Saturday, June 7, 2008

First Impressions

So I arrived in Mexico City on Tuesday and spent a few days baking in cross-town hour-long taxi rides on errands. I got to visit the U.S. embassy, which must be a very strange experience in any country, and Mexico is no exception. It's heavily fortified -- thick steel gates and traffic cones blocking traffic in front -- against what I'm not quite sure, since the surrounding neighborhood of Chapultepec appears to be on the ritzier side... I couldn't take any electronics inside and I had to be escorted around the premises. The premises included an outdoor market inside -- exactly what you'd find on the street but disturbingly calm and quiet, altogether sanitized for those who want a little bit of Mexico without the Mexican aspect of the deal.

I've been in my headquarter city of La Piedad since Thursday. I arrived to find it bigger than I expected and surprisingly free of pigs -- I've been threatened for weeks now that I was going to be wallowing in the pork production capital of the country for the summer. That industry has died out for the most part, so I've been told. Plus, I haven't seen or smelled any major pork production going on.

This is the view of the town from my window. We're staying in the house of one of our partner agency contacts. The center of La Piedad is located in a valley, so the town sort of rises up around it.

I'm here with the Project Director Lyndsay and the Assistant Project Director Peter setting up the program. So far the most official thing we've done besides quite a lot of paperwork is a successful first meeting with some of our partner agency contacts. We talked about the schedule for the summer and selected the communities our volunteers will be living and working in.

Here we are with some of the health officials we'll be working with this summer. It took a lot of effort to figure out the self-timer and get the camera at the right angle to take this picture.

The best and possibly most exciting aspect of my trip so far is the FOOD. I had forgotten how Mexican food in the U.S. just does not compare -- at all. There is chile on literally everything, which I'm getting used to in small increments.

More to come as things besides food actually begin to happen to me.


Plaszloc said...

Hey Rebecca its Patrick -

So you left the morning I got back from Haiti. Congrats on graduating! I hope you continue to update your blog, because you KNOW I'll be stalking you as hard as I can. Talk to you soon

Elizabeth said...

Wow! Your first week away and you are already having many adventures!! The pictures of the city were absolutely sublime, it looks like a very interesting place to live. I can't wait to hear about your other stories as they unfold. Good luck to you!!

Ricky said...

look forward to reading your second, third, and more impressions...

Megann said...

I hope it goes well, Rebe! Suerte! besos