Monday, June 30, 2008

Pictures... are some.

Pictures from 06/26

Monday #2

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I am so done. I don't remember what I learned in grammar class - I don't really like my new teacher. I guess it's a good thing we only have them for a week at a time. My conversational teacher was decent. She wants to see pictures of where we live tomorrow. Our situational spanish teacher had a disney book and all we did was write down different spanish words for objects. That was decent - mindless work, which was much needed after conjugating estar and the difference between esta/an y hay. ugh. I am toast.

I found out today that Rissy gets to go home for the weekend for the baby blessing and dental work. All I can say is I am extremely jealous. I am so sick of being here. I guess a lot of it is that I have to do what other people want me to do 24/7. It's not like at home where I'm off work and I can do whatever the crap I want. Whereas here, it's like, you HAVE to eat at 7:15, you HAVE to go to class at 8:00, you HAVE to go eat again at 3:30-freakin 5:30, you HAVE to go to bed cause you HAVE to get up in the morning. And speaking of mornings, I just cannot tolerate food that early. My body still hasn't adjusted to the time change - so it's like eating breakfast at 5am. I just can't stomach it. hahaha

We were invited to go see 21 Black Jack with our host parents tonight (or tomorrow Lydia was saying this morning since she was so tired) - I don't want to go. I told Drew I don't want to go, but he says he feels obligated to do so. B.friggin S. I thought that being assertive meant that I got to do what I want instead of the wishy washy, I guess crap. This is trash.

Oh, and I found out that the calling cards you can buy here don't work, and the one we bought doesn't work, so if you were waiting for a phone call - sorry - it's not going to happen. :(

I guess that's about it. blah blah blah

Graffiti and Guns

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit a religious building with dozens of 18 to 21 year old males walking around with automatic rifles? Wonder no longer and visit the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City!

Nothing is as uncomfortable as seeing a teenager with an assault rifle in his hands with his finger right above the trigger. He was ready to shoot at any second. We asked a person that worked there at the Basilica why it is necessary to have people with assault rifles on the Basilica grounds. He said that because there are a lot of people with cameras and money and the Federal Police are there to protect those people.

Now, I am not a big supporter of robbing someone or stealing their stuff, but I do not think that a theif should receive a clip of ammo in his back. I had images of a person stealing my camera and a Federalie mowing down that person with their rifle and calming picking up my camera from the dead person's hand and handing it back..."Via con Dios."

This is not uncommon here. The armored truck services here have people that walk around with shotguns in their hands. They are ready to blow your head off if you even think about taking their money. I have never seen so many weapons ready to use in my life. It is no wonder every country American's "visit" in the name of liberation hates our guts. We arm our young men with automatic rifles and tell them to be ready to use them at any time. I would be pissed off to see these people on my street corner.

I guess if your goal is intimidate people into not trying anything, they are doing a great job. I was afraid to sneeze around these guys. I have heard too many stories about how poorly the police are trained here. Just last week 12 people died in a police raid. The cause was trampling. The cops raided a club here because it was serving alcohol to minors. The cops show up and cause a stir and people flee killing other people. It was poorly handled to say the least.

As for is everywhere. I think spray paint is given away at the grocery store because it is hard to look anywhere in the city and not see some wall covered in what some idiot thought was a clever thing to do. Anyway, I hate it and I wanted to have a cool title for my blog, so there you go.

- Drew

Sunday #2

I’m not feeling too well. I had flan at the restaurant last night and I had milk this morning and I think one of them has done me in. I am sooo sick. I took some medicine, so I’m hoping that fixes the problem. :/

We went to church this morning. We met a guy from St. George there. He’s been there 2 months with his wife – visiting sister-in-law and mother-in-law. They leave on the 7th. Dang. It was nice to talk to someone in English. Not that I didn’t do that all day Saturday, but it was nice to know someone else knew English. He thinks he knew grandma and grandpa, but he couldn’t put a name to face, so that was ok. I don’t remember his name.

After church, we came home, and I have been lying on the bed since- which has been almost 2 hours. I watched Alice in Wonderland (I started it a little before church), and got through about half of Charlie and the chocolate factory. I also renamed all the pictures from the camera (well most of them – some of them are self explanatory).

Drew is upstairs watching the football game – spain against germany maybe? I know it’s spain against someone. So go spain! J I feel bad for being down here, but I am exhausted. I have no energy and just don’t want to work hard enough to try to figure out Spanish words. I should probably go up soon, but I’m kind of wanting to just stay down here til dinner.

I had a dream last night that I got to go home, and I was so extremely excited and happy, and once I got to the airport and they asked for my passport, I had forgotten it at the house, so they wouldn’t let me out of the country. I bawled and bawled and bawled. It bothered me so badly that I hard a hard time bringing it up to Drew in the morning. I’m an emotional wreck. I sure hope it gets easier. I kept thinking in church today – just 6 more times. I can do this. Just 6 more times. I can do this. Ugh. One point of interest that is happy is that instead of being in the 50’s for my countdown to come home, I am now in the 40’s. Today it will be 48 days til I come home. But part of me doesn’t like to count the actual day, so in pretend land, it’s like 47!

I miss being able to drink water from a faucet.

I miss being able to wash my hands without hitting the back of the sink every time.

I miss being able to use a toilet the way it’s supposed to be used – oh speaking of this – all the toilets on our adventure yesterday didn’t have toilet lids – just a basin!

I miss being able to sanitize/clean my retainer with warm water – it doesn’t dissolve in the warm temperature water here, so I have to brush it with toothpaste

I miss my bed

I miss my blankets

I miss my washer and dryer

I miss my kitty

I miss my family

I miss being able to wear a jacket every morning

I miss the cooler, less humid weather

I miss being able to go anywhere and speak English.

Saturday #2 - Drew's Birthday

First and foremost, today was Drew’s birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY HUNNY!!!!!!!!! For his birthday, we had an extremely long day! We started bright and early and got to the school at 8:00am. We then took off with 12 other people + driver to the Basilica in Mexico City. This place had 2 cathedrals, one for 2 different people, as well as other churches on the grounds. We took a TON of pictures, and I will post the link when I get them all up. Seriously, like in the hundreds today! So we went inside the churches and it was pretty cool. I’ve never been in a Catholic church before, let alone while they are doing what I suppose was mass? There were also a TON of baptisms and whatever people do when their kids are ~2-4 years old. I took some pictures of one of the cathedrals that got severely damaged in the Earthquake in the 1980’s? – They are still restoring it – it’s tilted, and actually kind of cool that way.

