Thursday, 27th of December:
In the early early morning we left Germany, after the Christmas Days . We had a long long flights and finally arrived well and save in Guadalajara – not the easiest name to pronounce for a city =) . The mexicans partners were already there, waiting for us with welcome papers and bis smiles! We were splitted in groupd, always 2 or 3 Germans went with one of the mexicans to their families to ne hosted there, so we left the Airport and everybody had a great welcome in the families, with some food, and goit to know the Mexican Family life for the first evening.
Wednesday, 28th December:
Our first day in Mexicoooooo!!!! The Weather was perfect (about 20°C in the morning and cloudless sky). Nearly everybody of the German team was in a good mood and had a good first night in Guadalajara. We didn’t have any bigger problems with the jetlag although there is now a difference of 7 hours to Germany.
At 10 AM we met the group at a central bus station in Guadalajara. There we took two busses with 15 seats each. But anyway 20 persons found a place in each bus …
At 11am we left Guadalajara in the Direction of Puerto Vallerta. For the next 300km we were in the car and enjoyed the beautiful Mexican landscape. Listened to mexican music and got to know each other in the really narrow bus =)
Guadalajara is at 1580m over the sea level. Puerto Vallarta is at 0m over the sea level. So we could see a big change of the nature.
After 3 hours we reached a nice beach. There we stopped and had the possibility to swim in the sea. Although it was the 28th of December we expected the water to be warmer. But anyway everybody went inside to cool down a bit. For lunch we ordered 5 big fishes. As garnish we had of course Tortillas with rice, onion and some vegetables. It was sooo delicious.
After the lunch we had enough time to meet all the new people and to speak with them. In the beginning we were a bit shy but after some hours everything changed
At 5pm we left the beach and went to “Don Bosco’s House”. He is a very very old man but very funny!! In his backyard we created a camp for the night with our tents. After this we prepared the dinner all together.
It was already dark and because of the long day we were all very tired. So we decided to go to bed. This was the end of a very nice first day in Mexico.
Today we woke up in our tents at the beach. First we prepared breakfast and that for we had to cut fruits like melons, mango, papaya and pineapple.
After we had finished we had breakfast and afterwards we got ready to go to the beach. When we arrived at the beach some of us went to the sea just then and the others just relaxed in the sun. After a while we started some “getting to know each other” games, some of us started to build a pyramid out of sand and others build a strange sand mermaid around Eli. Later we played some games like running as fast as can or who can build the longest line of things we find at the beach in one minute. Later we went back to the place we stayed and had lunch and some of us took a shower.And after that we went to Puerto Vallarta and walked around and saw some people who made music or others who just sold some stuff.
After that we went to Azus Aunt and had dinner there, which was taco and after that we went back to our tents and went to go to sleep.
The Way back from Don Bosco and the night in Guadalajara
After an exciting night in Puerto Vallarta we started the day with a big breakfast at Don Bosco’s beach. Then, after restoring the tents and cleaning the place, we went to the ocean a last time. The Waves weren´t as big as the day before, but also huge and we had a nice time. Then we started travelling back to Guadalajara. For me, it felt like it took the whole day. Unfortunately we almost forgot Josue another time when we took lunch. We forgot him on the other side of the street when continuing travelling. Lunch was a spicy and very good chile in a small kitchen along the road.
Later that day we met in the city of Guadalajara. We wanted to go to a concert of a band, but when we arrived (a little bit late :)) the concert was already played. So we went to another important part in the citycenter, where we entered a bar. The bar had a broad range of beers and American food. I tried several Mexican Beers, the best that I can recommend for me was Negra Modelo. We were a huge group, that shrinked step by step until we left with a small group towards our homes.
After we woke up in Guadalajara the morning of the 31st, we had breakfast at our host families` place. At around 12 o´clock we left Guadalajara and drove to Paolo Alto. After we had arrived there, we put our luggage into the house we were going to sleep in. Then, we met up with some of the kids of Paolo Alto. Since a lot of the children celebrated New Year’s Eve already with their families, or were at least preparing stuff for the evening, just about five kids showed up. However, we first played volleyball with these kids. Afterwards, we played soccer together. At around 6 o´clock when it started to get cold, we all mit at the central square of Paolo Alto . From there on we walked to the house we were going to sleep in and got changed there.
