Mi primera actualiza desde México

1 07 2008

Hello all,

Sorry for taking so long to shoot off my first update, but for those who know me, this isn’t a surprise ;). And now I don’t know where to begin.

I’ve been here in Querétaro for 3 weeks, and have seen many new and beautiful things, studied Spanish, finished reading a biography (at least one person receiving this will be happy to know that ;), and have gotten to know some new people.

I have traveled, besides around the city of Querétaro (in the state of Querétaro): to Bernal, the third largest rock (not mountain, but rock) in the world; San Miguel Allende, home of (one of?) the only Gothic church(es) in Mexico, also of some Hollywood-types looking for a retreat, and, last but not least, the home of “los padres de mi madre mexicano” (my mexican mother’s parents), who own a gorgeous ranch with 5 or 6 swimming pools that all fill up daily with fresh, warm water from down under; and today, I just got back from the Sierra Gorda, an enormous and magnificent piece of the world which is the home of the first mission churches started by Junipero Serra in Mexico (before he made his way up to what is now the California coast). The bus trip took about 5 hours from Querétaro to the first mission (Jalpan), and boy is it a dizzying trip. Imagine the worst curves of Hwy 1 on the coast of California stretched out over many mountains and for about 3 hours – and you may have an idea of how many people took Dramamine to make it through the bus rides. It is a very beautiful place though. There are many huge mountains which are covered with trees and clouds. To give an idea of how tall these mountains were, we stopped at a gas station for a break before we got to the dizzying mountain curves and me and Vincent were questioning which was hotter at that time, Alabama or this piece of Mexico in the desert (I voted Alabama, for what it’s worth). About an hour later, we’re at one of the highest points that the bus is able to stop at, and we get out to find out that it’s quite chilly outside. ??? Whatever though – it was a welcome change. The air was quite brisk, very clean, and very refreshing to breathe (unlike downtown Querétaro with its skinny streets and many cars – if you happen to run across a diving kit [simply the tank, the tube, and the breather-thing will do], please ship it to me soon. I fear I’m going to die by inhaling too much of the car fumes as if I were in a garage hanging out with the engine running, ahem, ring any bells, _______? ;).

So, the place is really old and really great and really beautiful (save the “Rio de Querétaro,” which is a different beast altogether) – I’m really fortunate to be able to be here and see these new places and meet these new people. But, “How’s Kevin?”, you may ask. Well, Kevin is fine.

The end,
Kevin

Haha. That would be a funny ending, but not satisfying for at least a few of you, so I will try to be a bit more verbose.

I’m doing well, I believe. Still hanging in there with discernment, still wondering just what it is that God wants of me, and what day I will be able to mark on my calendar that He will give me at least a 95% “for sure” or “not for sure” type answer. I’m still waiting, it seems ;). I hear thunder, so I’d better stop there. Such is discernment. Other than discernment, I’ve just been doing a decent amount of studying, a tinier amount of (personal) reading, and another decent amount of getting to know mi familia mexicano (oh yes, and a whole lot of walking). The classes and teachers here are great, the program is relaxed and, I think, is a very good program – there are actually teachers in the world who don’t want to kill their students with work or scare them with the consequences of those mean old “grades.” I’m floating a little bit.

And, finally, I would like to introduce you to mi familia mexicano. First is Mariano. Mariano is a 32 year old native of Querétaro who has lived in America and Canada, but has been back home for several years. He now works for PeMex (the government-run…the only type of gas station in Mexico) doing, from what I can divine (with my Mexican understanding powers), designs for plants and stations. Prior to this he worked for Bombardier, building planes, and in America, was a mechanic. But, just a moment ladies. Before you get too “dreamy” with this fantastically painted portrait of Mariano, I would like to introduce you to his wife, yes, his wife, Edith (pronounced ay-deeth). Edith, like her husband (just making sure), is 32 years old and is currently about 6 months away from being a certified beautician-like-person. She studies just across the street from where I do at some place that I can’t remember the name of – but, I do know that she’s going to cut hair, do make-up, and nails (both hand- and, mmpf, one second, this one is tough for me to handle, toe-nails – bleh … nothin’ but love for those who mess with toes ;). And, swiftly moving from that picture, we move to Mariana, the 5 year old daughter of the Mariano and Edith. Mariana just finished “kinder” last week and will be moving on to a different school (primeria, pienso [primary, i think]) next month. She is a cute little girl that acts like most other 5 year olds that I know (and even some adults – ooooooh…OK, OK, maybe my puns are getting a little too strong – I’ll calm down a little … some other time). She likes to watch, sing, and dance with Discovery Kids, loves muñecas (I could very possibly have spelled that wrong – I … :( … lost my dictionary. OK, so, muñecas are otherwise known as the sophisticated English word, “dolls”), listens ¼ of the time, and (get prepared for this one), occasionally pulls the dog’s ears too hard, which makes the dog cry, and (this astounded me the first time I heard it) provokes a response from Edith which is something like, “Mariana, no molestas la perra.” I soon grew accustomed to the word “molestar” being commonplace for what we would translate as “irritate” or “aggravate” or “mess with”. Ahh, the intricacies of languages. And, since I mentioned her, I will introduce the final member of the family, Chickies. Chickies is a somewhat sweet and somewhat aggravating half-Chihuahua, half-some-other-kind-of dog that loves to have her belly rubbed and to take things out of the trash can. She is black, white, brown, big for a Chihuahua, and constantly jumps on your leg when you’re sitting, and sometimes, if she’s excited, when you’re standing.

And, to sum them up: they’re a really sweet family who give a lot of themselves to me, their niño americano, especially in conversation (which is sometimes a long and arduous process).

OK. So now, I’ve rambled on for long enough and it’s about time that I hit the bed (it’s now 10:05p, Sunday).

Everyone take care and I will try to make another update sometime. But don’t expect speed – it’s not my style ;).

May we keep our eyes on the Lord,

Kevin

(P.S. this started as an e-mail on Sunday, 29th of June, but I decided it would be better to post here instead)