We then headed further north (I believe) to the Teotihuacan pyramids. They were pretty cool – once again, something I’ve never been to. We walked around and took oodles of pictures here as well. There were two main temples, El Sol, and the other was La Luna (sun and moon). The sun pyramid from what I remember reading was 63 meters high. I don’t know how high the moon one was – but we weren’t allowed to go to the top of it anyway. The steps up were a good foot+ apart so it was like serious climbing. There was one part on the Sun temple that the steps were so narrow, they had put in a handrail so people wouldn’t fall to their morbid deaths. The sun pyramid was also so high and steep that they had a medic van at the bottom – although if someone toppled off the side, there really isn’t a lot they could have done about it! HAH! So yeah, tons of pictures to follow.

After the pyramids, we went out to eat at some restaurant near the pyramids. They had a sign that said Sorry, we’re open. Hahahaha Awesome! It was entertaining – they had people dressed up in authentic (what I’m guessing was) Teotihuacan costumes performing some dances – it was pretty entertaining.

We drove a good 2 hours home and here we are. I have some observations for the day though:

1. lane lines are just a suggestion. If you’d like to drive in 2 lanes at the same time, it’s ok.

2. Street lights are just a suggestion. If you have the urge to go, just do it!

3. Merging is a form of death. These people would drive by watching their rear view mirrors than what was ahead of them. I thought surely we would die at least 50 times. The van didn’t get scratched. Hahaha – all I can say is: AMAZING!

Since it was Drew’s birthday, along with 2 other people that had a birthday this week, they got sung to and I’m going to try and post the video of what they did when they blew out the candles. It’s quite humorous.

I also wanted to mention that on Friday, we went to the zocalo, which is the market in Cuernavaca. Drew bought himself a sombrero and some pretty awesome and cheap marble bookends that are Aztec or Mayan gods of some sort. They’re pretty cool. He’s thinking they were Mayan. We also went to the Mega – which was very similar to Fred Meyer/Target. We grabbed some stuff, and I think I’m going to stock up on some random Mexican candy before we leave. They didn’t have tide pens, and no Aveeno, so I made Drew buy some man soap for the shower since I didn’t calculate how much he’d use and only brought one bottle of body wash. Dangit!

So yeah, that’s about it. It’s time to go to bed though, so I’ll write more tomorrow.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday #2

Spanish 101
Rule #1 - Put o, e, a at the end of every word, if you don't know which one, just guess. It's better that way.
Rule #2 - Just put es at the front of every word, i.e. esschoola (escuela)
Rule #3 - Put El, La, Los, Las in front of every word, cause we all know we need more The's in our sentences.
Rule #4- - If you don't know how to say the word, just mumble something and it'll come out right....that or just roll your R's.
Rule #5 - Don't ask what kind of meat you're eating. It's just easier....

Tomorrow, we head up to Mexico city for a Cathedral and a pyramid. We'll take lots of pictures and try to post them on monday. Today, I am done. I don't really want to be here anymore. I still have my conversational spanish as well as situational spanish. I hate my situational spanish teacher. She's an arse. And she always says entonsis and bien chicas. If I never hear the word chicas again, it'll be too soon. I don't really have a whole lot more to talk about - pretty much the same crap, different day. I don't like it, it doesn't like me, etc. etc. I am moody, but I benadryl-ed myself last night, so I actually slept for 6 hours, so I didn't wake up and bawl all morning - so that's a plus, right?

I love food (Drew)

I am so very glad that today is Friday. This program is intense. (*Sidenote* The cafeteria ladies are listening to "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton right now). Yesterday our instructor was out for some reason and I was excited not to have the final class of the day, but the "dean" found us a substitute. I was disappointed because I was wasted. Maddy and I dragged ourselves back to the Fragoso house for "comida" and it was like my whole tiring day did not happen. We had chile reanos, fish with some creme sauce, fresh lemonade, tostatdas, tortillas, and rice. Lidia is a great cook. I was grabbing for so much food it would have looked like I had not eaten for days. I like the food quite a bit...probably too much.

- Drew

Thursday, June 26, 2008


The following link is for pictures from 06/19 to today. We are going to try to get a picture of an iguana. They come out in the afternoon. Let us know if there is anything you would like us to take pictures of. We are going to the Bacillica and the Pyramids on Saturday so we will have a lot more. I might take pictures of the Office Depot and the Kentucky (KFC) as well. You will need to sign up for a Snapfish account if you do not already have one, but it is free and only takes a second.

- Drew

Thursday #2

So at what? 7:00 tonight, we will have been here a week. I can say that I officially hate it here. I'm not sure if I'll get through the next 7 weeks. I hate my bed, I hate the smells, I hate not being able to do anything for Drew's birthday, I hate the noises, I hate the exhaust on the street, I hate learning spanish, I hate the culture, I hate that I can't pre-spot my clothes when I get shizz on them, I hate that no one has dishwashers, I hate that they don't have dryers, I hate the weather, I hate throwing toilet paper in the trashcan, I hate it. I feel like a spoiled rotten tantruming kid - and to top it off, I really don't care. This sucks.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday for Maddy

I am pooped. I'm ready to go home. It's been nice, don't want to come back, I'll head off on a plane tonight. :) - Hah! Honestly though, I have learned a lot, even if it is just 3 days. I can conjugate a few verbs, and I can write some kindergarten quality sentences. I just don't like it here. I miss my overcast hole. lol

I can't remember what I learned in my 1st 2 classes. Oh. 1 thing though, we saw a lizard in the trees outside during conversational, and our teacher said that iguanas taste good. SICK! We talked about ....well, no, he talked at us about how you eat these things like large ants, iguanas, rabbits, dogs, cats, etc. because you don't have the money to go to the store to buy food, so you catch crap by your house and eat that. That was interesting. In our grammar class, we had to come up with sentences using the correct verb form. I rock at that shiz in present tense. not past or future tense though.

In my last class, I had conception. Yup, that's her name! We talked about taxis and buses and how you have to wave them down to get in or on. Then make sure to ask the taxi driver how much it's going to be before you get in, otherwise they'll screw you. Then to yell at the bus driver to let you off the bus.

Also, I'm uploading pictures right now to snapfish. It's extremely slow and frustrating. I'll send out an invitation to the email addresses I have, but if you didn't get an invite, and you want one, please let me know so I can send it your way. I don't know how much I want to post ~92 pictures on blogspot, and this way, I don't have to pick and choose, I can just upload everything.

Tonight, after dinner, we come back to the school for a movie. Then back to the room so drew can do homework. I don't have any cause Kate - whos in my class - didn't do her past and future tenses for her verbs - so I'm off the hook. :)

Drew's Turn (Wednesday)


(I am not going to type anymore words in Spanish because I do not want to search for accents and the like).

