Monterrey, MX, Kuwait City, KW

2014-2017 I was in Kuwait City(Mahboula) Kuwait. I left there in June and have begun my new adventure in Monterrey Mexico.

As I am sitting here in my apartment, the one I have already hung pictures up in and moved furniture around in and figured out the AC night ONE. I can’t help by contrast my transition to Mexico and my transition to Kuwait. It has been nearly 3 years since that move and I haven’t thought about it much until now.

The similarities are there: nervous to make friends and worried about getting my classroom set up in time for students.

The differences are what got me. When I moved to Kuwait I was barely 22. I had just graduated college. I had never worked full time. And I hadn’t left the USA since I was 13. When I arrived in Kuwait I was shocked at how different my neighbor(HOOD) was compared to the one I had left in Ohio. I didn’t understand the escalators that were just ramps that your grocery cart can go up. I didn’t understand the metric system very well. I got overwhelmed in the grocery store. I panicked trying to light my gas stove and oven. All of these things were new experiences. But the big reason they were a big deal was because I didn’t expect them. I expected the way people dressed to be different and the way they drove. But not the way they grocery shopped, my USA brain figured that was the same everywhere.

Now, in Mexico, I feel like an old pro. I know that there will be glitches with the apartment. I also know how to control the temperature. I also can totally handle where to hang things up. Hot water? I’ll figure it out. And when I got to the grocery store and they had an escalator ramp for my shopping cart I felt comforted. Because they had that in my last home too. And if I can make it there, I can make it here, and soon it will feel like home too.

 

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Lets talk about POSITIVITY

Alright anxiety won yesterday but NOT TODAY SATAN!

Today I felt better. It was day 1 of online learning with my kiddos and it went pretty well. I have some facetimes set up with some of them for tomorrow which will help bring a smile to my face and here’s the thing…lets talk about how great humanity has been in a lot of ways.

  • The teacher gang is SO STRONG. Everyone is sharing things and offering kind words and sending love into the universe.
  • The government here is taking it seriously and taking the correct precautions.
  • (we are privileged in this community) most of my students have access to their online learning and I can video chat with them.
  • I am adjusting well to the mornings at home. Waking up early and getting a good walk in. being able to make a yummy breakfast has its perks also.
  • I live in Mexico. The weather is nice. I can leave my windows and screen doors open to create some fresh air in my apartment.
  • I get to FaceTime and call more friends and family during this time.
  • I have time for puzzles.

What happened today? Anxiety.

Hey everyone if you read my post yesterday you’ll know my school is closed and we are entering quarantine time.

Do you know what happened today? Anxiety. I am not so much anxious about getting the virus as I am about being stuck in Mexico and not being able to return to the USA. I’m scared about 5 weeks at home with very little interaction with the outside world. I am anxious because my SO lives in Colorado and my parents live in Cincinnati and my brother lives in DC and no one is together. Shouldn’t we be together during this time? I don’t want to be away from them right now. I’m anxious. I can’t write more than that.

I. Am. Anxious.

Corona Quarantine Life

I’m going to be real honest, shit hit the fan this week. And if you don’t want to hear more about coronavirus stuff you shouldn’t keep up with my daily writing. School is closed indefinitely. We are doing online distance learning for all students. At this point we all think we are going to be doing distance learning for 3 weeks and then we have a 2 week spring break. We are not allowed to travel unless it is essential. We have confirmed cases of families at our school. No students yet but parents yes. We are all adjusting to this newness. This means I am at home alone for probably 5 weeks. My extrovert heart is not adjusting well but is always making facetime plans with friends and family near and far.

We were not scheduled for school Monday because it is Benito Juarez Day. We will begin distance learning on Tuesday. Here’s what I have done so far:

Professionally:

  1. Made slides with their lessons and assignments for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  2. Filmed read alouds.
  3. Made a guide to distance learning for parents which includes a list of ideas for things that they can do at home with their kid that does not require a screen.
  4. Set up a “home office”. (Never thought I’d have one of those as a teacher)
  5. Made a schedule/routine for myself so that I actually get out of bed each morning and am a productive human and can follow through on promises to students and parents.
  6. Made so many screen recordings to help with the tech stuff.

Personally:

  1. Stocked up on groceries including canned food/frozen food. (not usually my style but I want to have some food security)
  2. Got an extra inhaler for my asthmatic lungs just in case.
  3. Cleaned my entire house and bought more cleaning supplies.
  4. Bought 6 puzzles that I will be swapping with friends over the coming weeks.
  5. Bought some wine (lets be honest).
  6. Meal prepped for the week to maintain some normalcy.

 

Is there anything else that is helping you get through this insane time that we are currently living in? Anyone wanna FaceTime me so I can appease my extroverted side?

Livin la corona vida

I didn’t write yesterday. That’s because we shut down school. I had a lot to do on my computer for distance learning prep and the last thing I wanted to do was write. Here I am writing for today. Let’s all stay strong!

On Why I Didn’t Write Yesterday

#undiasinnosotras

Yesterday was A Day Without Women here in Mexico. It was a national protest to show Mexican society and government what their world would look like without women. This protest meant:

  • women didn’t go to work
  • women didn’t leave their houses for any reason
  • women didn’t do any house work
  • women didn’t post on social media
  • women didn’t go shopping or buy food

*There are obviously cases in which women were unable to protest due to being a single mom or not having the financial security to miss a day of work.

