Cuernavaca to Mexico City
We woke up this morning for the last time this summer in Cuernavaca. It’s so different in the summer than Albuquerque. Being closer to the equator, the sun doesn’t come up until sometime between 6:30 and 7. The sounds of insects outside that kept me awake for the first two years are now like background music. It’s cool in the morning with none of that “OMG it’s going to be blazing hot in a few hours!” kind of mornings that July and August bring to New Mexico.
All had been packed, so it was a matter of trying to do my hair the way Carlos did it the day before. Yeah, well, I’ll figure it out eventually; and then in for coffee and juice. Mara made papaya agua and I sigh at the thought of that cool glass of nectar sitting on the table for me carefully covered with cellophane (the glass was covered, not the table).
Mara called a cab for us and we, and all our our luggage and equipment, piled in. We dropped our stuff off at the girls’ place and went to the school for breakfast. Ernesto and his friend Agustin joined us for breakfast. Only later did I learn that they and Amanda and Jen had gone out last night…and none of them had slept! Leah had gone off to do an interview and also came home in time to throw all her stuff in her suitcases and bolt out the door.
Richard gave Rafa the Guelaguetza cowboy hat I’d given him and he wore it as he served us breakfast. We had our last plates of watermelon and papaya. Those who got there early also had star fruit. We had fresh squeezed orange juice and some more coffee before Rafa brought us a kind of baguette with a bean spread and cheese served with pico de gallo. Doesn’t sound particularly exciting, but they’re great, partly because the bread is so fresh.
We thought we’d have to pony up for cabs to the bus station, but Ernesto graciously provided both a driver and a camioneta. We are a parade with six people and tons of luggage so doing anything is six times as difficult…or fun. We only had to wait about a half hour for the next bus into Mexico City. Richard opted to save us each 10 pesos by not putting us on the bus that served beverages. “They never have Diet Coke,” he told me. Amanda told him that wasn’t true because I’d had one on the way in from Mexico City day 1. I’d survive. I bought a coke for 7.5 pesos in the bus station.
The students all slept and with Shrek 2 playing in Spanish on the bus televisions in the background, Richard and I chatted about all the things that were running through our minds — the program, future endeavors, funding, all the great people, the need to meet with Cheo when we get back, what a tremendous group of students we had, the exceptional support from Fray Luca, the excitement of collaborating with Tec de Monterrey, needing to write some thank yous to Toby Duran, Cheo, the Latin American and Iberian Institute, we did essentially what we do all the time: Talk.
The traveling circus spilled out of the bus and we hauled our stuff to the taxi area. Richard paid for taxis and then we learned we had to pay a 50 peso excess baggage fee. Three people and tons of baggage in two taxis, we set out into the Mexico City traffic. Our driver followed the other, which was easy to spot with Richard’s blue duffel bag…and was that his backpack with the computers?! strapped to the top of the car.
Arriving at Del Principado was yet another Mexico homecoming for us. Richard and JoAnn discovered the place when they came into the city last year. It was quite a find. The rooms are everything we like: bueno, bonito, barato…and breakfast is included. And we already know it won’t be ghetto corn flakes and toast.
Jen and Leah disappeared into their room to catch some ZZZs, while Rodrigo wanted to show Amanda parts of the city. Richard and I tagged along. We are in the Zona Rosa, not too far from Chapultepec Park, so we wandered that direction down Avenida de la Reforma. I spotted an Office Max and wanted to check to see if they had a tube to carry my posters in. Rodrigo said to wait and we would walk back that way. We passed Torre Mayor, the tallest building, he told us, in Latin America. We walked past a statue of the goddess Diana that is exactly like one we’d seen in Acapulco.
On the way into the park Richard bought some pumpkin seeds and I bought some fruit. We’ve come a long way from people hesitant to eat street food to subsisting on it. Richard didn’t even ask if they used “gotas de disinfectante.”
Soon we needed to head back so that Amanda could get a cab to the airport. Our group had already been diminished by two when we left Arturo and Paola in Cuernavaca. We were now losing “Piernas,” or “Legs,” as Richard called her because of her long, lithe legs. Rodrigo was quite the gentleman and escorted her to the airport. He later reported that they had altered her flight time and she had to scurry to get through security. I am also anxious that perhaps she won’t have adequate time to get through customs in Houston. Leah may have the same problem tomorrow, but I hope not.
I went back to my room after our walk and Richard to his. I crashed for about an hour, got up and knocked on his door to see about grabbing a computer. I got no answer, though, and went downstairs to use one here at the hotel, another nice amenity. Richard found me about an hour later after I’d been blogging. We gathered the troops minus Leah, who decided she’d rather sleep than eat, and we went to dinner. Afterward, Rodrigo came back to wait for his dad who is coming to take his big suitcase so that Rodrigo doesn’t have to struggle with it when he goes home tomorrow when we leave.
Jen, Richard and I went to do a little shopping and then had a Starbuck’s break. We enjoyed our beverages while the rain fell. Jen told us about stuff from a student perspective and it was enlightening.
Rodrigo’s parents came and Richard and I had a chance to sit down with them over a cup of coffee and talk about the program and Rodrigo’s contributions, as well as his efforts to further the three-way convenio with Fray Luca. They were proud and deservedly so.
Tomorrow may be a day of museums, shopping, walking, sightseeing…whatever it is, it will be a fine closure to a great month together.Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.