At around 8 o`clock in the evening, we started walking to the house of Leo’s and his wife’s relatives in which we were going to celebrate New Year’s Eve. After had arrived at this house, we were welcomed by all the relatives who where there already. These were Leo’s mother-in-law, some of his wife’s sisters and the husbands of these sisters. The house where we were having dinner was really comfortable and warm since the roof was made with special material to avoid the cold weather.
The small kids were playing video games, and some of us joined them. Another part of the group was sitting around the table and talking about this unusual wedding where three couples got married, including Leo. Otherwise, we were talking about very interesting topics, like religion, traditions, dealing with death in Germany and Mexico in comparison….it was very intersting, even though the topisc were not the easiest. Then we played funny games.The guys were outside playing with the fireworks they had bought in Cocula.
For dinner, we had Jakimeshi (cooked from Azu) which is fried rice and vegetables. Furthermore, we had tacos, tamales, champurrado, jamaices water, some chips, and for dessert we had carlota (cookies which are lemon flavored), cherese jelly and fruit jelly.
All the people exploded a piece of the fireworks the guys had, and they also saw some scorpions.
We went inside the house to wait for the countdown, it was in German. After this, we gave each other hugs, said thank you for the dinner, and went back to the house we were sleeping in. There we made a fire and drunk a little bit. After this, everybody went to sleep.
Jutta und Karen
The first on the years we woke up and we want to Mario´s father and we drank the delicious Milkshake with alcohol directly from the cow “pajarete“!!! So good but hard to drink in the morning!!
When we finished drinking the milk we started to pack and to clean the house where we slept during in Palo Alto. When we finished cleaning and packing we put our stuff on the Van and we drive back to Guadalajara! We were in Guadalajara for the lunch, we took our staff and we came back to our host Family!
At home we had sleep and eat something! Good time to relax after the New Year party =D
At 5 or 6 pm we met all together in Tlaquepaque.
We had visited the city, shopped! Was this wonderful Market and, where we bought a lot of present for our family and friends and for us too =D .
For the dinner we went to eat in a very nice and characteristic restaurant, where we eat a delicious Mexican food and we listened a live concert of Mariachi. After eating we went at home to sleep!!!
This was a very nice first day of the year!! =D=D
Alice and Eli
In the morning of this day, the entire group except Swaantje and David (because Swaantje was ill) went to Eli and Azu´s house to wait for the bus to take us to Tequila town into a Tequila factory named Cuervo, which means “Rabe”. When we arrived at the Tequila town we had a short tour through the whole town and bought some souvenirs and tried some tequila icecream.
When we entered to the factory, they showed us a video about the history and tradition of tequila and prepared us to enter by giving us hairnets for protection of the process. The tourguide showed us the whole factory and explained to us the traditional steps of producing tequila also the different kinds of tequila and let us try in every one of the stages, and a piece of baked agave. According to the time that the alcohol lasts inside of the barrels, it has a different taste, smell and colour, all of this depends on the treatment given to the barrel. They must be at a special humidity and temperature and always in the shadow.
After the interesting tour and the tasting of tequila, we were all crying because of so much hunger. So we went to a restaurant in the town and enjoyed the break and the food and later returned to Guadalajara.
Having arrived at Guadalajara centre, we admired a Parcour street show where David and Jona took part more or less voluntarily; we all had a lot of fun. We explored the centre and the group enjoyed, nevertheless everyone felt sleepy and tired, some Mexican beer and tea at a canteen. A great singer amused us with Mexican and Italian songs and motivated us to sing along and clap. Eli and Azu introduced us to a game called Mexican beat, where you have to clap with your hands on the table to a special rhythm.
The second of January might be one of our most remarkable days outside the camp, because of the importance of tequila history in Mexico.
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Today, we met at 9 o’clock at the bus station in Guadalajara. From there, we travelled in a public bus to Acatic. When we arrived there, the local people showed us where we’re allowed to sleep for the next few days. The house is next to a police station and usually it is the meeting point of a football team. After some minutes of unpacking, we were able to visit an ecological park. I was a really nice and big park.
