?OLE! Mexico ?OLE!
 
 
During the last two weeks of February, (March 1st deadline) I wrote a grant to study in Mexico for a month this summer. The grant opportunity was available to any teacher in the United States who teaches Spanish. However, only 30 teachers in the country would be accepted. Pretty mean odds! But, I decided to give it my best shot. I wanted this desperately -- like a dream come true.

The full title of the grant is Oregon International Institute -- Mexico: Integrating History, Language, and Culture. It's being funded by the (NEH) National Endowment for the Humanities.

The committee was to inform the applicants on April 1st. It was going to be a ve-r-r-r-r-r-y long month. Anyhow, on March 18th my phone rang and the poor man got the message, "I'm sorry, but we don't answer our phone." He started to congratulate me -- via the answer machine when I snatched that receiver right up. If you haven't already guessed, I was awarded the $2,800.00 grant. So on July 22nd, I already have my plane ticket, I will be heading to Puebla, Mexico (60 miles south of Mexico City) for a month to live with a Mexican family and study with 29 other teachers. Can you tell I'm a little excited?

The schedule is pretty intense. Our school day begins at 7:45 am. That's pretty early for summer! We have an hour of methods classes, two hours of Spanish language classes, (¿Cómo está usted?) and two more hours of classes to learn about Mexican history and culture each day. Then two afternoons per week we will take local culture & history excursions. (on-site visits and discussions) Every weekend we travel to another part of Mexico to continue our studies of the country. Some of the places we will visit are Oaxaca, Veracruz, Merida, and Mexico City. Am I in heaven yet? I know it is going to be a lot of work, but I am so looking forward to this. Oh I almost forgot, we can also take Mexican dance and music classes two nights a week. Guess what I'll be doing? ¡OLE!
 
THANKS ANNE and MARY
 
National Endowment for the Humanities
									Oregon International Council Directors
									Anne  Mueller & Mary Bastiani
National Endowment for the Humanities
Oregon International Council Directors
Anne Mueller & Mary Bastiani
 
 
Anne and Mary,

I want to tell you that I miss Puebla and all of Mexico so much. A day doesn't go by that I don't think of it. Thank you both for EVERYTHING you did to arrange for such a wonderful program. I can't even imagine the work that went into all that scheduling. As I mentioned, I run a writers and illustrators conference every year and it is tons of work, but nothing in comparison to the efforts that you each put forth to make Puebla such a huge success. Mostly, I want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of it. I am so grateful. In my application, I wrote that it would be a dream come true (to be involved in this project) and it truly was. It was an amazing experience. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
 
MY MEXICAN FAMILY
 
Fernanda -- a Mexican Cutie.
Fernanda -- a Mexican Cutie.
Part of my Mexican Family.


My roomie, Karina, and Fernanda.
My roomie, Karina, and Fernanda.


Lupita, her daughter, Veronica and her son Jose. 
									That's Veronica's daughter, Fernanda
Lupita, her daughter, Veronica and her son, Jos?.
That's Veronica's daughter, Fernanda
 
 





MY MEXICAN FAMILY

Karina and I arrived at our new home on July 22nd, 2004. We shared a room together in Puebla for almost five weeks. Karina and I were the best roommates. We loved all the same things. We loved walking to school and staying up late at night -- talking, talking, talking. We loved taking pictures and filming videos and we had plenty of photo shoots. It was fun.

Our Mexican Mom was Lupita. She talked to us every morning at breakfast, in Spanish, of course, and helped us to learn her language. It was hard at first and she corrected our grammar a lot, but soon the language became a little easier as we learned more and more.

We also had a Mexican brother, but like most brothers we rarely saw him. José worked a lot of hours and we only saw him twice the whole time we were there. He was nice though.

Our Mexican sister, Veronica came over almost every day. She lived a few blocks away with her family. She always brought her little Mexican cutie, Fernanda with her. Sometimes her husband, Juan Carlos would stop by, too.
 
GRADUATION
 
That little piece of paper that Fernando is handing me is proof of five very busy weeks at ETC  (Espanol Training Center) in Puebla, Mexico. I loved every minute of it.
That little piece of paper that Fernando is handing me is proof of five very busy weeks at ETC (Espanol Training Center) in Puebla, Mexico. I loved every minute of it.
 
Karina gets her piece of paper, too.
We did it!!!!
Karina gets her piece of paper, too.
We did it!!!!
Time to celebrate.
Time to celebrate.
Let's Party!!!!!
 
No POMP and CIRCUMSTANCES here. This is all business. Happiness is getting that diploma.
 
OIC NEH ETC GRADUATING CLASS of the SUMMER of 2004
 
 
Graduating Class of August 2004
OREGON INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL -- NATIONAL ENDOWMENTS for the HUMANITIES
Espa
 
LET'S PARTY
 
Let's Fiesta!  Kevin, Karina, and Me
Let's Fiesta! Kevin, Karina, and Me
 
Laura's & Carla's Family
Laura's & Carla's Family
with Laura's friend, Alfredo and me
The Music of the Night
The Music of the Night
 
Meet my Mexican Mom, Lupita.
Meet my Mexican Mom, Lupita.
Lupita & her daughter, Veronica
Lupita & her daughter, Veronica
 
IMAGINE Sol and I dancing to John Lennon's IMAGINE.
Sol added a new twist to that song.
IMAGINE Sol and me dancing to John Lennon's IMAGINE.
Sol added a new twist to that song.
Mary and Grace and their Family
Check out the Pinata on the table. 
Now that's festive!
Mary and Grace and their Family
Check out the Pinata on the table.
Now that's festive!
 