I cannot believe it is only Wednesday. I had no idea that this program would be so exhausting. Every encounter I have is now a test to see if I can express my thoughts in Spanish. The instructors here will not speak to me in English. I think my grammar instructor is 18 years old. Maybe younger. Maddy laughed at me. The Spanish-English Dictionary is my most read book now. If you did not know better you would think I was reading it for fun because my face is in it so often. I end everyday so drained that I cannot think straight. I think of my brain as a trash can and I continue stuffing trash into it until it over flows, but if I leave it overflowing then it will spill all over. So, I jump on the trash to smash it all down into the container, but the more I jump the more strained the trash can becomes. If you read an article about a man in Mexico whose head explodes, it will probably be me. I miscalculated the amount of hard work/stress/patience/humility that this program would take. Oops.

I like it here though. The weather is fantastic. No one closes their windows and all the shops are semi-cubicles. It is more common for a shop to have three walls and a roof with a huge garage door that opens onto the street than to have a shop with a small door opening onto the street. There has been only one day that I wished they had an air conditioner, but if you are outside in the shade it is perfect. The mornings are cooler and fresh. It has only rained at night so far. The worst hours are between 3 and 5, but during that time Maddy and I are sitting with the Fragoso family eating some of the most delicious food overlooking their backyard from their patio.

The people are great. They are very patient and kind. I am so glad that we were assigned to the Fragso family. Lidia is an attorney and she invited her attorney friends to "comida" (it is like dinner, but at 3 pm), and I had the best time trying to talk to and understand the similarities and differences between the Mexican and US systems of criminal law. ADDICTION TO DRUGS IS A DEFENSE TO SIMPLE POSSESSION! I almost fell out of my chair. They do not have a common law judicial system. They don't seem to trust the judicial system or the police...even less then us! They laughed at the thought that most of our clients like to confess to the police. "Americans trust their law enforcement."

Everything is pretty clean even though it looks poor. There is a lot of graffiti and the buildings look older, but I think that is a product of the weather. It is very humid and warm and plants like growing out of the building walls. I think all the buildings are brick or plaster because drywall would warp and mold easily. I do not think I am going to try to drive here. I think the drivers here think of street lines and other traffic control devices as suggestions. It is pretty scary. The sidewalks are narrow so if Maddy and walk abreast, the outside person is putting their life in danger. I am thankful that the buses and trucks do not have the protruding side view mirror.

This weekend Maddy and I are going to the Basilica de Guadalupe and the Teotihuacana pyramids. I am excited for that even though I need a good rest.

The European Cup (soccer) is going on. It put comida on hold one afternoon. Horacio has three daughters that come over often, Rita, Barbara, and Lucy. We all watched the last of the Spain v. Italy game. We were rooting for Spain. Italy plays dirty evidently.

That is all I have right now. It is currently 8:53 am here, which means it is 6:53 in Oregon. I have been up for almost 3 hours. Next time I travel it is going to be west. I can handle sleeping in, I am having a hard time getting up at 4 am.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I'll write and post more about today later on after the day is almost over. Anyway, I'm a day behind on my postings since today is tuesday and I just barely posted monday's. Today is going better - no crying outbursts. Drew took my computer into the comp. lab to get my network changed, so I can get on the computer now. So we're on our break right now. I'm going to go through my mail and if I have time, I'll write more. I didn't bring my camera today, so I'll try to upload some pictures tomorrow. I don't have very many. :/


I'm hoping to spit this all out while I actually have an internet connection rather than getting it out tomorrow. So here is how the day went:
I woke up, not feeling tiptop, again. I just couldn't eat this morning. I was offered eggs, and the thought of eating them was revolting. I just couldn't do it. I ate some fruit. They eat mango like bananas here - it's pretty cool. I'm sure i'm getting way too much sugar. Oh well. We went to school, I got homework this morning. I have to conjugate some verbs, like 12 of them. Not a big deal, just busy work. If I could do it on my computer, it would be a lot faster. Oh well. Drew took my laptop into the computer lab to get the network fixed, and it's working beautifully now. I'm going to try it at the house tonight - although the threat of mosquitoes makes me a little bit wary.

I had to start at 8am today since Kate is in my class, and since it's 2 people instead of 1, I have to be in there 3 hours instead of 2. So anyway, then we had our conversation class- that was boring. Kate just sat there, I felt bad, but at the same time, I was able to try some crap out - I hope she'll talk in time....that or maybe we will be in different classes next week. ?

Then we had a break, we ate bananas and an orange - the orange was grown in the garden at our families house. It tasted like the oranges at the grocery store - maybe even a little bit bitter since it wasn't fully ripe. They have banana trees, but I don't think our bananas were from there.

After break we had a different class where we reviewed the ser verb. Freak that is hard. I don't think I understood it very well since we had to come up with sentences for each verb form. It hurt my brain.

We came back home, went right upstairs and ate dinner-lunch. We had fried fish - which surprisingly, didn't take like fish at all- a VERY good thing. And some random mexcian squash with oil, herbs, and Parmesan cheese on it- it was actually kind of tasty. Oh, and potato soup, which was good (potatoes with seasoning, onions in some broth).

So then right after that, we came back to the school for our art class. We traced random pictures onto cloth and then painted them with acrylics. I happened to get some purple pain splotches on my shorts and shirt - I'm a little pissed. I don't think it'll come out? I was also told of some horror stories of the laundry place that we have to go to - its like a dry cleaners for laundry, but no dry cleaning, and they end up "losing" people's clothes. I'm going to write my name in EVERYTHING. ugh. So, uhm, yeah, now i'm here, typing away.

The day has been OK, but I'm still not very comfortable, and counting down the hours, to count down another day that I can mark off my calendar to come home. For those reading for Drew's benefit. He's fine. He's having a good time. He can adjust to new and different things MUCH more easily than I can.

I was trying to upload pictures, but it was taking too long, so I think I'll do it tomorrow at lunch/break time. I love you all!

p.s. As you can see, I didn’t get to post this when I wanted to. I was all ready to go, BUT for some reason, blogspot was having a “scheduled maintenance” deal at 4:00PDT, so of course, they probably had a server down, so I couldn’t post. Hopefully you’ll see this in the morning or early afternoon.

