Ek Balam

I have a super nice friend who happens to be a manager for different tours around Cancun.  He knows that I’m not working right now and have some free time on my hands.  Occasionally he will ask at the last-minute, “Hey, do you want to go ______ today?”  Sure!  One morning he sends me a text to ask if I want to go to Ek Balam.  It’s all in Spanish and I had a little bit to drink the night before…I look at it and then tell myself I’ll figure out what it says later. haha!  Then he calls and asks me if I want to go.  He would pick me up in about 30 minutes.  He is so funny, he even says it will be later because he is Mexican! 🙂  So I decide to go on a trip to a place I haven’t even heard of before spur of the minute.  Many times the best things in life aren’t planned.

So he picks me up and takes me to where I can get on the bus.  I even get coffee and donuts!  We were driving along and they realized the air conditioning wasn’t working.  We drove a little while and switched buses.  This bus didn’t have as many seats and everyone on the bus was with someone except me and one other guy(about my age).  We had to sit together.  We had a good time talking(he spoke English and I tried speaking Spanish).  We weren’t on the bus very long before I though I might be missing something.  MY PHONE!  I started emptying out my bag and giving everything to my new amigo.  He asked what was wrong…I tried to stay calm, in fact I started laughing!  I told him.  He said the favorite Mexican saying that I’ve heard so many times, “Don’t worry.”  So I realized I left my phone on the other bus(it either fell out of the bag or I didn’t see it).  I ended up getting it back at the end of the trip.

We had a great time checking out the Mayan Ruins, awesome Cenote, lunch in a Mayan village, and a traditional church!  This wasn’t all in Ek Balam, but it was rather close to it.  I ended up having a great time and making a new friend.  I feel very blessed that I get to meet so many cool people and see such wonderful places!

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One thing missing…ok maybe two?

I am living in one of the best places!  I have everything I need, perfect weather, a beautiful ocean, lots of friends, awesome food, great place to live, and so much more!  There is something missing…something very important.  I need to find a job!  I have never not had a job.  I feel pretty loca living here and on top of it not having a job before quitting my other job.  I know I did the right thing and I will be fine…I would just feel SO much better if I had a job.  If I was taking a break and had a job lined up in 2 weeks, 3 weeks, or even a month, I would be ok with that as well.  I feel like there is a big stigma even if you are taking a break for a while.  It’s almost like you need to have a job or you are a loser…(unless you are retired, stay at home mom/dad or have a disability,etc).  I obviously don’t fit into of any of these titles.  I know I am not a loser, but it’s weird not having a job.  I am pretty sure that I will be able to find something when I get back from my trip to WI.  I just need to tell myself that it’s ok to take a break and not be freaked out.  I know this break has been very good for me.  I have been able to do many things that I wouldn’t have been able to do if I had a job.  I will post more about that later.  Now that I am doing all these daring things like moving to another country and quitting my job, I’m really excited about the future.   In the past, I did what I thought I “should” do, not what I wanted to do.  It’s so refreshing to live where I want and find a job that I want to do!  How exciting!  I feel like I’m finally living my life!  Everyone should do it! haha  I am open to new ideas for jobs, which is so liberating.  I have worked with kids my whole life, and I can’t wait to do something different!  If anyone has any great ideas on finding a job here, let me know! 😉  I know I posted about this before, but it’s been on my mind a lot lately.  Once I write about it, then I usually feel a bit better.  Thanks for listening/reading.

The other thing/things I’m missing…of course is my family! If they could be here it would be perfect!  Also, another thing I am missing is my dog, Lily.  My parents are her new mom and dad, but I miss her!  I think she would like it here, but not where I’m living(unless she was allowed in the pool). 🙂  No matter what, in life you have to make sacrifices and do what is best for you.  I know that being here is best for me.  I’m willing to skype with my family and friends and see them when I can(for now).

I haven’t fallen in love with anyone, but I am in love with Mexico!

Wal-mart

I love being here and not ever thinking about snow…but then I saw this pic on the side of the Wal-Mart.  NOOOOOOOOO!!!

I also found this attractive lady at Wal-Mart.  You can’t see in the pic, but she is surrounded by alcohol and bread.  This is typical, right? 😉  (Yes, I know it’s for the Day of the Dead).

 

Who knew that Walmart could be so exciting? haha

Isla Mujeres=amazing!

