Well, 3,300+ miles later we completed the drive from Seattle to Mexico City! We arrived at the condo late on Tuesday afternoon. Luckily, we found a parking place on the street that could accommodate the truck and trailer.
We were met by another teacher, Xou (say Zoo), from Vancouver, BC, who arrived in DF about a month ago. He has been living in the condo with the intentions of finding an apartment closer to the Inter Act school. We unloaded our basics needs stuff that we had been unloading into hotels every night and headed upstairs.
The first thing I noticed was the very strange secured parking garage. There is a main door at street level, 2 interior secured doors, and a secured door to our condo. That’s not so unusual, but the strange part is that there are 4 rows of tandem parking spaces (maybe 40 yards) for 3 different buildings. I don’t even know how many cars the garage can accommodate, but there are a lot. Fernando explained that the tenants park according to their schedule of when they need to move their car out of the garage and that if they need to move and another car(s) is in their way they go knock on their neighbor’s door and have them move!!! It is hard for me to believe that this works.
After that initial shock, we made our way to the 2nd floor to the condo. It has 3 bedrooms, the world's smallest bathroom, and is a fairly good sized condo. However, the kitchen is being redone so there is no refrigerator, stove, sink, cupboards or counters. Can I even tell you how much we cherish our Coleman cooler at this point??? And there is a small utility room with a utility sink, but the washer is missing. We have some couches and Xou has a bed, but Mike and I are back on the inflatable mattress. The condo is owned by Fernando’s brother and we have been told that the kitchen will be completed “soon,” a new washer will also be installed, and a bed will be provided for Mike and me.
The good thing is that we clicked with Xou right off the bat! We call him our new son. He has been so helpful with info about transportation and teaching, plus he is just a regular dude. We asked Fernando and Rosa if the 3 of us can just keep the condo and rent it for a year, but so far we don’t know if that’s possible or not. And if we could get the improvements completed we’d be very happy! The neighborhood seems safe and Sitka has barked with all the dogs on the block. Unfortunately, it takes about an hour to get to the school – using a bus OR a cab. Ugh. That’s not so good, but all things considered we like the condo.
On Wednesday we unloaded the truck and trailer and I thought I was going to die. We were running on about 5 hours of sleep, the 1.5 mile DF altitude, no showers (couldn’t find the towels yet), and 2 flights of stairs up cement stairs. When that was all done, Fernando parked the truck in the very back of the garage (I don’t plan on driving for a long time) and chained the trailer to a telephone pole on the street. And on Fernando’s recommendation, we removed the WA license plate from the trailer in hopes that it won’t be stolen since it obviously belongs to gringos.
Thursday morning Xou, Mike and I took a cab to school (just $5 US dollars with tip). We observed Xou’s 8:30AM class, had several hours of training with our manager, Michael, and observed more classes until 8:00PM. I was very worried about leaving Sitka alone for that long, but we got home at 9:00PM and there were no “surprises” from her. I immediately took her outside to do her business and then fed her a late dinner. I was so proud of her for holding it in!Mike and I each have 4 groups of students and we need to create our Lesson Plans for each group’s classes for next week. Plus, I am scheduled to teach my first class this Saturday! There is a lot to process and a lot to do before that first class, but I am STOKED and full of energy – even though I am physically beat.
Mike and I just have to remind ourselves about our quest for adventure and a desire to get out of our comfort zone. Well, I am here to tell you we are definitely out of our comfort zone!
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