Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Las verduras y frutas:

You may have noticed that Mexican art and style includes a great deal of vibrant colors.  I believe the root or reason for the beautiful deep hues in the various art forms are due to the colorful and fresh fruits and vegetables that are readily available in the streets and markets.  I've selected a few images that I hope demonstrate the vibrancy of the food and culture in Mexico.

Vendedor de Chiles

I passed the elderly gentleman above every weekday on my way to class and he always had serrano peppers/chiles that were as beautiful as these.

Tienda de Abarrotes = Grocery Store
 The picture above was taken at the local market that Marta frequently bought produce from.

Chiles y Frijoles

Diferentes típos de Frijoles

Nopal - A type of edible cactus 
These nopales are quite large since they take up the entire 5-gallon bucket they were placed in. Before selling the vendor would carefully remove the spines with a sharp knife.  Nopales are very nutritious and have significant amounts of protein and studies have shown that the health of people with Diabetes is aided by regularly eating them.

Maíz - Corn

Corn is native to Mexico and was cultivated for thousands of years by the Maya and Azteca.  We, in Central Illinois can be thankful for their genius and effort to cultivate a crop that is so important to the modern world.  There are native myths and legends that surround corn and how it was a gift from the gods (similar to fire coming from Prometheus).

Varias Frutas - MMMM...DELICIOSA

Pitayas - Dragon Fruit

Pitayas are fruits produced by a type of cactus and it is native to Mexico, Central, and South America.  It would be another food that the New World gave to the whole world.


Chayotes are sometimes referred to as pear squash and that is a good description of what it tastes like (Pear + Squash).  However, I think they taste more like honey dew melon and zuchini type squash combined.  They too are native to Mexico. 

Below:  You can see a choyote-veggie mixture below along with rice, and beef with chick-peas.  This was tasty and healthy!

Fotos de Señora Reddick en México

¡MUCHISIMAS GRACIAS A RURAL SCHOOL & COMMUNITY TRUST AND THEIR RURAL GLOBAL TEACHER FELLOWSHIP! - Thank you very much to the Rural School and Community Trust and their Rural Global Teacher Fellowship that any rural teacher around the US can apply for.  Check out their website http://www.ruraledu.org for details for the 2013 fellowship that will be published in the fall.

The scholarship enabled me to take some immersion classes and attend a spanish-curriculum course.  I also was able to meet amazing people not only from Mexico but from Japan and Brazil as well.  Part of the criteria for the fellowship required that I post pictures of myself and due to the fact I have done that rarely thus far I'm packing them all in at once.  (I loathe having my picture taken.-Just saying!)

 Arriba/Above:  I had to get a picture with a public phone because they use to be something that was a part of our everyday life when I was a kid growing up.  Now, it is rare to see a public phone in the USA but not in Mexico!  A phone call costs 3-Pesos or close to what we use to pay back in the 'ol days before we all had cell phones, 25 cents/call.

Abajo/Below:   ¡Hola de Guanajuato con Mitz-Zhu!  Mitz-Zhu está estudiando en México por 7 meses en total y un semestre a la Universidad de Guanajuato. 

Abajo/Below:  This awesome view includes the University of Guanajuato and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato.  The lights are just beginning to twinkle in the background.  I can't wait to show my classes the beautiful video of the sunset and the twinkling lights of the city.  I wish I could have transported all of you for a 5 minute visit to see this incredible view!

Estoy afuera de la Básilica de Nuestra Señora de Guanajuato.  Visité la básilica con Arturo.  Él tomó esta foto de mi. = This is a photo of me outside of the basilica pictured above.  I visited the basilica with Arturo (more on him below).  He took this photo of me.

Abajo/Below: Marta y yo estamos en su comedor en el último día de mi viaje a Guanajuato.  Ella es tan amable, simpática, y agradable.  Ella es una buenísima anfíntrona, abuela, y madre.  = Marta and I are in her dining room on the last day of my trip.  She is so nice and very kind.  She is a very good host, grandma, and mother.  / I hope to visit her again one day!  She was my greatest gift in Mexico!

La hija de Marta es Karla.  Karla y yo estamos en el comedor.  Ella es la madre de Toni, Alexa, y Gael.  Karla, su esposo y sus niños viven con Marta en su casa porque su esposo está estudiando a ser radiólogo. = Karla is Marta's daughter and we are in the dining room.  She is Mom to Toni, Alexa, and Gael.  She, her husband and their children live with Marta because her husband (Marco) is studying to be a radiologist.

¡Mi maestro de México! - My Mexican teacher!  Well, not really but he is Marta's Uncle and neighbor who lives with Marta's mother while he visits his doctor in Guanajuato. He's in his late 70's and he and I had great intellectual conversations together about history, culture, religion and so much more!  Arturo is the only Catholic in his family because the rest of his family has converted to the Christian denomination of Jehovah's Witnesses.  Over 80% of Mexicans are Catholic but the largest Protestant Christian group in Mexico are the Jehovah's Witnesses with nearly a million followers.  Arturo is what we call a Jack-of-all-Trades in his family and what Mexicans call "un hombre de milusos."

Monday, July 23, 2012

Los niños son los mismos alrededor del mundo.

Los niños son los mismos alrededor del mundo. =
Children are the same all around the world.

There were so many beautiful children in Mexico just as there are in the USA and they were doing similar activities that kids in the US would do for fun.  (I did not see children using their own cell phones in Mexico.  Although at times kids would check out their parent's cell phones.)  I hope you enjoy the pictures and captions.

Above:  Primo Ebert les está mostrando a los chicos como construir con los bloques. = Cousin Ebert is showing the boys how to build with blocks. (The clothes you see in the background are drying, it sprinkled earlier so they were brought inside to finish drying.  It's a rarity for a family to own a dryer in Mexico.

Los primos están jugando al centro comercial.  - The boys are playing at the mall on the equipment.  Yes, the major mall there had playground equipment just like you may find in a mall in the USA.
 After playing hard on the equipment the kids went in with us and had a snack from McDonalds.
Above: Toni & Roberto playing in the plaza.  Roberto (on the right) loves to play keep-away tag. 
 Alexa es la nieta de Marta y está disfrutando su palomita. - Marta's grand-daughter Alexa is enjoying her sucker.  She suckered me into many photos of her so she could Ver - See.  She is nearly 3 years old.
 Jugando con la comida es divertida y es tan divertida cuando puede imaginar que las patatas son anillos. - Playing with your food is fun especially when the chips are shaped like rings.  These chips are not made out of potatoes but a wheat-soy combination that comes in various flavors.
 Toni está corriendo. - Toni is running after church services one afternoon.  This amphitheatre is actually part of a mine and the miners would use this area to entertain one another when they were not working down in the mines. Guanajuato is very famous for its precious metals of silver (and some gold).
 While walking home from school one day I met up with these students and asked for a picture with their Gala Uniforms that you can see in the picture.  These students were excited to speak to me in Spanish and English and are from the school that my Spanish classes will be writing in the Fall, Escuela Federal Luis González Obregón.  Se llaman: Oswaldo con ojos verdes y Emanuel, Enrique, Manuelito, Patricia, Alejandro, y Paula.
 A flower girl after a morning wedding, my apologies you can't see the front of her dress but many people do not appreciate their picture being taken, so I just snapped a shot of the back of her dress.  She wore a furry jacket over the lacy ruffled layered dress.  You could tell she was not accustomed to wearing such a fancy dress but was having fun.
 First Communion requires a fancy dress all in white for the girls along with crisp, white dress shirts and pants for the boys.  Over 200 children taking their First Communion were at the temple dedicated to Jesus of Nazareth in Atotonilco.  Taking first communion at this location is similar to a pilgrimage and very important to the families in the towns surrounding the little village with the "Sistine Chapel of the Americas."
 Open spaces require kids to run and this boy was fast!  He was running down the sidewalk that surrounded the central plaza in the town of San Miguel Allende.
 First graders learning English.  It may be difficult to tell or count but there are 42 students in this class.  They behaved very well as a group but there were still a few that had to be reminded to stay on task. 
 Se llama Frida.  Ella me quiso que yo tomaría una foto de ella.  Her name is Frida.  She wanted me to take a photo of her.  Check out her English workbook where she is learning about animal names in English and the size words: big  - grande and small -pequeño/chico.
 Toni made an art piece at school with seeds and his homework was to go home and create his own piece of artwork with seeds from home.  Here is his artistic creation.  I asked him what it was and he said he didn't know, but I thought it looked like a blue cactus.
 This is a bit out of order but this was a portion of the lesson on the board that the students were learning for the day in their English class.
Kids in Mexico love Spiderman too!  He was part of the Wax Museum (El Museo de Cera).  Check out Shrek below as he welcomes everyone who visits the museum.  Many of the cartoon figures that are popular in the US are also popular in Mexico.

Below, the kids play kick-ball in the alleyway.  They would kick the ball up the hill and someone else would try to catch it.  This was one of the few paved alleyways I saw that was wide enough to play on and did not have cobblestone so it was easier to play on.

