Paige's Return to Deutschland!

Hallo Berlin! This blog will be a place for friends and family to get very occasional snip-its on Biggs' life in Germany.

Friday, April 25, 2008

It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside…

Nope, no parasites… not that I know of. I’m talking of the blend of homesickness mixed with senioritis. I’m wrapping up my time here in Mexico and starting to look forward to the next thing. But the good news is if there was ever a place to be in idle it’s here. There is still the beach, unexplored taco stands, and new things to learn. For example, right now I am learning how to give pap smears. Yes, that might be an over share. I don’t know if that knowledge will ever come in handy but it is interesting.

These last couple weeks have been full of adventure. My friend Caitlin came and visited me for two weeks. It really felt like vacation for both of us. The high light was a trip to Guadalajara. The continental Mexico is where the fun is. Guadalajara is a beautiful colonial city with a tradition of the arts. While there we went to a Folkloric Ballet. The outfits and dancing were a much jazzed up version of the annual “Fiesta Cultural” held at my elementary school.

Speaking of fiesta cultural, last weekend was indeed very cultural. My coworkers invited me to Tepic the capital of Nayarit. (Short geography lesson: Puerto Vallarta is in Jalisco. Jalisco’s capital is Guadalajara. I work north of Vallarta in the city of Mezcales which is in Nayarit. Jalisco is one of the richest states and Nayarit is starting to boom as developers head north of Vallarta.) Tepic is very very country. We even went further to the country for a celebration in a neighboring city. The celebration included a parade starting at midnight – only in Mexico. Then we carried our cooler full of beer around to different bands playing Banda music.

A note about Banda, before moving to Mexico I thought that some people listened to Banda/Ranchera – the Mexican sounding polka/marching band music. (here’s a link to one of my favorite songs I’ve found that actually the majority listen to Banda around here. Furthermore, I have yet to meet a man who knows how to dance salsa – perhaps a cause of my homesickness? While men here do not salsa, they do the “hug, jump, and whirl” to Banda. So, this last weekend included a lot of “hug, jump, and whirl” while drinking Modelo, riding around in friends’ pick-up trucks drinking Modelo, and oddly enough, nausea. I can safely say I have gone where no gringa has gone before.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

This shot's for you....

Most of you should be glad that you are not in Mezcales, Mexico, right now. If you were, there is a good chance that I would be sticking a needle in your arm. That is if you are ages 19 to 29 and not pregnant. Yup, we have moved from preying on little kids to young adults. We’re everywhere: the streets, the supermarket, places of work, and roaming around the clinic. We’ve even been known to stop carloads of hapless twenty-somethings on their way to a day at the beach.

As you can see, Mexico has a very aggressive campaign at the moment against Measles and Rubella (German Measles). The diseases themselves are a lot like the chicken pocks but the problem is if a woman gets Rubella during her pregnancy the baby can be born with some major defects. According to the Center for Disease Control in the US, congenital and acquired forms of Rubella were eliminated in 2004. But, there continue to be cases here in Mexico – hence the campaign. The idea is to vaccinate people in the “fertile” stage of life. But my experience would say that half of the women I have contact with are already pregnant or have a child before age 19. One thing I have learned in Mexico is to never guess a woman’s age based on the ages’ of her children. They start young here.

When I am not walking door to door vaccinating, I am doing a lot of hanging out. The girls I am tutoring keep on going on vacations; which is cool for them but a bummer for me. I actually really like teaching maybe even more than my internship. Wait did I just say that? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am going to become a teacher. Let’s just say that working with the social security is a lot of hours in the sun, a lot of waiting around, and a fair bit of disorganization. In summary, it is Mexico. Tutoring is structured, the girls are sweet, and did I mention it pays?

My down time is mostly filled with “life planning” aka job applications. It is official, I am moving back to the US on the 27th of May. From Mexico I will fly to Berlin, defend my thesis, celebrate for a week, and then try to get settled in Seattle. I don’t know exactly what I will be doing in Seattle, but the goal is to land a job with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or some organization along those lines. I also don’t know exactly where I will be living. Hum, Paige Beckley not knowing what she will be doing or where she will be living? Ecclesiastes said it best: There is nothing new under the sun.