Saturday, June 16, 2007

First Week Reflections

Thanks to Lorene for contributing this post:

It has been a great first week. We got to Juventino Rosas on last Saturday and were taken to have lunch with the Padre at the parish here in in JR. It was the first of many meals that seem to begin and end with tequila. It´s a cultural sin to have an empty glass, so I have had to learn to SLOW DOWN when drinking. We went that evening with the Padre to a festival in one of the neighborhoods around here, and then to Celaya, a nearby town where we had a nice dinner. The next day, we were invited to meet the mayor of the town (El Presidente) and have lunch with him. We walked to the center of town, and were surprised to find a stage, microphones, and seats for about 100 people. It turns out they were having a welcoming ceremony for us. We were all given a token of their appreciation--- miniature wooden violins for the boys and a shawl for me. The violins are a symbol of the city, since Juventino Rosas was named after a famous composer who was born and worked here. As part of this surprise, I had to give an impromptu speech, microphone and all. I basically stammered in Spanish as quickly as possible, but it seemed to go over well. In the days since then, we have visited the community hospital, a nearby technological institute, and several of the communities that we will be working in. We have eaten lunch (the biggest meal of the day) every day with a different member of the local delegation supporting us. The food has been awesome, and only one of the tequila lunches completely wiped me out. (Lesson learned: no soy un pollo de primavera (I`m not a spring chicken) and don't try to keep up with Mexicans).
We are renting a house in Juventino where we will be staying on the weekends. We have been outfitting it with various things-- one night we even tried to cook, and it was very good (although what started as beef tacos turned out to be pork quesadillas :) ). Anyway, it has been fun.
Tomorrow, we leave for the first community. It is called Romero. It is very small and has very limited resources, so our work there will be well appreciated. It is far into the mountains, we have to borrow a large van to be able to get there. We will be staying there for two nights and then moving to Xoconoxtle (pronouced Ho-Co-Nose-Clay), also a small town in the mountains. We have all of our supplies together, and have practiced all the tests on each other. It should definitely be an adventure, but we are thrilled to get started with the work that we´ll be doing here.


Blogger Ian Nelligan said...

Thanks guys! Your posts are taking me from long hours memorizing antianginal therapies and genetic disorders to our beloved Mexico. Keep them coming... We'll see ya SOON!

Send my best to everyone.

June 16, 2007 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lorene I miss you! Love, Leslee

June 26, 2007 9:14 PM  

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