Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bienvenidos a México!!!

I have heard this phrase over and over again since arriving in Mexico: Bienvenidos a México or Welcome to Mexico!!! It has come in the form of a greeting after arriving at the airport or when meeting somebody new.
But, there have been some other times that I have heard it such as:
*when the electricity went off for 4 hours during a storm one night
*when we were driving to a clinic and there was a section of the street flooded so we had to
turn around in a narrow street
*in traffic or when somebody runs a red light
*when driving the wrong way on the highway because the right way was blocked
*after eating real Mexican tacos (like in this photos)

I've had a few days here in Mexico to take it easy and adjust to the 7,500+ ft. elevation. Because of my many travels to Guatemala and my time in El Paso/Juarez most things are pretty familiar and there is not a lot of culture shock! I've been challenged with speaking Spanish again and love being surrounded by the language - I can't wait for mine to improve some more!

A street in Pachuca, notice the houses on the
mountain in the background -
Pachuca is surrounded by mountains,
and the poorest live on the mountains.

I've been staying with a wonderful missionary family and have enjoyed my time with them so much! Today (Sunday) I traveled with a traveling medical clinic through the university to a nearby town. They had mobile dental offices and an eye clinic as well as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, nutritionists, etc . . . who were able to help the people. After graduating from the university there is a requirement to do a certain amount of social service ranging from 6 months to a year. There were between 40-50 people staffing this clinic and a foundation that helps to fund these clinics provided us with breakfast and lunch as well as had entertainment for the patients. There was traditional Mexican singers and dancers, as well as clowns and people on stilts throughout the day. It was quite the fiesta in this little town as the clinics and entertainment all took place around the town square. I will soon start my official time with the university and will have to wait and see what that holds!

Booths set up for the medical consults.

Dental office

Town Square with Clinic set up around it

Traditional dancers from different Mexican states