Monday, July 27, 2015

The Week I Moved to Mexico...

{A photo journal of the adventure that has been getting here and life thus far south of the border.}

One week ago tomorrow, I began the journey of moving to Mexico. After months of prayer and planning and paperwork, the day had finally arrived to seemed like off of a cliff. Despite my best efforts, the morning was still busy and slightly stressful and rather tearful as I said goodbyes to my family. It seemed I encountered every possible glitch. Late leaving, overweight bags, strict airline counter lady, fighting Lincoln back into his travel the time I was walking to my gate I was sort of a mess. My eyes full of tears and my chest tight, I wondered what in the world I was doing...what was I thinking!? The urge to turn around and run away was almost too much to bear. I managed to get myself on the plane and sobbed all the way to Chicago. 
Thank goodness for Chicago and O'Hare International airport. I love that place. Lincoln and I had a two hour layover and it was just what we needed. I had a chance to get some coffee in my blood...strong coffee...and to sit and think and journal for a bit. Lincoln was content in his special little fold out tent all the while. I was able to breathe and get a grip. Jesus in His goodness and kindness knew just the words to share in order to encourage me for the rest of the journey....the long journey that is. 
We were delayed FIVE hours in Houston. (Poor little Lincoln) and didn't arrive in Guadalajara until 3AM instead of 11:30PM the night before. Pup was such a trooper though and his little tent was a lifesaver. I did fit in a lovely conversation with my best friend and a pretty delicious dinner...but I won't lie, that last flight felt like foooooooorever. 
After dealing with a missing bag, getting through customs, and jumping through all of the necessary hoops to get Lincoln across the border, I arrived at my apartment around 5AM last Wednesday. My Lincoln family was so kind in dealing with all of the delays and late/early hours and I was welcomed home to a lovely place that they had been cleaned and prepared. (I should mention here for the sake of future confusion...the school I work at is Lincoln the dog...or the president...however you would like to sort that out.)

Fresh flowers on the table in my new place from Lincoln friends :) 

One of the first photos I took upon arriving here in Guadalajara. I promised Jesus that if He would make a way for Lincoln to move to Mexico with me, I would give Him all of the credit and all of the glory. This photo to me is so special because it reminds me of how God is so faithful to bless us when we are faithful to obey. I prayed and believed that if I would obey, God would take care of every detail and desire of my heart. And here we are! Lincoln and I in Mexico. God is so good!

Day one included a few hours of sleep and then a trip to switch some furniture, lunch at one of my favorite little cafes (Cafe Cuatro) with Bev and Melissa (some Lincoln family) and a giant Walmart excursion. I was able to stock up on all of the basics for my place and some food for Lincoln and I. (Take a look at all of those beans! You know you're in Mexico when...) I had fun beginning to make my place feel like home and was surprised and excited to take a break dinner-ing with my lovely Gutierrez family!
I also must share a proud "mom" moment. Lincoln is crate trained. Usually he stays in a crate while I am away. Since I didn't have one, I decided to just experiment. My little guy stayed out in the apartment all day on his own! He didn't potty inside or anything! He has been panicking a bit when I leave, but I think it is getting better each time he realizes I am coming back :) This is so good considering he will have to stay at home all day while I am at work. Thankful he will be able to stay out!
I also picked up some coffee along the way to use in my new programable red coffee pot! Mexican shade grown seemed like the perfect way to start out my time here in Guadalajara. 

After attending a Spanish lesson with Melissa just to try it out, I was feeling inspired...and hungry. I decided to get out my verb book and get to it and I needed some fuel for the adventure. Learning a language sometimes feels like a never ending battle...but this is one that I know is going to be well worth it! 

My missing suit case arrived on Thursday and I found this floating around in my things. Another precious reminder of God's grace and goodness and loving-kindness. He truly went ahead and made a way and I found things just as He promised they would be. So thankful He gave me the strength to follow and obey and for another opportunity to learn about His character. 

Started out Tonola day with some strong coffee. Nothing like seeing Raquel on my cup! 

Friday we made a journey to Tonala. A part of the city that is well known for buying beautiful Mexican home goods for good prices. I was able to look for a sofa for my new place and some other furniture and also fun little pieces to make it Mexican and my own. I am all about embracing color and all things Mexico while I am here, so this was a whole lot of fun for me. Not to mention that Bev (my teaching mentor) and her daughter are tons of fun to be around! 
The school has been such a blessing for me. They purchased me a bed and also covered the cost for me to choose a new couch! This left some space for me to have a little bit of fun and splurge on some pretties for my place. LOVED picking out dishes. I was laughing to myself as I picked up each one to make sure none of them were the same. Why buy matching dishes when there are so many lovely ones to choose from? Also...if and when one breaks, it will be that much simpler to replace! Found my favorite hand blown glasses and purchased a set of those and a lovely hand made mosaic mirror for my bathroom. I fell in love with a desk that I cannot wait to work and write at and a chair that compliments my sofa and that is the perfect size to share with Lincoln. 
I don't know how, but we somehow managed to fit all of that (plus some of Bev's things) into the car. It was a bit cramped on the 3 hour journey home (traffic here is a beast) but we laughed a lot and managed to unload ALL of it just before a major storm broke loose! It was an incredibly productive, fantastically memorable day. It's safe to say that Lincoln is taking to his new chair very nicely. 

Lincoln is pretty pooped from all of the unpacking. 

Saturday I got to spend some quality time with my favorite Mexican, Susanita! Love that things are always just like we left them when we meet again. We enjoyed India Night at her church hearing the story of a sweet Indian lady who recently moved to Guadalajara and gave her life to Jesus. She spoke in English and it was translated to Spanish. We drank chai while she gave us lovely henna prints...nothing like a dose of culture upon my arrival in Mexico! We grabbed a bit to eat at Food Truck Park in my all time favorite Guadalajara neighborhood, Chapultapec. That is indeed a veggie burger...some things just never change :) 

Sunday I attended church with Suz and her family. I love hearing their pastor preach because I can actually follow what he is saying in Spanish! I spent the afternoon catching up with family on their wifi and hanging the mirror in my place with Susanita and her mad architecture skills. 
Then for some legit tacos in Provediencia and to top it off with yummy ice cream...coconut for me of course. 
Had a fun evening celebrating a friend, Sammy, leaving for Monterey this week. Learned a ton of Spanish over a rousing, intense game of Dutch Blitz with friends. Let me just tell you, there is NOTHING like playing Dutch Blitz with Mexicans! 

Today Lincoln and I had a lazy Mexican Monday in. We slept way more than we should have and didn't do too much of anything. It was just what we needed after a whirlwind of a week that has been moving to a foreign country and trying to make it home. For now we have adopted the mindset of Mexico which is maƱana. We can always do it tomorrow. 

Stay tuned for more adventures to come while we navigate life south of the border! 

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