Hello, it’s been a long time I don’t write here, let me tell you why.
I had the incredible opportunity to go to work one month in Haiti! That’s right, I could never have imagined such a thing.
It’s been an incredible experience and I made a video for all of you to see what a wonderful country it is, no matter how many obstacles they face!
By the way, I’m delaying my project until I finish the lessons because after Haiti I can’t take more time off. BUT, I have great news, Eszter and me, we decided to start another project which isn’t any less complicated but it demands less time out of te city. It is related with migrants that make their journey across Mexico to arrive to the US. This saturday we’re going to a shelter so I’ll keep you informed!
Well, I’ve been really busy finding a place near the university, arranging my new lessons and so on. I was living 2 hours away from the university, now it takes me 10 minutes to arrive. “Mi buena suerte” (My good luck) Yes, indeed, I’m quiet pleased with this new semester.
I managed to arrange my “learning agreements” and get the opportunity to assist to great courses: ”International Organizations and Negotiation” (in english), Middle East and Africa, Social Theory and Communication, Social Problems in Mexico, International Cooperation and Film Scriptwriting workshop. Yes, scriptwriting! The first time I’m actually taking a film lesson and I managed to get it accepted by my department in Spain.
Anyway I’m also pleased by the great facilities of this university, it has one of the biggest libraries in Latinamerica (if not the biggest) including a bunch of unique historical documents from Porfirio Diaz, the mexican revolution… And, even if it is a religious university (founded by the jesuits) the eduction is strictly secular and it’s private, so the fact that there is a church inside the campus doesn’t annoy me.
Concerning the project, Eszter and me are probably going to travel to the Mexico-Belize border the first days of February, I can’t miss my lessons so we’ll spend few days there (going there by bus is 22h one way…) trying to arrange the first school. Here I’m getting to know people from all around Mexico that will hopefully help me.
Ok, even if I had these financial, bureaucratic and academic issues in Colima I must admit that I was also lucky and, as I forgot to share pics from the first semester, here they go (some highlights only):
I didn’t take pictures from my faculty, but I found these. The first one is from my chinese lesson and the other one shows my surprise birthday gift, yes: eggs (I was complaining about how their prize is raising here in Mexico and they were thoughtful enough to buy for me jaja).
Ok, this picture was taken our last day in Colima. We needed a picture with one of the greatest and more misunderstood sculptures I’ve ever seen. It’s called “El hombre obsceno” (The obscene man) and it was a gift to Colima from one of the most famous recent artists in Mexico. Everyone hates it!!!!! But I love it!!!
These are from Manzanillo, the other big city from Colima state, it is actually much nicer, and its next to the sea
(yeah, I didn’t find now my pictures from Colima city I’ll check later)
Ok, the rest of the pictures were taken during our only trip this first semester, we were hitchhiking half of the way which is not the greatest thing to do in Mexico (specially Michoacán). Yes, we went to Michoacán to witness the “Noche de muertos” (Night of the dead) celebration!!!!! We went to Pátzcuaro, Janitzio and Tzintzuntzan (yes, not the easiest ones to pronounce!).
Here we were in Janitzio which is a small island in a big lake called Pátzcuaro lake. It’s a beautiful and colorful little indigenous fishermen community. They actually speak in “purépecha” and have a funny accent in spanish. But it’s not a good place to visit during the “Night of the dead” because even if it’s a magical experience it get’s soooooo crowded, filled with disrespectful tourists.
And of course the skeletons are everywhere, specially Catrina, the elegant skeleton woman with the big hat!
Here we can see how incredible is this night. The families of the dead spend the night in the cemetery lighting candles and accompanying them. Ir’s quiet magical when they start to sing at midnight!
And well, that’s me eating the typical sugar skull (calaverita de azúcar).