So since I didn’t get to post, you can hear more ramblings of a pathetic person. First thing is, today, I had my 2nd cold shower in a row. I don’t know if they’re allotted so many gallons per day/week/month/year, etc, and I’ve totally used mine up, but it hasn’t worked in two days, and I don’t want to complain to the Fragoso’s, but if it continues, I’ll make Drew…..he doesn’t know this yet…. .^_^ J Also, at dinner, Horacio told us that on dia de San Juan (June 24th) it always rains. It hasn’t rained yet. It has 3 more hours. I don’t hear any wind bringing anything in. Speaking of wind and rain; last night, it was thundering SO loud that it woke us up. Not just woke us up and you go right back to sleep, but blaring rumbling. Did I talk about this already from this morning? Well, since this is my blog, I’m going to write about it again if I have, and if I haven’t, it’s bueno. So anyway, Last night, 12:02am, we hear this big ole crash/boom/bang, what have you. We both wake up and are still laying there. So I orient myself, check the time, see if Drew’s awake- he was. So then a big ole lightning bolt, bright enough to light up our room with our drapes closed, and being downstairs with a bit of an overhang, it still lit up the room, bright as day. Then not 3 seconds later, a air crackle so loud I seriously thought we were going to get hit. This didn’t stop for a good 10 minutes- I was totally freaked out. The power went out (I didn’t realize this til morning, but I know it totally went out during the storm.) Surprisingly, once the thunder had run its course and the rain started, Drew and I both fell back asleep rather quickly, even though we were both a bit shocked at how loud it got. It never got that loud in Utah, and since Oregon never has thunder, it couldn’t even come close. Seriously, it was BAD!!!

I was going to go check my interwebs to see if they’d work down by the wall, and take some pictures down there, but it got too dark, too fast. I almost feel like it gets darker, faster here than it does in Oregon right now. For example**, I feel like it gets dark around 9:00- like you can still see things, but it’s getting dark, here, it’s decently dark by 8:00, and by 9:00 it’s nighttime.

I did the ** so I’d remember the other thing that made me laugh today. I had a lot of conversation today where they’d give me examples, and every time they’d say(for example) por exemplo (a-hemp-low (a says it’s name)) and it reminds me of a deaf person that is trying to talk, but can’t hear where to hit the strong consonants like x, so it comes out all retarded- oh the things that keep my mind occupied…..

No me gusta ducharse en aqua frio. Esta muy malo. L L L

Monday, June 23, 2008


Sorry it's a bit long.

Today was very hard for me. I’m PMSing, and overall, just in a bad mood. Last night, I was able to keep my hip from hurting (I sound like an old hag), but something was going on and these dogs were barking like mad. Not to mention the bird that chirps every ~4 seconds all night long – it’s like I’m in the jungle. I bet the amazon is blaring with noises, who could ever sleep with that? Ok, so I woke up tired, like I said before, I’m just not adjusting to the time difference very well, and having nothing to do all weekend long really messed up my sleeping habits. So we went off to school today, it’s supposed to go from 8:00am-2:20pm, Monday through Friday. We get there and they don’t have Drew or me scheduled for a class until 9:00am. This little difference threw me off and I about lost it. It’s not a big deal, but I just sat there not knowing what to do since they had told me 8:00, and really, I don’t have a class til 9:00. Turns out (after whining and freaking out for half an hour), Drew went and asked why, and it’s because we are in classes by ourselves, and since we are by ourselves, we are able to learn faster than those in a group. Those in a group are more proficient and can work off of one another rather than us retards that don’t know crap.

So we sat outside in the cafeteria type place to get on the internet for an hour while we waited. My internet was sucking big time. I could not connect for more than about 2 minutes at a time, I was PISSED! To say the least! I had a minor panic attack in the bathroom, tried to calm down and come back to my cpu to no avail. It just wouldn’t work. I was able to check my email accounts and upload my 2 blogs to blogspot, and nothing else. So, I’m sorry for all of the unanswered posts on facebook and blogs, etc. I’m hoping to get to them. If not, Michele, I miss you too, very much! And Rachael, I’m not dead yet, but give me a few days. J I think those were the two main things I really wanted to get to today, but I couldn’t. argh!

So after my breakdown over my computer, and finding out what the hell was going on, we went and did whatever, and for some reason, I had yet again, another breakdown, had to excuse myself to the bathroom and calm down. Those bathrooms and I are going to become best friends, I can already tell. We are such best friends that I could totally tell that whoever was in there before me was smoking a doobie. Hahaha how the crap can you learn Spanish if you’re high!?! I’d like to know…maybe it’d help? LOL

I went to my class, totally freaked out, red eyed, not wanting to. I just don’t understand how to speak this shizz and can only understand conversations if it’s in context (and only parts here and there). I went to my little room and Vanessa was there to greet me. She’s younger – in her 20’s and she was asking me questions – of which, I do not know. I kept telling her no entiendo (don’t understand), and finally, she whispered to me, don’t tell my boss I can speak English, he feels that if we speak English to you, you won’t understand, but really, some people just don’t get Spanish, and they aren’t going to if you can’t explain a few things first. That made me feel SOOOOOOO GOOOOOODDDDD, you have no idea! So I was able to ask her how to say specific words in English, and most of the time, she was able to act them out well enough for me to understand. Now am I able to reproduce the words I learned? Nope….but I figured I’d work on what I “learned” today after I finish with this. We took a break after 50 minutes and came back and did verbs. I was one on one for the first hour, but a girl named Kate showed up for the second hour and we’re going to be in the same class together this week. She doesn’t know any Spanish either….in fact, less than I do, just because she doesn’t understand it. Maybe being here for 4 days with deer in headlights eyes has helped for something? I was able to translate some stuff for her to help her out. It made me feel good.

After that 2 hour (total) block of grammatica (grammar), we had a descanso (break) and you can buy food, sit around, do whatever. Drew and I were both hungry, so we bought a quesadilla to split. It was 20 pesos = $2.00. That was for 40 minutes, and then we had our conversacion espanol, where we sit with an instructor and have a conversation. Kate was with me again, and I don’t remember the name of the maestro (teacher) – (see, I’m learning some junk. Hahaha). He was pretty cool. He talked slowly and simply enough that I was able to catch most of it. What I didn’t catch, he’d tell us in English. That was from 11:30-12:50, so an hour and 20 minutes? After that, we had conferencia o espanol situacional (situational Spanish conversations) from 1:00pm-2:20pm. Today, we learned about El Cine (the movies). We had to come up with sentences pretending to go to the movies, or things we’d do there, things we’d watch, etc. That was entertaining enough. Then we spent a good half an hour going over movies we liked or didn’t like. Kate was in my group, as well as some other girl named Briyanna (Brianna) – she was lame. Before the group started, I had asked her how long she’d been here, she said a week, but this week is much better. I said, so you had a hard first week then? Cause I’m having a hard time. She said, yeah, but I’ve traveled all over, so it really isn’t a big deal. So I sat there thinking, well, is it a big deal, or isn’t it? Freak. Then she said that her classes were too easy last week, and this week she’s where she was when she left off for summer at school. Then we go into this situational Spanish class and her pronunciation SUCKS, like VAIRDAY for verde type shizz, it was ridiculous. Yeah, I might not know how to say a whole lotta stuff, but at least the instructor isn’t laughing at my pronunciation. Hahahaha

After our classes, we finally had our orientation, which was basically the same thing as what I’d read online, and what I’d figured out already. The ladies name was Carmen, she was old, like 60’s? maybe? And she wasn’t wearing a bra, and had on a white shirt. If I had been able to take a candid picture, I totally would have. IN FACT!!! She totally reminded me of a Latina, thin Liza Minelli. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I think that’s perfect!

