Saturday, July 11, 2015

"Hola Gringita"

This morning, I got up around 9:30 AM (it was nice to sleep in a little bit).  Lazed around a little bit, then finally got ready to go to the beach at about 11 AM.  We caught the Progresso bus, and arrived at the beach at 12:30 PM (ish).  This time, I did not get burned (except maybe lightly burned on my face and shoulders).  Let's just say I learned my lesson from last time (and I learned it well).

We stayed at the beach for about 2ish hours.  Riding in the waves (I felt rather like a buoy), eating food, and laying out in the sun is basically what we did.  But boy was it enjoyable!

See all that black stuff?  That's kelp.  Or something like unto that.

This is the random stick of seaweed I found.  It was gooey. 
 After the beach, we returned home (we being Christina, Brandon, and I.  We'd met four or five other girls at the beach, but they left before us).  I should note that we got lost on the way back, bu tonly briefly!  We got off too early *facepalm*  Anyway, when we got home, Brandon returned to his house and Christina and I took showers, dressed, and helped clean out the pool!  (We're gonna have a pool!)

Here's one of their little doggies.  He likes to sleep behind the window bars (I have no idea why.  But it's kind of funny.  Hence why I took a picture of it).
Here's the pool, all spick and span, being filled with water.  And Conner un-knowingly photo bombing.
   After the pool, Conner, Christina, and I played card games (Brandon left to go do something at home, but he returned later).  I totally owned at Egyptian Rat Slap.  And then we played BS, in which we all learned that it's impossible to end/win a game of BS with only three players.

After that, Christina and I had dinner (the boys went home) and we ate eggs and salchichas (SO yummy).  Then I watched TMNT!  The one from 2014.  It was SO good.  I enjoyed it a lot.  #bigfan  

Oh!  Funny story:  I was at the beach, laying out, and these three Mexican men walk by.  One says 'hola' so I returned it with an 'hola.'  Then the other said, 'Hola gringita."  That one, I ignored.  (Gringa means white person, I assume gringita means little white girl or something.  I do believe the guy was trying to flirt with me.  It made me laugh).

I think that's all for today.

'Til Tomorrow.

R J Carr

Friday, July 10, 2015

Don't Look Now...But That Pelota Ball is on Fire!

Today started well.  I woke up about 9 AM, but then didn't get out of bed till almost 12 PM.  I don't like sleeping in so late, normally.  But I did enjoy it for today :)

The power was off this morning, so Christina and I were unable to communicate with our fellow students.  So we waited until after lunch to make any official plans.  While we waited, Christina read a book and I worked on my novel (it was SO hot without any fans on).  At about 2 PM we had lunch - breaded pork, vegetables, and rice.

After lunch, I cleaned and organized my room (cause that's what I like to do in my free time).  Then about 4 PM Christina and I left for the temple (we met Aubreyann, Oliva, Raquel, and Olivia there). Christina and I, Aubreyann, Becca and Olivia did an endowment session.  We were asked if they wanted us to do sealings or initiatories, but we knew Raquel and the other student were waiting (they'd done baptisms), so we declined.  Christina and I went to the stake center right next to the temple and I played the piano for a little bit (which was SO nice.  I've been itching to play the piano). After that, Christina and I headed to the center to watch the Pelota game.  It was SO cool.  I got some pictures and videos.

So this is the first third of the game (I love the music playing.  I should note - in the pelota game, you can't use your hands or feet, so they use their hips.  Looks pretty hard to do):


And this is the second third of the game (they just took turns shooting for the hoop with their hips.  One of them made the shot!  But I didn't get a video of it, unfortunately):

And this is the third part of the game (THE BALL WAS ON FIRE!!  *ahem*  I was amazed):

After this game, we went to get sorbets.  I got the flavor guanabana (it reminds me of the ma-num-ma-num song).  Then we returned home.  On the way there, we went past the guy who plays his saw (Warning:  the following song is "It's a Small World"):

We returned home shortly after.  (we stopped by 7-11 and I bought this stuff):
Only 5 pesos for those candy bars!  (30 cents-ish)

I just couldn't resist a chocolate egg with an action figure inside.
I got the black widow action figure!
 I had a few quesadillas (they call them burritos), then Christina and I watched Les Mes.  (My first time seeing it.  It's really sad. But really good.).

