Saturday, March 7, 2009

It's been almost a month... but boy do I have a lot to say!

Well, everybody, let me start out with saying how SORRY I am that I haven't updated in so long. The thing is, nothing incredibly interesting was happening. It was just school.
(Side note: If anyone is interested in doing some good in the world, check out the situation in Chiapas. Mexico is a poor country in general, but Chiapas is by far the poorest state. It's actually the richest in natural resources, but the indigenous people there are in an awful state. And the government contintues to exploit. I really have no idea what I can do about, but I feel like it's important to spread the word. Go do some research. Maybe start with the Zapatistas (or "EZLN"). Now, don't freak out, I'm not saying I agree with everything about the Zapatistas, but it was through learning about them and their cause that I found out about the situation in Chiapas.)

So, yeah, it hasn't been incredibly interesting. But last week was spring break. (Note that it's not Spring Break, just spring break.) And now I have A LOT to talk about. So, prepare yourselves. Over the next several days I'll be posting much more frequently than normal. And it's gonna be exciting.

I'll start off today with the beginning of our trip. We left for Oaxaca (pronounces "Wah-ha-ka," more or less) on Friday at 1:00. Well, we didn't actually LEAVE at 1:00, but whatever. We rode in two vans, and the drive was about 8 hours. (Oaxaca is a different state in Mexico... it's not right next to Morelos, but the next state over, to the south-ish.) It was incredibly fun. We passed this active volcano on the way their, and the guy driving our van (he was a friend or something of Javier's family) told us that it had the most people in the world living near an active volcano. So, if it erupted, lots of people would die. Freaky. I would never live that close to a volcano. (Which isn't really true, because I live in Flagstaff, basically under the wing of a volcano, but it's not active, so it doesn't seem as scary. Even though I learned in my Geological Disasters class that the only difference between active and dormant volcanos is the period of time they've been dormant, and a so-called "dormant" volcano could totally erupt any day. But, whatever.) Anyway, he told us a story about the active volcano and the smaller dormant volcano right next to it. Apparently the smaller one was an indigenous princess (Aztec, I think), and she fell in love with the bigger volcano, who was a warrior. But her father forbid them from seeing eachother. And... there's more to the story. Something to do with her sleeping. I don't remember. But if you see like t-shirts of a big warrior guy carrying a sleeping woman, that's the story of those two volcanos. (Volcanoes?) Yeah.

So, the ride was fun, and we got to the hostel at like 9 or 10. We checked in, and then everyone but Callie and me went out to get food. We just stayed in our room and relaxed. It was nice :) The beds were... tolerable. Barely. But my pillow was AWFUL. It was like... I can't even describe it. It was WAY too firm and lumpy. It was like they shoved a bunch of cotton into a pillowcase. But it wasn't the fluffy, soft kind of cotton. It was the kind you find in bad couch cushions. Yeah. I thought all the pillows were like that, but I found out later that it was just mine. Lame. (It was worth it, though, because we each only had to pay 250 pesos for three nights, which is less than 20 USD.) Laura and Callie and I woke up at like 7:00 the next morning, so we went to the rooftop patio and sat in the sun and talked. It was really nice outside, the temperature was perfect. I had bought some markers that week, so I doodled. And we took pictures. And we talked about Pokemon with Patrick. It was awesome.
That day was a free day, so we walked around the main part of the city. We went to the town square, we went into a cathedral (there are cathedrals all over the place in Mexico!), and we went into this cultural museum. It was cool, I took lots of pictures of the stuff at the museum. It was set up so you could follow everything chronologically, but Laura and I kinda went out of order, so it wasn't as interesting as it could have been. And one time, there was this hole in the wall that looked like it used to display something, but it was empty. So, naturally, I wanted to sit in it. I was a little afraid (I don't like breaking rules, even if the rules aren't specifically stated), but I did it anyway. And I had Laura take a picture. Unfortunately, my flash was off (because that rule WAS specifically stated), and the security guard was getting a little upset with us (I could just hear her thinking, "Stupid Americans!"), so the picture turned out blurry. Sad day :(
After the museum we went shopping. There was a whole street full of vendors, and it was so much fun. Lots of cool clothes and jewelry. Everything I love to shop for. I ended up getting a hand-made rug (I wanted to get a whole blanket, but they were EXPENSIVE... I couldn't tell if the guy was ripping me off or what... I don't think so... I think they were just higher quality than some of the rugs my friends got, because the one I got is much thicker than theirs... but whatever) and a REALLY cute little dress for Verity, and a pretty blue bufanda (scarf). And while we were walking to this little market area, we saw this parade, and in front were these two huge characters (they were like fifteen feet tall), and we realized they were dressed up as a bride and groom! And then we looked behind them a little and saw the actual bride and groom! It was a parade for a wedding! HOW COOL IS THAT? I want a parade at my wedding... (Just need to find me a groom first.)
Oh, and I also bought lots of cool things at the museum gift shop. Like a deck of playing cards with the prehispanic gods. And bingo with prehispanic people. And memory with drawings of prehispanic animal figurines (which came with a list of all their names in Spanish and Nahuatl). I really like the prehispanic cultures. After I master Italian and French and maybe German, I want to learn Nahuatl and Quechua (indigenous lanugages).

Anyway, yeah, so the first day of Oaxaca was amazing. I loved it.

I'll talk about our second day tomorrow. It was equally as awesome as the first.


Oh, and stay tuned. I'm going to try to post links to my photo albums of all my Mexico trips so far... I think there's a way to post them in the side bar... We'll see :)

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