After orientation, we went back to our home and had lunch (it has another name but I forget). Lydia had two guys from her office over to eat with us. Having all these random people over for dinner is really weird. I had asked where Horacio was and she told me he was over at Rita’s house. (Rita is Horacio’s daughter). We ate around 3:45, and didn’t leave the table until 5:50. I can’t believe how much these people sit around and chat. Maybe if I was more proficient with my Spanish, it wouldn’t be a problem, but since I can’t reply to anything, I just sit there and observe and it gets boring VERY fast.

So now I’m here on my brick bead, typing away. Drew had homework from his maestra to conjugate some verbos en espanol. I don’t. They know I’m retarded and to ask me to make sentences where the verbs are conjugated would just be shooting myself in the foot.

So here are some things I have observed. I’m sure I’ve left some out, but this will do.

1. at eating times, people will reach across the table rather than ask to pass it. They will say permiso (like excuse me) and just grab things.

2. during meal times, they stuff everything into a tortilla. If it isn’t soup- in which you dunk it into your soup- it goes into a tortilla. If I don’t take a tortilla and eat it ALL, I get some nasty looks. I get a lot of nasty looks since I don’t always take one…it’s just too much food.

3. during meals, people double fist things. They will hold their tortilla goodness in one hand and shovel in other stuff that’s on their plate with the other hand, and then eat their tortilla again. It seems very slovenly.

4. They’ll eat whatever. There was sour cream on the table yesterday, Lucy, one of Horacio’s daughters tipped the lid, so the sour cream got on the tablecloth, so she swiped it up with her finger and ate it. Not that this is a big deal, but to see someone else do it was very strange.

5. They share a lot – for example, if they have coffee or wine, they’ll drink out of each others cups, even if there are mouth marks, they just don’t seem to care.

6. You have to say con permiso to leave a group of people. It is a sign of respect, and I forget often. Hahaha

7. They make this junk out of milk, sugar and vanilla, and I can’t remember the name…chucas, chupas, etc? I don’t know. Anyway, it has the consistency of mozzarella cheese, but not salty, instead, drenched in sugar. It looks like chicken cooked in soy sauce, but I have decided I like it very much. I need to figure out what it is and what it’s called when I can get back online.

8. I’m still not used to the toilet paper in the trash can. I messed up twice today. I hope I don’t ruin anything. It’s just gross. Esp. next week. HAHAHAHAHA grooossss!!!

9. The mannerisms here are just different. I’m thinking of the roles of the male and female. The guy is supposed to be all macho and everything, but when it comes to house things, they do NOTHING, NADA, ZERO, ZILCH! The guy is waited on hand and foot at this place – at least horacio is. These 2 guys today weren’t as bad, but freak, yesterday was quite an eye opener. He would have whoever was sitting by him dump sour cream on his tortilla, or go get him another drink, the guy wouldn’t move. Someone spilled peanuts by him, and instead of helping them clean them up, he just sat there. I was honestly a little appalled at his behavior toward women. Call me a feminist cause I just don’t think that’s right.

10. The other weird thing that I haven’t quite figured out is family situations. Yesterday for dinner, Horacio’s 3 daughters, Rita, Barbara and Lucy came over for dinner. Barbara and Lucy (I think) are both married, and both have kids. Rita doesn’t have either, so it’s understandable for her. Anyway, the kids don’t come, the spouses don’t come, it’s like they only invite who they want to, and the rest have to fend for themselves, or something? It’s just really weird. It’s like if my mom invited me over for dinner, but not Drew. I would just think that was extremely rude and inconsiderate, as I would think many other people would think the same?!

11. The last thing I can think of is that my mind is extremely scattered. I end up not remembering the English word for some things, and then sometimes the sentences in my head are broken English, it’s horrible, and I’m not sure why that’s happening. It’s not like I’m able to substitute Spanish words for the English words, it’s just that maybe being around all this broken English is making things worse for me than anything else.

Oh, and excursions this week that we’re going to do:

Tuesday, there is an artisan class that we can make things around 430? It’s free!

Wednesday, they are playing a movie at the school. I’m not sure what time.

Thursday is another artisan workshop

Friday, nada

Saturday – some pyramids and a cathedral in Mexico City. We leave at 8am, and were told we wouldn’t be back til 8pm. This is also Drew’s birthday, so I think Lydia is going to want to invite people over and bake a cake for Drew on Sunday- THAT is going to be stressful. But I am 5 days down, 54 to go. 1 day down of classes, 39 to go. How pathetic.

I think I’m going to go look over the stuff I wrote down today. It was a lot, and I’ll see if I can figure out how to conjugate verbs in English so that I can translate it into Spanish. Hah!


Hey Shel, Joe Satriani is playing at the Teatro Metroplitan on 12 Agosto! I could totally go and tape it for you! hahaha I didn’t even know he was still alive.

So in other news, I am an emotional bag of wuss. It’s probably from not doing anything for 3 days, and having extremely horrible sleeping abilities. I woke up in the middle of the night to thunderstorms – which were cool since I haven’t heard thunder more than maybe once since we moved from Utah. There was also the discoteque going on that kept me up. Somewhere around the middle of the night, my right hip started hurting. I tried rearranging things to keep it from the piercing pain down to my knee to no avail. I eventually fell in and out of sleep until about 7:00am when I started to get desperate. Thankfully, I had brought down another pillow since I have pillow issues that I wasn’t using. (these beds are so hard that I can’t sleep on my tempurpedic pillow cause my body lays too close to the bed and it hurts, so I’ve actually done better sleeping in the pillows they provided for us.) Anyway, I grabbed my pillow and rested it in between my legs. That seemed to help immensely. We’re contemplating trying to figure out 1. where Costco is 2. if it gets bad enough, we might just go buy a tempurpedic topper. I think this would totally insult our host family, and I don’t know how we’d get it home, but it might come down to that. I hope not just because I don’t want to have to worry about getting it scrunched back up and either into a suitcase or mailed home. :/

I was in an extremely bad mood this morning- on the verge of tears before we went to eat. I had to have a little crying session to get it out of my system about how I hate it here, I don’t want to be here, I feel trapped, etc. etc. I’m sure hoping this gets easier when we actually get classes going on.

