Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jose's Plans

After a confusing few weeks of trying to decide if Jose could still register to take the entrance exam at the Polytechnic we finally figured out that its too late for this year.  Our friend Toño, the civil engineering student at the Polytechnic, asked at the admissions office and learned that it is not only too late, but Jose will be considered an international student and is going to have a hard time registering.  It looks like he might even have to get his transcripts notarized with some kind of international seal in California.  That could obviously cause some issues if he has to appear in person but can't enter the U.S.  Toño is going to take Jose to the admissions office to figure out everything that Jose needs to register next year.  It will be really helpful to have Toño's support, because Jose and I don't know how to deal with Mexican bureaucracies and know nothing about the forms and agencies we are told about.  Hopefully Jose and Toño can get everything sorted out so that next year Jose's registration for the entrance exam will go smoothly. 

Jose is mostly looking forward to working now.  I'm not sure how it will go because working in Mexico is so different than working in the U.S.  At Yellow Cafe, where Toño and Lalo work and Jose might start, the pay is $150 USD a month.  The employees work long shifts up to 10 hours at a time, many days each week, and often don't get off until midnight.  Jose was always a good worker at his jobs in the U.S., but he is used to getting a lot more money for so many hours of work.  It might be hard for him to handle getting (in our opinion) that ripped off.

We had a little party at our apartment last night with our neighbors Erick and Miguel and their friends.  I know that hanging out with friends is really important to Jose, and he was happier last night than I have seen him in awhile.  I even enjoyed the party because there was only 10 of us altogether so it didn't get loud or crazy.  Plus, I really like all the people we are getting to know.  I've made a few girlfriends, which shocking to me and everyone who knows me.

Jose and I make plans, and then they fall apart, so we have to replan. For the most part we are in the replanning stage now and its going well, although it often feels like we don't have many options.  We just have to keep going, and eventually things work out bit by bit.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Kahlo the Dog

We brought the new dog home on Friday evening. His name is Kahlo, after Frida Kahlo. We wanted a name that was related to Coyoacan, because we named Cholula after the town where we got her. Living just a few blocks from Frida Kahlo's house has been really significant for us, because it shows just how far we have come from Chimalhuacan. From a poverty and crime riddled neighborhood we moved to one where one of the proudest and most creative Mexicans spent her life. Frida fought through a difficult life, but was still filled with energy and love. Our Kahlo seems to have many of her traits, having come from the streets but still being excited about squirrels and always wanting to cuddle with us.

Kahlo and Cholula have been doing very well with the adjustments. We've had some growling matches, but they spend most of the day playing roughly and energetically until they fall asleep next to each other for the next few hours. I can already tell that they will have a very good relationship soon and that bringing Kahlo home for Cholula was the right choice.

I'm worried that I'm allergic to him. He has been with us for two full days now, and both days I've had an itchy nose and itchy and burning eyes. I've never had this issue before and its a lot worse when I touch him. He is shedding all over the place now because he is getting rid of his unhealthy street fur. It should all be gone in two months and replaced with a healthy coat that won't shed so much. Hopefully I just need to have a little patience and my discomfort will go away. Luckily its not bad enough for me to consider giving him back, I just need to keep my distance a little more.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Ball Is Rolling

Maybe things are starting to come together. Our friends at Yellow Cafe have been pushing Jose to their boss, and he might start working there in a few weeks. Its a cafe we love to visit, where two of our friends work, and its just a few blocks from our house. It would be a great opportunity for Jose to have something to do, meet new people, and hang out with the friends he already has. He is also going to sign up for the entrance exam at the polytechnic university where one of our friends goes for civil engineering. If Jose gets in, he would have to start at the first semester of the program, which will probably be annoying in some ways because he already finished 3 years of civil engineering at Cal Poly, but the course order is somewhat different. The polytechnic university here gets more in depth with computer programs like AutoCad in the beginning, so he would be learning some new things.

I'm waiting to see how things shape up before really deciding what I am going to do, but I have some ideas. I go a little crazy here so I need to figure something out. I'll know more at the end of the month and will really start working on a plan then.

Jose joined a gym and has been spending 3 hours a day working out with our neighbors, Erick and Miguel. He feels better after exercising, and I have a little more patience after a relaxing morning alone. It is about time we split up a little bit, because except for my trip back to the U.S., we haven't been apart for more than a few hours at a time for the last 8 months. We get along really well and have always been attached at the hip, but even for us that is too much.

Because Jose and I are going to be busy in a few months, we have decided to adopt another dog. Cholula has spent almost all her time with us living with other dogs in Chimalhuacan and having us around constantly. She is used to having another dog in her life and always being with us, but she will have to get used to spending most of the day without us when we start whatever it is we are going to start. So that she can have a friend who is always with her and she can really trust, we are adopting an 8 month old dog on Friday. Cholula is 9 months (we've already had her for 6!) so they should have very similar desires and play habits. He was a street dog before being picked up by a rescuer recently but he is very loving and interested in people and dogs. I can barely wait until Friday because I am so excited to see Cholula playing with her new life-long friend!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Back in Coyoacan

We got back from Puebla late last night. It feels great to be back in Coyoacan in my apartment and with Cholula. I am looking forward to relaxing for the first time in days and getting to make my own schedule.

The grandfather never got any better. He controlled everything we did all three days, made his grandkids pay for everything for him, and mocked us all nonstop. It was more stressful and way less relaxing to be around him than to be at home.

I'm excited about being in Coyoacan again, going to Swedish after missing last Tuesday's class, and going to the park with Cholula. Homemade food also sounds great after days of eating out.