 Above:  ¿Cómo me parezco? = How do I look.  These girls are checking out their look in the mirror.  No, I am not in the bathroom! Instead of putting the sinks inside the restrooms at the school they were placed on the outside so that the kids can be better supervised.  They don't have to worry about the pipes freezing outside in Mexico.  It does get down to the 40's and 50's for part of the year so it must be chilly some days having to go outside to use the restroom from their classrooms.
 Above:  End of the year ceremony being performed by the students at Luis González Obregón.  They performed color guard ceremony, sang the national anthem, their school's song, and thanked various teachers and administrators for the final day of the school year on July 6, 2012 and their new school year will begin in mid-August.  They attend about the same number of days we do per year but they do not have a long-summer break like we do in the US.
 Above:  Students from another school out on a final-end-of-the-year field trip to a local museum.  You will note that some of the girls are wearing their gala uniforms with the skirts while the girl in front is wearing a PE type of school uniform.  Mondays and special events require gala uniforms and other days of the week the athletic uniforms are acceptable.  Below:  Check out the maroon uniforms on the students below who are also out enjoying a local field trip.

 My apologies for not keeping up with the posts but I have about 4 more posts I want to make in the coming days.  I was having a hard time with the computer in Mexico and now that I am back I plan on posting more soon.  MUCHISIMAS GRACIAS - THANK YOU VERY MUCH to everyone who followed my blog, prayed for me, and supported me on this trip to improve my classes! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Las calles en Guanajuato

Una pregunta....una respuesta - A question....an answer:

One of my future students asked on a post how people can get around in the city with all the buildings crammed together and what it looks like from the street view, here are some pictures.  With some captions to explain.


Above:  The tunnel you see is underground and is used by one-way traffic today.  Previously though underground caverns and tunnels were used by miners seeking silver which the city was famous for over hundreds of years.  These tunnels were converted to divert traffic from above ground to below ground to allow for more buildings above ground.  I wait underground to get on my bus daily.  The lights on the right are the stairway that leads up to the street level.

Above:  I took the above picture for the beautiful sunset on mountain in the background but it does demonstrate on the lower half of the picture this one-way street and how close the buildings appear from street view.

Above: This street is typically used by pedestrians but during certain parades and events the street is converted into a one-way street.  The number of people on the street is not unusual because people are typically out and about in town from 9AM-10PM here.  On weekends the business in the street extends even later.


Above:  Imagine that a tunnel is behind you and you have just exited it and this is the scene set before you.  When I ride the bus home from school daily I can see this view from inside the bus.  The street is one-way and since it's a little wider here cars are able to park in the easement area.


Above:  A one way tunnel that you can see in the foreground a truck getting ready to enter.

Above:  Pre-school children walking to school.  I took the picture because these two seemed so sweet but the picture also shows you how narrow these streets are as well.  It is only a 1/2 a block from my school here.

Above:  A pedestrian street only with no pedestrians on it so I was quick to take this picture in the afternoon one day.  It shows how colorful the buildings are up close as well.

My apologies if there appears to be a mis-alignment of the text on this entry but blog-spot appears to be having technical difficulties for me.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

El viaje a Dolores Hidalgo; Atotonilco, Guanajuato y San Miguel de Allende

El 23 de junio visité los pueblos de Dolores Hidalgo y San Miguel de Allende y el pueblito de Atotonilco en el estado de Guanajuato.  Salimos a las diez de la mañana y regresamos a las ocho y media de la noche.  Viajé por camion (van) con mi prima, Amy Huckstadt.  Ella enseña español también al norte de Chicago.

¿Conoces el rey de la música ranchera y una estrella de películas méxicanas de la decada sesenta?  Antes de mi viaje yo no conocía tampoco, pero ahora yo sé que el rey de la música latina es José Alfredo Jimenez.  Visitamos su tumba y casa.  Su casa es como Graceland por los aficionados de Elvis Presley y la casa tiene muchos artefactos.


Su casa no es lujosa de la calle pero es bonita adentro.


 Una pintura famosa en el museo por Octavio Ocampo.  Compré una copia para la clase.

Su Tumba y los colores son un símbolo de los 200+ canciones que el escribió durante su vida.

El pueblito de Atotonilco, Guanajuato

El Sanctuario de Atotonilco es muy impresionante.  Es una iglesia dedicaba a la vida de Jesus Cristo.  Afuera es muy sencillo pero adentro hay muchísimas pinturas que cuenta la vida de Jesus. En 2010

Mira el video porque es más mejor y impresionante a ver adentro de la iglesia con el video por YouTube.  (Watch the video because it is better than these pictures and is really impressive, be patient because the first few minutes shows how this is just a little sleepy village with an impressive church that is considered the Sistine Chapel of the Americas.       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-2U_27OsxE

El pueblo de San Miguel Allende

Este pueblo tiene muchos jubilados de Estados Unidos y Canadá.  Es un pueblito muy limpio y bonito.  Tuvimos una hora y quince minutos en este pueblo y necesitamos más horas para ver todo.  (For some reason I can't get my own pictures uploaded onto Blogspot, but thankfully due to Google Images I can post a few.  The quality isn't as good though so my apologies.)

The town is named after this church which is called the Parish of San Miguel de Allende.