So last night, we went upstairs to let Lydia know neither of us was hungry. I feel like were being grilled if we don’t eat everything on (at least my) our plates. My stomach is feeling better, but it’s not like I eat massive amounts of food, either. Freak, I have a bridesmaid dress to get into – if I gain wait here, I’m doomed! So since she wanted to talk, we went into the front room to chat. It consisted of Drew’s broken Spanish and Lydia’s broken English. I sat there light a deer in headlights. I could understand both of them, but I just can’t generate the words on my own….I feel like a total retard when we have to go socialize – it’s like the worst part of my day. I loath having to go eat and talk…I sure hope it gets easier.

Then this morning, we went up and ate our fruit and cereal. We had zucaritos. – little sugars aka frosted flakes. Hahaha with tigre toni! I try my absolute hardest to not look at the expiration date on the milk. There’s no way I’d drink that shizz at home….let’s just put it that way (exp date 7/08/08 ugh!)- I’m not sick though, surprisingly!

We went to church today- that was very scary to get up an go, I was very apprehensive. Who we both think was the bishop came and said hello, and one old lady, no one else did. It was a ward of about ~70-80people there. There were some missionaries, but none of them said hi (there were 3)- I was ok with that. So anyway, it was nice to go and knowing the routine is always extremely helpful. What was funny though is everyone was out in the hallway chatting away and one of the bishopric started sacrament meeting. Everyone came in while he was talking – it’s like they won’t stop until he starts. And everyone did this clap/shake hangs thing, where the louder the clap before the shake, the better the hello. Very odd. I’m glad we went though.

So here we are, back in our cell until 3pm when we eat lunch. Then we come back here until dinner – if we choose to eat it. I sure hope tomorrow is better.

Things I hate:

1. These damn beds – cement is more forgiving

2. Mexican sidewalks – they’re crap- take pride in your smooth surfaces Gringos!

3. Mexican stores – for some reason, it just feels like they’re trying to rip me off, even for a container of gel antibacterial

4. Ciel mineralizada – sick shizz, just plain disgusting, who drinks that crap1? (mineral water)

5. Not knowing Spanish – and not caring a ton to try my hardest

6. People that don’t know English – we should just make it a universal language – it’d make things easier

7. Not knowing how to do bulleted lists in word. Stupid Microsoft being all stupid.

8. Jet lag – yes, call me a freaking wuss, but seriously, I do NOT like going to bed at 8pm pacific time because it says 10pm on my clock. I also do NOT like getting up at 4:30am because my clock says 6:30am. That’s trash. But maybe, just maybe if I get in the habit of it, I could get up and exercise before work when I get back? ….meh….probably not.

Things I like:

1. Mango

2. This boiled down milk and sugar crap.

3. Drew

4. The Interwebs

For some reason, Drew is able to connect the internet from the wall in the backyard, but I can’t. I’ll be happy when I can use my computer tomorrow at the school. I think we’re going to try to go on as many excursions as possible, just to keep us busy, even if it runs us into the ground monetarily – but it’s just money, right?

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I’m a little pissed off at the school for requesting us to arrive on a Thursday when classes don’t start until Monday. They claimed that orientation was on Friday, but really, all we did was pay for our way back up to the airport when we leave, and got a tour of the school. I think I wrote about that yesterday. Anyway, it’s not like we couldn’t have come in half an hour early on Monday to do that, or even during class time on Monday, big flippin deal. So instead, we are out 2 more days of working, and an extremely stressful and long “weekend”. It is 2:06pm and we have nothing to do for another day and a half. We could have left for Mexico tomorrow instead and would have been just fine. Oh well. At least we’re able to mess up our sleeping schedule and feel like complete retards in the process.

Last night, I didn’t end up going with Drew up to eat dinner. He said he was fine with it, so I took advantage of him saying OK, and just stayed here and played Sims. I think I played for a good 4 hours yesterday. We then got ready for bed….poor Drew couldn’t get the hot water to come on, so he took a cold shower. Surprisingly, he said it was quite refreshing. Hahaha so I was all reluctant to go try. After about half an hour or so, I decided I would test my luck. I had to go to the bathroom anyway, so I just turned on the hot water (it takes a while to actually come on, and the cold and hot water are completely separate from one another, so if the hot water isn’t working, nothing comes out of the shower.) Anyway, going to the bathroom while the hot water handle was on. I figured that if it didn’t come on while I was in there, I wouldn’t worry about it, and to my surprise, it turned on! Since I wasn’t expecting it to, it made a nice little stream inside the bathroom since I couldn’t get the shower door shut fast enough….goes to show how much faith I had in that! Hahaha We ended up listening to more of the Amber Spyglass and went to bed. But, as we were going to sleep, the Discoteque? Was going, and they were playing LOTS of songs, very loud. Yesterday afternoon, Rita, Horacio’s daughter had mentioned that it’s so loud, if you want to dance, you can dance and you don’t even have to pay for it! It wasn’t that loud, but you could definitely understand the words when they were English songs.

This morning, we got up, went and ate breakfast – which I have decided is an extremely stressful time of my day cause the smell of food is just making me want to vomit. I can eat the fruit cause it doesn’t smell much, but bringing out the pieces of ham and tortillas just ruin my appetite and I feel bad. So we had gringas again for breakfast. I only ate half of mine. It was gross – tortilla, ham, mozzarella cheese, tortilla, then you fold it like a taco and eat it. I’m sure it isn’t always gross, but freak, I just can’t stomach anything. We told Senora Lydia that we were going to walk over to find out where the church was, and just walk around. She said that after her classes (she was doing some Labor Law classes I guess), that she would drive us. We declined cause otherwise, we’d have nothing to do.

