My Route and My Week
Although routine is not exactly a word I'd use to describe my summer in Mexico, my weekly maneuvers - ceteris paribus - went something like this. Keeping in cultural custom I begin me week on Monday.
- Lunes: I woke up bright and early to head out to the farthest town, El Junco. By bus it takes over four hours to reach the community. By car it takes a mere hour and a half, but after boarding three separate busses the trip totals over four hours. The two girls from my route who lived in El Junco were Melissa (Chicago) and Maria (Marin), pictured below, respectively.
El Junco was a great start to the week for many reasons. The girls were always on top of their project, the town was beautifully crafted on a couple hillsides, and the town was real social. Every time I was there we'd be playing some sport in the evening.
- Martes: After spending the night in El Junco, I spent the morning there and finished up details that needed attention. Once complete, I'd hike over a gorgeous hillside path to San Isidro, a thirty to forty minute walk. There I'd meet up with Collin (Akron) and Max (Marin), the two residing Amigos.
San Isidro was a beautiful town, sloped along a gentle hillside that based at a tremendous valley expanding tens of miles. Days in San Isidro allowed me to relax to the point of feeling at ease in a community and less feeling the hecticness of supervising. A great memory is hiking to a dam in a nearby river that offered a great spot for jumping.
- Miercoles: Rising in San Isidro and spending some time there in the morning started my Wednesdays. Afterwards I bussed or walked to San Rafael, a more spread out and remote community off of the main road. The location was nevertheless magical and lent itself to exploring the countryside and relaxed days at the host home of the partnered girls, Heidi (Colorado) and Krysten (Colorado).
A passtime favorite in our host home was watching the irresistable Mexican soap opera, "Mujer de Madera." Popular in all communities, in San Rafael we watched religiouly and intently.
- Jueves: Upon wrapping up my obligations in San Rafael I turned my attention to El Mexiquito, the final town on my route. To get there I'd hike to the main road, get on the bus, and then get dropped off a little more than fifty minutes away from El Mexiquito. I treasured this walk because it allowed me to take in the gorgeous Mexican valley landscape and use the personal time to reflect.
Arriving in El Mexiquito was always amusing because I never knew where my participants were. Sometimes it'd be almost an hour before I saw one of the three. Living in separate houses, Sarah, Rita (Albuquerque), and Drew (Chicago) integrated well into El Mexiquito.
Sitting around and chatting it up with the community was the hallmark of El Mexiquito. The town was zealously friendly and talkative. Visiting El Mexiquito wrapped up my route time superbly each week.
- Viernes: Friday consisted of sadly leaving route for the week and heading back to Guanajuato. Hardly a downer, really, as the city was spectactular and full of life. But before I boarded all three busses and actually got back to the city I'd stop by in San Pancho. San Pancho, although called a municipality, was in effect the county in which I worked. The governing body of San Pancho also worked in the four communities I did. If I had business with the local office - such as completeing the CBI project - I would stop by to go over it. Otherwise, I'd eat in one of my two favorite spots in Mexico. One featured chicken melanesa and the other three peso chorizo tacos.
San Pancho Municipal Hall
- Sabado y Domingo: Home sweet home in Guanajuato. Living in cozy and well-loved staff house my weekends were a mix of administrative work and exploring the city. On the administrative side I would meet with the staff, write project status reports, medical reports, input my budget, and take care of other specific concerns that arose during the week. With my remaining time I wondered the beautiful city and hung out with the sporadic and amiable GTO staff.
Even after six weeks on route, I don't think my week ran that way once. Deviations arose when I needed to speak with our partner agencies, when somebody on my route got sick, materials for various projects demanded that I rearrange my order of visit, or when something fantastic arose such as a wedding that my route was lucky enough to attend. But it is this very uncertainty that kindles the best moments during an experience like Amigos.
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