Zoologico = Zoo

We went to the zoo in Morelia on Saturday the 7th of July. I had a blast because I love zoos, they are great opportunities to learn. The zoo I am most familiar with is the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Illinois so I was happy to see that Zoologico de Morelia was just as colorful and entertaining.

It was the day of my boyfriends brothers surgery so we went to the zoo for the day. Me and Roberto’s cousins got general admission tickets (~$2.75 ea), tickets to the aquarium, the kids playhouse, and the reptile house. My favorite was the reptile house or casa de serpientes since I like iguanas and they have the biggest snakes I’ve ever seen ! The reticulated python tiger snakes were probably more than 20feet long and as thick as my leg. There were three in their habitat and they were snuggling together. I find them adorable. I learned that the more scientific a name gets, the closer the translation is.

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The first part of family.

My family is the same size as anyone else’s family. But I am learning that Hispanic families are said to be larger because everyone is closer knit. I am going to accept anyone Roberto says is related to them because I don’t know any different and I love nice people!

Part of that helps since I work the front desk at Lake Lawn, I’m always very friendly. But since we have so far gone to three different houses of people, I’ve seen three different ways that people live. Some people live in country clubs with gates and walls and guards, some people live in colonial Mexican style houses on the street. The most fancy house I will ever be in

In one of the houses I meet some of his cute baby cousins and I just melted. His tia and tio are bubbly and wonderful(with good WiFi too!) and their daughter is shy but gave me a kiss goodbye. His baby boy cousin is just learning to walk he is at the age with an adorably confused look of his face.

Quinceañera hoy !

Today’s big event was the quinceañera of Roberto’s cousin. For those who don’t know, the quinceañera is the 15th Birthday party of a girl with cultural significance where she becomes a woman. Most fiestas de XV años are an all day event where she starts getting ready at 4am, they go to mass, a banquet hall, and party until very late that night. It is a very Hispanic tradition and I was extremely lucky to experience it here in central Mexico.

The quinceañera of his cousin, Valeria, was very informal compared to that. We woke up at a normal time, about 9am and got ready for a small party in our backyard. We had about 40 people come. Mostly Valeria’s friends and only close family. I noted a few interesting things:

The furniture, dance floor, and tents, and cooking utensils are all rented.

Entertainment services(like the DJs) are a LOT more interactive. They led a lot of the dances and games. Very fun. I will definitely get Mexican entertainment for my next party.

The birthday song in Spanish can be sung either to the tune Americans know it as, or the waltz Las Mañanitas. The birthday girl then gets to smash her face into the cake as a “mordita.”

The food was prepared by us and then served by staff of the party. We made pechuga de relleña (spelling?) it was bacon wrapped in chicken breast like a sausage. Spaghetti with olive oil and seasoning. And a small salad. The salad dressing was olive oil, garlic, and apple cider vinegar. Everything was presented very fancy. I loved it.

Next was dancing and I had the time of my life. I love dancing. It’s a good thing Roberto’s family does too. They played some dancing games specific to Mexican birthdays. I participated in a few. Enjoyed it thoroughly.

And after dancing was Tacos and beer. The adult part of the night. I like tacos de tripe the best. Thank and lengua. Even though it rained we had a big tent and continued dancing and singing until the slideshow of Valeria’s childhood came up. We watched it and some photos of me came up in there !!

My Spanish is improving so incredibly fast and I love being able to help and understand this happy family. I am happy.

Another trip !

Now that my scholarship blogs are done I plan to keep this journal because I was offered a spur of the moment trip to Mexico. I was first told that my boyfriend was going from his study abroad in China to his family in Mexico so I had asked if I would be able to come with him. The short answer is that my plane landed today and I am lying in my bed in Morelia, Michoacán, México.

We got to the airport at 4:30am and our plane landed at 10:40am. 2 hours in midway and 4 hours of flying. Our plane was surprisingly calm and we landed in Morelia without a problem. Roberto’s mom met us after customs and we went home to see his grandmother, 2 aunts, 4 cousins and brother.

We then walked around town for a few hours looking at important monuments, like the aqueduct, cathedral de San Jose and de San Francisco, and the conservatory. We stopped to get paletas de limon and take pictures of the city sign.

Most of all, his family has provided the warmest welcome I could imagine. The took me out to eat, showed me the town, and when we came back home, we had a dinner and we are all happy to communicate in whatever way we can. The kids and grandma enjoy practicing this English and my Spanish is definitely improving as well.

Some of the most notable language comments from today are from Roberto’s mother, who is a native Spanish speaker, “I like Kenna because when she corrects me, she does it in a nice way. ”

And his grandmother said at the family dinner “you are learning muy rapido”

I’m very happy that everyone in this big happy home is content. I am happier than I have been in a while. Even though I forgot a notebook I need for my homework, I am happy and i feel like I fit in this family. I hope they become my in laws someday.

