Wednesday, May 29, 2013

El último día en Querétaro

Well, the time has come. Sadly, this will be my last post from Querétaro. To say that I've had an unforgettable, amazing, and fun time here would be an understatement. I truly loved every opportunity and experience that came my way over the last three weeks (yes, including the murder of the salamander and being eaten alive by mosquitos at night...because really, at least I'm in Mexico at all). If I had the chance to do it all over again, I'd snatch up the possibility in a hot second!  

In the morning, Jonathan was scheduled to meet with the Cultural Heritage class at Express Arte Caffe at 10:30am. Around 11:30am, the whole group was hoping to meet in one of the plazas that had giant "QUERÉTARO" letters on display and get a group picture around the letters. Afterward, the students were supposed to prepare a tour of the city to show Jonathan various places to which they've gone and learned about over the past few weeks. Following the tour, it was the Senior Seminar students' turn to meet with Jonathan for class discussion.  

Since Mary and I were not a part of the class meetings and therefore didn't have to be anywhere until 11:30am, we slept in and then went out to breakfast around 10am at the Breton bistro we went to with Barry the realtor. We both ordered our usual coffees (mocha for Mary, café latte with a hint of cinnamon for me) and Mary got an omelette while I enjoyed some quiche. While we ate, Mary worked on reviewing and accounting for the budget and I began re-reading the third book of The Hunger Games on my iPad. We were sitting right by the door with a cool breeze coming in as soothing music played softly overhead. It was SO relaxing to sit, sip, eat, and read in such a comfortable environment! By the time we had eaten our fill, it was about 11:30am so we headed to the plaza to meet the students and Jonathan. We ended up taking individual photos by each letter of the "Querétaro" sign (including Jonathan as the exclamation points!) and Jonathan is planning on using Photoshop to create a little montage of it all. The students and Jonathan then went on their way while Mary and I did some last minute browsing / shopping around downtown. She was so sweet and bought me and Husband some giant mugs to bring home - I'm very excited to use them for morning coffees in bed together this summer! We then went to the exchange place where I was able to "sell" my pesos for U.S. dollars and then we headed home. 

I started packing and started to get worried about bringing everything back home. On the way to Mexico, my suitcase clocked a nerve-wrackingly impressive 49.5 lbs - only a half of a pound away from being too heavy! I swore then and there that I would use up some of those liquids I had to haul (sunscreen, a full bottle of contact solution, shampoo, conditioner, etc.) and pare down on the weight. Unfortunately, while I've since used up nearly everything, I've also made some purchases and received gifts that may outweigh the difference. I think I'm going to have to stuff my backpack full of my pottery and hope for the best with the rest along with all my clothes and shoes in my suitcase. 

During my packing, I was hit with a huge wave of generalized weakness and dizziness. It reminded me of when I had mono back in 2008 during the spring semester of my sophomore year of college - it felt like a ton of bricks had hit me in the face and I couldn't move my body without it taking a physical toll on me. Luckily I had packed up most of my things so it was easy for me to stop and take a break. Mary suspected I was dehydrated and possibly experiencing a sugar crash at the same time, so I chugged a bottle of water and made myself some crackers and peanut butter in hopes of snapping me out of the fog. When I still didn't feel better 20 minutes or so later, she suggested I go upstairs and lie down, even if I couldn't fall asleep (since I told her I'm not a good day-sleeper / nap-taker). For the next two and a half hours or so, I lied in bed reading, only getting up at least 4-5 times to flush the water going through me out. I started to feel better, albeit still slightly dizzy and on the edge of developing a headache. 

It was good I was improving because Montse and Queta came over to our casa (with the children they babysit for, Cailen and Bastián) to say their final goodbyes. They came bearing presents, which was just too nice of them. Mary and I each received beautiful silver necklaces with unique stone pendants. Along with these necklaces, they also gave Jonathan, Mary and me each a bag filled with lots of sweets and candies unique to Querétaro. I was delighted to see more of the "Glorias" goat's milk caramel candy and am looking forward to the others that I didn't recognize. They stayed for just a bit since Montse had to work at 8pm but it was so good to see and talk to them one last time. As we were hugging, Queta told me that whenever I want to come back to Querétaro, I (and Husband!) always have a place to stay at their home - ella me dijo, "Mi casa es tu casa" (she said to me, "My house is your house"). Perhaps one day we can take her up on the offer :)

Jonathan, Mary, and I then headed downtown in search of a place to review and discuss how this May term went. Along the way, we of course had to stop at the panadería that she and I have been frequenting nearly daily to pick up our usual galletas (cookies). Jonathan had been teasing us about our daily stop, but really I had no shame! The woman who has rung us up every time was there tonight, so Mary and I explained this was our last visit and thanked her for helping us. She wished us a safe trip for tomorrow and bid us farewell for the last time. After picking up our sweets, at Mary's and my strong recommendation, we eventually decided to go to Di Vino to have dinner and this "meeting." It was cathartic and refreshing to hash out details and a review of our perceptions of this trip. Additionally, I was glad to be given the chance to voice my opinion and make suggestions for the next year. It was during this time that I could see just how much time and energy and thinking it takes to be a professor - Mary and Jonathan work SO hard to keep this trip running and I didn't even realize it until just tonight when we had this meeting. While I don't necessarily envy Mary's job right now because I see how much it requires of her, if I could have the opportunity to travel with students as a leader, I could see myself someday being a nurse educator. BUT that's a long long loooooong ways down the road...

After STUFFING ourselves yet again (Mary had a salad, Jonathan a chicken dish, and me spaghetti along with Mary and I splitting creme brûlée and Jonathan eating a chocolate lava cake on his own), we headed back to the house from downtown for the last time. I called Eduardo and arranged for him to pick up Jonathan in the morning and bring him to the airport since he's leaving on an earlier flight than us. He went to bed right after while Mary and I stayed up a while doing some more packing and getting the house ready to be left back in Gema's hands. Mary went to bed soon after but I decided I wanted to stay up and write this last blog post while in Mexico. Unfortunately, I don't think our internet is working so this post might not actually get posted until I've landed back in the U.S...

As for tomorrow's agenda, Jonathan will be flying out around 11am. Mary and I will be getting picked up by Hector from UAQ who will take us to UAQ to meet with the rest of the group. We will then pile on a bus that will take us about an hour away to the airport, from which we'll leave at about 1:30pm for Dallas / Ft. Worth, Texas. The flight will take about two and a half hours. Once in Texas, we must get through customs, but luckily we have a six hour layover so most likely we won't feel rushed. Our flight from Dallas back to our city in Michigan will take about another two and a half hours, making our landing time about 12:30am on Thursday "morning." Husband is planning on picking me up from the airport and I'm very much looking forward to being reunited with him! 

Here's to safe travels tomorrow :) 

Adiós, México!


1 comment:

  1. Hooray! As much as I have enjoyed reading about all your cool experiences, I'm going to enjoy having you home much more. I'm currently standing by the gate, waiting for you to get off the plane. Welcome back and Happy 4th Anniversary!