, and bracelets. We ate out every night at our neighbor’s grandma’s house and got accustomed to the constant fireworks.
- Wikiloc.com is a great platform for sharing trails you’ve explored – just don’t always expect to arrive at your destination. We downloaded two hiking trails on our GPS on our trip to Tepozlan; we decided on one as our first pick and the other one was a back-up. As it turns out, it was nearly impossible to keep on the “trail” for our first choice. A little defeated, we headed back to the fork in the road where the other trail starts. Everything was going good – until we realized that we were always off the trail by a little bit. Neal was so determined to be on the exact trail, we hiked in the stream for awhile and realized that this was definitely a dry season hike. We didn’t necessarily arrive at any destination, but it was really fun tromping around the forest without worrying of getting lost.
- Corn on the cob here is year round – we don’t have to wait like y’all do for the summer to arrive. First off, corn on the cob al estilio mexicana is pierced like a popsicle, smothered in mayo, and covered with cheese & spice. At any given time, you can probably hear a loud speaker announce: Esquites y elotes, esquites y elotes, solo cinco pesos! Which means you can buy corn on the cob or corn cut off the cob for only 38¢. It’s everywhere. And if you don’t like corn on the cob for some weird odd reason, you can choose esquites instead. ¡Buen provecho!
- Creating momentum with a new project idea is arguably the most challenging part of project management. This is the first time we have ever worked with such freedom – our bosses are flexible and we make our own projects. As nice as that sounds, getting everyone on board with your project and getting it started can be the most challenging aspect of your whole project.
- Mexico is home to over 3,000 volcanoes – and apparently home to the smallest volcano in the world. We had the opportunity to listen to a lecture by Jorge Alberto Neyra Jáuregui whom specializes in the volcanoes of Mexico and photographs them. We were aware of the major volcanoes like Popo and Izta (above) but we learned that the smallest volcano in the world is apparently right here in Puebla. The Cuexcomate volcano stands just 13 meters (43 feet) tall, with a diameter of 23 meters (75 feet). It’s a teeny one!
I love that even after being here for a significant amount of time, we are still learning so much. Thanks for your interest in our blog and in our lives! We so appreciate all the support and love we’ve been feeling lately. Thank you for following along on this adventure of ours!
Con mucho amor,