Some things about Mexico.

I thought I'd write down a few of my observations about Mexico over the last two weeks (Two weeks already!).

Color. There is color everywhere! I love it. From ladies clothing to fancy shoes to homes.. there are so many bright and cheerful colors. Our house is yellow, which I love, but driving around the block you'll see turquoise homes, red homes, green homes, brown homes.. whatever.

Dr. Seuss plants. I love plants and trees and flowers, so I'm really enjoying all the new (to me) and interesting foliage. Several of the cactus-like plants looks like something from Dr. Seuss to me. We have a small olive tree in our front yard and a Magnolia tree in our back yard. I've seen some fruit tree's in neighbors yards too.

Food is everywhere. Whether you want to trust it or not, there is food available around every corner. From fancy sit down places to someone selling tacos out of their van.. there is always something to eat. It's nice because when you're out and about, you might not have time to plan your lunch. No worries, get a cheap and delicious burrito. I also laughed when I was at walmart the other day to see that where you might usually find rotisserie chickens being kept warm in the walmarts in the states, you'll sometimes find cellophane wrapped burritos from the food court/deli.

Stop light shows. At many of the stop lights here in Chihuahua we will be entertained by a young juggler, someone doing a magic trick, or maybe some break dancers.  If you don't find a show waiting for you, you'll most likely run into someone selling peanuts, newspaper, roses, a quick window wash or again.. some food. :) They will walk between cars and you have to decide quickly if you have a few pesos to spare. In fact, I've been meaning to get a small stash of pesos to keep for these occasions.

The people love to practice their English if they know any.  I've been surprised by how many times someone will speak English to me. My first conversation was with a guard at the cell phone place. He spoke quite good English. And we were able to enjoy a visit with the man who pumped our gas a while back. Not only did he try to speak English to us, but he serenaded us with some English songs. You don't get that kind of service in America. :)

The people are very gracious and friendly. When we were looking for a dog to buy we drove all over hunting for pet shops. All we could really find were veterinarians. We stopped in several vet clinics and attempted to ask the workers if they had puppies. I'm not even sure exactly what we communicated to them, but they were very understanding and forgiving of our terrible Spanish.

Lily with her new buddy Penny!

Speaking of dogs. They are everywhere! Almost every house we walk by has one, if not 3. There is one house nearby that has about 6 poodles. So we have been adjusting to the constant barking all night long from the many dogs on our street and the streets nearby. There is also a 'stray dog' on our street that is cared for by several of the neighbors. No one really wants to claim him as their own, but they all feed it and take it for walks when they go out. :)

One surprise to me has been how exposed the food is. In even the nicer grocery stores their donuts, breads and pastries are usually all out on shelves or trays completely exposed. They look really pretty and very tempting displayed out their though..  We also noticed that at one of the markets nearby, the meat is often left out, maybe to 'tempt' buyers? Not very tempting to me though with the flies buzzing around out in the heat of the day. I think I'll keep buying my meat at Sam's club or the other grocery stores for now. :)

There is also a lot of beautiful design in this city. Even with many parts of the city run down and ginormous pot holes in the roads, they have taken the time to build elaborate statues and monuments. We've seen some pretty cool art around. And on most of the buildings, whether it be a nicer home or poor home, they have some kind of cool metal work on their gate and windows, or some pretty ceramic tiles with fancy designs. As someone who enjoys art and dabbles in crafting, I've been liking all the pretty things to see!

Pierced girl ears. We knew this one before we came, but never did pierce Lily's ears. Apparently here the baby girls get their ears pierced in the hospital. If we do decide to get Lily's pierced, I'm not even sure where we will find someone to do hers! We may want to consider it though, since it seems to be the main way people distinguish between the boy and girl babies. We have already had several people make the mistake about Lily's gender. Pink clothes and all.

Sanitizing produce.  We've all heard people say 'Don't drink the water'. Well, we have our water filtration system all set up already. The more time consuming project is sanitizing our produce. At every store you can buy little bottles of the produce cleaner that you put in your sink of water to soak your food before cutting it up or eating it. Most of these require about 15 minutes of soak time before you should eat it. I've been trying to just get all my sanitizing done before I put anything away in the fridge.. but once they have been washed they go bad faster.. so it's a little bit of a pain. Oh well, I am loving the cheap produce! I can eat mangos and avocados to my hearts content. Yum.

One of the first things I noticed when I walked into a grocery store was how imperfect all the produce looked. In the states, if you see an apple with a bruise, you just don't usually buy it. But here, much of the fruit on display is imperfect, and learning to see what is ripe or just bruised has been interesting. :)

Anyway, these are just a few of the things I've been noticing during our first two weeks here. We are really enjoying being here and are already learning a lot in our Spanish classes.

One of our language teachers Paty

Lily 'reading' with our friend Hector (one of our language helpers/teachers) and Don.

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