Thursday, September 15, 2011

Re-entry in 9 more days


In order to help me with my re-entry, I wanted to empower you with the knowledge of my current life.

I am accustomed to being pampered (me miman = they pamper me)

I am accustomed to waking up about 7:00 AM and doing some exercise, or not. 

The bathroom is always available to me about 8:00 AM.

At around 8:20 when I arrive in the kitchen, there is generally a bowl of fruit, yogurt, and granola waiting for me. Sometimes there is toast, or quesadillas with ham and cheese, or sometimes scrambled eggs.

I drink decaf coffee in the morning and I am accustomed to instant coffee now.

After finishing my breakfast, I generally have a cookie with the rest of my coffee.

Maria Elena sends me to school with a piece of small fruit or a cookie for my 11:00 AM break.

At lunch, I exert myself by walking 3 blocks to the restaurant where there is a large buffet Mon-Fri.

I generally arrive home from school about 5:00. I generally work on my homework in my room at this time.

I eat dinner between 6:00 & 6:45 PM. After dinner I am served tea since I am sensitive to caffeine, oh and my tea is served with cookies or pan de dulce. Last night I had ice cream with my cookie and tonight arroz con leche. I enjoy chatting with the family during this time.

After an hour or thereabouts I retreat back to my room to finish my homework, check my email, and just have quiet time in general.

Before bed I like to watch a program on-line in Spanish. I should finish the last episode of the 6th season of Weeds tonight. If I do not finish the 7th season while I am here, I may be grouchy.

I like to have the fresh fruit paletas (popsicles) a minimum of twice per week. I know we won’t have the same flavors at home but I bet you can find some at Wild Oats or another specialty store.

My sheets are changed at least once per week. This seems to average about every 5 days.

My room is dusted and swept several times per week.

I have washed my own laundry twice in 7 weeks and hung it outside to dry. The rest of the time, I carry my laundry a tedious 7-8 blocks to school in my laundry bag where it is picked up and delivered back to school by 4:30. This costs me about 30 pesos a week.

Times were a bit harder for me before I arrived at this house with Maria Elena and Jorge. I used to have to do all my own laundry, clean my room, change and wash my sheets, and fix my own breakfast.

Years ago my dad told me if you do anything for 4 weeks, it becomes a habit. I have been here for 7 weeks (minus my 11 days in Merida where I was just as pampered). My point is that all of these things are now habit.

I do the dishes whenever I can get away with it, but often it is a struggle with Maria Elena. On the other hand, she has gotten accustomed to let me win at this one thing.

I feel very loved all the time here. This family is the perfect example of love and kindness. Their son Andres is living back at home now since he is going to school here in Puebla. He is 25 years old.

I am sure I am forgetting some important things. Just know that I will not return in the same state that I left. I may need a little time to adjust so please be gentle with me.

I have loved my experiences here and look forward to coming home too. It would be easy to stay here if I didn’t need to find a job, etc.

Oh yeah, I love Jamaica and look we can make it too. It is made from the Hibiscus Flower. And just look at the health benefits.

Hibiscus flower tea: Agua de jamaica


Dried hibiscus flowers, known in Mexico as jamaica (pronounced "ha-ma-ike-ah", rather than like the name of the Carribbean island country) have long been available in health food stores in the U.S. for making a tea that is high in vitamin C. With the advent of interest in south-of-the-border cuisine, hibiscus flowers are now sold in bulk in most large supermarkets. This drink is particularly good for people who have a tendency, temporary or otherwise, toward water retention: it is a mild and completely natural diuretic. I drink a lot of it, so I use sugar substitute in this recipe.


  • 2 cups dried hibiscus flowers
  • 8 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar or equivalent amount of sugar substitute

Rinse and drain the hibiscus flowers in a colander.

Put them in a saucepan with 4 cups of the water and the sugar.

Stir and bring to a slow boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

The flowers will have lost their color into the water, which will be a deep red color. Let the liquid cool, then strain it into a pitcher.

Discard the flowers.

Add the rest of the water and stir.

Chill thoroughly before serving.

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