Thursday, January 12, 2012

What I Learned in Mexico

Six days in Mexico: two in Mexico City, four in Valle de Bravo before I had to take a quick and early trip home.  My lap band didn't respond well to the elevation and dietary change. 

Here's a VERY unedited chat conversation I had with my sister-in-law this morning, via Facebook.  And then I have to lie down.  Three days of no eating and drinking have taken a bit of a toll, but I'm on the mend.  More later, with pics.

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welcome back..you ok?
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Hey! Yeah, just not very lively.
You know how it feels when your electrolytes are all screwy.
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we're getting snow today...girls are at school, but j has a snow day. He has huge midterms next wee.
Did you have a good trip for the time you were gone?
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Yay for snow!! I missed the half inch we've had all winter. Not that I minded being in 70 degree weather, of course. The time I did have there was great!
Did a LOT in a short period of time.
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Did you feel immersed
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VERY much so. LOL!
Wait till you see some of the pics.
Of course, I hadn't planned on studying the Mexican medical system.
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THAT musta been an eye opener...
did you end up in ER? What WAS the prob anyhow?
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It was weird because the regional hospital in the little town where we were staying looked like a modern place...all clean and everything.
But then...
I go in and see the doc. He's a GastroEnt. Talks to Jorge about my symptoms...
feels my stomach...
says he can do an endoscopy in his office at 3 p.m.
It's 2 p.m.
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and says Youre pregantn!
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He doesn't take my name, my history, weight, vitals, anything. No paperwork.
Jorge's translating and I'm saying NO! I am not having an endosopy! That's like an OP procedure where I come from!
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crazy.
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So the doc gives me a pain killer shot in the ass which numbs my ass and my face but not my stomach
and a bunch of RXs which actually DO help the pain.
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scary
what a paperwork nightmare that will be
so was it just all irritated from the food?
or Montezuma revenge?
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Jorge's Dad is a doc so Jorge called him. His dad said do not go ANYWHERE for treatment except this hospital in Mexico City which was two hours away. Obviously, insurance was an issue and there was no guarantee anything would work and I had no intention of getting a procedure done. Was best to come home. Basically, the altitude and spices inflamed me so much I couldn't even swallow water. I was dry heaving everything--VERY painful and scary.
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musta been a tenuous flight, then, feeling like that!
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It wasn't too painful so long as I didn't try to do anything silly like take a sip of water. I managed to get down some dramamine by swallowing it with this gel the doc gave me to calm the spasms which got me through twelve hours of taxis and plane rides. The taxi was actually very interesting. Saw a LOT.
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not all good tho' i am guessing..
------------------------------------------You know how when you drive to east Bum-fuck Maine, out in the real boonies where people live in run down trailers and on farms? That's kind of how these little villages are.
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it was like that in Jamaice on our honeymoon...resort was rolling in the amenities, then off-site you see folk living in corrugated metal shacks w/o running water.
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Exactly. Except we were staying with Jorge's aunt who lives on a lovely property in a modest, restored house. It was interesting though because we could hear the farming neighbors because she's in a valley. The music was always playing, you'd hear kids and husbands and wives out working together and they generally seemed happy. There's a real sense of community there that we don't feel in the U.S.
And we assume that because people are living in concrete block houses that are falling down that they are miserable.
They don't have certain advantages but they have things we do not have and things we, as a cultural, miss out on.
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Agreed. We have, as a culture, been blinded by greed, and the desire to outdo our neighbor.
If we spent more time with our families, and less in the rat race, wed be better off..as long as prices were commensurate with doing so..that's a whole other problem/issue
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Here's another thing--the kids work with their families. At first, I looked at this as child labor. The reality is, these kids grow up learning skills, responsibility and a work ethic. They are with other kids, too and have a chance to play under community oversight. They still go to school, for the most part (no so in more remote places, I am sure) but what they learn is valuable.
In more remote places, living off the land is trying when there is a poor season. There are a lot of indigineous people who bring their wears to the market. We bough flowers from a lady who must have been 80 years old, walking around with this huge pack of thick lillies on her back. She was amazing. They use homeopathic remedies and live long lives.
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Family life has been over run here by too much academia (not that academics are bad, mind you) but common sense life skills are missed by some many kids who are in day care all day. They need to lear to budget, to pay bills, that they cant have everything thry want, that want is sometimes a good thing as it serves as a motivator. Poorer communities learn they are all responsible for the good of their whole, and everyone needs to contribute each in teir own way to the common goal.
thats it..lets move to a farming co-op!
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What I found disturbing as I was driving home in the taxi is that as you enter the city, all these billboards show ads with white people and watered down Mexican people. The majority of the Mexican people are of native decent and they are not white. In fact, the majority of the world is not white. It's like there's a stigma in being native and brown which is very sad to me because these native people are beautiful.
What's funny is that a co-op here means living with neo-hippies! LOL!
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very sad that society is making them feel less than perfect, somehow less desirable/acceptable in the world, because of their skin.. age old problem, huh?
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Yes, it is. Same thing with age. These elderly people are part of the community and they are respected. Becuause of that, they are taken care of and, when able, contribute out of necessity, physically and otherwise, but they have a sense of purpose. It's a more simple sense than we have and I think it's because there's not only a connection between one another, there's a connection between them and the land.
We bought gorgeous hot plates woven from pine needles. A man was making them right in front of us. Women were weaving right there in the markeplace.
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here we just shuttle our elderly off to die... no respect, in many cases almost a sense of embarrassment that gramma is losing her faculties, that grampa might say something inappropriate..so let's remove them to someplace theycan be with their kind"
sad
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I know. It's sinful what we do here in our country because we think independence is some sign of strength. Fact is, we disconnect from each other and the land.Don't get me wrong--there was some begging in the city by addicts and the really down and out, but not nearly as much as we see right here in D.C. our nation's capital.
And the slums were slums and the crime was crime, but there was also a huge police presence. Many with machine guns, which was rather intimidating, but those were mostly around the banks. There is a silent class warfare going on which is an age old problem. The only difference here is ours takes place on Wall Street.
