Thursday, June 27, 2013


Today we went to the place that I have been waiting to see my entire time in Mexico: Teotihuacan!!  Its ancient abandoned ruins and they are absolutely humongous.  I climbed 248 steps up to the top of the sun pyramid and I have never seen a more amazing view in my life.

I climbed to the top with Samantha Tadros, conquering her fear of heights with each and every steep step.  Neither of us has ever done something that made us feel so conquerous!

The top of the pyramid is said by the ancient people to be the center of the earth and where man was made!  I put my thumb right in the designated center of the world spot!

Later, we got to see the Dance of the Voladores.  The dancers dance upside down to worship the sun. 
They fly through the air hanging from ropes tied to their feet while playing music.  They are swinging from a tall pole and they represent the rays of the sun.  Im so glad I got to witness it in real life!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Every Thursday our group is invited to a dance workshop where we learn Salsa.  It is usually really fun and involved a lot of laughing and making fools of ourselves.  Although it helps to make new friendships and get yourself away from homework and the stress of school for a while.

This week I didn't go because I was feeling a little bit under the weather but the classes are so fun and I wish I could have.  Even our Mexican adviser has a good time! I wish there were salsa dancing clubs at home so I could practice!!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Free Weekend

Last night gave me quite the culture shock.  I had went to bed pretty early and after about an hour of sleeping I heard an alarm go off.  My roommates and I look out into the courtyard since we didnt understand what you are supposed to do when it goes off and noticed people were exiting the building.  We figured it was a fire or something so we went outside with everyone else - only to find out there were earthquake tremors and we had to take caution for until we went 10 minutes without tremors. 

Nobody I know felt anything at all and the students that were around us were telling us that it happens relatively often.  Crazy to think that the situation is normal for those that spend their lives here!

Anyways all is well :)

Then today we went into downtown Cholula and had a great time shopping in the markets.  Sunday is the best day to go since everyone's shop is open for family day! Plus it's a great place to get gifts for those you love!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Popocatepetl and Cooking

One thing I feel like I have been taking for granted this whole trip is the view out of my very own bedroom window. There is a volcano nearby that I can see called Popocatepetl.  Right now its in orange zone which is mildly reactive.  Basically, it shoots ash every once in a while.  Even if it erupted, it would only slowly bubble out.  We are really far away from it so even during eruption we still would only get ash remnants once in a while.  But the distance doesn't affect how well I can see it out my bedroom window!  The first picture is right out of my bedroom window and the second is from the track where I go for my runs.


Every Tuesday, the international students go to a cooking workshop.  We get to learn how to make authentic Mexican foods and then of course we get to eat them. They are always delicious and it is always a lot of fun to make dinner with our new found friends.  The teachers are really kind and helpful and always let you do the work and give you the recipe to take home after!  This week we made desserts!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Chignahuapan and Zacatlan

Yesterday we went on a day trip to Chignahuapan and Zacatlan.

 Chignahuapan was cool, its name means "where the water gathers", which is why lots of people choose to live there.  The water comes from underground springs.

We started off by visiting a Christmas ornament factory.  Chnahuapan is known for its handmade Christmas ornaments that it exports to all the different states of Mexico and also to different countries as well. 

Next we visited the Basilica of Immaculate Conception.  It is the home of the largest sculpture of the Virgin Mary in all of Latin America.  It stands 12 meters from the ground really makes for a "wow" moment.
Next we traveled to Zacatlan.  It is known for its apples.  During the apple season they will give out boxes of apples for only 10 pesos.  So one could get a whole boxes of apples for less than one American dollar - and fresh from the tree!  They even have an apple parade where they just throw apples into the crowds. 
Our first stop there was an apple cider factory.  It was shocking all the hand work that they do to bottle up all the cider.  It would never be done like that in the states.  The machine was ran almost entirely by hand besides the belts that moved the assembly line and such, and the labels were heated up and put on the bottles one by one by only two workers!

The other thing that Zacatlan is known for is its clocks.  It has a large history in clock making and has a clock museum.  In middle school, the kids are even required to take a class in how to make a clock or watch!  To honor this tradition, they have a large floral clock in the city center.  And it even works and chimes 4 times a day!

But after a busy day yesterday, its back to the reality of homework and studying for tests this week!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


UDLAP is such a beautiful school.  I know I say everything is beautiful in Mexico but it is seriously such an amazing experience.  The school seems like a garden with classrooms in it.  Everywhere you look there is a gardener or a maintenance worker or a security guard. Mind you that all these pictures are taken pretty far away from each other! This isn't one section of campus, its the whole campus!

My favorite place on campus is probably the meditation garden.  Its great to sit at for a bit, plus it has Wifi which is always a plus.  Its really quiet and absolutely gorgeous.  I've been busy so far but I'm hoping on these more quiet days I get to spend some more time there just reflecting and relaxing.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Trip to Oaxaca

This weekend we took a nice long five hour bus ride to Oaxaca at 5:00 in the morning.  The views from the bus are something that you would never seen in the US.  Miles upon miles of mountains and plains, where in the states you would see populated cities.  

The first stop was Monte Alban.  It is at a high altitude and has Zapoteca ruins that are spectacular to see.  Its amazing that they could create such a huge place with such a little amount of tools.

The next stop was a gallery where they hand made sculptures and such things out of black clay.  We got to see exactly how he made it from scratch to finished product and then we got to do some shopping if we wanted.

The last stop for day one was a chocolate factory in Oaxaca where we got to see them make different types of chocolates and try out chocolates made straight from the cocoa bean with real sugar.  

The next day we got to see the biggest tree I have ever seen in my life.  Pictures can't do it justice, it was absolutely incredible

The last stop for the busy weekend was to see how fabrics are made by hand in Mexico.  We got to see a guy start with sheep's wool and end with a rug!  It was insane how intricate the process is!

The entire trip we had a tour guide with us named Sergio.  He was so sweet and helpful, like most Mexicans seem to be!  He made the trip the best anyone could!