Yesterday, one of my amigos asked if I wanted to go to Isla Mujeres.  I really didn’t have to think about it.  I’ve been here for about 3 months and haven’t been there yet.  When I went swimming with the Whale Sharks, then I saw it and hung out in the water close to the island, but didn’t get to see it.

Anyway, we took the ferry and it’s just a short trip to the island.  I was a little worried about the ferry trip, but it was ok.  The last time I was on a ferry, I spent the whole time very nauseous!  This time it was no problema.

We got to the island and rented a golf cart and just drove around.  We checked out the Tortagranja(Turtle Farm).  I’m pretty sure I was more excited than the kids were!  They had some different kinds of turtles and different areas where ones were about to hatch, ones that were a couple of weeks old, 1 year old, 3 years, and adults(not that many adults).  They even had some turtles that were albino turtles, I guess.  I’m not sure of the name of them, but they did look a bit strange.

Then we went to the southern part of the island and checked out the little bit of the Mayan Ruins(it’s very small).  I guess it was ruined by Hurricane Gilbert.  It was said that it was an observatory dedicated the goddess Ixchel.  Also you get the most amazing view of Cancun and the Carribean Sea.  I think I was in so much awe, that I forgot to take pics! 😦 Oh well, next time.

After having a drink then we just looked around.   My friend was driving the golf cart.  He isn’t very used to driving them(it’s been awhile for me as well).  He decided he was going to back up and park in front of this van.  Well instead of hitting the break, he floored the gas!  We nailed the van!  I couldn’t stop laughing.  It might’ve been more a nervous laugh.  Luckily, the people who owned it were around and they didn’t seem to care(there wasn’t any damage).  My friend bribed them with cerveza and they were happy with that!

Then we went to the beach(Playa del Norte) and relaxed and listened to a Cuban band.  It makes me want to go to Cuba even more!  We(I should say my friend) talked to one of the guys in the band.  I have never heard anyone speak Spanish that fast in my life!  My friend even said that sometimes it’s hard for him to understand.  I was able to tell him in Spanish that he talks fast.  He just laughed.

So this place where we were listening to the band and having drinks, I happen to meet some people.  What do you know, I met some more people from WI!  One of them lived on Isla Mujeres!  Crazy!

We have the best time and maybe a couple too many drinks, but they were yummy!

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Mi Nuevo Casa!

Hola everyone!  Sorry for the break in the posts…I’ve been a little busy and not in the writing mode.  I will get back to it though…

Well, I’ve been in my new house for about a week now.  I absolutely love it!  It is in a great location.  I am able to walk to everything and anything I need.  I’m also very close to the trail along the hotel zone, which is awesome!  The other day, I had the perfect start to a day…a run on the trail and then sat and overlooked the ocean.  I just thought the whole time, I can’t believe I can do this everyday!

It’s kind of funny because 4 people I know live in the same apartment buildings where I live (3 of them teachers).  At first, I had my doubts about living so close to so many people I know.  I thought it would be weird or that I wouldn’t meet as many people, but it’s fine.  They have different schedules and I really don’t see them all that much.

I love the neighborhood too!  It’s perfect!  I also feel very safe.  I hear the occasional dog barking and sometimes the traffic, but it’s not a big deal.  If I have the fan or air conditioner on, then it drowns out the sound.

I’ve always said that I wanted to have a palm tree in my back yard…well it’s not exactly a yard, but I do have some nice palm trees right out my window!

One of my Mexican amigos said…it looks like I live in a “Barbie house.”  I couldn’t stop laughing because I seriously didn’t think of that!

Faith

Recently and even before with all the things I’ve been through, the people who really know me sometimes ask “how are you so happy?” or say “you seem pretty happy even though”…

It’s kind of funny because I sometimes wonder…I have always tried to think of the positive in life and keep going from there.  When I was sick, it was much more difficult, but I tried my best.