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because we are "civilized" right? lol
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LOL! Yeah. Civilized.
meaning we don't call it what it is. We would rather look down on people and pretend "they" are different from us when it comes down to people being people.
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we kill our old, we kill our babies, we kill our brother man...hmmm real civilized, huh?
we haven't learned much in 2000 years have we.
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Yup. I think we could all use a trip to a Mexican village.
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and all in the name of progress
cool. when are we going?
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Seriously, you might consider arranging something through your church.
(By the way, if you don't mind, I am going to blog this conversation. I'm too tired to get on my own soapbox.)
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ever see the movie Saving Grace with Tim Conte? Awesom. The pope is disillusioned with things, feels he isnt getting close to the people, so one day he finds himself outside the Vatican gates, and leaves to find this remote village that a little girl had written him from.
he arrives there and gets down to the peoples level and sees where they are coming from, and it changes him..cool movie
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Never saw it, but I'd like to see it happen in real life. Also would like to have these fat assed politicos spend a week living like these natives not to learn pity but to learn how we are all the same on a basic level but have divorced ourselves from ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually.
I went to Mexico to learn more about the language of the people and the culture and I got to do it in under a week.
And I totally understand why my students have ended up where they have. They somehow ended up disconnected when they have moved to this country. The family and self fell apart.
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the lure of the Great OZ America, where the streets are paved with gold and everyone lives like kings..but only if you inherit it!
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And I know now what it feels like to be a minority, to be afraid to speak another language, afraid of being misunderstood and not accepted. To be scared as hell being thrown into an institution I had no idea how to navigate and could not have done so without help from natives of the country. My students don't have that help. What they meet with is discrimination which makes them more fearful.
The wizard behind the curtain is a fraud.
Can you imagine what it must be like to not know English and get sick? To try to get your kids through school when you can't communicate? The shame of not knowing the language which causes fear of learning and many times the incapacity to learn? Shit, it's hard learning another language, especially as you get older and your memory sucks. I struggle now recalling English words, never mind new words in Spanish!
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thats it..you're ready to be shelved in anursing home!
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We blame our Hispanic immigrants but don't realize many of them are trying. Some are succeeding, but some of them are not. So they stick to their own communities where they feel safer. We lure them here with jobs, let them stay illegally and then treat them like shit. We lie to them that this is a better place with a better lifestyle and then blame them for not assimilating.
We buy their criminals' drugs and give their criminals guns.
I'm not saying they don't have any responsibililty but we do have the education which we misuse.
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so whats the solution.? I dont think that we necessarily lure them, but the pull is irrisistible i am sure. what responsibilty do we have? Do we allow all in and then allow all to be on the public dime? Where do we decide who is worthy, who is not, who gets services etc? There has to be some plan that would work better than the current one.
do we close the borderes to all but those who come legally? Thats your fathers answer.
Do we ...what?
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I think we need to stop the influx because we can't handle it, treat the people who are here better than we do, stop looking down our noses and start working with those whom have worked their butts off for us, establish a good work program that protects our migrant workers, our constuction workers, our laborers who have done so much for us and work with our Mexican neighbors towards a sollution. The current president of Mexico has cracked down on cartels and crime and it's obvious.
so..what? Close the borders for now..focus on what is going on here
And we have to work more closely with El Salvador. I can't believe the risks my students and their families have taken to get here--the desert crossers, people fleeing from cartels...
Yes, close the borders for now but reunite families.
Let's clean up our mess!
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there are those who wish to come to our country to succeed, but there are also a fair number who come to exploit, and abuse/bilk the system, too. Welfare needs to be overhauled to allow better work program options etc, so that folks can learn skills and are able to gain independence.
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Actually, illegal immigrants don't qualify for public assistance and they can't work here legally.
It's a myth that they are living off the system. Many pay taxes and they certainly pay things like sales tax.
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everyone ends up down and out at some point and everyone may need a helping hand now and then but some have made it a lifestyle, and some are just soo downtrodden by te sysytem and the prejudice that they are paralyzed by it.
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Exactly!!!
Welfare in general needs an overhaul.
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i knew folks who were living together as husband and wife who didnt marry cuz their total welfare was more if she was a single mom head of household.. they lived better than we do.
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Yup. And these are citizens.
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those are the bilkers we need to re evaluate. Dont get me wrong folks still need help, but i mean, c'mon! sometimes the illegals are better "citizens" than the citizens.
because they know their status is questinable.
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People need help. We all do at some point. It's easier to judge than give assistance, though, isn't it?
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they obviously need to keep below the radar.
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people are real good at judging, agreed..a little more help would go a long way.
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The longer they have to keep under the radar, the more prone they are to taking risks, the more they become separated from society and family support.
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people need, even more than just help, aid/teaching, so they can help themselves...teach a man to fish..ya know?
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You are the bomb for having this conversation with me, Chris.
I have a problem now.
My intestines are demanding attention.
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what
oh no..
 
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Yeah. Not a very good smell, but at least it's not coming up anymnore.
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see.. we catholics arent evil ya know!
you really like the movie i mentioned
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I know. Catholics also have a history of service and compassion. It's always easier to see the worst in everyone and to generalize. And now, if I don't get to the bathroom, there's going to be a stain on my seat.
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bye!
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Love ya! More later.
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catch ya later, and we can continue to save the world, one post at a time
Chat Conversation End
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