We all know that living in a foreign country means living outside of our comfort zone. But trust me, you do not actually understand what a comfort zone is until you are fishing toilet paper out of a toilet because you forgot that Mexican toilets are not strong enough for paper. Or when you are playing a human game of Frogger across a busy street because the cars do not like to share the road. Or when you are trying to form a relationship with a host mom who does not speak your native language. However, these experiences-along with all the events that have occurred over the past two days- have shown me that choosing Puebla was the best decision of my life. I am already much more appreciative of simple luxuries that are available in the United States (like powerful toilets). Also, listening to my wonderful host mom speak with such passion about her family, religion, and culture has not only helped me to improve my Spanish but has also allowed me to have a deeper understanding of the city I am calling home for the next five weeks.
Since we only have five weeks in Puebla, we hit the ground running. After a quick orientation session we started our classes. My class is one part grammar and one part learning how business is conducted in Mexico. To say that the class is interactive is an understatement. Today, we split into teams and we were given a small snack. We were then given fifteen minutes to trade our snack for something bigger and better. The only way to do that was to go talk to other students -in Spanish- and ask them if they wanted to trade. Like I said, the comfort zone no longer exists. Somehow, though, we were able to trade the snack for a cigarette, the cigarette for a note card, and the note-card for a pen (not exactly bigger and better but at least we were able to trade, right?).
After our classes, we were able to explore parts of Puebla. The city truly is amazing and there are many historic buildings and fountains. The people here are wonderful, the food is life-changing, and I cannot wait to experience all that this city has to offer!