Marilyn, John (the professor)
Jennifer & Patricia
Marilyn, John (the professor)
Jennifer & Patricia
Carmen & Her Mexican Family
Carmen & Her Mexican Family
 
Time for Fiesta!
I'm ready! During the last week in Puebla, the English Training Center, my school, hosted a "real" Mexican fiesta for all the students and their host families. Our teachers came, too. The food was amazing and the music was great.

 
PHOTO SHOOT WITH MY ROOMMATE
 
Ooops! you caught us in a photo shoot.
Ooops! you caught us in a photo shoot.
 
You've got to love that red hat.
You've got to love that red hat.
It's so Karina!
 
. . . and another!
. . . and another!
Give a smile . . .
Give a smile . . .
 
Row, row row, your boat.
Row, row row, your boat.
Gently down the stream in Xochimilco.
(pronounced "So-she-milco")
Some call it the Venice of Mexico.
 
 . . . get a smile.
. . . get a smile.
 
My roomate, KARINA and I!
We never miss a photo op.
 
THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENTS FOR THE HUMANITIES
 
How elegant!
How elegant!
 
 
The National Endowments for the Humanities (NEH) asked for all participants in the M
 
SPANISH LANGUAGE CLASS
 
 
Our Class is a Very, Very, Very, Fine SPANISH Class!
Our Class is a Very, Very, Fine SPANISH Class!

Armando, Angie, laura, Patricia H. Ann B.
Martha, Maryh A., Donna (me)


Ann B., Martha, Laura, Patricia, O, Armando
Ann B., Martha, Laura, Patricia, O, Armando
Dawn, Donna (me), Mary A., Angie
(Photographer, Marilyn)

Hear No Evil! Say No Evil! See No Evil!
(Okay, so I'm peeking.)



Sol, Armando
Sol, Armando
Ann B., Mary A., Donna (me), Patricia H.
Laura, Dawn

Sometimes our class HAD to go shopping!


Patricia H., Donna (me), Dawn
Patricia H., Donna (me), Dawn

The Scavengers
in the Z?calo
 
SPANISH LANGUAGE CLASS

My Spanish language class was so cool. I've taken a lot of Spanish language classes in my time. I even majored in it in high school and in college, (proves my dedication to the language) but the class offered at the Espa
 
NIGHT CLUBBING in PUEBLA
 
Are YOU serious???
Are YOU serious???
Kevin and Karina
 
Salsa Club
Salsa Club
Bull McCabe
									An Irish Pub in Puebla
Bull McCabe
An Irish Pub in Puebla
 
Salsa Club in Red
Salsa Club in Red
 
Justine, Carmen & Christy
Justine, Carmen & Christy
Girls Just Want To Have Fun!
Laura & Angie
									Good Friends
Laura & Angie
Good Friends
 
We worked hard all day. We worked hard all night. Whoever said partying was easy????
There were several cool nightclubs near our school. And we visited . . . well, a lot of them.
 
OAXACA -- Pronounced WaHaKa
 
Beautiful People!
Women in full dress costume, beautiful flowing and swirling dresses --
reds and blues, pinks, greens, and yellows . . .
Swirling and a-Twirling and Balancing, too
. . . danced and twirled with large baskets of
flowers balanced on their heads.
 
Pretty Smile!
They looked like fairy princesses and
I wanted to be one of them.
Large puppets strolled down the street
with little children following behind.
Even a granny joined the parade
 
Miguel -- taking a break from selling.
My friendly vendor, Miguel, taking a break
from . . . vending - of course.
Oaxaca Restaurant/Cafes
The z?calo was edged with restaurants. On its
perimeter were both indoor and outdoor cafe-style
seating. Karina and I searched for the perfect
restaurant, reading every menu, sometimes twice.
 
OAXACA (pronounced WaHaKa)
The "A"s sound like someone cooing over a newborn baby.

Every weekend we visited another part of Mexico to study its culture. The first weekend we boarded our bus and traveled three hours southeast to the city of Oaxaca. It was a delightful and colorful city. It was much quieter than Puebla, probably because it was smaller and there were fewer cars and taxis. On our first night, Karina (my roommate) and I roamed the streets near the z
 
SANTA MARIA del TULE
 
TULE TREE
TULE TREE - Arbol del Tule
 
TULE TREE

Arbol del Tule is Mexico's largest tree. It is more than 2,000 years old and has a circumference of 164 feet. They say that it would take 70 people, with arms out-stretched, to encircle the tree. It is located just outside of Oaxaca in the town of Santa Maria del Tule.
 
TO MARKET, TO MARKET in SANTA MARIA del TULE
 
To market, to market to buy . . .
To market, to market to buy . . .
 
Dresses and Pottery
Dresses and Pottery
Bracelets and Hairclips
Bracelets and Hairclips
 
Dolls and dolls and more dolls.
Dolls and dolls and more dolls.
 
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