That's it for today.

'Til Tomrrow.

R J Carr

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Now Presenting: Two for the Price of One

As some of you may have seen in Facebook the other day, I did not post yesterday due to the fact that I did not finish a homework assignment until 3 AM ('twas very exciting).  So, in this blog I will try to quickly (haha, me, quickly recap something...) tell you about my day today (Thursday) and yesterday (Wednesday).

So, Wednesday started out well.  I got up, went to school (learned that I had a presentation and a paper due tomorrow.  We received the requirements for the paper and presentation that day), then came home and did homework.  I even learned (self learning experience) that I do indeed need my alone time.  In other words, I was a little tired of people (not that I don't love all of the people I'm with, I truly do appreciate and love spending time with them) so, even though there was an opportunity to do homework with others from my class right after school, I decided to go into my room, turn on some music, and go solo.  Which ended up being a nice respite (I even danced a little).

Anyway, after homework, Christina, Conner, Claire, Profe, and I went to Costco (it was very kind of him to drive us there) because Conner needed to buy a camera.  So we went, explored a little, and ate pizza!  (My trip to Mexico is complete!  I can now return home satisfied :P)  The pizza wasn't as good as the states, but it was a'right.

After Costco, we returned home.  Conner, Christina, and Claire went to go see a movie (I had not desire to see the movie they were going to go seeing) and I stayed home and did homework.  Well, actually I fell asleep for three hours (which was awesome!  What's ironic is, I'd thought, "oops, hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight!"  What I didn't realize is I wouldn't be sleeping anyway, so it didn't matter, lol).  After the nap (which I conveniently woke up right as Conner and Christina returned) we all worked on our group presentation (via google drive.  SUCH a cool thing to use, by the way.  I never realized that working on a project all at the same time was possible).  After we split up, we continued working on our project.  At some point, we took a break for food and ate...hotcakes!

They.  Were.  Delicious!!!  *ahem*

After dinner, Christina and I returned to our room to resume our homework (at one point I did a Skype call with my classmates to discuss the paper.  It was very helpful).  As previously mentioned, I didn't finish until about 3 AM that morning (bout 2 AM I stopped to take a shower in hopes of restarting my brain.  Which, actually worked, and I was able to finish my paper shortly after).  Then I had the awesome happiness of waking up at 5:40 for school.  For which, I dragged myself out of bed, got dressed, pulled my hair back into a ponytail, packed my bag, and headed out of the door (Christina and I looked so dead).

By some miracle, we managed to survive four hours of class (our 321 professor let us out a little early.  I think he felt sorry for all of us - we were all short on sleep).  Then we came home and took naps (took me a little while to fall asleep).  I napped on and off/watched Fresh Prince till about 6 PM (though we did wake up at 2 PM for our lunch - tostadas!  They were delicious).

About that time Christina went to the centro with Conner and I stayed behind to figure out some financial stuff (studying abroad is...expensive).  At about 7 PM my MM came and asked if I needed anything from the store - she was going shopping.  So I asked if I could go with her, and I did!

So we went to the mall (which has a grocery store in it, crazy right??  In Spanish it's called el centro de commercial).  I got to pet some bunnies, look at some ducks and guinea pigs (they had a pet store there as well).  And I also got to buy some delicious strawberry sorbete and view the whole mall (we did a little walk through) before we did the grocery shopping.  It was fun!  (And I learned that you can't take pictures inside of the mall...hence the lack of pictures).

We returned about 9 PM.  Put the groceries away.  Ate dinner.  And then I stared at Facebook and talked with one of my siblings for a little while (which was nice).

And that about wraps it up!

'Til Tomorrow.

