Cuernavaca Summer

Six years ago today I was in Cuernavaca, Mexico wondering what I was doing there. I arranged to stay with a host family while I was there and spent six weeks in Spanish classes and activities before returning to Hawaii for my last year of college. At the time, I was hoping to improve my Spanish and develop a level of conversational fluency. Given that most Americans harbor a less-than-stellar image of Mexico, I had no idea what to expect. I knew no one and my Spanish was poor. I was leaving dear friends and what was comfortable for the sake of a summer adventure. My short experience in Mexico, however, was a good one and left me with warm feelings towards the country and its people.

While in Cuernavaca I stayed in a separate house across the street from my host family’s house with two guys from Minnesota and a guy from California, the latter of which became a good friend for most of my time there. On the weekends when we were free from Spanish class, we would hang out in Mexico City (about 45 minutes away) or go sightseeing to one of the nearby ruins or historical sites. Recently I came across a journal entry I wrote in 2002 while in Mexico of things you may see on the streets of Mexico City. The list included the funny, scary and outright dangerous. But after living in New York and walking the streets of the city for several years now I can say that what I saw in Mexico City would not be all that peculiar to a New Yorker.

My Spanish improved in Mexico, not surprisingly, although I managed to still speak mostly English with the Americans I met there. I made some good friends, one of which I am still in touch with, and had an enjoyable time overall. But when the time came to return to Hawaii and my friends, I was ready to go home.


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