Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sooo this week has been CRAZY! And not to mention crazy fun! I spent a lot of the week doing schoolwork (reading this INSANELY boring book called "Walden 2"... not a bit of light reading, I can promise you that) and working on my anxiety project (which is still making me anxious). But then on Thursdaaaayyyy we went to a back to school bash kind of thing, hosted at a nearby club/venue. It turned out to be a really fun party! I went with my roommates, so it was my first roomie bonding experience, although only two could go. Here is a picture of us:

I also met up with my ND friends there, and we walked back together early because we all had class in the morning. Here are a few pics with them.

On Friday and Saturday night I stayed in and did some homework, because this Sunday (today!) we went to Tepotzlan (a city about two hours west of Puebla) to CLIMB A GIANT MOUNTAIN! It was one of the coolest experience of my life. There was a pyramid on top, but that was insignificant in comparison to the view at the top (and not to mention the 45 minutes we spent climbing straight up a mountain). Here are a few pictures of the climb.

This one was just a few minutes from the start. We all look pretty good here because we're not thinking we're going to die on our way up the mountain at this point.

A little more tired here. My legs were starting to shake. Look at Mitch's face. (side story- see those stairs on the right? I literally monkey crawled/ dragged myself up them just moments before)

Getting closer. This was a nifty little photo-op spot.

While this is a cool photo, we're not quite at the top yet! This view was just too good to pass up.

When we got to the top, we found these bizarre little raccoon-like creatures scavenging for food. They were cute! (but really smelly)

Here are some people sitting on top of the pyramid! Almost to the top!

And here, my friends, is a the incredible view from the top of this mountain. Thanks to the awesome camera my dad bought me, I can provide you with a great panorama of the whole thing! Cool, huh?

BUT WAIT! There's more!!!

On the way back down, we found a little stream. The others had already gone ahead, but Mitch, Regan, and I decided to follow it upstream to see where it led. Here is a pic of us starting to go up the unpaved mountain.

As we continued to ascend, we discovered a WATERFALL!! It was so incredible and beautiful and majestic. What a cool discovery!

Afterwords, we had lunch at a cute little place in the city and shopped around the mercado. Here is some interesting artwork I found on the walls of the city

It's all made out of beans and seeds. Sweet!

Well, it turned out to be a great day! Unfortunately, now I have to finish up some homework. :( Yuck. What an incredible end of the weekend though!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

schedules and fruit

The last few days have been so hectic! Just when I thought my schedule was all settled, the people in administration informed me that there had been a "miscommunication" between the med school and UDLAP. Therefore, my "psicología médica" class is actually on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, which conflicted with my hospital rotation schedule. So I had to change all of my classes around and drop the "cognitive psychology" class that I was really excited about. BUMMER! But it finally all got worked out, and this is what my schedule looks like now

Monday/ Wednesday-
Hospital rotations in the morning
Psychology and Gender

Tuesday Thursday-
Medical psychology

Learning and Memory
Physics lab (done by 1:00!)

I am actually very pleased with my schedule now, even thought it was quite an inconvenience to change it. I have my first Learning and Memory class tomorrow (it's 2.5 hours long!), so I'll let you know how that goes!

In my Psicología medica class today, we were all assigned the dates for our projects. We each must give a 20-25 minute presentation (in spanish!) about a certain topic... mine is over anxiety. And... I'm going SECOND. AHH. I'm very nervous about talking in spanish for 20ish minutes. I will be doing lots of practice before I have to give the presentation on September 7th.

Physics was good today... I understood what the crazy russian teacher was saying. Oh, actually, we discovered he is Polish. He's a very odd bird. Every day, he wears this little tiny pocket thing that fastens onto his belt. It's maybe 1 in tall and 1.5 in wide, and that thing captures my attention every day. I am literally DYING to know what he keeps inside that pouch. I asked Libby yesterday what she thought he keeps in it. She thinks it's drugs. (sarcasm) I haven't decided what I think. I'll let you know when I come to a conclusion or actually find out.

I've decided that I really like Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have class from 10-1, and then I'm free the rest of the day! It's great!

With our free time after physics today, a few of us ventured off campus to a small little mercado (market) that sells fruit and stuff. The amigos internacionales told us it is safe to eat anything we can peel. Here are my treasures!

Bananas, a cantaloupe, two avocados, and some tomatoes. Since you can't peel the tomatoes, I'm going to cook them with some pasta that I bought also (assuming that I can figure out how to cook things). I also realized I'm going to need to find a knife to cut that cantaloupe.

After our adventure to the mercado, we went to a place where they were giving out free food through a religious organization on campus. It was pretty delicious! They had really great guacamole!

