Tonight marks my two year anniversary south of the border! Wow! It’s hard to believe that I was once that excited young gringa–jaded by the educational system and failed relationships in the north on her way to adventure in Chiapas! Two years ago, I packed my bags for six months. My friend made the comment that I could do anything for six months. “Even if you hate it,” she said, “You only have to be there six months.” Shortly before this, her husband had remarked that we would soon know where I belonged. I remind myself of how broken I was–and how willing I was to be placed where God needed me the most. That was December 31, 2011.
My first meeting in Chiapas. These kids were the nephews and grand daughter of the lady who had the meeting. A lady that we grew to love so much!
My second graders at The American School Foundation of Chiapas spoke little to no english. In order to teach them procedures, I had to make these signs. I practiced not speaking at all (super hard for me, but effective). I came to Mexico with a couple of phrases, but I had to learn fast!
My first year in Mexico proved to be exceptional! Shortly after arriving, I fell in love… with the country! It wasn’t long before I met my husband and we decided to tough it out. (It helps when it isn’t that tough, eh?) I returned to the United States without him–pregnant and hoping to land a job. And I did! It just wasn’t in the United States! Victor and I moved to the northern state of Coahuila, and I began teaching here. We struggled some those early months–mostly with money and the lack of support that I initially felt from my employer. That took us to December 31, 2012. One year in Mexico!
I always felt like it was rude to take pictures of the indigenous people in San Cristobal. I didn’t want to be THAT gringa. This doesn’t even really show a fraction of how wonderful and lively it is there!
Victor and I met in San Cristobal. The rest is history…
(Sidenote: My one year in Mexico is also my husband’s one year in Mexico. He arrived just a week before me, and we are patiently waiting out his ten-year ban. It sounds so harsh, huh?)
It’s been strange to read on Facebook status updates how horrible 2013 was for people. I feel almost displaced from their happiness–but I do understand what it feels like to have several wrong turns on your road to bliss. How blessed I feel to be in this country with my family! What a full year this has been!
Victor and I started 2013 with our civil ceremony.
Victor and I went to a hotel for my birthday. Really, it was just so that I could get a good bath. How nice it was to get in the pool! I felt weightless (obviously, I wasn’t…)
Our little Alexandria swam into the world a couple months later. Having a water birth was ahhhh-mazing! Being able to have Ale at home was great too! I was able to sleep in my own bed!
Ale’s first visit with the workers who were in town for Special Meeting. She was one week old here!
Special Meeting (Ale’s first meeting) with a special visitor who swooped in to save the day!
We took Ale’s first trip to Monterrey to get her American birth certificate and passport. We met some of the sweet friends, and Victor had his first gospel meeting! He was astonished by all the young people.
Victor made his choice to serve God known to our little church.
Ale traveled to the United States where her best friend tried to eat her upon meeting her.
We’ve been to visit both families–and ALMOST all of Ale’s cousins, aunts, and uncles (short one cousin and one uncle). This is Ale with her abuelos in Chiapas.
We settled into our “new” house, and started a new school year.
We went to Alexandria’s first convention.
And she cut her first teeth…
Mommy’s first work trip away. Guess who wasn’t upset at all?
Ale’s first Halloween–dressed as the Very Hungry Caterpillar.
My first Thanksgiving away from home. Ale’s first Thanksgiving. And Victor’s first Thanksgiving in Mexico!
Ale has made us squeal with joy, and she just gets better everyday.