Sunday, October 16, 2005

Week Five Update

hey there, another long update from jp

big weekend ahead here in C-town...

Vamos!
This was the week I started volunteering after my classes. My typical day starts where I wake up at 730 and eat a little breakfast before i goto class from 8 until 2pm. My family prepares a wonderful meal that is ready to go at 215ish. At about 245 i settle down for a nice two hour nap. ahhhh, nappy nappy... after that I do some homework and then maybe go out for a soda or something. But this schedule was boring the heck outta me because i had too much free time. Too much free time means i really don't get anything done...you know the drill. Well, this week i decided to add an activity to my schedule that allowed me to use my Spanish as well as give a helping hand. Vamos is the name of the organization I am volunteering for. It is an organization run solely on private donations and its goal is to educate and feed the children of street vendors in Cuernavaca as well as surrounding rural areas. Vamos provides different services for depending on the needs of the people it assists.

I am volunteering at a place called Casa Tatic, its right in the downtown area so getting there and back is not a problem. Casa Tatic is more of an after school program than anything and I have tried to help out anyway that I can. There are approximately 35 kids ranging from toddlers to 15 or 16 years old. The first hour is for the kids to complete their homework and the next hour is where we eat together. I have helped kids read, did a little coloring, did a little cleaning, and helped teach typing. These are some things that are pretty easy to do in English...but things become a little harder in Spanish, except for cleaning...you really don't need to speak Spanish to understand when someone hands you a broom. The kids are great and full of energy,sometimes too much energy, but that's just kids being kids. I'm looking forward to the upcoming week and helping out the kids.

On a funny note, Casa Tatic is a series of four houses in a row all joined together with different sized doors leading from one room to the other. The first day I hit my head twice, now all the kids giggle in anticipation when I approach the doors and tell me "No Agaches!" which means "don't duck". A few of the older kids have been bugging me to teach them some American curse words. These girls already know them and wanted my confirmation. I shrugged my shoulders and gave them a blank stare and was like "huh, sorry, never heard that one..." They then walked away and using these words like they were singing their favorite song.

Now we`re cookin!.
I have learned to make some delicious beans, guacamole, chilaquiles, picadítas, gorditas y mucho más. Yesterday I helped my host family make some guacamole. The guac my family makes is oh so delicious and I wanted to know their secret. My host mother was more than willing to give a cooking lesson. The guac we ate required some chile ceranos. The problem with these chilies is you never know if they are the spicy or not. Well, the chilies we used for this guacamole were all spicy. But that's not the funny part. The funny part was when my buddy Hector called after the meal and wanted to make plans. I was a little tired when he called and I yawned and rubbed my right eye while I was speaking to him. Note to Self: No Eye Rubbing After You Have Cut Chilies and Onions. My eye began to burn and tear instantly...After about five minutes of dousing my eye with contact lens solution I looked into the mirror and saw one eye looked great but the other was pretty bloodshot. Hector said that I looked like a stoner, but how many stoners have only one eye that is bloodshot. Live and learn. I really dont wanna describe any more cooking stories right now because i haven't ate and this is making me hungy.

Big Trip is comin up
In about 10 days I leave for Peru. The excitement and nervousness are beginning to build. I'm excited to see a different part of the world and learn all different types of new things. I'm a little nervous because I really wont have a set routine like I have had here in Cuernavaca. No host family, no private bedroom, no familiar faces. This should be good for me, though. Pushing yourself outta your comfort zone makes a person grow. I have a 10 hour layover in Panama City and hope to see the canal, maybe catch a museum or something before I head to Lima. I'm gonna try and contact my buddy Julian who has a sister that lives in Panama City. It would be cool to hang out with Geoconda, I haven't seen her in four or five years.

I plan on leaving Cuernavaca next Monday and spending the last three days in Mexico City. In DF I plan on visiting the Museum of Anthropology, the Basilica, and the American Chamber of Commerce. I was talkin with the director of the language school to see what kinda opportunities are out there for a gringo like me. My Spanish is by no means excellent, but Paco suggested I visit this place and speak with them about international job opportunities with the American companies that do business with Mexico.

Street Vendor Food Is soooo good, even though it is killing me. killing me softly.
There i go again, talkin about food...There is a little taco stand called La Gringa which serves some pretty delicious tacos al pastor. Tacos al pastor is a method of cooking taco meat where pork meat is stacked in the shape of an inverted Christmas tree. The food is quick, cheap, and very delicious. This food is even better when its 3am and you have been drinking a little bit.

Cant figure out what to buy here
With all the time I have spent down here I still have not bought very much at all. I think i have purchased a magnet and that's it. there are so many beautiful hand painted crafts here that i would like to purchase. but, I'm pretty much 100% sure something would break if i put something inside my backpack for the next six months. maybe some nice magnets to put on my fridge will work well. I also cant figure out whether I want to mail my stuff home via DHL or give them to Hector and have him mail them home when he gets to his hometown in the USA.

The world continues to turn.
oh, boy! it is so great to wake up and not be inundated by Husker coverage. In fact, I have not read a single report about the Huskers in the paper. Now, I have nothing against the Huskers and I know what it is like to be a college athlete, even though i played Div II. Those players work their tail off and hafta put up with a type of media that the only thing they know about football is that they like it. Actually, I'm glad i don't hafta hear the Voice of the Huskers, Jim Rose. Cmon! Lets bring back Gary and Kent.

trouble on the homefront?
My sister's fiance sent me an email earlier this week that has me a little bit worried. Don, is a true and through New Yorker. He has an opinion on just about everything and is more that willing to share it or some type of commentary with anyone. no really, anyone. Earlier, Don wrote to me and said that Id better get home lickity-split because my dad is gonna put my things up for sale on eBay. I initially brushed the thought aside because my Dad doesn't know how to use eBay, but then I began to think..."What if..." If anybody sees JP memorabilia on eBay, please, drop me an email.

Put your rally caps on...
Friday was a fun day because our school director invited Hector and I to a car exhibition in the south eastern portion of the city. All types of cars were there, anything from classics to rice rockets to new models.

The car show was in conjunction with a rally race that was scheduled from 10pm until 3am through the winding streets of Cuernavaca. The race when right by my front door. The rally type race is a little bit different than NASCAR because it is not entirely based on velocity. The rally cars had to pass through checkpoints at certain times and get points accordingly. Too fast or too slow will cost ya in this race. Im not exactly sure on all the rules, I just know these cars burned some rice and were not straight off the show room floor. My buddy Andy who owns a 2005 Subaru WRX STI would have been itching to enter his car into the race. I thought about renting a taxi into the rally race but changed my mind after looking at the modified cars and realized this was more of a professional sport than a cannonball run type race. oh well...at least i can still enter my unicycle into bicycle races and get the same effect.


its gettin late and im gettin hungry...have a great day and drop me an email or a comment!

jp

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Hey James,
I hadn't had a chance to read your blog lately, and apparently I need to check often...otherwise I have lots of reading to do. Luckily, it's always fun to hear about your adventures!

Things are going well here. It's official, I took a new job. I start in a few weeks, so I'm hoping it brings only good vibes my way.

Have a great time in Peru, and keep me updated. Jenny