Even now, with the teaching thing(I didn’t tell you everything…that could be tons of stories!!)let’s just say it didn’t end well, the furniture thing, and today being scammed.  Tonight, I actually started to laugh because I sometimes feel like I’m being tested.  When I was really sick and going through a lot, a friend of mine asked me if I ever read the book of Job in the bible.  I had to confess that I hadn’t.  He suggested I read it.  It was very inspiring! If you haven’t read it,here’s a summary: (from http://www.gotquestions.org/Book-of-Job.html )

Brief Summary: The book opens with a scene in heaven where Satan comes to accuse Job before God. He insists Job only serves God because God protects him and seeks God’s permission to test Job’s faith and loyalty. God grants His permission, only within certain boundaries. Why do the righteous suffer? This is the question raised after Job loses his family, his wealth, and his health. Job’s three friends Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, come to “comfort” him and to discuss his crushing series of tragedies. They insist his suffering is punishment for sin in his life. Job, though, remains devoted to God through all of this and contends that his life has not been one of sin. A fourth man, Elihu, tells Job he needs to humble himself and submit to God’s use of trials to purify his life. Finally, Job questions God Himself and learns valuable lessons about the sovereignty of God and his need to totally trust in the Lord. Job is then restored to health, happiness and prosperity beyond his earlier state.

Just think, it’s easy to be happy and praise God when you have it all!  But how strong is your faith, when it is all taken away?  The hard things in my life have made my faith stronger than ever.  I might not go to church all the time, or even read the bible all the time, but I do pray quite often!  The hard things in life remind me to be thankful even more for my safety, my health, my family, my friends, and everything!  I don’t feel bad when I think about all the things that I can be grateful for.  It’s like today (on a Sunday) when I saw the garbage collectors, coming around picking up garbage smiling away!  Who do I know is happy to do that line of work and especially on a Sunday?  I love being here because I’m reminded all the time of how happy people are with being alive, healthy and safe!

I think another hard part for me was that the guy today started talking about God.  Don’t bring God into the story when you are scamming someone!  If karma or whatever you believe in is out there, then this guy has it coming…you just don’t do that.   Isn’t that like right up there with stealing from a church or something?  Ok, maybe not as bad, but still…

Anyway, my whole point of the post is that it’s okay when bad things happen…it just opens up the door for other good things to happen and for you to be more grateful for who you are and what you have!

I don’t have a picture to go along with this post, but this quote is now one of my favorites!

So I’m an idiot…

Before I say anything…I never believe people and I never hand out money…this is unbelievable.  What I’m about to tell you will make you never trust people again.  I am not a nieve person, but it happened today…GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

So, I was walking from the bus stop and I see this guy and just do the usual “hola.”  This guy keeps going and then turns around and looks kind of frantic.  I was a bit worried and skeptical at first, but decided to listen.  He first asks if I speak English and then proceeds to tell me this story…I should back up a bit.  He was dressed as a tourist…He was about 55 years old, nice shirt, nice shorts, hat, and sandals.  He tells me that he doesn’t usually do this, but he needed help and was desperate.  He said he arrived in Mexico at the bus station and was held at knifepoint by 3 guys.  He said he had on a fanny pack(which sounds dumb, but could really happen), was carrying a really nice guitar.  He said this whole story of how his life flashed before his eyes and he really didn’ t think that could be the case, but it did.  He said he was grateful that he was alive.  He went on about how he learned a lesson and that he couldn’t stay anywhere because he didn’t have his passport(in his fanny pack).  Oh he started kind of almost spitting and he apologized and said it was because he didn’t have his bottom teeth anymore, they were also in his fanny pack!  He said he finally found one place that would let him stay for about 250 pesos…he said he hadn’t had anything to eat and was had to go to Mcdonalds to use the bathroom.  He said the one at the bus station makes you pay 5 pesos or something…He started to tear up and said that he is ashamed that he even has to ask and that he would never otherwise ask…  Long story, but all I had was 500 pesos(around $50 US).  I figured that he could wash his clothes and get something to eat too.  I was being nice!  I really thought this guy was legit!  He even gave me his name and said he had gmail and fb accounts and that he would send me twice the amount.  He said I was  heaven-sent or something…I felt so good about myself helping someone in desperate need!  I googled his name when I get home and find this article…from a blog

http://aboutislamujeres.blogspot.mx/2011/10/tragedy-stirs-rumors-more-security-cams.html

This is Roy Allen Smith, an American who was arrested in July for attempting to steal $9500 pesos worth of jewelry from a store in Isla Mujeres. Yesterday I received an email from a German named Jakob Henschel saying he was scammed by this man in Cancun the day before and asked me to publish this picture and tell what happened. Jakob says he was in Cancun, at the corner of Bonampak and Chichen Itza. He says Roy Allen Smith and his wife Ann (nee Soto) Smith said they were tourists who had been robbed of all their money by a taxi driver and needed money to go to the US Embassy in Merida. He said they had American accents and he had no reason  not to believe them, so he gave them money. He would like to warn others. I advised him to contact the police, which he will have to do via Internet, since he was leaving Cancun.

