Wow! So far, I have spent two weeks in Mexico. What an amazing place! There is so much culture and history here! The first things I noticed were how old all the buildings were. For some reason, I realized I associate old with broken down… I guess it comes from my American perspective, but really the old buildings have been there from the 1500s and have so many stories to tell.
Another thing that was different than I thought was how friendly, helpful, and generally safe Mexico is. I believe this misconception came from what I have heard about Mexico in the media in the US. I had a belief that Mexico was a particularly dangerous place but, at least where I stayed in Cuernavaca, everyone was helpful and I felt safer there than in some parts of Tuscaloosa.
While changing my perceptions of Mexico, I have been immersing myself in the culture and history. Our program is great at helping us do this: we have 4 hours of Spanish class a day, then we eat meals will out host family and visit social service agencies and cultural, historric, and art sites at night. The picture here is of me on top of the Sun Pyramids built by the Aztecs in 50 BC! I almost don’t have time to sleep! But I have really been enjoying it: if I were to plan my own vacation I would do it the exact same way.
For anyone else who is thinking about going abroad, even to places that may be very different from the US, I say do it! Change your perseptions, stretch your mind, challenge yourself, go and see the world!