It’s time for a recap of week 3 and 4! For starters, I’ll give an update on the academics. My disappointment has settled in because I found out that we will not get a chance to perform research or join an on-going project. The program listed each of the courses on the website, one including supervisory research. If the courses changed, I would’ve like to have been informed. This isn’t to be negative about the course selection, but just a little disappointed. That is all. On the other hand, the other courses are going fine. Some topics are really engaging while others are a bit slow for my liking. We are also taking a salsa dancing class. I assume it’s for fun, rather than a grade. It is pretty fun, but it’s definitely physically demanding. The instructor is always at her maximum energy level. The class that I look forward to during the week is Culture & History. The professor is the most well-informed, laid-back, and sincere instructor. He preps us with a lecture before we go on field-trips, each Friday. During week 3, we went to Central Historic Mexico. During this trip, I saw ancient pyramids in Tlatelolco, La Plaza de Tres Culturas, Templo Mayor, and one other museum. It was definitely a long walking day, but the sights were amazing.
The weekend of week 3, six other students and I went on a TuriTour, which is a double-decker bus that takes you around the downtown area and the historic sites in the city of Mexico. It was so cheap for everything we were able to get. Throughout the day, riders are allowed to get on and off the bus. We decided we would get off at various places, then get back on later. Our first stop was the Butterfly Garden in the Chapultepec Zoo. We were able to get up close and personal with the butterflies. The whole room was filled with them. After this adventure, we got back on the TuriTour and went to a popular neighborhood called Condesa. Condesa is popular for its diversity in food, neighbors, and activities. We decided to go eat at a tiny restaurant along the streets of the neighborhood. It turned out to be a great choice because the food was good! Lastly, we went to a café shop to snag some deserts before the rain storm began, before parting our separate ways in Ubers.
Both week 3 and 4 began with a field trip. During week 4, we went to the Secretariat of Health. This field trip was quite informative, but in a sense, boring. I felt so guilty for not being super interested. Eventually, I gave myself a break and acknowledged my empty feelings. Also during week 4, I had my first Spanish exam. After taking two years of Spanish at NU, one would think I’d have some type of mastery. Sadly, I do not. The test was not extremely difficult, but it was tedious and long. At least I hit average! Lastly, this week’s field trip took us back to Central Historic Mexico, but through the colonial buildings. We walked the streets of downtown, going into museums and sites such as Palacio National, National Museum of Art, Palacio Belles Artes, and even a historic post-office. My favorite was definitely the National Museum of Art. I got to witness this ancient structure in almost perfect condition. The pain in our feet were definitely worth the pictures!
The weekend of week 4 was breathtaking. We were able to witness some nature-made waterfalls and caves. It is moments, such as this, that I will never forget.
In all honesty, these two weeks were also a little hard for me. I was feeling extremely homesick and isolated. I tried not to project how I felt into my behavior, but at moments, I found myself being mean or holding an attitude. Very few people talk about the difficulties of leaving your home for multiple months and the toll it can take on your emotional well-being. I’ve never been away from home this long and I was hoping that I could fare out here in Mexico. Unfortunately, my mistake was trying to fare it alone. I learned the importance of maintaining community and relationships while abroad. It is necessary for the sake of staying happy, healthy, and safe.