Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Birthday

Yesterday was my 14th birthday and I had a very good day.

To start off it was a Friday and we had only a half day of school cause the teachers had meetings. I hung out with some kids after school, went home to chill and play guitar for awhile.

Later some of my friends picked me up to go to the movies, bringing with them the biggest sombrero I've ever seen. We drove downtown to the movie theater where another friend was waiting for us and we ran into someone else later. We saw a very corny Mexican film that was funny and just fun too watch.

Afterwards we walked around town and ran into 2 other friends (as you can see Ensenada is a small town so you always see people you know). They were having pizza, so we sat down and had some pizza and talked for a while.

We walked around some more until about 10:00 and a friend's mom picked me up and brought me home.

I really had a great time celebrating my birthday in Mexico.

Me with my birthday sombrero, pretty sweet huh

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


A few days ago I met with a class over the internet. My uncle Eric is a superintendent and he hooked me up to talk about going to school in Mexico with this class. It is a fourth grade class from Burlington, Massachusetts. I talked with the whole class during their morning meeting. They asked me a lot of good questions about what I have been doing here in Ensenada and my experiences at school.

I was nervous at first because I've never actually met these people. But, I sort of know them because they leave so many great comments on this blog! After the first few questions I felt more comfortable. Meeting with them and seeing their classroom made me miss an American school.

I hope that Ms. Hayes' fourth grade class can meet the fourth grade class at Colegio Argentino. We are going to try to set up a Skype meeting so the two classes can talk to each other.

Me talking with the class

Sunday, March 8, 2009


We have added some photos to previous blog posts. We lost our camera charger sometime in our travels and were not able to post photos for a while. We've got a new charger and I'm adding in the photos of our trip to Sonora (to Alamos, via Hermosillo) during Christmas break. Check out Mark in a cowboy hat (when in Sonora ...).

I think that Nathan wrote about us exploring another state to look for the "real" Mexico -- as if Baja were not traditional or authentic enough. But, what we are discovering by traveling and by making friends here who hail from all parts of the nation is that there are many "Mexicos" -- with each region contributing something valuable and beautiful to this very complex and varied country. We look forward to doing much more exploring.

One I-want-to-go-home Night

I've written lately about how well we are doing here, with the kids making great progress in Spanish, making great friendships, and having fun with visitors from home. But, we had a set-back this week. It was a rough week for all of us, but especially trying for Nathan. Poor Nathan had his first bad case of Moctezuma's revenge. He missed two and a half days of school because he had to stay home and stay close to the bathroom. (He really would have had more fun at school.)

In addition to all of the stomach discomfort, he had to deal with the minor discomforts of our apartment. Perhaps we haven't filled you in our apartment news lately. We live in a very small but cheerful apartment in which most things function most of the time. The electricity usually works, but sometimes only the wall sockets work and the ceiling lights don't. Last week, our toilet -- which had been rocking on its base since we moved in -- finally started to leak. Another problem is that we sometimes don't have running water. The water just stops running in our building for a few hours and then comes back. We have become accustomed to this and I always store water in extra bottles for our dry spells.

This past Tuesday night was our night for suffering from all problems simultaneously. The water stopped running in the evening and didn't start again until 7:00 am. The electricity in the ceiling was out. The toilet had just broken. So poor sick Nathan spent most of the evening in a flashlight-lit bathroom, flushing with buckets of water into a leaking toilet. He was miserable.

Although we all have had I-want-to-go-home moments during our year, we just crashed on Tuesday. Nathan and Theo's great-grandmother had just died on Tuesday. So, we were sad and thinking about family a lot, even before the great waves of nausea rolled in. It just all added up to one I-want-to-go-home night.

We have bounced back. Nathan is just about back to normal. He had enough energy to go to swim practice on Friday and he even scored a goal in a soccer game on Saturday. So, his spirits have improved. I am proud of myself for taking a day off on Wednesday to keep Nathan company and handle household problems. I looked up a few words in the dictionary and called the plumber myself. By the end of the day both plumbing and electricity had been fixed. Theo is just happy that we all are in better moods now.

Granny used to say that "getting old isn't for sissies." And, since she lived to be 100 years old, she knew what she was talking about. Perhaps living away from home and learning a new language isn't for sissies either. And, we have not quit yet. We are back in the game.

Fun with GrandBob and Nancy

GrandBob and Nancy came to visit last weekend and we had a great time together. We tried to squeeze a little bit of everything Ensenada has to offer into one weekend -- and still have some to time to just hang out. We had fun in the city, at the beach, and in the Valle de Guadalupe (wine country). For a bit of "sophisticated" culture we enjoyed Ensenada's mini history museum and a fabulous classical guitar concert performed by a professor at the local branch of UABC (Universidad Autónoma de Baja California). For a bit of street culture we ate plenty of tacos and tamales, and explored neighborhoods well off the tourist strip. We didn't have enough time for much wildlife watching. . . maybe next visit!