In just a few days I will have officially been here for two months. I honestly can’t believe it. I know how cliché this is but I’m going to say it because it’s extremely true: the time has truly flown by. I wanted to take a second to talk a little more about what my typical day looks like and how everything has been going.
First of all, It feels weird to be writing in English, like really weird. It almost feels too easy and too simple. I’ve only been in Mérida a short time and yet I’ve already gotten used to speaking Spanish. I don’t mean that in a “I’m so amazing at Spanish and my grammar is perfect” kind of way. It’s more that I’ve grown accustomed to the struggle of it. I’ve gotten used to how my tongue feels awkward in my mouth and has to fight my muscle memory to make the syllables. I’ve gotten used to my incorrect conjugations, how my brain gets lost in every sentence, and how I can never remember that it’s “el problema” not “la problema.”
I also apparently have a truly inexplicable accent. I’m quickly identified as an extranjera which makes sense because I’m white, I can’t conjugate verbs, and I say “like” at least 3 times per sentence. However, I’ve been asked if I’ve spent time in Spain? And several people have asked me if I learned Spanish from someone from Puerto Rico or Venezuela. Because I apparently “eat my letters, especially “s,” instead of fully saying them.” I don’t know how this happened because I have never been or met anyone from any of those places. In conclusion, I have no idea how I sound to native Spanish speakers but it seems like it must be fairly strange?
Additionally, my classes have definitely taken over my life in many ways. The workload is manageable but the fact that everything is in Spanish makes the work more time consuming and mentally draining. Things that used to come easily and/or require minimal effort now require the entirety of my attention and motivation. Luckily, I absolutely adore my classes. I’m taking an Introductory Anthropology class and an Educational Psychology class at la UADY (Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán) and an Epidemiology class at the Universidad Modelo (the private university). I’m also taking the two courses that my program offers: Advanced Spanish and Community and Culture of the Yucatán.
I’ve been extremely lucky because I only have classes Monday through Thursday. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I often have the chance to travel. My first few weekends I went to Chichén Itza:
2 gorgeous and impressive ruins near Mérida. I later visited the seaside towns of Progreso, Celestún, and Sisal:
And last but not least, spent the weekend in a gorgeous* hostel in Play del Carmen:
It was strange to be in such a touristy area after so many weeks in the casual and less- opulent Mérida. While Mérida is filled with locals going about their day, Playa is lleno de rich tourists. I met people from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Puerto Rico, and Colombia. Most of whom lived nomadically and had thousands of inspiring stories about their travels.
Those conversations truly made me want to take advantage of my time here and continue to see all that I can. To live my life like this:
and not like this:
<3 Anne Elise
*If it seems like I’m using the word gorgeous a lot it’s because I am. The entire Yucatán peninsula is so truly stunning. Every time I travel I’m honestly floored by how gorgeous everything is.