My first week in Tlaxcala
Trip Start Jan 14, 2008
6Trip End Mar 13, 2008
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My first week in the city has been a great experience. I am very glad to Have come to this area of Mexico. I knew that my view of Mexico through my time in Merida as well as Chiapas was narrow. I need to see the country in its entirety. My mind is in a better place this time than past trips to Mexico because of my level of Spanish. Although it is broken I feel it is improving and that I am not limited.
My classes are going very well for what I can understand. I am taking classes at the Colegio de Tlaxcala in their Doctoral program of Rural and Sustainable Development. It is very similar to my program at UMASS but very unique to Mexico. I am taking one course with Dr. Carlos Salas who is a very well respected researcher in Mexico and the rest of the world in economics
The city is absolutely breathtaking. I am located in the mountains with a view of an inactive volcano La Malencha, there are two different theories as to her standing with the people of Tlaxcala. She was seen by some as a trader for being with Cortez during the inquisition. To others they say that she used her position as the wife of Cortez to create a bond/relationship between the Indigenous people of Tlaxcala and Mexico and the Spanish. It is very interesting. A funny joke here is when a person from Tlaxcala likes an extranjero or is dating/married to someone from another country they call that person "la Malanche" or you have the Malanche. There is a lot to see in the city and I am just enjoying right now walking around ant taking it all in. The food is amazing and hard to resist everywhere I go. Today I went to the market where on Saturdays it is possible to by organic produce , meat etc.....I definitely needed to buy my tortillas and vegetables...The weather is a bit different than I am use to, although much better. During the day it is usually sunny and gets up to about 65-70 degrees but at night it gets down to about 30 and I have cement walls and tile floors in my apartment. I am currently sleeping with 5 blankets and hating life when I have to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night...
I seem to be adjusting very well. I purchased a gym membership in which I am taking Pilates, Zumba(dance aerobics), and spinning classes. I am unsure if I am to return to my Zumba classes given my demonstration of no rhythm on Thursday. My apartment is very nice. I am currently renting a room in a house that has a separate entrance to the street. I have a large room, closet and bathroom. The school gave me a refrigerator and its working out fine to purchase food and eat out once a day for lunch for a big meal. Currently my connection with the rest of the house is a sheet hanging over a doorway(funny). The family who owns the house is very nice it is a couple in their 30's with two children 8 and 4. They are are adorable and I love my interaction with them . They are going to a bilingual school here in Tlaxcala and enjoy practicing their English with me. I started tutoring the boy yesterday in English. I am helping him again this afternoon because he has an exam on Monday. I love speaking with kids because of their brutal honesty when I mess up with my speaking. It has been nice talking with the girl who is 4 because she reminds me of my nieces. She has a baby "bebe" that she carries around and I have to help her take care of it, "very priceless". The woman who owns the house is very fun to spend time with she sells cosmetics and is opening her own store. We have been shopping together etc
I should next week get the wheels rolling on my research. I am part of a study that is in its third year. It is a longitudinal study of retail workers they have been interviewed for the past two years and I am to interview them for the third time. It is my job to find them after a year which should be interesting, but I have 4 months. I am hoping to hold off on the interviews until I feel a bit more confident with my Spanish.
Currently, I am sitting in a cafe overlooking the center of town just taking it all in. I am sooo fortunate to be here and am not taking a moment for granted!!
I miss all of you and really enjoy hearing from you!!!!
Pictures will come soon...