Weekend Update

Oct. 21, 2008

After a stay of literally, exactly (to the hour) one week in Monterrey, I will be heading out of town again tomorrow.  Two friends and I are headed to Copper Canyon in Chihuahua, Mexico.  The train that runs along the rim of the canyon is reported to be the most spectacular train ride in the western hemisphere.  So, I’m pretty stoked.

I’ve spent the past week taking tests and scrambling to make final arrangements for this trip, plus trying to visit with friends I hadn’t seen in a week or more.  Friday night the core group of friends — the exchange students I first befriended upon arrival in Monterrey — went out to dinner downtown to celebrate Jordan’s birthday.  We first encountered the restaurant, Feel Gr@w, on our first outing downtown, perhaps our second or third weekend in Mexico.  We were so sweaty and touristy looking, though, that we were too embarrassed to eat there.  Friday we cleaned up real nice and spent four hours together on the upstairs terrace, which had a great view of the city.

I spent all day Saturday and Sunday working to finalize my application for the Hendrix-Lilly summer mission trips, which was due Monday.  I took a break Saturday night though to hang out with four of my new friends from the trip to Washington.  We went to UMA Bar, a club downtown, and stood in line (read: huddled in a massive crowd) outside the place for an hour, begging and cajoling the guard to let us in.  We finally got in and danced casually for awhile, until the lights suddenly went out.  After 10 or 15 minutes of standing around chatting in the near-dark, we decided to leave.  Problem: the guards had locked the doors to prevent people who hadn’t paid their tabs from leaving.  The growing crowd near the door became increasingly insistent that they free us, which they quickly did realizing the relative value of keeping the peace.  Then we all went and got Fourth Meal, although the quesadillas with avocado that we ordered from an open-air taquería were way, way better than anything you can buy at Taco Bell.  I got home at 5 a.m. and crashed, not to wake up until 2 p.m.

With little time between homework, sleep, and various social engagements, I just yesterday finally got around to posting on Facebook the photos from the Washington trip: check them out!  For example, here I am in front of the Canadian embassy (or something) and the capitol building!

[broken link to photo]

I’m standing on the terrace on the top floor of the Newseum, a museum dedicated to journalism.  I spent six hours in there; it was like a pilgrimage for me.  The whole trip was just so moving.  I almost cried on the steps of the Supreme Court building.  Lame?  It’s OK.  I’m an American Studies major.

Tip for Other Students Studying Abroad:  I wanted to show my dad my photos, but he is even less computer literate than John McCain, and he doesn’t have Internet access at his house.  So I came up with the ingenious plan of using Walgreens.com to order copies of my digital photos, to be printed at my dad’s local Walgreens for him to pick up.  Best daughter ever.  And the minor expenditure was more than covered by the amount of money I’ve saved by using Skype to call home for two cents a minute from my laptop. Nice.  I’m sure I’ll have a host of stories and pictures to share with him, and you all, next Tuesday when I get back from my latest travels!  Until then, ¡cuídense!  (Take care.)

P.S.  Bill Clinton came to my old high school yesterday.  Remind me again why I left the country just in time for all the political excitement?  Reading about this stuff online just is not the same.  Alas.

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