Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our first vacation

As volunteers we get to go on 2 weeks worth of vacations.  Here in Mexico they split that into 3 vacations. Two 4 day weekends and 1 full week plus Saturday and Sunday on each end. This was our first one.  We went to Porto Escondido, saw the largest tree trunk in the world "Tule," Saw crocodiles, went body boarding, went snorkeling Huatulco, saw the ruins Monte Alban and saw a beautiful little mountain town.

On the way there, I, along with a few of my fellow motion-sick-susceptible counterparts got sick.  It was literally the most windy road I have ever been on. When the bus arrived there were 12 seats and 12 of us.  This little thing looked like a clown car when we all piled out. Small and cramped with all of our stuff we made the journey.  

Like I said, I got sick. I had taken a Dramamine but it was a "less-drowsy"  formula and at my level of getting sick that is like saying "Oh don't worry, you will only throw up and want to kill yourself half the time..." Luckily I didn't actually blow chunks but once I started to get sick I let the driver know and we pulled over.  

Knowing that there had to be others that were sick I decided to ask him to pull over sooner than later.  When we pulled over a few others said "thanks Coltan, I am not feeling well either." I gave them a green nod as I stumbled out of the bus.  

After a few hours we pulled over again because more of us were sick...including the driver! He got out and was spewing next to the van.  From that moment on I decided that I would be the Dramamine patrol and make sure we have some on hand and that all that may think they could possibly get sick take it. We made it to our first destination and enjoyed our time there.

On the way back we all bought drugs and for the 12 hour trip, I took 2 FULL DOSE Dramamine every 4 hours. Let's just say that the trip went by very quickly, even though I didn't sleep.  It was a very relaxing return trip...

This is me before we left.  I was changing and one of the girls caught me trying to make a new fashion statement. 

Our oh-so-spacious van. after a short time I sat in the back right of this picture and was in the back row for most of the trip.

That is the outside...doesn't seem to fit 12 passengers and two drivers does it...

This was our first stop.  When we were finished there were a couple of pedlers trying to sell us stuff cause we are white.  You see, because we are white, everyone assumes we are from the states, and if we are from the states, we have lots of money... apparently they haven't seen my bank account...

There was this girl trying to sell Carson (the ONLY OTHER boy in the group) a necklace. He was kinda a sucker the first few trips we went on and spent lots of his money on souvenirs so he was trying not to spend too much.  He also really is into learning Spanish and takes any opportunity he can to speak.  This sometimes gives the wrong impression to the peddlers.  This girl was trying to sell it to him and he was trying to tell her no...but I was encouraging her telling her that she should ask him to give it to his girlfriend. She suggested it.  Then I said, actually no, he can't.  You see, he can't convince any girls to like him, they all run.  This was all while he was trying to say no and talk to her.  I was more or less standing to the side telling her all this and she was trying to pay attention to us both but more on him cause she may get a sale out of him. She was laughing so hard but diligently trying to convince him to buy the necklace...well, after lots of laughs, much confusion, and random words placed into this girls ear by me, he bought the necklace...

This is us at one of the ruins in Monte Albán. They told us to strike a pose...not sure what I chose...

Sara and me! She is awesome! If you are wondering, yes, in this picture I have started to lose weight...

Cut out the girls and zoom in on me...this could be on the cover of Mexican ruins magazine!

In front of the majority of the ruins.

Yet another encounter with people trying to suck a dry cow for milk...not sure if I said that right get the idea.

A whole bunch of people came passing by trying to sell us stuff.  Some of the girls gave into the persistence, which only made things worse.  One older lady came over and was trying to get us to buy her dumb little fruit picks.  I got tired of it and finally told her that we all either college or high school students with no money, here as volunteers teaching.  "We have no money!" I told her.  This was her reply: "No, I know that you are lying. You are from the United States right?" I replied "Yes." "That means you have lots of money, come on now, don't be cheap.  Share with us that are less fortunate than you.  I know you have money." I laughed and said "oh really?" "Yes." she said. I told her that she would probably have more success with other mexicans because we weren't going to give her anything.  she didn't like that, and she left.

Well, the story goes on. A little girl was trying to swindle us for a good hour. By the end we were just having fun with her as she tried and tried to get us to buy more and more. At one point, there were 2 other white people that came and sat across from us. I told her "Hey, listen.  We are pretty much out of money, but look over there! There are 2 more white people.  I bet they have money!" She left and tried to get them to buy, but then they didn't and she came back and bothered us for another 20 or so min. 

During that time, she started asking us for our cookies that were brought to eat with our lunch.  one of the girls offered her one, she said "No, the whole package!" I said "Come now, that is our lunch." She said something along the lines of I don't care. I then offered to take her to get some food.  She asked for ice cream.  Then I stared to think and I said "Hey! you just took a whole bunch of our money over the course of about 2 hours. Why can't you go buy your own food? And better yet, where is your mom?" she just laughed and then left with her little brother.  She was about 8. 

White people -300 pesos
Little Mexican girl=mission accomplished.

This is Tule.  He has the biggest trunk in the world. It has a circumference of 119 feet. It's big, real big.

This was outside of the area where the tree is.  I thought it was nice...?

Our first night we stayed in the van and "slept." This was the site we saw when we arrived at Porto Escondido.

The few that were awake when we arrived. 

Were were Boogie boarding all day, it was so much fun!
Oh don't worry.  EVERYONE got burned here. Let's just say that for the next trip we will be sure to bring lots of sun block.

Oaxaca is known for its chocolate and Mole.  It was divine!

We also ate Tlayudas.  It is like a giant tostada...for those of you that know what a tostada is...

These were our waitresses.  The one in green was my favorite...and her name is Sophie!

I can't remember where this cathedral was but I remember it was really pretty. 

Some of the stained glass we saw inside.  Can you find Peter??

On our way back to the van in Oaxaca we saw these guys! I always wanted to see a real luchador!

We got to this little place on our way to Huatulco.  It was one of the main highlights of this trip for me.  They took us out on little boats and we got to see birds and crocodiles!

Adri and I getting ready for our visit to the crocs. I bought this hat because my face was burned...
Chasin' crocodiles

If you look hard you can see the Croc!

"Okay, this ends the tour.  If you would like to get back on the boat, you need to pay me again..." Our tour guide was the best we have had so far.  He was crackin' jokes all over the place.  The best part about it was how a few of us would laugh, translate the joke, then the rest would laugh..."don't be left behind, ATT, the nations fastest global network is getting faster with 4G..."
After the boat ride with our tour guide in the middle. We gave him a pretty good tip.

Katie and I on the way back to the van.

All in all, this trip was a blast! We had some good laughs and had some funny experiences. I can't wait for the next vacation we have as a group!!

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