Tuesday, November 1, 2011

23 Hours

The States better prepare themselves, because we are coming home!

For more than a year now, we have been living abroad and building new lives for ourselves. First in Ecuador where we taught English grammar points like "defining and non-defining clauses" and now in Mexico where we hear the words "Zapatista" and "global pedagogy" thrown around as if it's common vocabulary. Ecuador taught us that we can take huge risks. It taught us that working our asses off doesn't necessarily mean that we'll make enough money to pay our rent. But extra money to buy a block of cheddar cheese at the end of the week or not, we will be happy. We learned more than anything that money and struggles and long-hours don't even begin to diminish our love for each other. We had more fun entertaining each other with Gin Rummy and crossword puzzles than any movie ticket or soccer game ever could have.

Mexico has taught us that hard work can pay off. Our lives are much more where we'd like them to be here in Cuernavaca. We are using the Spanish that we struggled to learn in Cuenca during our "free time." We are working with an incredibly progressive and amazing organization. We get to listen to lectures on indigenous women's rights, Latin American-US relations, and the history of the Mexican-American War (more locally referred to as the US Invasion of 1846). We get free coffee. We eat tamales and quesadillas and chilaquiles pretty much all the time. I mean come on . . . this is like our dream! 
But since it's been over 365 days since we've stepped foot in the land that bleeds red, white and blue, we're pretty thrilled. 

Tomorrow night we will pack up, leave our apartment at 9 pm, take a bus to Mexico City, sit in the airport until 3 am, board our flight at 5 am and be in Tulsa by noon. Then we will get to see some members of the Tulsa-based family, ooh and ahh over the cutest little girl in the world, eat Hideaway pizza with an disgusting amount of ranch dressing and possibly a belated chocolate birthday cake. We're going to stuff ourselves silly.

And then on Saturday I get to stand up with my best friend as she exchanges vows with her soulmate in a picnic-themed, homemade wedding.

The US might not have the best tamales in the world, but it does have the people who are dearest to us. And with the wedding of my bestie since birth and the new arrival of another adorable, long-legged Verduzco child and the meetings and greetings of the Bryant-Gentzler-Verduzco-Jones-Moncrief family, I think we can handle saying hasta luego to tamales for a while.

23 hours to go!