R J Carr

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Just Call me Tired Face

Whew.  Today the main goal was to survive.  Mainly because I got only four hours of sleep last night (got to bed late because I was writing my blog.  And we got home late last night from the excursion).  What's funny is, I believe I got told at least four or five times today (by my Profe and my MM) that I had a tired face (hence the title of this blog post).  So I decided to take a picture of my tired face for all too see:
Me in my natural habitat before taking my nap (this was taken after school and after lunch).  I call it, "Selfie of Me."
*Ahem*  Anyway, after surviving school (#thestruggleisreal), I came home with Conner, Christina, and Claire to do homework.  We got everything successfully completed, except our short stories.  After this, I had lunch:

After which, I passed out for at least an hour.  I was awoken by my roommates Korean text messaging notification sound (she served a mission in Korea), just in time for the service project at four.  So I got up, changed out of my dress, grabbed my bag, and headed out the door with my MM and Christina.  (MM drove us to 7-Eleven, then we grabbed a bus to the place.  We did this so that we could learn where to grab the bus if at some point our MM couldn't take us to the activity).  It was on the bus that I asked Christina to braid my hair (cause she's a braiding master!!)  See?

Eventually, we arrived at the service place.  And what it is is a place for people to stay when they are getting medical treatment at the hospital.  Today, we helped paint rooms (well, I didn't do that part) and made these little key chain things (which I believe they sell to raise money.  I made a monkey).

They had tons of different shapes!  Each shape had pegs to put the beads on.  So you grabbed a shape and made your own design, basically.  This is what it looks like before you iron it.
This is what it looks like after you iron it (though be sure to iron it with wax paper on top of it).
 I have to say, the part I enjoyed the most was talking with a little 3 year old boy that was staying there.  He was so cute and so eager to talk and to show off the different finished shapes.  I introduced myself to him while he was looking at a book and the rest of the night he would show me different things.  (SO cute).  Also, seeing the smiles people had on their faces was amazing.  Here were people with severe physical trials, yet all had smiles on their faces - were laughing and talking with the other folks there.  It was a good sight to see.

At about 7ish Christina, Brandon, MM, the other mama, and I left (we left early because I had my short story to write.  And the others left because they wanted to).  We got to help out a little in the kitchen before we left, which was fun (they served hot dogs tonight).  And I took these fun pictures at the bus stop (so that y'all could see the shirt I bought yesterday):

Me trying to look cool.  It says:  Choco-Story Mexico
Look at my cute hair!  *ahem*
 Eventually, we got home.  Immediately there after, we had dinner (which was good, because I was starving).  And after that, Christina and I went to the panaderia to get a sweet.  I got some dark-ish/really sweet chocolate fudge (I'm afraid it doesn't compare to my dad's fudge, but it tasted all right):
Can I just say, I was SUPER craving milk after these things.  Milk is something I am super looking forward to drinking when I get back to the states.
After desert, we returned home and I wrote my shot story (which I just finished not too long ago).  Hopefully the teacher will like it!

And now I am heading to bed.

'Til Tomorrow.

R J Carr

Random note:  I decided randomly today to only speak in Spanish.  I didn't do it perfectly, but I've definitely been speaking more Spanish than I have in the past week (I think I actually spake more Spanish than English today.  Maybe.  It was close at least)!  The best part is, it's catching on with a couple other people in the group *heh heh evil plan is working!  mwah ha ha ha ha!*  #success

Monday, July 6, 2015

The BEST DAY EVER - Úxmal Ruins

I momentarily pondered not posting tonight because I am absolutely exhausted, but I decided that I didn't want to get behind on my blogging so, without further ado, I shall tell you all about my trip to Úxmal (whilst listening to Fresh Prince in the background).

Well, this morning was a slow start (you would have thought that after 10 hours of sleep that it'd be easy to get up in the morning, but I still had to roll myself out of bed).  I arose at 6 AM, technically, but was on and off asleep until 8:30 AM (I was trying to do homework...that obviously did not work out well).  I got ready by about 9 AM, then had breakfast (eggs with ham and bread.  YUM).  Afterwards, I finally finished my reading assignment and finished getting ready for our trip to Úxmal.

The van came about 11:20 AMish.  We then had a few more people to pick up before making our way to Úxmal!  I wasn't quite sure how I would like these ruins - as Chichen Itza had been interesting, but long and slightly boring.  But man alive, Úxmal is offically my favorite ruin I've seen thus far.  Mainly because we got to climb on, touch, and go through the different ruins.  SO fun.  And we took some fun pictures too.  As seen here:

The House of the Magician East Facade Puuc style.   Do note that this is the only Mayn building that has rounded corners. 

