Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mexican birthday

After taking the California bar, the most terrible ordeal in my life to date, I fled to Mexico. I'm living with my step grandmother, Tila, in Merida, Mexico for one month. I landed 3 days ago and, so far, it has been a quiet trip. It is so hot here that you can only go out early in the morning, and in the evening. Well, as you know, I like to sleep in. So I decided to explore in the evening. But, there were massive thunder and lightening storms each night after I landed, which prevented me from really getting to explore. That is, until today.

This morning, I went with the volunteers - a rag tag bunch of 7 Brits in their early 20's - to the orphanage, where the orphans sang happy birthday to me. We were with the 6-10 year old girls. Some of them are so affection hungry that they attach to your hips and legs sight unseen, and ask to kiss your cheek, or hold your hand, etc. It was incredibly touching. After that we traveled to the caves by bus, then these little catamarans, and finally by donkey-pulled carts on train tracks. We cave dived for about 3 hours. It was amazing. Afterward, back in the city, we had a delicious Italian meal. It was a very good Birthday.

As for the mosquitoes, I learned from the volunteers that most foreigners react like I did, i.e., welts the size of a silver dollar, for about a week after which the mosquitoes become less interested and also the physical reaction to each bite becomes less severe. I'll be sure to post pics of my left leg. It looks like I have leprosy. I hope these kids were right because they bites are literally driving me mad. I can't sleep both because they itch so bad and because I'm always brushing mosquitoes away (they're like super mosquitoes, impervious to repellent or citronella).

Tila has been giving me 2-hour Spanish lessons each morning and has advised me that soon she will stop speaking to me in English! It turns out that I knew more Spanish than I thought. I know enough to get places, order food, ask basic questions, and I even managed a joke!

Finally, in maybe 10 days or so I plan on renting a car and doing a little tour of the Yucatan. My step-cousin, Gita, is in school, so I'll probably have to do it alone. I'm kind of scared but also excited. Tila seems to think it's a good idea so long as I stick to safe towns.

Anyway, that's all for now from Mexico.

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