Finally, I can’t skip this pic from a costume party: Eszter was Frida Kahlo and I was Trotsky
Ok, I was going to post this the 21st but, as I had to move from Colima to Mexico DF, I didn’t have time nor internet connection :s
(the song is actually about drug lords (“narco corrido”) but hey…at the end they mention the “end of the world”)
The world didn’t end but my exchange in Colima did, so it’s been a unique end of the year. I’m here in Mexico DF with a completely different weather and trying to adapt to the pace of this massive city. Next week I start my course in the Ibero-American University of Mexico; it’s actually a really good private university and I’m really lucky to come as an exchange student here because I don’t need to pay their extremely high fees. I chose it for several reasons, the first I must admit it’s related with the recent political involvement of it’s students during the presidential elections, in this university originated a fresh and promising movement called “#yo soy 132″ (“I am 132″) struggling for the democratization of the country and specially the media. Secondly I was looking for quality international studies here in Mexico and, even if the UNAM is one of the most prestigious institutions in the spanish speaking world they don’t shine so much in that branch of political studies. I also wanted to experience living in this city because it has a great cultural life and so much to see. And last but not least, one of my brothers lives here and I never got the chance to live in the SAME COUNTRY AS HIM :S , so not only will we spend some great time together but, as he is a filmmaker, he will help me to film my first ultra low budget (no budget would be the term…) feature film before I go back to Spain I’m starting my script right now and as soon as I finish the project I will focus 100% on it, I will let you know.
So Eszter and me, we spent this Christmas with the family of my brother’s mexican girlfriend, enjoying all kind of delicious mexican meals. Pozole, Tacos (de pata, de carne con romero, frijoles…), Mole, Tequila, Mezcal… I can’t complain…
Anyway, december wasn’t very productive, I was really busy moving out and arranging the papers for my university in Spain, and I couldn’t reach the schools I wanted for my project because of holidays. Now I’m staying with my brother but I hope as soon as I find a place to rent and I start my lessons I will be able to arrange everything. I even tried to film an “episode” of a fake turkish series I want to make every time I visit a new country, but I could only shoot one scene :s This idea started 2 years ago when I arrived home (Turkey at that time) back from volunteering in Palestine, I started to shave my “mullah” kind of beard jajaja and I thought I should film something that same morning, so, I borrowed the camera of a friend and this was the result:
…and this are stills of what we started to film this december:
This Sunday I’ll just post some pictures of the time I spent in Colima, so this blog can have a fresh start with me in the Iberoamerican University.
As you may know I’ve been recently awarded with the first prize of the 2012 Travel Video Contest which will help me to carry on an incredible project all around Mexico and also keep on discovering it as I’m already here as an exchange student. First of all, looking back at some damn elegant posts done by other students (like Sandy Florez’s italian lessons for exemple) I just decided that each post will have the title of a “Tigres del Norte” song. They are one of the most famous bands in Latin America, they play norteño music and their importance goes way beyond their music. They reflect the life of millions of mexicans and also people from Central America; their popular and social messages have accompanied them all their life, particularly on the dangerous journey towards “american dream”. Anyway, let’s see if I manage to get one for each post…
By “El otro México” I mean I intend to discover a different Mexico, different from the bloody drug war or the 5 de Mayo postcard… But different doesn’t mean indifferent, what I want, and I’m already discovering, is that this is huge beautiful multicultural country, with a lot to be done and also a lot to learn from. I’m quiet tired of the old ignorant colonial point of view we still keep in Europe, specially us, the “glorious” conquistadores… That’s why I decided to come here as a student (not a tourist, not volunteer, not a hippie willing to get his/her huichol peyote ceremony while twitting it on his/her iphone…). Of course, while I’m here, as I get involved in the country, I realize there’s stuff I can do, and I will let you know in this blog
I arrived here to Mexico in August. I came here to study one semester in Colima and the second semester in Mexico DF. As I finally arranged my immigration papers (I’ve been an ilegal immigrant for a few months here…) I’m planning to stay until my visa expires, say September 2013. Last week I finished my semester in Colima University and I’m pretty satisfied with the experience. I met a lot of people, tried to avoid other spaniards, and was surprised to discover that koreans have invaded the university! I study international relations as a branch of political science and administration, and I enjoyed the specialty here which is Latin America and Pacific Asia relations (I could also continue studying chinese which I had to quit longtime ago because in Spain there is a trend called “let’s fu#%ing cut all the education budget and double the price of every lesson”).
There’s too much to say, so I’ll be posting more about it later.
Finally, related with my project, I must say I’m just starting. First of all I have to organize the most complicated part which is arranging the schedule. If I’m planning to spend 3 school days (Monday-Friday) in each school, that makes 30 days if I don’t count weekends and holidays, so I need to have god’s arrangement skills to make every school’s permission fit with the rest of the project and my own university calendar. Furthermore I have to contact a bus company to see if we can get a special price since we’re going to travel thousands of km (I would rent a car, but there’s no point in being exhausted after driving hours and falling asleep during the workshops…) I also have to be really careful with the parent’s permission for the videos…etc, etc. But it’s cool, there’s a lot of enthusiasm!
