Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My First Week in Mexico!!!

Hola mis amigos y mi familia!!! So your patience has paid off. Here comes the huge post of what I have been up to the last week. ENJOY!! August 13th-my Mom and sisters helped me into the airport with my luggage, got me checked in and then we all said goodbye, of course there were tears, but I was excited. I then got on the plane with my two new friends Lauren and Emily. We flew to Dallas, Texas where we had only an hour layover. At the Dallas airport we met another girl, also named Lauren but lovingly named LJ, going to Puebla as well as the rest of the teachers who are teaching in Tehuacan. We then flew the rest of the was to Mexico City. We were met in the Airport by on of the ILP representatives named Teo. Teo and his wife are like the principles of the school in Tehuacan. We waited in the airport for 4 hours until our bus showed up (the time was filled with people watching). We then went drove another 2 or 3 hours to Tehuacan.

Going through customs at the Mexico City airport.

Outside the Tehuacan school!

August 14th- My first real culture shock happened the first morning I woke up when I went to take a shower and there was no shower curtain. Although this wasn't a big deal, it was definitely a surprise. The water was cold by I enjoyed it none the less. Life was looking good. The rest of the day was spent walking around Tehuacan and meeting some of the people associated with the school there. It was kinda pointless for those 6 of us not staying in Tehuacan but it was still very fun. While we were walking around town we noticed that there was a small canival going on. Nothing to big but there was three cages with a baboon, a tiger, and a bear. Also there was a street performing Mime. He saw us watching him and in spanish asked us our names and where we were from. Then out of all the girls he proceeding to pick me out and call me up with him to act out a scene. It was fun definitely but a little embarrassing and he made jokes about us being in love. Ha Ha! What is a girl to do? All in all it was fun! That night all of the ILP teachers started out on a trip around Mexico. We did this because are students are still having their vacation and so we took one too. The vacation started that night when a small bus came and picked us up at 11. It would be our home for the next couple of days.

Yep no shower curtains.



August 15th started out wonderfully with the opportunity to go to the temple at Veramosa. Although all of the individuals I traveled with are LDS not all brought their recommends and I was so very grateful I had mine. It was an incredible experience to see inside this small temple and to hear the prayers said in a different language completely. Next on our travels we went to a small zoo/museum in the city of Tabasco. The animals we actually really interesting! The funniest part to me was seeing all the people gathered around the raccoon cage while all of us were looking at the crocodiles. In the museum were all sorts of Native Heads and artifacts. An exciting moment for me happened when I spotted the Colossal Head. For those of you who don't know this is the head that you always see in the History and Art books! That night we slept in what is called a hostile which is basically a small hotel that can fit about 6 people in a room. The crazy part is that we only paid 100 pesos, 9 dollars, and there was a swimming pool. It was great!!

The Veramosa Temple

Kissing THE Head

August 16th was my favorite day that we had. We went to two exciting places, Palenque and Agua Azul. Palenque is basically a park filled with huge pyramids dating back to right after Book of Mormon time. It was incredible and if you don't believe me look at the pictures:) I ran up the tallest temple there just to say I did it! Man was it hard!
Agua Azul was so much fun, especially after a hot day of hiking ruins. Basically Agual Azul is what it is called Blue Water. However, the name does fail to mention the huge falls that that this Blue Water cascades down. It was a blast to swim in the water and jump off the falls. At one point a man had jumped off and after him I did. All the sudden he started saying something and a man started swimming to him. He started to say the same thing in English and the word was "Help" I began swimming to him, thanking my Mom and Day for the lessons, and helped the other man support him. LJ jumped in soon after and helped us. It was a good thing because she is a trained LifeGuard. All in all it was exciting and terrifying at the same time.
After Agua Azul we were heading back to the bus when all these kids with food start crowding around us. We start talking to them in our broken Spanish and before long we have friends. We bought some food, including sugar cane YUM!, and some of the girls braided the little girls' hair. We had lots of fun and ate some tasty food. That night we slept on the bus and drove to our next destination.

Lauren, Ashley, and Me jumping for joy!!! It took 20 pictures, no joke, to get this shot.

Ashley and ME!!!

The Whole Group!


Agua Azul!!!

Sugar Cane!!!

Our little friends at Agua Azul

August 17th was spent on a boating trip down a river that divides Mexico from Guatemala. The boat ride took us to some more ruins that were supposedly built during Book of Mormon time. Also the river we went down is supposedly the river Sidon talked about in the Book of Mormon so that was really cool! On the way back from the ruins we talked to our boat captain and got him to go over to the Guatemala side of the river. We stood on the beach and collected shells and had a really good time in Guatemala for about 5 minutes. After the river we went into a small town and went to an internet cafe to talk to family and friends online. For 8 pesos it was definitely worth it! That night we slept in another Hostile and were on our way the next morning!

It is so GREEN!!!

The Palace

Lamanite Ruins... Maybe.

Hanging from a vine at the ruins


August 18th we traveled to a really pretty lake. It reminded me of home except the fact that there were palm trees everywhere. It was rainy that day and so we didn't go out on the lake. Instead we played with all the kids who sold things by the lake. One of the girls that was there just started braiding my hair for the fun of it. It was really sweet and she was darling!

After the lake we went to San Crusibal and stayed in a really nice hotel for again really cheap. One of my favorite things about Mexico is all the incredible colors they use. Our hotel was no exception with pink and green all over! As soon as we got to the hotel we all crashed even though it was still early because we were all so incredibly exhausted!

Little girl at the Lake braiding my hair.

The two Carlys in our incredibly colorful hotel

August 19th was the last day of vacation. We took it easy with shopping a little around San Crusibal which is where are hotel was. We also took another boat trip into an incredibly canyon. This canyon has incredible history as it is the place where the natives of Mexico would jump to their death to avoid slavery. Yes a little gruesome but interesting none the less. Also on this boat ride I saw the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. They call it the Christmas Tree and it is a small waterfall that is fed by a natural spring. I couldn't really get a good picture of it so if you want to see good pictures go to Google images and put in The Christmas Tree Waterfall. It is Green and on the side of the Canyon.

While we were on the boat ride people began talking to us in English because 17 girls all together and all white look like Americas:) We soon started talking to a couple of older gentlemen and come to find out 2 of them were from Utah and work for the visual media part of the church and the other was a temple president. In fact we went to the temple he was president of later that day however it was closed for cleaning.

Boating down the Canyon with Kami by my side.

Tunsla Temple

Tunsla temple

Our wonderful bus drivers and guides

As you can see it has been a crazy week full of excitement, adventure, and culture! I love it here and will write again soon about going to Puebla and finally meeting my host family!!! I hope you enjoy the pictures and thank you so much for all of your prayers!!


Margie said...

Oh Carly!!!! What an exciting adventure you are having. I was on the edge of my seat reading about all the things you did!! Going to Guatemala for 5 minutes sound like something I would so do!! I'm glad you were safe after your swimming adventure!! BE CAREFUL!! It looks like you are with a really cute group and like you guys are having a lot of fun together. I am so happy for you!!
Thanks for posting and keeping in touch.

P.S. I thought of you this morning at Weber High's opening assembly. Good times and memories.

tandla said...

Hi Carly - I just accidently ran into your blogsite and we were so excited to read it! Our daughter, Raegan is just in the process of filling out all the paperwork to go with ILP to Mexico. It has been quite a process - the decision of whether or not to go and all the unknowns - it was great to read about your experiences! Thanks for sharing. C

Did you go to the two days of ILP training??? We live in Alberta Canada and were trying to see how that would fit in as the training is Aug 3 and 4 but the group does not leave till the 11th of Aug - just trying to figure out how to make that all work. Were the training sessions really helpful?

Thanks for any info you might be willing to share.

Lindsay (Raegan's mom)