So after breakfast, we took off. It was 9:30am, and we got to the church about 9:50am. It wasn’t bad, but it sure was hot. It is so flipping humid down here, I can’t even believe it. You walk outside and are immediately covered in a nice glistening sweat. Since we were so close to the “downtown” area, we decided to huff it up there, too. It was lame. I’m sure if you know what to look for it would have been better, but with the heat and not knowing where we were or anything, it was gross, dirty and kind of scary. Drew and I had a discussion about how if you lived in a wheelchair, there’s no way you could get around. These sidewalks allow one person to walk on the street comfortably, so Drew and I would take turns leading...mainly Drew though cause I had no idea where we were going. Then on top of how tiny they were, they weren’t even. You’d have a down slope so someone could get their car in and out of a driveway, and then this huge step for the doorway…this was the same on the business streets too. All sorts of step ups and step downs. We decided we were done with the downtown area. On our way back, we picked up some notepads, some drinks, and some hand sanitizer. Note to self, if the water says mineralizado or something like that, don’t drink it, just get soda pop, cause that shizz is sick. I don’t know how anyone can drink carbonated water!!!

We came back to our room around 11ish and have been here pretty much since. We layed down and listened to the Amber Spyglass some more. That book is so boring.

Oh, another thing, our beds suck. Like are the most horrible thing on the planet. I think the floor would be more forgiving. These things are worse than sleeping on bricks, they are so hard. So after yesterday, and last night, my back is just stiff. If you lay on your side too long, it starts to hurt. AND my arms fell asleep! How the crap do both arms fall asleep simultaneously!? The bed is OK if you sleep on your back, but seriously, who does that, and doesn’t move?

We have lunch time in an hour. I don’t want to eat. I think it’s the conversation. I just don’t know what to say, so I end up looking down at my food, or around the room and staying as quiet as I can. Drew seems to be OK with this since he understands much more than I do, but I’m sure it’s stressful on him too. We don’t talk about it much. Hopefully I won’t cry today. I feel a bit more in control of my emotions. I can’t believe we’re here for 59 days. Ugh.

Friday, June 20, 2008

June 20, 2008

OK, so here we are. We got up, had breakfast. My stomach was still was uneasy, but I was able to handle the smell of the eggs being cooked....barely. They had mango, papaya and cantaloupe and eggs. I ate like half and egg and half a cup of fruit. That was pushing it. Senora Lydia drove us to the school today to make sure we got there on time. We sat there in the office for a little while and then went back and made sure our account was up to date. Apparently we didn't pay for our ride back to the airport in August. So we paid that and gave them our money to change it into pesos. We went back to the assistant directors office to do a "test" to see how proficient we are. Yeah, I didn't know jack. Seriously, like nothing. I think the guy was laughing inside about how lame I am. Oh well. Drew could conjugate much more than I could. I don't know if we'll be in the same class or not. I know I rely way too much on him, but honestly, I don't mind.

So we came back to the house at 9am and I went to lay down cause I was hot, sweaty and just not feeling well. I think we're going to move our twin beds next to one another today...or at least Pablo will. hahaha I need a maid. Also, this whole no toilet paper in the toilet thing is difficult to remember. I think I fell asleep for a few minutes, it felt good. I felt bad though since Drew was anxious to go do something, and here I am, not wanting to even move.

At 10am, we came back to the school and paid for internet for 2 months, and now we're sitting out on the patio while everyone eats lunch. The smells are making me a bit nauseous, but I'm trying to stay calm. I feel shy and out of place here. There's these somewhat large groups of people here, like 4-8people. Then there's us. Everyone else, except escorts? are in high school too. We're old and newbs, so it's a bit daunting.

So I don't know what else we're doing today. I think the internet access is accessible at the house since it's like in the backyard of their home, even though there's so many trees, you can't tell. I think I might want to go walk around the school and figure out where things are.

The lady that showed us around the school was talking a million miles a minute, I understood so little, but hopefully enough to get around, since pointing helps a LOT.

I think that's about it for now. I have no idea what we're going to do this weekend. They have excursions lined up with the school, but we can't afford all of them, so we have to pick and choose what we do.

There's a literally green fly hanging out. It's like the size of a bee, but BRIGHT green. crazy!

I'll upload pictures later on. I'm hoping that the 2 bars for the internet are accessible at our little casa tonight so I can get on then. That' would be most awesome.

Hasta Luego!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

June 19, 2008

Panic. Sheer panic. The alarm went off at 3:50am. Disorientation, adrenaline, paralyzed. I woke up this morning not knowing what to do. The panic in my mind was so intense, I literally could not move. I got up the courage to ask Drew if he wanted snooze or off…typical morning routine. Snooze. Hell, I knew I couldn’t “snooze” today. I had to get up. So I hit the snooze, sat in bed, bending my fingers, willing myself to get out of bed. This was sheer torture. We loaded the car, said a prayer, and off we went. We got to the airport with no complications, we got through check-in with no complications. We got on the airplane, once again, no complications. In fact, overall, there really have been no complications, a smooth transition.

We had an hour layover in LA while they cleaned the plane. We re-boarded and headed for Mexico City. By the time we were about 30 minutes out of the city, I mentioned to Drew that I wasn’t near as freaked out as I had been that morning. For some reason though, there was some extremely turbulent air for the last 20 minutes of the flight. We would drop – not just a little drop – but the kind of drop that makes your stomach muscles spasm. THEN, while landing, I swear they were drunk cause the plane tilted significantly to the right…..I was honestly surprised we didn’t land on the wing. Everyone started cheering and clapping after this because we had landed, if not smoothly, at least we had landed.

We then had to go through immigration. That took almost an hour and a half. The airport was hot and stuffy and no one was happy. We then had to go through customs and I had an apple in my backpack for Drew to eat if he wanted it while we flew. They laughed at me for having it and made lots of random Spanish comments about it that I couldn’t understand. All in all, it went very smoothly, no rummaging through suitcases, nothing.

Drew and I were both worried that our chauffer wouldn’t be there since we were so late. He was. Thank goodness! He introduced himself and said his name was so and so and yo habla en espanol solomente. So he wouldn’t talk to us in English. We didn’t have much to say to each other on the 2 hour car ride down to Cuernavaca. He spoke English, but he wasn’t going to speak it with us, so unfortunately, we didn’t talk much. On the drive down here, I was having a major panic in my head. All these houses on top of each other. And what are those big black containers on top of everyone’s houses? What if we live in one of those? What if that’s considered “middle class”??? So we get to the place, and since it had a # on it like an apartment, that’s what I was expecting. Come to find out, it is a gated community with a policeman at the gate to let people in. It is a small home, but they have 2 guest rooms attached to the house. We can come in a different entrance and everything. We got here, and their house helper, Pedro helped us in with our luggage. Lydia, the wife made us “spaghetti” when we got there. We washed our hands and went upstairs to eat. (our little room is down some stairs in the backyard).

