Monday, August 17, 2009

My Last 3 Days in Mexico

I have 3 days left here in Mexico City, Mexico, DF! Although, I am sad to be departing such fun and great city, I am extremely excited about my arrival to Cairo, Egypt!

My flight is a little weird. I depart Mexico , Thursday, August 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm to Houston, Texas, USA with a full day layover. Thank God I have family in Houston! On the 21st, I depart Houston to arrive in Frankfurt, Germany for a 10 hour layover. There, I will have the opportunity to get out and see the city of Frankfurt, take some photos and blog about what I see. Finally, I depart Germany on the 22nd to arrive in Cairo, Egypt on the 23rd of August at 2:40 am.

This is going to be an interesting journey and I am looking forward to it.

4 countries in 3 days! MAJOR JET-LAG...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Departure Phase

It has been an unforgettable summer in Mexico City, Distrito Federal, but as all good things come to an end, so will my
Mexican immersion here. The summer session at my university, Alliant International University, will close out, August 13, 2009.
Till now, I have maintained a 4.0 GPA. My Managerial Marketing class was a challenge for me, as marketing is NOT my cup of tea. However, when I began to view myself as the product or brand to be marketed, everything clicked! I will end the semester with my International Organizations class. I think I will take the "RED PILL" ! Awesome class! Ghaleb Krame, PhD, a post-modern pedagogical professor that advocates "thinking out of the box"! My kind of philosophical logic. I have truly enjoyed the class.

My time here in Mexico is coming to a close quickly. I will miss this place, but mostly, I will miss my network of friends and colleagues that I have established here in the city and at the university. One in particular, friend and colleague, Jenn M. Rose, JRose! A tiny and petite, street smart white girl with the book sense and intelligence. The tough-cookie type from the East Coast... my "Bmore" buddy!!! The best roommate a person could hope for! We've had awesome times and interesting moments here! I will miss her tremendously. "Do you want to verbalize your non verbals???" LMAO! Soon to complete her Masters in Clinical Psychology, then she is back off to her home in Baltimore, which will sure become a frequent stop of mine!

I have been blessed with many wonderful experiences and have seen mucho beautiful sites like the Pyramids in Teotihuacan. I climbed to the top, and trust me, it was no easy feat! (Click the photo to enlarge and see how mountainous this pyramid is.)

However, after climbing 425 massive, steep steps to the top, of this Pyrimide del Sol (Pyramid of the Sun), I celebrated my triumphant victory with a group of guys from Indonesia that only spoke their native language of Bahasa and Spanish!
After learning that I was from the United States, Sebastian, the young man to my right, standing shoulder to shoulder with me, joked about being the "Indonesian son" of President Barack Obama as all of his friends laughed and remarked how he he looks very similar to him!

Located in The Valley of Mexico, I traveled to Xochimilco, which means "flower field place", with my home stay family. Better known for its extended series of canals, that is all that remains of the ancient Lake Xochimilco. The area has kept its primitive culture, even though its proximity to the capital, Mexico City. All the inhabitants there travel in colorful trajineras, Xochimilco boats (pronounced trah-hee-nay-raas) covered with flowers. We were on the Lupita!

The trajineras are propelled with a long wooden pole that is thrust into the canal bed and pushed in the desired direction.

As we were floating down the lake, a local Xochimilco Senora, also floating in her trajinera, approached us selling food. So interesting, as this is her way of life and how she generates her income. She sells food to the passer-byers. I wanted to get a closer look, so I yelled, "Que vendes?"..."What are you selling?" She said, "Tortas, huevos, arroz, tacos con carne, queso, pollo y salsa. Quieres?" I said, "Siiii, claro!" I ordered rice (arroz) and eggs (huevos) with cilantro and a manzanita (a small apple soda). The cost, 12 pesos...less than $1 USD! Then, everyone else followed my lead (hahahahah) ;-)! Then she floated away to the next trajiera.

The title says "Departure Time" because that is just what I am now preparing for. Noooo, not to return to the U.S., but to return back to AFRICA!!! I will be flying out of Mexico on August 20th headed to Cairo, EGYPT!!!
Time to move on to the next track of my international program! I will be attending The American University in Cairo! I am extremely excited about returning to Africa...this time, the Northern region!



Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My Mornings in Mexico City...

There is no need for an alarm clock! Every morning around 5:30am, there is un pequeño hombre Mexicano (a little Mexican man) that walks up and down each street, with a hand-held ringing bell like the one my elementary school teacher would ring to let us know that recess was over. While this pequeño hombre mexicano is walking up and down each street ringing his bell, he is yelling, Éste es su nuevo día! Hora de despertar y de gozar de lo que le ha dado dio". Which means, "This is your new day! Time to wake up and enjoy what God has given you." He reaches my street, Doctores Villada, around 5:30am EVERY MORNING! Neighbors say he has been doing this, waking the neighborhood, for more than 30 years, now. Hence, there is no need for an alarm clock.

I live in Colonia Doctores, which is a barrio or an area of Mexico City. Just as New York has its five boroughs - Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island, Mexico City has many barrios (boroughs in English), as well. This morning, I went for a run. The day begins early around here! You may here a man walking down each street at 7am yelling, "GAS! GAS! GAS!", in which he is selling tanks of gas for the casa or departamento. And, if someone needs a tank, they yell from their window, "AQUI!". Then the guy selling the tanks of gas yells back to his co-worker the same thing and his co-worker comes running down the street rolling the tank of gas, as the tank is very heavy! Also, every morning, there is a guy that pushes his three-wheeled bicycle with a very large basket attached yelling, "AGUAAA..., AGUAAA..., AGUAAA..."! The giant basket is filled with about 30 of those large, blue jugs of drinking water for sale (like the ones in an office). All very interesting and exciting to see!

Vendors are already set-up to begin selling their merchandise...whether it is the little Mexican lady sitting on a blanket on the ground selling little necklaces and little Aztec-like purses and things of the such, to the 'real deal' taco stands, nothing like Taco Bell, only better! So many different smells from pollo (chicken), carne (beef), jamon y juevos (ham and eggs), fruta fresca (fresh fruit), frijoles or habas (beans), arroz (rice), maiz (corn) and much more. The streets are busy ALL DAY LONG! You can get desayuno (breakfast), almuerzo (lunch) and cena (dinner) all in one quick side-street stop for less than 26 Pesos which is less than $2.00USD...VERY SATISFYING AND TASTY MEALS!

Don't get it twisted, however, DF, is an entrepreneurial, business oriented and multi-faceted metropolis. Some of the worlds largest global companies are located here. This is a great international location to live in, work in, play in and experience true Cultura Mexicana at its best! The hustle and bustle of the city will eat you alive if you do not have tough skin. This place is similar to New York, but on a much larger scale and with 20.1 million people, including me, cohabitating together! If you like the slow life,this is not the place for you. You will get ran over, walked over, biked over, motor-scootered over, bused over...all the overs you can think of! I use "DF" because this is Distrito Federal. Like DC, District of Columbia...Washington, DC (the US's nations capital), well Mexico City, DF (Mexico's nations capital).

Stay tuned...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Down South

So, I am back South of the Border, again!!! About to finish up this International MBA at Alliant International University - Mexico City Campus. I arrived in Distrito Federal, Mexico Friday night. This will be my new home for a good minute. If you know me, you know that I am an international jet-setter, making my moves and leaving my marks!!! My cousin back home told me to "Keep doing it big, April!" Is that what I'm doing??? All I know, is that I am trying to complete this so-called "higher education", make me proud, travel, see as much of the world I can see, motivate some Black children and teenagers to believe in themselves, do their best and succeed in this exploited and oppressed thing called "life". Come along for a ride with me on my journey discussing life, education, racism, sexuality, religion, war, politics, culture, Blackness, Africa, international travel, white people, police states, Dead Prez, Obama, HipHop, Jazz, Rock, World Beats, Languages...whatever you choose, we will intellecutally dialog.

Stay tuned. Stay in motion...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My First Blog...

Greetings everyone. So, I've just created my blog page and I am really excited to see how my page turns out. It is still under construction, so bare with me as I complete it to my perfection. I enjoy blogging about different and thought-provoking topics and issues, social and personal.

All topics are welcomed!!!

Respect is key.

This is A.G. WorldWide!!!

Welcome. Welcome. Welcome.