Flashback: Studying Abroad in Mexico


In the last post I shared a flashback to the Camino last year.  So, then I thought: Why not go back even further?  The following is an excerpt from the first day of my study abroad experience in Mexico on January 1st 2001 (translated from Spanish because I even wrote the journal in Spanish!)

Ah.  I will try to write much in Spanish, but I may need help.  Maybe I can understand new vocabulary in this way.  I want to start a vocabulary journal.  In this way I hope to understand new words.  So, I have felt many different feelings.  First, sadness and a lot of fear.  A lot.  Suddenly I wondered “Why am I doing this?”  And also, the feelings I shouldn’t feel until 2 weeks from now!  Many times I thought: “Why am I here?”  Why don’t I leave from here and return to my country and my house.  At first, when I left my parents, I wanted to cry.  Suddenly I realized that I was leaving my parents, my roots.  Everything.  It didn’t matter that I was leaving ____ or ________ or ____________, although I missed ______________  a little more,.  I missed my sister, but most I missed my parents and wanted to bring them with me.  This pen isn’t good.  I have a lot of blotches.  I didn’t know where I needed to meet with Juliette.  I was lost at customs and didn’t even know which parts of which documents I needed to fill out.  Juliette told me that my classes are incorrect.  How frustrating!  Well, it’s possible I can find better classes.  I wonder which classes are correct.  Now I’m registered for 2 classes — how funny!  The way I see it, I can see this situation in 2 ways: how horrible/how funny.  But all could be much worse.  I stay with a very nice family.  The only problem is that they speak too fast.  I can’t understand much.  And the words slur together.  I feel dumb/stupid.  I want them to know that I’m an intelligent girl and that although I didn’t take a class last semester and haven’t practiced much — I know some words in Spanish.  I have a vocabulary — only, it isn’t good.  And my comprehension isn’t very good.  Also, I am very tired.  I need a nap.  I don’t know how I will write to everyone.  I will need to send an e-mail to everyone at the same time.  No one will like that but I think that I don’t have other options.  One of these days I will cry, I know, but I must stay.  I know that I would stay, no matter what.  It is difficult when the first day I have this problem.  I hope that I can have my parents with me.  And I want to understand how _____’s trip went.  So fast!  It’s incredible!  It reminds me that I need to speak very slowly with foreigners.  English is a very difficult language.  I feel bad that I haven’t dealt with ______ very well.  But I have a fear of being uncomfortable.  He was a boy, and wanted me to go to his apartment alone.  How crazy!  Well, I wanted to be independent.  I wanted to leave my parents, sister, and friends.  Well, here I am.  I am not like _____.  We are different, I think.  But, I do enjoy my independence.  I am happy that I did so much on my own.  I did it!  I’m here!  I am here.  Just boarding the plane was difficult.  But I made it!  And packing!  Very difficult.  I need to rest.  I realized two things.  First, all could be worse and all could get better.  It is only the first day!  I need to pray.  Where did I put my prayer papers like “Our Father”?  I don’t know.  I’m tired.  I must to bed.  Until tomorrow.

Much love and many blessings. ❤ 

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