Day 1: over and out.

The last post

I was very happy to leave France. I had a great time and saw many interesting things. Most of my trip left a bad taste in my mouth because of the living situation me and my housemate were placed in. But now it is finished. We lived our french experiences.

Marseille et moi

Yesterday we went to Marseille. It’s is a town about 30 minutes south of Aix en Provence. Marseille also happens to be the town where I went to school during my American high schools french exchange. I met up with in of mr friends who lives there. That’s in the afternoon.

First we had a guided tour of the city, where I learned a lot about history and what France was like after liberation of the Second World War. We saw more Ancient Greek and Roman ruins. Next on the agenda was lunch. We went to la cigale which translates to “the cicada” and I hade Moule Frite. This is a handful of fries along with a bucket of mussels. It was delicious, fresh and well seasoned. Will definitely go there again. The last guided activity my class took was a ferry ride to Château d’If. That is the island where the Count of Monte Cristo supposedly took place. Even though I be done it before, I love riding bots like that. It feels like adventure.

The afternoon is when I hung out with Thibault! After we got back on shore, a few of our group went home to Aix and half of us stayed to visit a cat cafe. I had been texting him about our general area until he sends me a text saying he was right behind us! I was so happy I got to see him again. We petted cats, drank smoothies, and caught up with each other. One of the cats sat on my other friends lap and decided to stay there. After the cafe, thibault helped us find our way back to the train station. I’m glad I made true. friends in high school.

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Hier, nous sommes allés à Marseille. C’est une ville à environ 30 minutes au sud d’Aix en Provence. Marseille est aussi la ville où j’ai été à l’école lors de mes échanges avec les lycées américains. J’ai rencontré des amis de M. qui y vit. C’est dans l’après-midi.

Tout d’abord, nous avons fait une visite guidée de la ville, où j’ai beaucoup appris sur l’histoire et ce qu’était la France après la libération de la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Nous avons vu d’autres ruines grecques et romaines. Le déjeuner était le suivant à l’ordre du jour. Nous sommes allés à la cigale qui se traduit par “la cigale” et j’ai fait Moule Frite. Il s’agit d’une poignée de frites et d’un seau de moules. C’était délicieux, frais et bien assaisonné. Je vais certainement y retourner. La dernière activité guidée de ma classe a été une promenade en ferry jusqu’au Château d’If. C’est l’île où le comte de Monte Cristo aurait eu lieu. Même si je l’ai déjà fait avant, j’adore monter des bots comme ça. C’est comme l’aventure.

L’après-midi, c’est quand je traînais avec Thibault ! Après notre retour à terre, quelques membres de notre groupe sont rentrés chez eux à Aix et la moitié d’entre nous est restée pour visiter un café pour chats. Je lui avais envoyé un texto à propos de notre zone générale jusqu’à ce qu’il m’envoie un texto disant qu’il était juste derrière nous ! J’étais si heureux d’avoir pu le revoir. Nous avons caressé des chats, bu des smoothies et nous nous sommes rattrapés les uns les autres. Un des chats s’est assis sur les genoux de mes autres amis et a décidé d’y rester. Après le café, thibault nous a aidés à retrouver le chemin du retour à la gare. Je suis content de m’être fait de vrais amis au lycée.

Friday decided

Today’s big excursion was getting to sleep in! Last weekend was an Italian adventure and every day since has been school. I am happy that I could relax. I love sight seeing, but it takes its toll. I slept in until 9am, got ready for the day, crocheted in the park, and watched a movie, Deadpool 2. It was a very relaxing day at my own pace.

Today was also the biggest day I spent on my own. I walked to town(30 minutes!) by myself, looked around, and talked to people with no Americans with me. I stumbled upon a yarn shop and tried my vocabulary at crafts. I really liked it and bought a crocheting catalog.

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Aujourd’hui le grand excursion était rendre un grand lendemain. Le week-end dernière à passé une adventure italienne et depuis je fais du cours. Je suis content que je puisse me reposer. J’aime faire de tourisme mais c’est dur des fois. J’ai dormi jusqu’à 9:00, j’ai fait du crochet au parc, et j’ai vu un film, Deadpool 2. C’était une journée détente à mon rythme.

Aujourd’hui était le première journée où j’étais seul. J’ai marché en ville(30 minutes!), j’ai flâné, et parlé avec des gens sans américains présente. Je suis tombée sur une boutique qui vend de fils de tricote et crochet. J’ai essayé d’utiliser mon vocabulaire au bricolage. Je l’aimais bien et acheté une catalogue de crochet.