Mexico Trek!   Trekkers DISPATCH: September 6 Monica's Log

Mi Familia

Kana answers the phone, "Bueno?" and she grins. My host sister is always in a good mood, and always patient, too. She and my host mama try to speak only Spanish with me, so I learn faster. "Espanol solamente. Monica's host family Aprendes muy rapido."("Spanish only. You're learning very quickly.") However, Kana has traveled to London and the U.S. numerous times, so it's easy for her to communicate with me in English.

She married Fernando recently, three months ago, and they live about 20 minutes away. But she spends most of the day here at my host mother Isabel's house. Kana runs a business here coordinating corporate parties. The name of the company is London Camping Spach, "London," because she loves London, "Camping," because the group does outdoorsy activities like paintball, and "Spach," a made-up word. When she and the two other co-founders were deciding on a name, they went around the circle and just made sounds. "Sssss.." "Pa." "Ch."

Monica's host mom My host mother works hard as a political activist, especially with the "Reforma" newspaper. She spent eight hours in the street last Sunday drumming up support and having people sign petitions. She also thought that President Emiliano Zedillo's 4th-year speech last night (the president gives an annual speech every year of the 6-year term) was a "tonteria," or foolishness. The president's talk covered the current financial instability, as well as addressing "crisis sexenales," or the crisis every 6 years, when the presidency changes hands. My host mom feels very strongly that here in Mexico poor people need as many opportunities as people with money. Right now the dollar exchanges at 10.50 pesos. That's two pesos more than when we arrived in Mexico City.

Burbuja, Kana, and Monica My host mom loves her dog Burbuja ("Bubble"), who is three years old and keeps her company. Usually when I come home, Mama is in bed watching the cable channel Cinemax, with American movies dubbed or subtitled in Spanish. Burbuja rests at the foot of the bed. Mama and I talk about violence in films, and the political situation in Mexico, and how the Philippines and Mexico share similar cultures.

Mama also cooks awesome meals. Today we had cucumber salad with chili and lemon, pasta soup, frijoles, and a spicy beefsteak in mole sauce. Wow. "Que rico!" as she always says.



Related Dispatches: 
Monica - Mi Familia
Shawn - Mi Familia
Team - Picture It: You, in Mexico, next year… Find out how!

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