Return to Life in Mexico

The summer seemed so long at times, yet so short other times. Now, it seems to have flown by. I am now sitting in my new home in Mexico, reflecting on my long-since-finished first year of teaching, the week-long Spanish course that finished Friday, and the year ahead.

I am in the process of planning for my new position as English math support teacher. For those of you who don’t know about this, the students learn Math in their Spanish class, but not in the English class. So my job is to work with each class once a week, help the teachers out, and work, one-on-one or in small groups, with students who need extra support in math. It’s an exciting challenge as I’ve never taught math before, but I love the subject and the idea of teaching it. Currently, I’m working on the annual plan to get the big picture, and then I’ll have a lot of fun planning great activities for the students. My math course at Queen’s (yay Joan!!) has given me so many great tools and ideas, and I’ll be starting another math teacher’s course this September. What an exciting journey!


Getting to school was a fun (ha!) trip today. The bus ride is now about an hour long each way. I’m the first one on, and the last one off – seems a little unfair, no? My new home is just South of the centro, about a 10-minute walk to the beginning of the excitement. Last year was about a 30-40-minute walk, so it is significantly closer, which I’m really enjoying. I’m not close to any of the other teachers, so I’ve lost the convenience of easy get-togethers, and of sharing taxis. I do feel more independent here in Queretaro. I’m in a neighborhood (rather than being on a big street, across from a University, with lots of students living near me). This makes it less nice to walk at night. I do feel safe, but should still be smart about it.

My neighbors are absolutely fantastic!!! I’ve now met all of them (except the 2 kids across the hall, haven’t officially met them yet, but they’re pretty cute!). There is a couple across the hall, with the two kids, and a couple below me (no kids as far as I can tell). They’ve both offered to help me with whatever I need. I’m super lucky that they all, especially the women, speak English. Angie, below me, even brought me a list of “important numbers”, including her cell and home numbers, after I had some trouble with getting my gas tank (funny that, after one year, I didn’t have any of the numbers anyway!).

What’s the trouble with the gas tank? Well, the school was supposed to bring a gas tank to my place (I need to have it replaced when it runs out, and there isn’t one here because, I learned, they cost a lot!). I’ll skip all the boring details, but it took me a week of trying, non-urgently, to get gas. That’s a week of no stove/oven, and no hot water. No hot water? Yikes! Well, not really. Let me tell you some of the great things about having a cold shower every day (yes, that’s right, every day!):

 

  1. A cold shower does not entail any sort of adjusting the temperature when the water, for whatever reason, gets hotter or colder, or the showerer decides he/she wants it hotter/colder.
  2. There is no worry about running out of hot water (which is a big disappointment if you have hot water in the first place).
  3. I’ve heard cold water is good for the hair and skin, and let me tell you, my hair and skin are just dandy right now!
  4. A cold shower is the best energizer/waker-upper.
  5. The bathroom doesn’t get even the slightest bit steamy!

Now that I have hot water, I’m considering sticking to the cold shower anyway.

I still have to put up some wall-decorations, buy some flowers, and maybe a few other things before the apartment is complete, then I’ll have pictures for anyone who may want to see my lovely new home. Mom, you’ll get your own video!  😀

I’ll be back in a few weeks (or months?). Until then, don’t forget to drink your daily glass of red wine to stay healthy. Cheers!

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