Ok, I think I bored you enough already, I’ll keep on bombarding you with structureless thoughts as often as I can.
ХудожникподаръциI leave in two days and I cannot begin to describe my emotions right now. I’m like a coin right now, two sides completely different. Heads is ready to see Indiana and tails isn’t ready at all to say goodbye to anyone.
I’ve built so many close friendships in the span of four months. Everyone I lived with in Eleanor Rathbone, everyone from my classes. I’ll never forget all the nights I spent over at Chris, Mark, Stev, Greggs, and Lewis’s place. The ridiculous amounts of FIFA we played, most of the time because I wanted to see if I could beat you guys. Had some pretty intense training sessions with you guys. I can’t even explain how much I’m going to miss that house, that couch and I have shared many nights.
It’s still crazy to me I even made it here. And now that’s its nearly over I’m so glad I did. I don’t think glad is the right word, but it’ll do for now. Until I get the chance to see all of you again.
Откъде да купя иконаI’m a bit slow on posting these, but keeping so busy with production work for Uni as most of English friends would say. So take a look at some of the beautiful scenery I enjoyed in Malta.
Greetings from the island of Malta! If you are unsure of where Malta is don’t feel bad, before I met Shawn James last semester at ISU I had no idea Malta existed. It’s just below Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea. I’ve been here for a little over a week and really am enjoying the sun, the food, and the culture. Many pictures to come soon. I titled this post the dot with a lot, because on Easter Sunday while having lunch with Shawn and his family, his uncle told me, “Malta is a small place, like a dot, but we have a lot.” I find this to be very true, though it’s very small, it has everything you could ask for, beautiful scenery, beautiful women, and delicious food. I’m not hard to please, but even the people that are, would have a great time on this beautiful island. Until next time, ciao!
Originally I thought this post would be written on the beach in beautiful Malta, but that is not how my day ended up. I arrived a bit later to the airport than I originally planned and was in quite the rush. I made it through security no problem and found my gate. While in line for my flight I noticed in the top left corner of my boarding pass it said something about non European Union citizens checking at the baggage claim to receive a stamp. By this time it was too late as I was not allowed to go back through security twice. I began to panic and called my mom, the airline offered me a chance to get the next flight the following day, but it was twice what my original flight would have been. It was like a nightmare I had no chance of waking up from. What I thought would be an excellent adventure turned into a bogus six and half hour bus ride back to Liverpool, the entire time thinking, “Just one little mistake cost you the chance to go to Malta and see Shawn, you should be on a plane right now to a beach instead you are sitting on a coach bus with you head in your hands.” After getting to Liverpool, I still had a sinking feeling about me boarding the train to Ormskirk to get back to Edge Hill, which has basically became a ghost town with everyone traveling or going home for Easter. A few of my fellow dorm mates who haven’t left on their European adventures saw me and knew how upset I was and wanted to help me back to Malta where I belonged over break. After informing I’d really only need a one-way ticket to Malta I found the cheapest flight I could and booked it with what little money I have left. They then all proceeded to lend me five pounds each. That money went for a Megabus that will take me back to London from Liverpool. And another will pay for my coach fare to Luton Airport. With past mistakes fresh in my head, I now know the process which I have to go through, and am so thankful for the all the help my fellow American international students are giving me. I can never say thank you enough to Sigrid Wald, Brianna Fitzsimons, Becky Tesch, Dan Pavlak, and Jenell Brossia you guys seriously rule.
After stressing out and nearly ripping my hair out, I’ve got everything booked I need to for my trip to Malta over my easter break. My journey will begin with a train from Liverpool Lime Street Station to London Euston Railway Station. After I arrive in London I’ll check in at Smart Russell Square Hostel in Central London where I’ll stay for the night. I plan to do as much sight seeing as possible. Then I’ll make my way to Oxford Street to catch a bus to take me to London Luton Airport where my flight will leave at 6:40 a.m and arrive in Malta at 10:50 a.m where I’ll be greeted with open arms by one of the best people I’ve ever met, Mr. Shawn James. After that who knows what Mr.James has in store over my near two week stay in Malta. Still haven’t booked my return travel, but I’ll knock it out closer to time. I’m nervous and so excited. See you soon Malta.