There were lots of play grounds and some outdoor gym machines. It was much fun for the group to try the various machines. However, we’ve had to notice that some machines aren’t as strong as we are. So Paulo landed on the ground with a part of the machine. Some of us were allowed to take a ride on a . In this park we received lunch, 5 quesadillas per person. The mayor of the town welcomed us and joined us during lunch, while mariachis were playing for us.
Afterwards, we introduced ourselves to the teachers and students in the school of La Resolana. The kids are divided from 1st -4th grade and older. After the introduction we left the school, since we were invited to a second lunch of a family in La Resolana. There we received tortillas with green pepperoni in it. It was quite spicy. So we also received a non-spicy rice. It was tasteful as all the Mexican food, I tasted there.
After finishing the meal, we went back to the school. We divided us in 2 groups (older kids and younger kids) and did some sports, for example kickball and football. The kids enjoyed this very much. And for us, it was a nice experience as well. However, some Germans can’t speak spanish, so it was very difficult to communicate with the kids. But the Mexicans helped to translate.
In the evening, we received dance lessons and a dance group of Acatic showed us some nice dances.
Following, we were invited to dinner. We received Tamales, while Mariachis were playing for us. We could dance there a lot and had much fun.
Today was an active day. IN the morning we ad the chance to have a shower at the place of the firemen. At breakfast we had delicious sweet bread, fresh fruits and much more. Then the German participants met each other for having a conversation. We talked about the German evening and organized some stuff for it. While we were talking about this the Mexican people bought some materials for the Piñatas. At 1 pm we drove to the school in La Resolana and said welcome to the kids there. After having some conversation with them we walked further to a village house and took there our lunch. The people there were very friendly to us. They were so friendly to invite us for eating Enchiladas. They were very delicious and it was interesting to see the differences between this Mexican family and some German families who would never even get the idea of inviting a camp group to have lunch with them at their place. So it was very special for us. After our stomachs were full we drove back to school and divided our group into two little groups because this school had just two classes. The one group made some games with the older children and the other group played the “Clap-game” with them. In addition the children draw some pictures of how they imagine Germany. The pictures were very beautiful.
After an hour we met us all together and made Piñatas with the children. In the evening we went to a farm with cows. We were allowed to touch them and to let them lick our hands. It was a very wet situation. Furthermore we saw how the cows are got milked and the farmer gave us fresh milked milk with cacao and alcohol. After that we had half an hour free time at our accommodation in Acatic. We prepared ourselves for the dancing lesson. In the evening we learned how to dance a traditional Mexican dance. At first it was a bit complicated but finally we managed it. They said to us, that we are practicing for the Mexican evening because we are supposed to make a performance of this dance in front of the rest of the village. That´s why we really tried our best. As the dancing lesson was finished, we had a walk through Acatic. It´s a very nice village with an interesting church in the centre. There we had our dinner. Some ate Hamburgers, some Quesedillas and some Taccos. After eating we went home again and had a conversation with the German guys again because of the German meeting in a few days. At the night we were listening to music, talking and just had fun with the others of our camp-group. It was a nice day, but at the end I was very tired and was very happy as I finally lay in my bed =)
5th January 2012.
Today we wake up early because we expected to go to the trail factory but it didn’t work in the morning so we used the time for a German meeting. After this we went to a ranch to ride horses. We spilled up into two groups and took a nice walk like real charros in the beautiful landscape of Acatic to an old hacienda. On every horse were two people but after some time the horse of David and Swaantje was alone. They had an accident and fell down.
On the way to the family our driver took us to the entrance of the Resolana and first we had to walk a lot bet there was a really nice man that took some of us to the square. From there the principal and the teacher took us for the rest of the way.
When we finally arrived a really gentle family was waiting for us. They prepared tortillas, mole, chanfaina, chicken, rice, guacamole, frijoles… was a lot. Everyone ate a lot and we ever learned how to make the tortilla. We all had nice talk with the family members and took some photos.
On the way to the school on wheel of one car broke. That’s why some of us came a bit later. In the school we divided the kids into two groups. One group finished the piñatas and the other one made some for the German evening. We visited the trail factory on the afternoon and saw trails made out of horse shit and caca de vaca.
This night the dancing lessons were a bit longer because we practiced the choreography for the Mexican evening. That’s why we didn’t have a real dinner but some of us bought some delicious sandwiches though.
This day was very exhausting so that everyone went to sleep early.
Mario and Loretta
Today, Friday the 6th of January,
we could sleep a little longer than the last days….we got up at 8.30 and surprise surprise for breakfast Pedro, our local coordinator, brought a really great cake that is typical for the 6th of January , el dia de los Reyes. Who finds a little tiny plastic doll in his part of the cake is lucky and will have a good year. But this person has also to cook Tamales (traditional pre-hispanic food, made of sweet corn) for friends and invite them for the 2nd of February =).
After breakfast we went with some women from Acatic to a Temascal, a traditional pre-hispanic kind of ritual sauna. It is built like the belly of a mother, you sit inside and there are 4 rounds of hot steam, fruits and herbs; with the fruits and herbs you clean your body, skin and hair. Between this vapour rounds you are supposed to think about yourself, your life etc. or just talk with the group or stay in silence. Our group has been the first visitors from Europe so the people from the Temascal told us a lot about the old traditions and what Temascal used to be in pre-hispanic times and what it is now.
After that we got a massage and a small delicious lunch in this great house that surrounded the Temascal. This house was made of old recycling materials like bottles, CDs, clothes, anything you can imagine and it was one of the most beautiful houses I have ever seen.
After lunch we really had to hurry up because we were late for the next lunch for this day – we had some double lunches during the week in La Resolana, because on some days we have been invited two times and we didn’t want to refuse invitations. So we hurried to the next invitation for lunch. We got very delicious homemade Mexican food and the family was again so nice, really great people in La Resolana!
After this second lunch we went again to the school, our last day of working with the kids – the time was passing soo fast, so we could almost not believe that this is the last day that we have with the kids.
Today we had to prepare everything for our German Evening. We had planned to show a travel through a German year and show some customs and traditions from Germany. We divided the whole group in some smaller working groups and one group was working with Loretta and prepared everything for ¨Fasching¨, the other worked with Anna and prepared everything for Easter, one group with Simone and Mareike did Christmas Decoration and practise Christmas Songs and Andis group designed some signboards and did handicrafts like beer mugs for the Oktoberfest traditions. The other part of the Germans started to cook the traditional German Food in some kitchen near the centre place of La Resolana – the families were again so nice and offered us their homes and kitchens for preparing dinner.
At 7.30 the German Evening started. First we welcomed everybody and introduced the group, then we started with the first Part of the German Dinner: Kartoffelsuppe mit und ohne Wurst, Kinderpunsch, Glühwein and Nudelsalat. During Dinner we showed a little picture show with pictures from Germany. Then our ¨show¨started. We had prepared a journey through the year in Germany, starting with Fasching. We have practised some songs with the kids, like ·Fliegerlied· and ¨Komm hol d as Lasso raus¨and danced with the kids. Second stop was Easter, we explained the traditions and one of the kids was dressed like a rabbit and hid the Easter Eggs and the kids had to search them. Next stop on the journey was summer, and we played the song ¨Ab in den Süden¨and travelled to Italy, because Alice is Italian and we wanted to include the Italian traditions and customs during this evening.
Next stop was Oktoberfest, we played some songs and jumped on chairs and dances on the chairs and served some Brezels. Then Christmas followed, we had practiced “Stille Nacht” with the kids and we sang it and threw some paper made snowflakes. Last stop was Silvester when the Germans went to Mexico to visit friends.
After the show we served again food, this time Italian Foccacia and German Kässpätzle and as dessert we served Lebkuchen, Schokolade, Spekulatius etc. from Germany.
The community from La Resolana seemed really to be happy about the show and about getting this information and tastes of food and music from Germany. And our group was also little surprised that everything worked, because we did not really had time to prepare our programme during the last days.
Saturday 7th January:
For the first group this was the last day of the Mexican exchange. Because of the German party we were all very tired and decided to sleep until 9am. The plan for the day was a trip to a canyon at 10am. But “as usual” everything changed and we started the trip at 11:30am. But so the morning was not really stressful and we had enough time to organize all the stuff for the Mexican party and also to pack our suitcases.
At 11:30am we left from Akatik and went to the beautiful canyon. As usual the car was totally overloaded . But right now we were used to. When we arrived we took another foto of the whole group.
Down in the canyon was another house of Leo’s family. They invited us for dinner. But to go there we had to walk through a “jungle”. Everything looked just amazing. Although it was only a forest it was different. All the trees and the plants had a very different look then the ones here in Germany.
After having a good time in the canyon we went back to Akatik and prepared everything fort he Mexican evening. Some of us went to La Resolana to help building up the big stage for the show.
The Mexicans really prepared a big show for us. All the traditional dancers from Akatik came to dance some traditional dances for us. Loretta and Jona were the only Germans who danced with the Mexicans J At first the snake dance, than the dance with the machetes.
All in all it was a great night with music, dances, shows and tequila. And sadly it was the last night for the first group…
The Way back from Acatic and the Mall
This night, the first part of the Germans left Mexico to go back to Germany. So after a short sleep we cleaned up the house in Acatic and went back to Guadalajara. Good for us, the guys form Acatic drove us back in a car, so we didn’t have to go by bus. Back in Guadalajara, the families picked us up and back in our ‘home’ I took a nap. Later (Much later than planned) I woke up and we organized to meet in a huge and expansive mall. There we (due to the very short night we were only five from our group) spent the evening with walking around, eating icecream and crepes and looking for some appropriate but also too expensive clothes for us. After this calm evening, I was happy to go to bed not too late.
Tuesday, January 09, 2012
Since a part of the Germans already left and some Mexicans had to go to university or to work, the group consisted only of 10 persons. At half past 11, it was supposed to be the meeting point at a bus station. At usual, it was a bit later till everybody arrived. So we had enough time to sleep before.
At the bus station, we took a bus to the city Chapala. To see the lake of the same name. It’s the biggest fresh water lake of Mexico and it was really big. After inspecting a dustbin from the inside for 2 beers and an ice-cream, we took a boot to the island called Alacrán. It’s the spanish word for scorpion. The island has this name, since it has the shape of a scorpion. It was a very nice, but small Island. So about half an hour was enough to visit it.
The boat trip with the little boot was nice too. We shared it with 2 other people and the pilot. On the island, some of us were brave enough to hold a non-poisonous scorpion, which could be bought there.
Back on the island, we went to lunch, since we all were very hungry. Almost everybody ate a hamburger.
Then we took the bus back to Guadalajara. It really took a long while, we made it to watch a whole movie during the drive. We got to know later from the bus driver, that there was much traffic, since a bus got on fire.
When we arrived back we went all to Leo’s house to prepare a German dinner for our hosts to thank them for the nice time in Mexico with them. We cooked potato soup, one with sausage and and without for the vegetarians. Also we prepared “Maultaschen” with eggs. For dessert we made fruit salad with curd. We ate all together and afterwards, we left to go to our host families.
The last day we woke up quite late around 10 am. After a delicious Mexican breakfast, we went to the city center! A great occasion to buy the last present’s .We went to the black market. This market is located in big structures that have 4 floors. In this market you can find everything, from the food to the cloths.. What can you imagine you can find it!!
Than me and Daniel we pushed our limit… We had eat the insects =D ahahaha… so funny.. For lunch we went to eat the ……. Typical thing from Guadalajara!!! Was so good… After eating we went to visit the city… we went to the city all of Guadalajara and walked in the city center. After the last visit in Guadalajara… we went to the Supermarket because we have bought the stuff for the Italian evening!!! We finished buying and we went to Karen house and me, Karen and Azu started to cook. Lasagna, focaccia. We had a lot of fun when we had cook!!! Drinking wine and laughing! We eat all together and after a while we became sad, because was our last night! At 12 we say good bay to everybody and we start to pack… At 5 in the Morning Leo pick up us and we flied back to Germany
Mexico we miss you!!!