Friday, January 28, 2011

From PA to MX

At my parents before we left for the airport
Hey everybody!  Welcome to our blog.  Thanks so much for taking an interest in our lives.  Please pray for us when you think about it and let us know how we can pray for you.  We are going to do our best to record all the highlights of our time here.  I hope you enjoy it...

It is hard to believe that as I sit here in sunny Guadalajara that it was only yesterday that I was frantically shoveling over a foot of snow so that we could make it out of the driveway and to the airport on time.  As it turned out, the biggest snowstorm of the year occurred the night before Julia and I planned to fly out.  But thanks to the heroic efforts of my dad (who woke up early in the morning and cleared a half-mile lane of over a foot of snow) we made it to the airport on time and caught our flight to Mexico.  

In one of Guadalajara's many plazas 
We touched down in Guadalajara around 8:00 last night and proceeded through immigration.  I think it was probably the easiest entry into a country I have ever experienced.  The immigration official looked at our passports, mumbled some things in Spanish that I couldn't understand, stamped a bunch of papers and sent us on our way.  The whole process took about 15 seconds.  Customs was a different story, however.  

As we approached the customs official with our mountain of baggage on the trolley, he stepped aside and beckoned me to push a red button.  Not sure if this would result in the vaporization of myself or the baggage or some other catastrophic effect (too many sci-fi movies I suppose), I tentatively depressed the button.  As I did this, a red light appeared above me highlighting an image of a man looking through an open bag.  "Really?"  I thought to myself.  Apparently this is the Mexican way of randomly selecting individuals for baggage screening, and yes, we were chosen.  

We set our bags on the table in front of 3 very young looking customs officials, one man flanked by two attractive women.   They all seemed to be more interested in flirting with each other then with investigating the contents of our bags - which I had no problem with whatsoever.  Ironically, the only question that they had about anything in our bags was about a few packs of Giant brand taco seasoning that Julia had packed.  "What is this?" one of them asked with a strong accent.  I could hardly keep from laughing as I tried to explain to him that this is how Americans make tacos.  I don't think they understood.

The view outside of our hotel room.
Our door is on the left
Once through customs, we were able to make it out of the airport and find a cab.  Our cab driver was very friendly and enjoyed the opportunity to speak English with us.  Of course, I wanted to practice my Spanish so we went back and forth from English to Spanish and back again.  I was doing really well with my Spanish until I turned the conversation to politics.  Trying to show off my knowledge of Mexican politics, I asked him what he thought of president Calderon and his tough stance against Mexico's drug traffickers since this has resulted in so much violence.  I was not aware that this would lead him into a long series of abstract political principles and conspiracy theories which I had no chance of understanding in Spanish.  I heard the name Michael Moore, the Bilderberg Group, and the Obama Deception and thats about all I got out of it.  Fortunately we were almost at the hotel and I was able to save the conversation by asking how much it rained in Guadalajara.  Not much, he replied.  I understood that.

2 of our 3 double beds!
We are currently staying at the Posada San Pablo in downtown Guadalajara.  We will be here until I earn my TEFL certification after which I will be able to find work and move into a more permanent apartment.  The hotel is over 100 years old and has a lot of character.  It also has hot water (though the pressure is pretty low) and pretty shoddy electrical work.  But I think this is the norm for Mexico.  We feel very secure in our room and we are blessed to have a strong wireless connection!!  Thats all for now...


  1. It's so great to hear you made it out of all this snow. We'll be praying for you.
    Bob, Gail, and Jeff
    PS we are "planning on Heaven"

  2. Love the blog! So good to see some pics, and that you are enjoying some warm weather after all that shoveling:) You're quite the entertaining writer, Chris... glad to know that it doesn't rain much;) love you guys!