Made it

Whoever actually reads this, welcome to my Mexico blog! I got into Mexico City last Tuesday, and you know what, I haven’t gotten kidnapped or mugged, haven’t gotten swine flu, and haven’t gotten lung cancer from the city’s pollution. What? Rumors actually aren’t always true?

On the contrary, things have gone very well here in the D.F. I’ve got a really nice place to live–house with 2 stories, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living room, kitchen…garden in the backyard! Not too bad for Emphasis housing, eh? In the house it’s just me and Luis, who is a young guy from Mexico whose parents own the house. Luis has been extremely friendly and helpful, and he is very patient with my Spanish. The whole Spanish thing is pretty interesting for me. As I expected, I was drastically underprepared for being in an almost exclusively Spanish environment since I haven’t experienced enough of the ridiculous speed at which native speakers talk (at least from a non-fluent person’s perspective). It’s a pretty big slap in the face, especially since I really don’t see any English speakers throughout my day with the exception of my mentor (and probably some others who just choose to watch me fumble through my español). But in reality that’s what I want since that is the best way for me to improve with the language, so hopefully I’ll start to absorb the language a bit faster (though honestly I’m pretty skeptical–it seems the language plasticity of the youthful brain is long gone for me…)

Mi Casa

Mi Casa

El Jardín

Work is going pretty well so far. I’m at a hospital called El Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán (whew…it’s taken me months to remember that..INNSV for short). From what I can gather, it’s one of the best medical centers in the country, and it’s a teaching institution with tons of residents and fellows. I’m in the department of infectología studying the prevalence and risk factors of late HIV testing. As usual with a research project, it takes a while to get started. I think I’m rolling now; however, it seems like most of the data has already been acquired. I’m obtaining some more data from the clinical charts (some the size of some of our SFD binders!), but that’s not gonna take the entire summer so I’m kinda wondering exactly what I’m going to be doing after that…well I’ll worry about that later. The people in the department are very friendly and helpful, and I get to go to all the department lectures and tag along when they go see patients. Of course, all of those things are in Spanish on speed, but I’m doing my best to comprehend as much as I can. Here’s a pic of the hospital.

INNSV

INNSV

The hospital is about a 20 minute walk from where I live, and it’s actually a really nice walk since there are all sorts of foods stands with tons of stuff that I’m looking forward to trying (or building up courage to try for some things). This morning for breakfast I grabbed a delicious tamale and a chocolate atole. Atole is a thick, corn-based drink, and it is delicious!

Street food!

Street food!

As most of you probably know, Mexico City is like one of the biggest cities in the world–over 20 million people–so there’s a lot to do and see. I live in Tlalpan, which is 1 of 16 bureaus of the city. It’s in the southern part of the city and kind of a hike from the more touristy stuff. To be honest, I’m the only non-Mexican person that I see during my day, which is pretty interesting. Very authentic experience (maybe more authentic if I could understand everything that could be said around me, but I’m getting by). Fortunately the public transportation system is very good, and I’ve been able to check out some of the different parts of this massive city. There is so much to see–tons of museums, wonderful neighborhoods, great parks (actually not completely a concrete jungle!), etc. This city has been around for a long time, and there’s a ton of amazing architecture dating back to the Aztecs and the Conquistadors. I’ve taken a good amount of pics so far, so take a look at those since I really don’t want to write forever. Here’s a couple though.

Palacio de Bellas Artes (lots of amazing murals)

Palacio de Bellas Artes (lots of amazing murals)

Zócalo!

Zócalo!

Yo

Yo

La Catedral

La Catedral

Crazy big city

Crazy big city

So yeah that’s what’s going on so far. It’s a pretty cool city at an altitude of 7000ish feet surrounded by mountains. The air isn’t perfect, but it’s really much better than I expected. I don’t really notice it during my day. In fact, there’s actually a really great park 15-20 minutes away from where I live where tons of people go to exercise, and I’ve joined them a couple times for some nice runs–and I actually didn’t even notice the air at all (other than the fact that it’s lacking a little bit of O2…)

All right that’s it for now (if you made it this far, that is). Hopefully I’ll have more posts soon. There’s a big fútbol game tomorrow night between Mexico and Trinidad and Tobaggo, and I’m really, really hoping to go. Then it’s lucha libre this weekend. Check out my pictures website for more regular updates. Thanks for reading, and hasta luego!

Leave a comment, por favor!

Nate

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

4 Comments on “Made it”

  1. nmobrien Says:

    shameless plug for comments


  2. Mom and I say hi! Pick up some coke for me while you’re there, but avoid that whole ransom thing. Too pricey.

  3. Rachael Chase Says:

    Hi Nate! Glad to hear you are doing well in Mexico. I can’t imagine being in a place with no other English speakers! I hope that things continue to go well for you and that you enjoy your research. PPS small group for life! (That was a little weird…haha)

  4. VChau Says:

    Nate!
    Sounds like you will be in for a ride and a great learning experience. Very excited for you. Only 3 more days of Summer A left! I expect some very interesting posts and more pictures! I hope you’re spanish is noticeably better when you get back. take care.
    -V


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: