Guanajuato part dos, Sans and Hacienda

It’s been quite a while since my last update–I apologize once again.

Guanajuato part two was pretty nice. We went up there Friday “morning” (it was about 11 when we left) and just hung out in the afternoon–went to the mercado (market) and got some fun stuff–seasons 1 & 2 of The Office for less than $13, fake Pumas, some fun decorative stuff, etc. One of the doctors, Beat, and his son Alex had to leave along with the esteemed Dr. Dent, an associate dean of the medical school (who is really awesome). So they left and we (the students) stayed and enjoyed Guanajuato. Dad went to sleep early and the four med students, me and Mauricio, one of the other doctors, all went out dancing until 3am. Fun times as usual. The next day was lovely–really laid-back. We went to a cute little cafe in Guanajuato that looked like it was just out of Europe and had quiche and lattes. Then we stopped by the presa (dam) on our way out of town. We didn’t really know what to expect, but it ended up being so beautiful. I took a ton of pictures that I would most definitely upload if I only could. I’ll try again soon. But it was gorgeous, mostly because there were lots of huge older houses with incredible architecture, as well as an area with rides for kids and carts with food–very fair-like.

We headed back to Juventino and ended up going to one of the doctor’s house’s (Dr. Narvaez) to see everyone who’d come in to help out for this week–we have 4 doctors and 4 kids…lots of people. It was a fairly uninteresting meeting though, plus we were so tired.

Sunday I went to breakfast at my host father’s parents’ house, as per usual on Sunday mornings. The other usual part of that meal seems to be goat meat. Not bad actually. But breakfast was cut short by going out to a community with the students–this week we were in San Juan de la Cruz Sunday and Monday and switched to San Jose de los Llanos today.

San Juan de la Cruz was nice–I got about 5 interviews done also, which makes me feel a lot better. The people were really nice and interesting. The platica last night (talk/information session) was also really engaging and they had lots of people. Mauricio did a little platica of his own after the students and it was hilarious.

I also got to drive Mauricio (who is from Argentina) to a dentist appointment in the middle of the day on Monday. He is pretty hilarious, and it was interesting to see how much more relaxed (though still really clean and good) dental service is here. I sat in the room with them during the appointment and the dentist talked to me about what were were doing in the communities and such. Unfortunately, that was the last trip our camioneta (the van that belongs to the municipal president or mayor) took…it, much like my computer, decided to stop working. So it’s in the shop.

An exmaple of Mauricio’s insanity is his *great* idea to put the alacran (that would be a scorpian) that he found in his room in a small baby-food jar with a hole in the top. He brought it with us to San Juan de la Cruz and we fed it flys that he stunned by throwing them on the ground really hard. The alacran didn’t like them. I’m not sure why…it was hilarious though, and I have video o the awesome alacran to show eveyone when I get back. In general, I liked San Juan de la Cruz. Good place.

Both nights though, we got home really late. Sunday, we went to eat in Celaya after 9 when we finished working with the Padre and all us gringos. Last night with the platica, it was late when we got back and then Mauricio gave a platica to the local doctors, which we also went to. It was supposed to start at 9pm, but true to Mexican time, didn’t begin until 9:30. I was already exhausted, and then attempted to follow a lesson in cholesterol and hypertension management for doctors in Spanish…I got the Spanish pretty well, but the science stuff was only about 30% there. But I did get to see what a mexican high school looks like (very pretty, actually).

Today we left (as usual) at 7:15, and by that I mean 7:30am to go to San Jose de los Llanos, a community that has fewer than 200 people in it. There is also a hacienda, or ranch that resembles a castle more than a ranch. We had a few people in the morning, and some very cute kids. I got to hold a baby (2 months old) named Jesus and he fell asleep on my shoulder…very cute.

After working in the morning (we only had about 20 people come and they told us that was basically the whole town or at least anyone who would or could come), a few of us went to explore the hacienda. It was really one of the coolest things I’ve every seen. For one thing, the area around it is very green, but with cactus in addition to the other plants. It gives it a very mysterious feel. The hacienda/house part is HUGE–the walls are about 20 feet high and the doorways open almost all the way to the tops of the walls. There was this main courtyard and then rooms off of it overgrown with grass. There were also stairs that went up onto the roof, which seemed somewhat precarious despite being made of concrete. The front yard had an area for cattle that was still being used and there were many barrels of hay stacked out in the front “yard”. It also just had this really great mysterious feel to it, like you might walk into one of the rooms and find yourself back in the times of Spanish colonialism.

After exploring the hacienda, we returned to the tiny templo (church) and just chilled. I took a very rewarding nap on a pew, some of the other students entered data and checked over our forms to make sure everything was bubbled in and all. We went to lunch at the house of one of the delegates and then the students returned to Llanos to do a platica there and I decided I needed some R&R and to update/check my email. Anyway, there’s the update. As you can see, I’ve been really busy.

My research has become more interesting as I’ve been down here. I have been shocked at the number of women (really all but 2) who have said they make decisions with their husbands, juntos as they say here. None of them have taken more than a second to think about it. We’ll see how that continues, but it’s certainly interesting and not something I particularly expected.

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