Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Long Overdue Post

Well, we are still alive and well in Mexico!  Sorry it has been so long since our last post.   Anyway, we wish you a happy Dia de Benito Juarez!  As it is a holiday here in Mexico, we have finally had some time to catch up on some long overdue correspondence.  First of all, a quick update…

Los Aguilas (The Eagles), a short walk
from our apartment.
I finished my certification course at ITTO over 3 weeks ago and started teaching the next day.  The company I am working for is International Communication Institute of Guadalajara (ICI) which is a language school that specializes in Business English.  I am currently teaching classes at Dell and Hershey’s Guadalajara (ironic, yes I know) as well as giving private lessons on Saturdays at the institute.  Though the job requires a lot of bus travel through Guadalajara, it has provided a great introduction to the business side of teaching English. 

Julia finished her intensive Spanish courses at IMAC a couple weeks ago and is now speaking fluently…well, not quite.  But she has made incredible progress and continues to have numerous opportunities every day to practice her Spanish, though these are not always welcome or enjoyable!  Those who have lived abroad and learned a second language will understand this well.  Right now, Julia is planning on continuing her Spanish lessons at the institute where I work as well as looking for volunteer opportunities in the community. 

One thing that has kept us incredibly busy the past several weeks has been our search for an apartment.  We praise God that he provided us with a wonderful apartment in a very peaceful neighborhood (across from a park) and perfectly situated half way between the businesses where I work!  Only God could have provided such a place for a two clueless Americans who were beginning to wonder, as they wandered through Guadalajara, what they were doing in Mexico in the first place.  The search was not without its setbacks and frustrations, but we thank you for your prayers and support to us as we bungled our way through the whole process.  It was truly a miracle that we found a place!

Looking into the dining room and kitchen
There is much more to tell, but let me be brief.  When we finally found a place that was decent and within our price range, we had to go to the real estate office to fill out an application.  Fortunately, as we were trying to fill out an extremely confusing application for an apartment, a fluent English speaker who had lived in Michigan for a year happened to stop by and was able to help us through the process.  We also needed some references that lived in Mexico and she graciously allowed us to use her as a reference even though she didn’t know us at all! 

Living room...with some very necessary
cleaning supplies
Well, after we finished the application, we also found out that in order to rent apartments in Guadalajara, you need to have a co-signer who owns property in Guadalajara.  What a ridiculous policy!  But what could we do?  We didn’t even know enough people to have a reference for the application let alone a co-signer!  Once again, God had everything planned out better than we could have imagined.  Through a connection made by my grandma through her small bed and breakfast in Oxford, we actually had the contact information of somebody who owned property in Guadalajara!

So here is our new address:
Ave De La Calma 3969-7
Col. La Calma 45070
Zapopan, Jalisco

PS We have a spare bedroom in our apartment so if anybody is fleeing the law or simply just wants to practice their Spanish, let us know.  We are only a short flight away!