Saturday, November 7, 2009

Moving Forward

Many things have happened during my absence from the blogging world and I am going to update you on everything. As you know from previous posts, I went through a tough time this summer. The main reason for this was emotional....I think there were many things that I had not dealt with or processed and I needed to do this. I was stuck in a rut of depression and sadness. In addition, two good friends here in Manzanillo left and moved to other countries and as always, it was hard to see them go as they were really supportive friends. During this time, a few people suggested that maybe I should move back to Canada and I seriously considered it. But, I realized, at the end of the day, it has always been a dream of mine to be here and I really want to stay. Also, I realized that my emotional issues would follow me wherever I go - whether I am dealing with things in this country or another country is just geography. Overall, I am doing much better and have learned many things about myself, about other people and feel like I am moving forward now. I want to send big hugs to my friends D and Chelsea who left- I miss you guys so much and wanted to thank you for all your love and support. I also want to thank all my friends from back home who have been a huge support to me this summer - I could not have made it through without you guys.

As for moving forward......

I FINALLY received my FM-3 visa - this allows me to stay in Mexico longer than the regular 6 month stay for a tourist. The process took 3 months from start (when the government received my application) to finish and so it feels great to finally have it in my hands. Now, my work permit is in process so I have been busy sending out resumes and even have gone for a few interviews. I have two more interviews scheduled for this week so I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will find work soon.

I also went to Guadalajara and Tonola a few times to search for furniture for the house and I am HAPPY to say that I finally have all the major furniture I need. I found some great items in Tonola, which is near Guadalajara. Tonola is an amazing, eclectic place full of local artisans with wonderful and VERY economic items to fill a household. I found lamps and coffee tables, end tables, glassware, mirrors, etc and now my house has pretty much everything I need. I am still looking for a few small items, mostly for storage, but finally feel like my place feels like a HOME.

As for the first trip to Guadalajara, I went with my friend Shelley and her son Dylan. We took Shelley's vehicle as we wanted to have room to bring back everything. Driving and navigating to find our hotel in centro Guadalajara proved to be quite the challenge and definitely made us realize that on the next trip we will take the bus! We eventually found our hotel but driving in a city with millions of people and crazy traffic was very stressful! We stopped several times and asked a few strangers for confirmation/directions and everyone we asked were very helpful and we finally found our hotel. We stayed in the Hotel Morales, a beautiful historic & colonial hotel in the historic centro of Guadalajara. It is considered an artistic and architectural jewel of the city. It is a stunning hotel with amazing service and was very economical. It was only $90 a night for a large 2 bed room. I would highly recommend this hotel to people who wish to be in the historic downtown of Guadalajara. The staff there were very helpful and also had great restaurant recommendations.

On the way back from this trip, we ended up getting a flat tire. Unfortunately, neither Shelley nor I could change it but we were fairly close to a PEMEX gas station and one of the men there graciously changed it for us in no time.

As of the end of October, I also have a room-mate! Her name is Cinthia and she has been a friend of mine for over a year now. We have talked about living together forever, but this new place I am in is perfect since I have a 2nd bedroom and it is much bigger than my other place. Over the summer, we became much closer friends and she has been a real rock for me during the tough times. She is originally from Mexico City and has been living in Manzanillo for almost 2 years now.

My new roomie

She speaks very good English but we try to speak only in Spanish so I can try to improve my language skills little by little every day. She is a great room-mate and she prefers to clean rather than cook and I love to cook and hate cleaning so we are a really good match!

As for the animals, Jade and Jackson are doing good and have adjusted to the two kitties that I adopted, Leo and Kenya. Cinthia also has a cat which is going to take some time for all of them to adjust. Her cat is very timid and does not like dogs so she prefers to hide out in Cinthia's room and the dogs and my cats just sit and wait outside her door!

Leo with a choke hold on Kenya

Jade loves to play with the kitties. Here is Leo and Jade in the midst of a play session

I have also been spending alot of time with my neighbors and they have been wonderful. They are always offering to help and often invite me over for ceviche or drinks.

Here is Jasmin and Paola who I talk to on a daily basis. They come by my place every night to see the kitties and show me some new dances and songs they learned in school. Aren't they adorable?

One of my good friends and neighbor Maroco. He makes a killer home-made ceviche almost every week on his day off

Hmmmmm, yummy ceviche. He makes it with shrimp and fresh fish and it is the best I have ever tasted

As my previous post mentioned, a few weeks ago would have been my late mother's birthday. I had a little celebration here at the house with some good friends and I also went to her final resting place on the beach. When I went there, I discovered this beautiful bird which stayed there the entire time I was there.

Again, a big thanks to everyone for their phone calls and e-mails. I really appreciate the support.