I just want to say all the swear words and I’m feeling really bad or ashamed that I fell for it.  He took my time and my money!  I need to let other people know this as well.  I never fall for stupid stuff.  I even left some parts out on how he talked about the guitar being from his ex, blah, blah,etc… He could’ve won an academy award!  I came home and told my parents and they were like “Corinne, you got scammed.”  I was so sure and now I’m going to be bitter!  Like it’s going to take me some time to get over this!  Yes, it was only $50, but still!  I do have a big heart, and that is never a bad thing.  I wouldn’t have fallen for it, if he hadn’t cried!  Please someone tell me something to make me feel better!  I feel like crap now! 😦

When I Grow Up

So the question of the day/week/month/year for me is…what do I want to do when I grow up?  For some people, this is a relatively simple question.  For others, it just seems to magically fall into place and for many people, things just happen…I think I’ve fit into all the categories somewhere along the line, but now it’s different.  I don’t want to waste time doing something that is so-so or just pays the bills.  I don’t want a job that just seems safe and that is not challenging.  I also want a job that I want to learn more about it everyday, where it doesn’t seem like a “job.”  I’m not obsessed with earning big bucks, although that would be nice!  My main focus is for me to love my job and have a passion for whatever I’m doing.  Sometimes people get so caught up in doing what is easiest, doing something where they don’t have to move, or doing something where they don’t have to go back to school.  I don’t care about any of those things.  In fact, I’m willing to do something a difficult, move, and go back to school if I need to.  After all, the best things in life don’t come easy, right?

I have a few ideas in mind, but I’m not sure.  I feel like I’m getting closer, but it might take some time to figure it out.  I recently had a job interview and was offered a position, but I know that it isn’t what I want to do…I think I need to take the job in the mean time, until I’m sure on my plans.  Although, I feel like I could get really wrapped up in that job and lose focus and that concerns me.  This is a huge pivotal point in my life(as mentioned by a friend).  I feel like when you are taking a leap into the unknown, it might as well be a huge leap!  Yes, I know that people can over analyze things until they are blue in the face.  Yet this is an important thing to analyze!  I am trying really hard to listen to my heart and my gut…not my head.  My head isn’t very smart when it comes to these things!  haha  I feel like the important decisions in your life are best made by your heart and your gut.  It took me awhile to realize this, but I’m starting to understand it now.  This pic sums it up well…

 

 

VIP movie

The other day, a few friends and I went to the VIP movie theater in the mall.  It’s crazy because it’s super nice with leather recliner chairs, side tables, waitstaff, pretty decent menu, and the list goes on!  Oh, and it’s cheaper than going to a movie than in the US!  It was soooooooooooo nice!!  We watched the movie “Ted” which has been out awhile, but was very cute and funny.  I think I might have to go back there soon.  It’s hard to tell in the pic, but my friends are pretty relaxed. haha

VIP

Who needs furniture?

So as I posted before that I am done with my teaching career…When I moved to Cancun my former boss signed a lease for me(some places make the employer sign if you don’t have a visa/FM3) for the place where I currently live.  It is unfurnished and by unfurnished, I mean, nothing! Nada!  No refrigerator, no stove, etc!  When looking at the place, my former boss offered furniture that they had from former teachers.  So, I thought, this could work.

Now, I am done with my position and my former boss wanted all the furniture/appliances back.  Today they came and picked up everything.  I decided that I will just buy something to sleep on(air mattress) and a folding chair. I’m supposed to move out the 19th.  I might just pay a little more and move out at the end of the month.  My new place will be more expensive, but it’s in a much better area and furnished!

It’s kind of funny because right now I  am typing this as I’m sitting on the floor in my living room.  I did the same thing before I moved here.  I kind of camped in my own home before moving out.  I actually don’t mind…we (as a society) get so caught up in having and buying things.  We don’t often get down to basics of what one just needs to live.  This is even more funny.  I have a nice tv, but no bed. haha!  Talk about necessities! 🙂

I think I’m going to miss this place a little.  It feels like home to me, but that’s okay.  I think my new home will be even better!

I wanted to post some pics of my nice little empty place, but it will have to wait…necessito baterias.