Monday, August 1, 2011

Today I was going over some blogs that my friends write, and I felt pretty blessed that Jackie, a wonderful lady I met here at a party this spring, found my blog and got in contact with me. Of course, I had to go check out her blog too! :-) She participated in an activity that that Lisa over at came up with, and I decided it looked like fun too, so here goes...

1. How long have you been with your husband?

Jorge and I have been together for a little more than 2 years; we were married last October.

2. Can you remember one funny miscommunication because of language barriers?

I'm sure there have probably been several! Off the top of my head, I can't think of one... Jorge speaks English fluently, and when we aren't around his family or our friends here, we speak mostly English.

3. What city/state have you relocated to?

We are in Guadalajara, Jalisco, in sunny Mexico. Many of my American friends assume I mean NEW Mexico when they first find out where I am. It's interesting to hear their reactions when I correct them! LOL

4. Do you and your hubby have any children? How old?

We have a houseful, between the two of us! Joaquin is 10; Bobby is 9; Moises and Isaiah are both 8; Belen and Cliffy are both 6, and Noe is 5.

5. What is one thing your blogger friends do not know about you?

I am an artist. I do hand-drawn charcoal and graphite portraits, mostly from photos my clients email to me. I have had clients in the US, Mexico, Australia, England and India. The last few years I have really slacked off on my work, and now I don't market it at all. Most of what I currently do is for family and friends. But maybe in the near future I'll start working on bigger projects again!

6. What are some of your favorite hobbies or past times?

Well, my art. Reading. I love to sing! I like to cook, and many times you'll find me in the kitchen just because I feel like making something! My Grandpa instilled in me a strong love of gardening, and I love to get my fingers dirty in good rich soil. I also enjoy reading my Bible and listening to my husband preach! :-) There is nothing like the feeling I get, listening to him teach the Word, the passion burning in his eyes... Not a hobby exactly, but something I certainly enjoy!

7. How did you stumble upon the blogging community?

I have been active on FaceBook for years. Last spring, my friend Amanda had a St. Patrick's Day cookout for all of her friends, and we went. While there, I learned about her blog, and also Jackie's blog. I didn't start my own until this summer, but now that I am here, I love it!

8. Have you learned something new about yourself during this whole process that has changed all of our lives?

Well, I don't know if the things I have learned have changed anyone ELSE's life, but they have certainly changed mine! I learned that we have this little community of like-minded people, and that we all struggle with a lot of the same things. I have been inspired by ladies who face harder situations than mine, and never hesitate to keep going. My faith has grown from some of the testimonies shared, and I know now that I am not ever alone- there is always someone to listen, someone to share with, who will not judge based on the common biases found in US culture. My life has been enriched because of every person I have met here- thank you all!

9. Something that you love about Mexico and something that you cannot stand or miss living without.

I love the people here! I haven't once encountered any kind of judgement or bigotry. Everyone seems to think it's great that the guera speaks Spanish and is willing to get right in there and work with them or laugh with them. They have welcomed me into their churches, both large and extremely tiny, with arms wide open and nothing but love. There is none of the racial tension I have seen in the US!

I also love the hand-made items I find in places like Tonala. I just don't make it out there often enough to enjoy it to the max! :-)

I know there are a lot of things that could be mentioned here, but really, the thing that irritates me the most is waking up in the morning to the smell of car exhaust fumes. The city has horrible air quality, and when we take the motorcycle out, we come home feeling like there is grit on our faces. Apart from this, there are small things, but nothing worth mentioning!

The thing I miss the most about the US- our children!!! I think that's pretty self-explanatory...

10. Did you know your in-laws before moving and has it been a big adjustment being closer to them?

I laughed at some of the comments made about this question! I knew my in-laws by phone before moving here- which is totally different than arriving and living with them! LOL It has been an adjustment, for sure, but part of that is our current living situation. Anyone who has ever lived with someone knows it is challenging, no matter how amazing the person you live with is. My in-laws are very loving people. But we do live with them. :-)

11. If you were going back to the States next week, where is the first place you would go, of course after seeing your family?

I would go to the little pizza place in New Buffalo PA, and buy a giant BBQ chicken deluxe calzone (or maybe the pizza version if I had to share! LOL)!!! I haven't experienced anything like it ANYwhere else, in the US or in Mexico!
Now that I am home HERE, in GDL- first on the list is a nice huge arrachera dinner! Mmmmmm!

I feel very blessed to be part of a community of such strong, determined women. My hat's off to you girls! Love you all!

Home Sweet Home!

It's been quite awhile since I have posted! Life got pretty crazy at the end of my time in the US. It was hard taking the boys home- making the 10 hour trip on a day that was extremely hot- 100 degrees- didn't help, nor was it a wonderful thing when the air conditioning died! We stopped every hour or so to have the boys wet their shirts down, so they didn't get heat exhaustion, but it was still really hard on them!
I flew home to Guadalajara on the 26th of July. I boarded the train in Waterloo Indiana- a half hour from Mom's house- two hours late, praying they would still get me to the airport in Chicago on time. We pulled in to Union Station only 45 minutes late- somehow the conductor made up a significant  chunk of time during the trip, and that helped me get to the airport with a little time to spare. God is good!
I had an hour layover in Atlanta, where I realized that there were two others traveling all the way to GDL with me from Chicago. That was the first time anyone ever made the whole trip with me. I really didn't think there was much likelihood of that happening all the way from Chicago, but it was nice to see familiar faces the whole way... We all three had a hard time finding our gate- it was nice to know I wasn't the only one feeling lost!
I didn't realize how much I have missed being surrounded by the Spanish language until we all sat down at the gate and the babel surrounding us started to separate into individual voices- all speaking Spanish! It felt like a relief to me. This might seem strange to some of my readers, but it was definitely a feeling of belonging for me, in spite of being the only guera in the whole waiting area! LOL
We came into Guadalajara out of grey storm clouds, over the beautiful green mountains and big lakes of water that weren't here when I left. I love the rainy season here! The city was like a gem from above, all the jumble of roads and buildings and LIFE running together, creating a teeming mass of humanity- HOME.
Jorge wasn't able to meet me at the airport, but his family was there- our niece and nephew came running when I walked out of the secure area, smothering me in hugs and kisses, nearly knocking me off my feet with their enthusiasm!
We arrived at the house and the phone rang almost immediately- my husband has an amazing sense of timing, and he knew somehow we'd be home. I fell asleep that night exhausted from the travel, but feeling very blessed to be back here, where we can build our lives...
Jorge graduates from his program on Wednesday, and he still has no idea about his party, even though he did find out I was coming home early. My husband will be home in two days- I can't wait! :-)
God is good!