we suffered through our first our first internet outage last night/this morning... but we made it through (barely!)! and i lived to tell about it! victory is mine!
i'm a little embarrassed at how internet-dependent i've become.. and i think being abroad and relying on it as my only means of communication with my loved ones has intensified that dependence. however, i'm being honest when saying i haven't really missed the constant urge to check and refresh my twitter/facebook/instagram (okay so i'm a social media junkie) feeds. and it feels so good and freeing. i'm hoping this is something i can change permanently and implement into my life back home from here on out. i sit back and think, how did i even get so obsessed with constant minute by minute updates of the lives of my friends and strangers alike? and why do i care!? >creeper!< it's silly. being able to use a few sites only to connect with family and friends simplifies things and strengthens my bond with them and still allows me to keep somewhat disconnected.
i feel like a whole new woman!
haha, okay, i won't push it.
on monday we went on a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood. a group of us were sent in the direction of the locations of our home stays and were given the addresses and instructions to practice navigating the streets and find the houses. they don't have street names in merida - instead, the streets running north and south are even numbers and east and west are odd numbers. a building's address has the calle (street) it's on, followed by the two cross streets it's in between. for example, calle 120 #99 65 x 67 would lead you to house #99 on street 120, on the block in between 65 and 67. i'm sure this system is not complicated for the average mind, but i have already accepted the fact that this is a concept i will never grasp. it looks easy on paper, but goodness, it's not. we got lost on our scavenger hunt and ended walking an hour and a half out of our way when it turns out our home stays were right down the street. we got a nice view of the city! :) the home stay locations are beautiful, and while i don't know which specific house is mine yet, i will be lucky to be in any one of them!
yesterday we did a similar activity in la plaza grande, downtown merida. we set out to find different stores/museums/street vendors (and inspect them - dangerous!)/restaurants/the market/etc. the plaza is a 15 minute bus ride from la casa de central, so we started out the day with bus system training! which is an ironic title, considering merida does not have any sort of bus system. in order to get on a bus, you have to almost hail it like a taxi. there are certain locations the buses normally run by, but they have no specified path or bus stop. when you want to get off the bus, you stand up and walk towards the front of the bus and the driver pulls over and lets you off (if the bus is very full, you yell baja! as you're getting up, which means "down" or "i want off." we're all a little unsure of this one and have decided to be sure to travel with at least one bold and/or obnoxious person from now on).
words do not even describe how absolutely, breathtakingly interesting the plaza and market are. it's interesting enough to deserve it's own post, so stay tuned!
now, i'm off to mentally prepare myself for our "hammock info and safety training" session.