Monday, July 10, 2006

Mi primero fin de la semana

This is a continuation of the previous blog. There are a lot of interesting things to say about this trip!

I think I’ll try to finish talking about the family. We found out a little more about Hilda.  She lives in this house which used to be her mother’s. La-la used to be her maid when she was young, and now since her mother has died, Hilda brought La-la to live and cook here, she . She has a little house behind ours, but she is not here right now, I think she is visiting her family somewhere.

Yesterday, Hilda made our lunch and we ate carne con jugo [steak with juice] which was basically like soup with steak in it and she put a spoonful of beans in too, and it was really, really good. There was also something else with steak and onions and peppers mixed in vinegar, but it was supposed to be served cold on a tostada, and I didn’t like that much. I’m not a big vinegar fan, but also, I prefer my food warm! For dinner, she made us some cheese quesadillas. They were just cheese in a corn tortilla, but I really liked them too because the cheese is really good.

Okay, now I will start on chronological events. On Friday we had our Orientation at the school, then our placement exam. I am a genius and got into the class that I needed to get credit for UT. I’m kinda of worried because I don’t know of anyone who will be in my class yet. Most of the people are lower levels so I think I will be part of a very small class, but I guess I will see tomorrow! Anyways, after the test we went to a fiesta with the group and there was authentic Mexican food there. I had vaca [cow], and mole [shredded beef in sauce, most often made with chocolate, but I thought it tasted like really spicy bbq], and papas [potatoes] con queso [with cheese. Then we went to the school and looked forever to find their computers, but we found them and they worked well and quickly.

That night Holly and I went out to meet two other girls

that we met named Jennifer [white sweater w/ blue tank] and Kayla [red shirt]. We just went to a little restaurant to talk and it was really fun. They’re nice girls. We took a taxi back home and it only cost about $5 between all of us.

Holly and I got up early on Sabado [Saturday] because we had to meet our group at the school to go to the Centro Historico [Historical District Downtown]. Well, we got there on time and ended up having to wait about 45 minutes for the school’s bus to pick us up. It was annoying, but I guess that is just Mexican culture – they’re not really in a hurry about much.

So we took the owl bus (ha, that’s their mascot!) to el Centro. We got out in la Plaza de Ayuntamiento [Town Hall Plaza]. These are our views when we got off the bus:

Catedral de Guadalajara: Inside this Catholic Cathedral is so beautiful. There are statues everywhere of Saints and there is a glass box with something like a mannaquien inside. The mannaquien represents Saint Innocent who was a 12 year old girl whose father killed her [I’m not sure why] and this church has a mesh glove on the mannaquien that has actual bones and blood of the girl inside. Inside this glass box, people have put letters and cards to the Saint.

After the Cathedral, we went to la Rotunda de los Hombres Ilustres. I’ve copied down what my little tour booklet that I bought today says about this place. And for your information, I translated all of it from Spanish, thank you very much. 

A monument consisting of a Hipóstilo [¿] Circle of quarry [¿], with 17 grooved columns and about them a border. It was erectedto honor some of the dawning sons of Jalisco. Previously the Plaza of the Church of Solitude was here. Around the Plaza Square where one can find the Rotunda, gardened areas serve the scenery and various sculptors in bronze, a majority of the works of the Guadalajaran sculptor, Miguel Miramontes who represented Valentín Gómez Farias – a political reformer, Pedro Moreno – an insurgent, Enrique González Martinez – poet, Manuel López Cotilla – educator, Manuel M. Diéguez – revolutionary precursor, Jacobo Gálvez – architect, Clemente Aguirre – musician, Luis Pérez Verdía – historian, Leonardo Oliva – botanist, Agustín de la Rosa – philanthropist, Ignacio Luis Vallarta – lawyer, Agustín Yánez – a man of letters and the governor, Dr. Atl and José Clemente Orozco – painters.

*A postcard that I bought also says that those men are all buried there.

Then we went to el Palacio de Gobierno. I have tour booklet info about this as well, translated from Spanish.

A left-over colonial construction, where an outstanding façade works in a baroque/churrigueresco style. It headquarters the political power of the state of Jalisco. Constructed in the second half of the 18th century to lodge the Palace of the Audience or Real Houses. [That is like House of Representatives, I think.] Then historically, it was here that Don Miguel Hidalgo and Costilla abolished slavery on December 6, 1810, as well as when from the 14th of February to the 19th of March of 1858, the then president Juárez and his waning cabinet took possession of the National Palace, and where he was to the point of being assassinated, done so that to avoid liberal politics and poet Guillermo Prieto, to declare to his aggressive threateners, “Lower your weapons, the brave do not assassinate!” The extraordinary interior possesses murals of the illustrious Jaliscan painter José Clemente Orozco, in the hub of the stairs; Social Fight, the Political Circle and the Sinister Fires, created between 1937 and 1939. In the vault of the antique hall of the State Congress, there is another mural by him; The Liberation of the Slaves, where the figure of the Cura Hidalgo gets worked up.