Here's the other side of that same building. 
Here's a little alcove we stood in (mostly for shade while the tour guide talked)

Here's one of the stones (don't know what building it belonged to, but it was fun to touch the carvings on it and get an up close look).

Here's the backside of that same building with me looking ponderous.

Here's the courtyard at the back of that same building.  (right side)

Another picture of the courtyard (left side)

This is the stone/place where they sacrificed people and removed their organs (really, REALLY gross)

This is the backside of the courtyard.

This too (this is the alcove at the back of the courtyard.  This is where people would come and sit and watch the ceremonies).

Us girls looking cute at the back courtyard alcove thing.

And again.
And here's the boys.  My profe said, "be sure to show some skin!"  Lol, it was hilarious.

This is from when we were walking round the ruins, heading to our next destination.

This is the view from that spot.

The grand courtyard.

A rare sight indeed.  One of the scripture stones they used in ceremonies and stuff.  It's rare to see one of these intact.  Cool, huh.

This is the pelota court :)

This is where they would store rainwater (it's a very deep hole in the ground).

This is the great pyramid (as they call it).  And we got to climb it!  The following pictures are view from up on the temple.

Another ruin.  We didn't visit this one because it's still being rebuilt by the archaeologists.  

The tongue of the rain god.
This is back on lower ground (higher up still, as we didn't descend the temple completely.  We were still probably 20 feet off the ground when we journeyed on a 'side path' thing to reach these ruins).

Here we are back on the ground again.  This is the same building as the one picture above.  (The other picture is an areal view).

This is where they would ground corn and all that good stuff.

After Úxmal (SO awesome.  LOVED it), we went to the Chocolate History museum.  Here are some pictures from that:

Apparently monkeys played a big part in spreading the cocoa bean, so I guess that's why they had monkeys there.

This little baby deer was SO cute.  It was hard to get a good picture, though.
This is where they showed us how the chocolate was made.  AND we even got to try some original Mayan chocolate!  It was...very bitter.  Luckily, they had sugar and other spices to add to it.  I tried it first without anything added, then proceeded to add a large quantity of sugar and some cinnamon.
Here's the cocoa beans we got to smell.  And we also got to try some roast cocoa beans.  That tasted interesting as well.

After the museum (at which I bought a fabulous shirt!), we finally got to go eat!  (It was about 5 PM by this time).  It was a resteraunt pretty close to Úxmal and the Chocolate Museum (by pretty close, I mean it was literally a two minute drive).  It was authentic Mayan food:

Some delicious drink that had pineapple in it.
Sopa de Lima, though the waiter tried to convince us that it was Iguana soup, lol.
Pork!  Very yummy pork that was cooked slowly underground.  With it there was rice onion, and beans, and tortillas.  It was YUMMY.
Flan and some other delicious desert (Raquel and I split each half and half).
 After eating (and a thirty-ish minute break in which some people swam), we went back to Úxmal for the light show.  It was...hilarious.  Mainly because the sound effects were just, well, funny, and I just could not take it seriously.  But it was very interesting.  I learned that many archaeologists believe that Úxmal was abandoned out of lack of rain (a super bad drought occurred and they all left).   And apparently there is a legend that the princess of Úxmal was kidnapped by the people of Chichen Itza on her wedding night.  And it caused a war (like Helen of Troy).
As I sat here, I kind of felt like a queen looking over her kingdom, so I expressed these sentiments to my companions, then said, "Bring me the head of a pig!" (Brian Regan anyone??)   My professor noted, "I'm adding that to the 'list of things I never thought I'd hear Rebecca say"  Lol

The snake is actually carved into that part of the building.
I wish I could have gotten better pictures, but that's all I had.  Anyway, today was a fabulous day, I'll have to post some more pictures later (mainly the picture where we are all making a Y on the side of the great pyramid.  #legit).  Not much occurred after the light show, except for the hour and a half drive home.

I think the coolest thing about Uxmal is that it felt like an actually city.  Being there, I felt like I was a Mayan (a really tall, white Mayan, but a Mayan).  And it was so cool to walk where they walked and to take a tour of the grand city.  Can't wait for the next excursion!

And now I am headed to bed.

'Til Tomorrow.

R J Carr