Friday, 10 August
Today we went to Lily’s hometown of Libres. There I met her parents, sisters and another Isabel, who’s 5 years younger than me. Don Lucio showed me around their large backyard that has some chickens and turkeys, as well as beautiful flowers, corn, squash and several fruit trees. One of those being a cactus- the fruit is called tuna, and the larger “leaf” is called nopal.
When Don Lucio when to knock the tuna off the cactus I made the mistake of picking up the pod-like fruit (did I mention this is a cactus?). I was suddenly surrounded by people saying “Put it down”-- well I think that’s what they were saying...when I finally got the message I put down the tuna and looked down to see the spines of the cactus stuck all over my hands. The next half hour was spent tweezing cacti spines out of my hands. What does tuna taste like? It’s similar to a pomegranate where each seed is encased in a fruity layer that the best comparison would be a pear.
The rest of the day was spent exploring the city and surrounding countryside. First stopping for Pulque (a fermented drink similar to kombucha), we went high into the mountains for a beautiful view of the city and a walk across an old suspension bridge.
Saturday and Sunday, 11-12 August
Saturday morning I met three Spanish guys (family friends of Antonio) who would come with us to the city of Taxco, Guerrero, as well as some of Lily’s family members. Before we left we went into el centro (downtown) of Atlixco to look at the flowers, markets and (of course) to get some ice cream.
We arrived in Taxco after 4 hours of driving. Right as we were entering the city- there was this torrential downpour of rain that sent rivers down the mountain sides through the stacked houses and streaming into the narrow roads. Nevertheless we arrived at our host’s house- we would stay with Lily’s padrinos (godparents).
Taxco is one of México’s “Pueblas Mágicas”, the center of silver artisans, and where the movie Coco was located. After dinner, we traveled by taxi through the steep and narrow streets into el Centro and found a cafe to relax in and listen to the mariachi players in el Centro.
The next day we finished breakfast around noon- they eat much later here than in the USA- and went to the launch point of a ski lift that runs above the city. After we went up- close to the peak of one of the mountains- to a statue of el Cristo that was built in 2002.
In the afternoon we went into el Centro again to see the inside of the main church there as well as going to a silver-jewelry market that the family of Lily´s godparents sell their silver at. Before leaving Taxco we sat down for one more meal together where I had nopal- the cactus mentioned above.
Tomorrow I start school- I´m both excited and nervous. While it´s tiring to listen and speak in Spanish all day I definitely have enough knowledge of the language to get by so far...
Hello, I’m Isabel Hogg, a Rotary Foreign Exchange Student for the 2018-2019 school year. Story 18 is a documentation of my year living in Atlixco, Puebla, Mexico.
Youth Exchange “Slang”
Outbound: A person departing a country, similar to emigrant
“I am an outbound from District 5970”
Inbound: A person coming to a country, similar to immigrant
“I am an inbound to District 4185”
District: Divisions of countries/states that organizes Rotary clubs across the world
Rotex: An Exchange student who has already completed their exchange term
RYE: Rotary Youth Exchange