Je bekijkt de reis...
14 augustus 2015
I've been here now for a week more or less and i have seen, smelled, done, tasted, heard so much that it seems impossible that I will be able to put everything in this story.
The first day i arrived in Mexico City aka DF for my orientation camp with YFU. It was a camp designed for the ~20 exchange students who were going to have a gap year in Mexico. We arrived at 10 pm at the airport, together with my fellow-dutchie Lynn. From DF, we drove together with all other students to Cuaútla, a "little town" of approximately 800.000 inhabitants. There we stayed at a very nice hotel. After we got to meet the mexican yfu volunteers, who had been on an exchange year themselves, we indulged a very nice night of sleep.
The following days in Cuaútla were great. It was all about meeting everybody, a lot of sessions about what to expect, culture shock, ups and downs through the year, meeting the area representants, tasting Mexican culture for the first time in Cuaútla, indulging mexican food and of course relaxing in the pool.
Cuaútla is a very nice city. Untill now, Mexican cities gave me the same impression as you see in Southern Europe or northern Africa: chaotic and crazy, but good chaotic and crazy. There is a huge difference with the stiffness and organized countries in Northern Europe.
The last days in Cuaútla were awesome. After dinner, we got to smash a real mexican piñata, which was absolutely awesome. And after that, a mariachi band arrived, which is the typical mexican band you are thinking about: men dressed in traditional clothes with sombreros, great mustaches, playing traditional songs on their violins, basses, banjo's, trumpets and many more. IT WAS AMAZING! Seriously, the music was great and the atmosphere even greater. Everybody started to dance because yes, there is not a single mexican in this world who cannot dance a salsa or some other dance to this tradiotional music. They got the rythym in their blood, which was pretty clear when you compared their dancing to ours haha. But people said everybody will learn it, so everything will turn out fine. I will never forget this evening.
Anyway, the 3 days we had with the volunteers and yfu students were absolutely great. I learned a lot and I think that i made some really good friends. We will see each other again throughout the year in the mid-year camp and the final camp which i think will be amazing to share our experiences.
After those three days, it was time that we went to our host families. I already met my host mother, because she was at the camp too, as an area rep. So with her and a fellow exchange students from Norway we took the plane to Tuxtla Gutierréz.
I arrived at night so i didn't see a lot the first night but i got to meet my host dad Julian and his daughter Harumy. They live in a very nice house. And in Mexico, and i think in other latin american countries, don't judge on appearances ;). Because the houses on the inside don't match the impression you get when you see the outside.
First impression of Tuxtla and Chiapas ( the state) DAMN HOT! During this first week it was 40° everyday, not a cloud in the sky. Luckily, in the night the temperature dropped drastically to a chilly 28/29... Haha, and i'm serious, it.is.hot here. But everybody is accustomed to it so i will to, and i hope in the near future.
Tuxtla is a little town of approximately 500 000 inhabitants and is not touristic at all. The city has one big cathedral and nice plazas and parks but the reason chiapas is so known is because of its nature. Mountains covered in jungle everywhere, hills with huge fields of mango trees or plains with nothing but grass etc etc Chiapas is tropical. That means that sometimes it rains really hard too, but i mean really hard haha.
One thing that struck me in tuxtla is the driving, let's say it is different from the driving in Holland. Also the poverty. The difference in wealth in mexico is reputed, you have the incredibly rich, and the incredibly poor. But i guess that there are not so many countries in the world where this is not the case.
MEXICAN FOOD IS AMAZING. Haha but i was already expecting that. Altough, it is not the same as the TexMex stuff we use to think it is. Yes it sometimes isn't very healthy, but most of the time it is. Lots of fish, vegetables, mexicans eat loooots of fruit (especially at breakfast), lots of meat, chicken, and yes tacos, chilies and guacamole. Mexicans love to eat spicy, but i mean really spicy (chili habanero), they love guacamole and avocados, and they eat everything with tortillas, tacos or tostadas ( which are flat tacos, bit like nachos).
And mexicans love candy and sweetness. But, candy here, is not the same candy as you are thinking it is. Most candy is sweet, but(!) it is also spicy, yes, and contains herbs or spices. This may seem very strange, which it is for us, but people will murder for a pelon pelo rico ( which is a sweetspicy candy, probably the most popular in mexico).
And everything is so cheap here!! You could go to a lunchroom and have 12 tacos and 4 sodas, and you won't pay more than €20. And not only food but also clothes, shoes, etc etc pretty much everything is more expensive in europe that i have seen.
My host family is very nice and warm. In general mexicans are very warm and nice people. The only difference is that the father-mother relation is the same as it was in the early 1900's in Europe. Father works, mother does the housekeeping and teaches her daughters how to do so.
Oh yeah, and my spanish... Altough i had the basics, it is very hard. Reading is easier but understanding people and talking is soooo hard. It is very frustrating that i cannot express myself, or at least very basicly, even if it is to express my gratitude. Luckily this is totally normal in the beginning, and time will learn me el español.
Right now i am on my way to Lagunes in Oaxaca, to stay at my host mothers mother with my host sister and host mother. Let's call it a little vacation, school doesn't start untill the 24th ;).
So i guess this is enough for my first blog and I hope it gave you a bit of an impression of how it is here and how i am feeling!
Foto's bij verslag (3)
14 augustus 2015 18:11 | Door: Susan, Seb en Sas
Hee Nilsie goed blog! En als je het eten lekker vindt zit de rest wel goed haha ;)
15 augustus 2015 09:22 | Door: Sonja
Wauw, wat een mooi Engels verslag! Zo te lezen ga jij een topjaar tegemoet....
15 augustus 2015 11:29 | Door: Oma en opa
Super blog Nils! We werden er heel gelukkig van jouw uitgebreid verslag te lezen. Geniet er heel erg van, lekker eten, salsa dansen en het Spaans komt vanzelf! Liefs van oma en opa, dikke knuffel van ons !
20 augustus 2015 23:37 | Door: Thommie
Episch, kijk nu al weer uit naar het volgende verslag met al je mooie belevenissen!