Where do I start? When do I start?

Yesterday was a very strange day. I met my host family, I have a sister, a mother, and a father (whose names are Daniela, Esperanza, y Alonzo, respectively). It was not the same family that I thought I would have, however- despite all the confusion of the switch, everything is going very well.

I’m tired. It’s very late now. Almost four in the morning. I have an all day excursion around los pueblos (small towns) nearby Merida tomorrow.

I signed up for classes today, took a bus to and from school (twice- both ways) managed to find my way home in a taxi with some of my new student friends after a night of dancing and drinking. A few people here want to practice english, but these conversations are usually very slow, because they speak to me in broken english, and I reply in broken spanish. My host mother seems to think that I will do well, and for the most part people are very supportive.

Apparently they eat pancakes here. They’re a bit more like crepes, but pancakes none the less. The biggest difference is here, one needs to put butter, syrup, and cheese on your pancake, and then roll it up like a fajita and eat it with your hands.

The worst thing for me is remembering not to drink the water. It’s really hard not to be able to trust that what you’re drinking won’t harm you. I brushed my teeth tonight, and forgot to rinse with bottled water instead of the tap. I cursed myself for not remembering, and then proceeded to brush them again, this time a bit more forcefully (and thoroughly) and rinsed with bottled water.

I’ve been writing just about everything in spanglish lately, so you’ll just have to bear with me and bust out a dictionary if you need it.

I like almost all of the people that I’m spending my time with, although there is an occasional exception for some of the students I’m traveling with. All is well, and I’m really happy to be here. Let’s all cross our fingers that I don’t get any parasites from that mouthful of tap water I had.

Thanks for all of your support, and for bearing with me while I figure out how to keep everyone updated.