For some reason when we went up there, I got so nauseated, I was freaking out. I didn’t want to eat a thing, but the pressure of pleasing houseguests made me grab some salad. They had put this extremely potent mustard salad dressing on it. I could barely choke it down. Under normal circumstances, I’m sure it’d been fine, but not tonight. Then she made spaghetti that consisted of noodles, cheese, and onions. The smell wafting through my nose made my stomach turn. I did NOT want to eat it. Since I couldn’t communicate how I was feeling, I grabbed a small bit of it to put on my plate. The stuff hit my tongue and I didn’t know if it was more polite to run to the sink to hurl, or go outside. I was panicking. I was in a cold sweat and told Drew I wasn’t feeling well, extremely nauseous. He tried to translate it for the couple and Lydia brought me some random pill that was supposed to help with upset stomachs, like a pain killer. I said gracias. There was no way I was taking that without knowing what it was! Yeah, it was in a sealed container, but I didn’t want to take it.

FINALLY, we were able to go back to our room after a huge discussion about what we wanted for breakfast. Hell, I couldn’t keep down what I was eating, there’s no way I was going to be able to eat breakfast! I went to lay down on the bed for a while cause not moving seemed the only thing I was going to handle. After a while, I was ok enough to go take a shower. Thank goodness we have our own bathroom. Twin beds, but our own bathroom, I’ll take it. Not fun, but what do you do? So here I am, 930pm, exhausted beyond belief, sick as hell, not wanting to go to bed cause then I have to deal with the stress of tomorrow. Orientation. 8:00am. Ugh. I sure hope this gets easier for a little bit. :/

Monday, June 16, 2008

Whirlwind Trip!

Wow! We had a crazy last 5 days. Let me recap!

So we drove down to Bend on Thursday for an OCDLA (Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association) conference. I dropped Drew off at the resort and made my way back to the house to occupy myself for the better half of the day. We ended up going to a BBQ that night where the attorney's were smoking pot and exposing their privates while feeding babies. It was quite entertaining! So then on Friday, I hung out at the house that the Marion County PD's office had rented out just sitting outside reading. I apparently got much toastier than I had anticipated. I was really sunburned when I went to help out setting up a PD's party in the afternoon. That was pretty fun too. We ended up watching a ton of the original Hulk TV show and laughing at how lame it was. Good time! So then on Saturday, we drove from Bend all the way up to Seattle. Drew dropped me off at Sara's friends house to go to a bachelorette party for Sara. It was pretty entertaining. I didn't stay for all of it since I didn't want to do the whole Karaoke bit. So Dad, Laurie, and Drew picked me up and we went to watch The Hulk movie. It was pretty entertaining. It was so much better than that last piece of crap that came out. Granted there were some lamesauce junk going on, but considering what they had to work with, it was pretty good. So then on Sunday, we hung out at Dad's house watching movies, doing the whole BBQ thing and just pretty much chilling. It was nice. Then finally, today, we headed back to good ole Oregon and got here this afternoon.

Now that we're home, all the laundry has been done, I cleaned the house and now we're watching the most recent BSG episode. It can't really get much better than that. Oh! and I made more cookie dough cause I was jonesin for that!

So tomorrow, I need to get a few final things together for our next trip, and then head over to work and try to get some of my furniture moved in, and then on wednesday, I need to pack and make doubly sure I haven't forgotten anything, and then go to sleep early since we have to head out at around 4am to make our super early flight. Yes! lol Good thing I have computer games.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I think every night, without fail, Lexy has woken us up on or around 4:30am since Ryan moved in. Ryan is in HER room and I think it's her protest. We have tried coaxing her into our room, we've tried keeping her out of our room, we've tried keeping her in our room, but she just sits and moans like she's DYING! EVERY NIGHT! Maybe this is my smooth transition into motherhood. At least it's only once a night, eh? hahaha

So this morning when I got up and got dressed and everything, this is how I find her on her bed:

So yeah, I had to take a picture. Her eyes were slit open so she was following me around, but that position just cracked me up. All my hatred for that night went away in the laugh. Oh lexy, you butt. I love you way more than maybe I should! I promise you'll get your room back in a couple of months. (You wouldn't think a cat would be vexed over losing their bedroom...but you'd be WRONG!)

Sunday, June 8, 2008


I guess I seem to forget about this blog a lot. So here I am, once again on a beautiful Sunday afternoon updating the world. :)

A pretty rose on the side of our house

School got out for me on Wednesday at noon. I don't remember what I did that afternoon, but I'm sure I did something. On Thursday morning, I started packing things up in the classroom and all of the sudden, TONS of people came in and just started moving my classroom to the other hallway. It was amazing. The women I work with are the most dedicated, hard workers I have ever met. There wasn't one ounce of complaint! They just came in, did their business and within a couple hours, EVERYTHING was out of my room (I had to beg them to keep my desk and chair in there so I could actually do grades that afternoon!) ---I hadn't expected ANYONE to help me with my room, so the fact that I had at least 10 people in and out of my room, and the only thing I had to move was a stack of empty storage containers was beyond my wildest dreams. If any of them ever read this, THANK YOU!!!!

So then on Friday, we had our all District staff meeting. It came and went pleasantly, and I was able to finish up my files and portfolios for next years teachers. I was then able to head over to Salem and watch Drew preform his first trial. He had wanted me there even though I was a little apprehensive on the idea of being there. I was so nervous for him, and wanted it to go perfectly, so when he got up to argue his case, my stomach was in knots!!! THankfully for both of us and his client, he did a bang up job. Neither of us were anticipating that he would win, but his arguments were presented flawlessly and succinct! GOOD JOB DREW!!! I was very proud of him! :)

On Saturday, we made it to the temple for a morning session and went over to Washington Square mall for some tasty Cheesecake Factory for lunch. While we were driving around, we found a Maggie Moo's ice cream place!!! I was so excited that we got cheesecake to go, and went over to eat tasty, tasty Ice cream. It was perfect!

Sunday, we had to talk in church, that went well, and even though they had planned 2 youth speakers, neither showed up, so Drew and I had to use up the whole time. That can be pretty scary! A lady at church told me a funny story afterward though that I thought I'd share. She said that a few years back, there was a man from the stake presidency that had just been called and was up there speaking. He had said that there was a "nephite" up there with him. Of course, it got everyones attention, so he then proceeded to say that he didn't know if his left or his right knee was going to win, but one of them was going to crash. It made me laugh!

So that's about it. We'll be heading off to Bend on Thursday this week, then up to Seattle, back to Dallas, and then off to Mexico the following Thursday, it's going to be a whirlwind of the next 2 weeks!

Some pretty flowers from our front yard