Monday, September 1, 2008


Today is September 1. A day like any other day…except that for me it always marks the unofficial End of Summer. Even if school has started a week or two earlier, and even if the weather remains hot for a few more weeks (and – I can’t believe it – even if the Cubs remain in 1st place!!!), even despite all of this when the calendar says September for the first time for me the train cars have begun to head down the hill toward the end of the year.

This year September has an added layer of meaning, for this year we are in Mexico. We are, um, still in Mexico. It appears that this is not some extended summer road trip (our many adventures notwithstanding) but, in fact, where we will be for September, October, November, December…

So as the initial dizzying heights and lonely lows of our landing in Mexico begin to settle down we turn our attention to simple rhythms of life. Not that things are entirely settled just yet – sometime this week, we’ve been told, we’ll move all of our stuff, yet again, to a new building. Nothing’s ever really settled around here. But still: we are setting foot on another plateau where, for a time, at least, things will be relatively stable.

Last night we went grocery shopping. Many of our meals will be provided as part of the program fee here, but we’re still not sure how many, and until the semester program officially starts we do actually have to eat something. We picked up some cereal, and avocados (so I could try a new guacamole recipe), and stuff for tortas (sandwiches with crusty bread, frijoles, and assorted other usually hot and toasty ingredients), and, of course, a giant jug of water to drink.

Chris left this morning, back to her normal routine. She spent most of last week rubbing elbows with bigwigs in the U.S. Embassy (or so I’m told) as part of a multi-day reception for Fulbright recipients. I hope she’ll write a bit about that experience, because I certainly found it fascinating. She also was able to meet a few other folks from the States doing similar kinds of things here…our pool of *potential* friends grows ever larger, bit by bit…

As for me, my 3-week language program ended on Friday with a visit to the Basilica of Guadalupe. That trip, and several other activities last week, deserve their own blog posts, but I found it much harder to find time to write with so much going on. (I also came down with a fever halfway through the week, which does, desafortunadamente, impact one’s writing ability…but that’s another story.) I expect the same will be true in the coming months; there will be less and less time to write. But you, dear reader, can help with that: If there is anything specific you want to hear about, please let me know, through a blog comment or an email or Facebook message or what-have-you, and I will do my best to tailor a post around your curiosities as soon as I have a chance.

Anyway, most of my classmates left on Saturday, and there are now two of us left, waiting patiently (sort of) for the fall semester program to start. We have 8 billion questions about what the next three months will look like that we are trying to suppress for at least a few more days. And we are trying to figure a few things out on our own. How does this new cell phone work? How do I sign up for the new seminarian health insurance? What should I eat for lunch? Why is my jug of drinkable water empty again?

Of course, we are Lutheran (ha), so we also found some time for fun. We wandered around the Bazar Sabado on sabado (Saturday), a sort of high-class arts and crafts market within walking distance from where we live. And within walking distance in the other direction: The Estado Olimpico futbol (soccer – and this is the last time I will call it soccer!!) stadium, where the Pumas of UNAM play every Sunday!! Futbol deserves its own post, so I’ll save the bulk of that description for another day, but suffice to say that we bought tickets in the cheap seats for 8 bucks a pop, bought a rally scarf (very important for futbol games), and cheered the Pumas on to a 3-0 victory against Atlas (no idea where they’re from…still working on this futbol league…) and all three of us (Chris, me, and Jen, our new companera) left fully sunburned (ouch).

So, in short, this is a break like any other break. Some things to figure out, some fun stuff to do…and always the impending start of Whatever Comes Next.

And so we wait.


aemry800 said...

Nice photos of huaraches!

From Michigan with Love said...

I spent my Sept. 1 being 500 feet from Obama and taking in a jazz fest in downtown Detroit!
Sign up for the health insurance at

glad I could the way Brewers are now 4 games back and closing...:-) Second place should get the wild card...looks like we both may be happy...for now at least :-)