It felt like if I wrote yesterday I would some how be breaking the protest, and I believe in this protest. In January alone there were 73 “femincides” reported. In addition in January there were 19.183 emergency calls reporting violent acts against women but only 8,163 cases were open to investigate these cases. Women are fighting so that they aren’t murdered. This should be a basic right, but it isn’t. Yesterday, through the protest women impacted the economy by 2,077,212 dollars JUST YESTERDAY.

DO YOU HEAR WOMEN NOW?

This article is in Spanish originally but it does a really good job explaining the causes and impacts of the protests. There were marches all around Mexico on Sunday that preceded the Monday protests.

Why this day is hard, and important

My Grandma would be 78 today. She passed away 6 years ago and not a single day goes by that I don’t miss her. Last year I wrote about some things that I have accomplished since she left this physical earth. I’d like to update that list.

Last year’s accomplishments:

  • Almost exactly 2 months after you passed, I graduated college Cum Laude with a degree in Elementary Education and Psychology. (I know you were there your song played the second graduation was over)
  • I moved to Kuwait to start my first international job. I added 17 countries while I lived there. (I know you were there because I could feel you in those moments of awe that travelers get)
  • I became team lead. (I know you were there because you were one of the women who taught me how to be a leader)
  • DJT was elected president (something you would NOT have celebrated) but my third graders started a protest at recess. (I know you were there because I can picture you laughing until you’re crying watching videos of 9 year olds march around their soccer field shouting BOO DONALD TRUMP!)
  • We were on Anna Maria Island when my mom, dad, brother, and I decided to take a late night walk on the beach just after listening to your playlists and talking about you. We saw a mama turtle laying her eggs. I cried. (There’s no doubt you were there)
  • I moved to Monterrey, Mexico. I drove the 25 hours from Cincinnati to Monterrey. Stopped in New Orleans. (I know you were there because your passion for live music is alive and well in the city you gave birth to my mother in)

New accomplishments:

  • I began a relationship with the love of my life. (I know you’d like him, he treats me like you’d want him to)
  • In June I’ll graduate with my masters degree. (You always did love and respect education)
  • I’ve added 3 new countries to the travel list. (You probably would have come with me)
  • I experienced Dia de los Muertos in Oaxaca City. (I felt you every single moment of that beautiful holiday)
  • I have started and fallen in love with sculpture. (I would have made you a sea turtle for Christmas)
  • I have been working really hard on my Spanish. (Siempre te amo por toda mi vida. Te extraño muchisimo abuela)

“What’s your favorite color?”

If you ask me “What’s your favorite color?” my answer is never green. It’s never yellow either. My answer (depending on the time of year) falls into three categories.

Purple.                      Ocean blues.                    Magenta?

My answer is NEVER green. I remember when I was a kid there was this girl that was obsessed with lime green. Everything she owned was lime green. I found entering her room assaulted my eyes and made me anxious.

But then I went for my morning walk today and couldn’t help but stop and take pictures of the green trees and plants around me. Looking through my camera roll I realized I have hundreds of pictures of green. Of palm trees and cacti, of succulents and mountain trees, of Christmas trees.

My answer is NEVER yellow. I remember thinking yellow was too bright. It gave off too much light. It wasn’t calming to my eyes or my heart. It reminded me of the bee that stung me just behind my ear when I was eight. It reminded me of corn. I’m from the midwest and there’s just so much corn. 

But then I realized sunflowers are my favorite flower. I’ve got loads of photos of sunsets and sunrises casting yellow lines into the sky. My favorite piece of art that hangs in my living room is full of yellow.

We all have favorite colors. Colors that make us calm and happy and centered.

But I realized I have a lot of favorite colors – in certain contexts. Yellow is my favorite flower color and sunset color. Green is my favorite color to see on my walks.

Even tan is my favorite color when its a wild camel standing next to our car and the sand dunes of Kuwait.

 

“What’s your favorite color?”

Friday Self Care

I’ve been having a lot of anxiety recently. Just general anxiety. If you’re someone that struggles with anxiety then I feel you and I see you and I am you. When I have anxiety I choose not to slow down. I go from plan to plan from work to tutoring to dinner with friends to wine with another friend to bed just to fall into it and hopefully sleep. I’ve been doing that a lot recently. This leaves no time for reflection or calm or quiet. This weekend we have a 3 day weekend. I’m working hard on the quiet and the calm.

After school I had lunch with friends.

Sat on my balcony for some mountain views.

Did a bit of a puzzle.

I’m writing this.

I’m going to take a shower, do my nails and a face mask.

Then I’m going to be quiet.

I’m going to lay in bed and reflect on the week. I’m going to be quiet and still.

 

8:52 PM

Its 8:52 PM and I’m just getting to my house for the first time today. I had school, after school club, meetings, picking up packages, and then a chill hang out at a friends’ house. But its 8:52 PM and I’ve just breathed in and out for the first time. I’m splayed across my bed thinking about how my tank needs to be full for tomorrow-how? There’s no way. But somehow it will be full enough for me to teach and enjoy a lunch out with friends. It will be fun, I will be happy, but I’ll need to remember to breath more tomorrow.

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