*The painting in this building is gigantic! I couldn’t even get ½ of it in my photo. The building was really pretty even though the painting was a little scary.

We went to a Theater next. At this place we were standing outside beside a fountain and a man with a nice camera came up and said that he wanted to take our groups picture for the newspaper! Somos famosos! [we are famous!] We got the name of the paper so we’re going to look tomorrow or Tuesday, it’s neat. I’m not sure about it though because later a man came up to us and had the group picture for sale. I bought one for $3 for my scrapbook, I mean, it’s a 5x7 so that wasn’t too bad – I pay more with BOPP! I also bought a sand painting from a vendor. It’s of the Aztec calendar, that’s the picture on the 10 peso coin and it’s done with lots of different colored sand – I like it a lot.

After that, we went to an old orphanage which has now been turned into a museum. There are really funny bronze sculptured chairs in front with different shapes. I’ve read about that museum and Holly and are going to go back to look one day. We’re actually going to go back a bunch of times to do our own self-guided tours and take our time looking at things and taking photos.

After that we had some free time and we all went to el mercada de San Juan de Dios [the market of Saint John of God]. It is absolutely gigantic. There are a ton of food vendors, traditional Mexican gifts and clothes and things and then jewelry and pirated things like movies and video games and cds. Next time we go I’m going to buy some burnt cds because they’re only about 1$ and today we met a girl who told me some good, popular Spanish artists to buy.

After that we went home for lunch and tried to make my computer work with Starbucks internet and then another places – it didn’t work and I was sad, but all is well now because again, I’m a genius and fixed it today.

Today, Sunday, Holly and I slept in. Yesterday we were informed that we are on our own for food and everything on Sundays. It is Hilda’s day with her family and what not. So we made our own quick breakfast here, the other thing is we have to wash our own dishes on Sundays. So then we went about 3-4 blocks down the road to cafebarracafe which is a coffee bar and I figured out how to use the internet so I was ecstatic! I think I was there for 2 ½ hours! But I had a lot of talking and emailing to do and I got to talk to my mom, dad, and aaron, so I was good for the day.

Then I came home, where Holly had returned a little earlier, and Hilda’s nephew, who was really raised like a brother to her, was here with his family. Holly was talking with his son, Christian Fernando – 13, and his daughter, Paulina – 17, and I joined in. They’re so cute. Christian reminded me of my little bro!  Then their mother joined us and she is so sweet. She and Paulina speak English pretty well, so they helped us a lot.

Then we left for Wal-mart. Everything here is actually more expensive than it would be at home. We wanted to buy gifts for Hilda’s grandchildren because Mariano was just born 4 days ago and Lucia’s 2nd birthday is Friday. Well we couldn’t get much because it was very expensive, but we got a onesie and rattle for the baby and a Barney phone for Lucia because she loves Barney – we heard her listening to a Barney cd in Spanish the other day! I also bought snacks for me because I can’t wait from 745 breakfasts to eat again at 3pm or later. Yay! because I also found a fan so I can finally sleep more comfortably, although, last night and tonight there has been rain so it’s a little cooler. Luckily it hasn’t rained during the day like my books told me it would.

After we returned and ate, we hung out. Then we started watching Mexico’s version of American Idol – La Academia – with Paulina and Christian and Lucia. It was really fun. Paulina is the one who told me good music to listen to. We also asked her if we could go to a bull fight, but unfortunately, we can’t because they’re not having one until October.

The rest of the night we’ve just hung out. Holly was going to go to church with Hilda tonight, but when she got ready and went down there, Hilda said she was going to leave a few minutes later because she never got to see this family that was here to visit, but Holly said it was really because Hilda was baracha! [drunk!] She was funny, she kept asking us the same questions when we went down to eat dinner later. Holly’s boyfriend called, so she had to try to tune out the fiesta while they talked. We just hung out in our room and studied maps and things to do the rest of the night.

Oh, and this is Hilda's one year old granddaughter, Lucia:

I had a good day. I really enjoyed talking with Paulina all day, she’s sweet. Being able to use the internet and communicate and not feel stranded made me happy too. Tomorrow I start my class, so I guess I should get some sleep since it is late.

I miss everyone!!

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