Day 38 of Mexican life and it’s been muy bien! I can still remember the day we met Kent, one of LiveDifferent’s Mexico staff, at the airport and we all loaded into the bus to begin our six hour drive to our new home. Some of us had been to Mexico before and were familiar with Mexican sights and cultures, but some of us had never been and everything was new. Regardless of experience, we were all glued to the bus windows with cameras in our hands as we crossed the border into Mexico. The exhilaration and anticipation of our upcoming adventure was evident on everyone’s faces!
The first few weeks were a blur as we got to know each other’s living habits and ventured into the surrounding communities. We quickly discovered local markets and hang-out spots and could proudly order our own tacos at our favourite taco stands. Learning how to get around and being more self-reliant proved to be a challenging task for me and my fellow peers, but a task well worth the effort. Shortly after our arrival, we dove into our Social Justice Curriculum and spent our mornings learning about injustice around the world. It was incredibly eye-opening to see, learn, and discuss the injustice that affects our everyday lives, from modern-day slavery to power-hungry corporations.
Perhaps the most rewarding part of our time in Mexico is being able to teach kids English and helping out at the old folks home every week. Tuesdays and Thursday we travel to schools with kids grades 1-6 and plan out fun English lessons for them. Seeing their enthusiasm and willingness to learn has been a major highlight of every week…and hearing their cute Mexican accents as they attempt to pronounce English words like ‘purple!’ It really gives you perspective on how difficult and complex the English language really is and makes me realize how incredibly blessed I am to be able to speak this universal language.
Wednesdays are spent helping out at the old folks home which usually means washing feet, shaving men’s faces, preparing food, and any other odd jobs that they need help with. The appreciation of the men and women is overwhelming; you could accidentally cut a man’s face while shaving and he would still thank you. For me, one of my major highlights was washing a man’s feet at the old folks home and discovering that he spoke very good English. We had a long conversation and really enjoyed each other’s company, (and I may have taken a longer time washing his feet only because I wanted to keep talking to him…but I’ve learned that down here relationships are more important than the task at hand).
In these first months of living here, we have all learned the value of relationships and hope to take this lesson back home with us. Life in Mexico can be summed up in one phrase: la vida es buena (life is good)!