Los Niños Son Los Mismos

I cannot believe that a month has already gone by. It seems as if I just got here and began! School is starting to pick up and we have our first big trip this weekend to Mexico City and Teotihuacan! 

This past weekend was filled with fun. Thursday night, half of the group adventured back to Cholula and the dance clubs on Camino Real while the other half went out closer to home. Anticipating the game on Saturday, Friday was relaxed. The morning was filled with volleyball at the park. One of the host families has a terrace on their second floor so Friday night we got together for what has been deemed “real talk” ie: legitimate discussions on issues here, at Notre Dame, and our futures. I love that our group has already become tight enough to have real talk and grow even closer. We’ve bonded more in this first month than I think most students do in a year at ND. After real talk we proceeded to our local hangout: the karaoke bar. It was very busy so there weren’t many songs that we understood but we sang them anyways!

Saturday dawned early. We had to be across the street waiting for the bus at 7:30am because kickoff for Notre Dame vs. Navy was at 8am! Our on-site coordinator here managed to get an Irish pub, McCarthy’s, to open extremely early so that we could use their wifi and televisions to stream the game. While I’m not sure that the stream we watched was entirely legal, we had a blast. Never would I have thought that we would be ordering drinks at nine in the morning! We even did pushups in the pub. Well…until we got to 27 points. The guys were a little tired by then and did not want to throw anyone else up in the air. 

Instead of going in the air for pushups, I was conscripted into doing real pushups by one of the girls here that is determined to get back into shape. Since being here, I have become a variation of a personal trainer for the group. Because I have had training before, hosted ab workouts for football players in high school and am enthralled by different exercises (after all, that’s what I want to do with my life: using exercises and manual therapy restore injuries to their prime), I run bootcamp a few times a week.

In honor of bootcamp and the other girl’s mantra (“Beach *crunch* Bod *crunch*) we did pushups after every touchdown. However, just like the guys, after we scored around twenty points and had already done forty pushups each we were pretty tired. We decided to stop there and wait until we knew the final score and go from there. The wonderful final score was Notre Dame 50 – Navy 10 so we clocked in ninety pushups on Saturday morning. I did ten later that afternoon because I need to have an even one hundred. 

After a brief stop at the mall, Triangulos, we made our way home and crashed in our beds. After barely remembering to put the three prong plug converter that my housemate and I share out in the hallway, I slept until almost five in the afternoon. The lack of sleep finally caught up to me, I guess. Briefly awaking to submit my lab homework for histology, we stayed in to recuperate from the adventures of the morning. 

On Sunday, we finally found a mass that we could mostly understand. There are two different priests who say mass here in Estrellas (the name of my neighborhood) and mass at 12pm is unintelligible for the natives.

A surprise lunch of mamellas and quesadillas off the street complemented a tour of Cholula and several beautiful churches covered in talavera. 

We went into this one church where we were not allowed to take any pictures. That reminds me of several of the temples in India. Their beauty is preserved only in my mind. This church was a blend of indigenous traditions with the Catholic decorations. You could barely even focus on one of the cherubic angel faces on the wall because twenty others drew your attention away.

We came home to relax out of the heat. Rocio whipped up a michelada for me which was a very strange type of beer that tasted savory with salt on the rim. I couldn’t drink more than a few sips — not because of the alcohol content but because the taste was so outlandish!

It was a fabulous weekend here in Puebla and I really do not feel like I’ve already been here for a month. One thing I have discovered is whether it is children yelling, “Es mío! It’s mine!” as I walk by a house on the way to the bus or a son refusing to ask for directions at the prodding of his mother, (see: church tour of Cholula) people everywhere are the same people no matter the country. As I get more accustomed to live here in Mexico I come to realize how similar we all are despite our cultural differences.

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