MMM Tacos!

Tonight around 530, most of the group is going to the Ángelopolis mall to go shopping I plan on getting a few sweaters because it is a LOT colder here than I expected! I also hope we can make it to wal mart again... I need some yogurt, milk, cereal, etc!

Well, I think I'll take a nap before the Ángelopolis excursion. Ta ta for now!

Monday, August 9, 2010

First day of Class

Today was the first day of Classes! I had my cognitive psych class at 8AM, but the teacher was confused and showed up a few minutes late. Also, 2/3 of the class showed up 30 minutes late... seems like everyone is late around here. Anyways, here is my first day of school outfit, complete with cheesey grin! Haha. It's an awkward angle, but oh well.
On my way back from cognitive psych, I found a bookstore! (pictured below)

I decided it would probably help my spanish a lot if I read some books in spanish, so I stopped in and made a purchase. It was 270 pesos for the two books, about 26 dollars, and by far my most expensive purchase here. I think it will be worth it in the end, though! The books I bought were...

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter y la piedra filosofa) and Love in the time of Cholera (el Amor en los tiempos del cólera). I am so excited to read them! I think I will start with Harry Potter.

A little while after my excursion to the bookstore, I went to Physics, which was uneventful. The class, though in english, is taught by a man with a VERY thick Russian accent. It at least provides a little entertainment.

After physics, I decided to wander around campus and snap a few pics para el blog. Here is the beautiful campus of "La Universidad de Las Americas!"

The Library (la biblioteca)

Flags representing the nations of all the students at the university!

Some of the pretty landscape of the campus

Cool Cacti.

Hey, who's hiding in the tree?

There are so many interesting tiles like this all over campus!
Lovely structures...

y finalmente, LA HACIENDA!

That's all for today! Hasta Mañana!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


So, I've decided to start a blog about Mexico so that I don't forget all the memories made while I'm here! I'm a little late starting this, since tomorrow is the one week mark, but better late than never, right?

This past week we've had several events for international students, like "noche de tacos." I've gotten to know quite a few students from all over the earth- Sweden, France, Italy, Germany, etc., as well as a bunch from US schools, and of course, many from good 'ole Mexico. One of the "amigos internacionales" that has been guiding us through this first week is named Guillermo, and he has been so helpful and informative! He helps me a lot with my spanish, and I think it's hilarious that my first friend from Mexico is named Guillermo. So stereotypical.

Yesterday we had a breakfast with our "host moms." They're not really a host family since we can't live with them this year, but we do each have our own, and there will be lots of activities planned with them throughout the semester. Anyways, mine is named Guadalupe (or Lupita) Rocha. She has a son, Paulo, who is seventeen, and a daughter whose name I didn't catch. I got to meet Paulo yesterday, and the three of us toured downtown Puebla where Señora Lupita filled me in on a lot of history of Puebla. Later, they took me to walmart to get some things I needed for my room, which looks like this:

And then finally, they took me out to eat a late lunch/ early dinner. We had tacos al pastor, a traditional food of Puebla!

This morning, some of us got up a little early to go to a church in downtown Cholula. It was built on top of a pyramid (which is inside a mountain) by the Spanish when they took over the country. The church is beautiful and very ornate. It was also PACKED. Good thing we got there a little earlier than mass started, or we would have been standing with the masses. Literally, the entire church was filled with people. There wasn't a single bit of standing room, and there were people out the door, too. Here are some pictures from that.

That last one is from church this morning. It is quite a hike to get up there! We were all huffing and puffing. After church was over and we were climbing down, we saw this strange indigenous religious ceremony going on outdoors. There were hundreds of people dressed in all white surrounding these intense looking guys dressed in traditional ceremony garb that were dancing and shaking maracas to the beat of a drum. It was very odd, but cool to watch!

After observing the ceremony for a while, we went and had lunch in Cholula, looked around the markets, and found a PANADERIA!!! (a place that sells pan dulces, or sweet breads). All the pan dulce was fresh and hot and soft and delicious. I limited myself to two items, one for right then, and one to try later. I have yet to try my one for later.

And that was my day! Now I am just reorganizing my room and getting ready for my first classes tomorrow! I have two: Procesos cognísticos and física, or "cognitive processes" and "physics." I am so nervous to have all of my classes (except for physics) in spanish. I hope they speak slowly at first.

Well, I think I will go scrounge up some food. I never thought I would say it, but I really miss the convenience of the ND dining halls. That and food that doesn't include meat and bread. I swear that's all people eat down here. Meat. Bread. Haha.

More tomorrow! Ta ta for now!