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Journals from Oaxaca, Mexico

2012-04-12 Explores Monte Albán

 We went to Monte Albán with the group, finally! We had been here almost a month and a half already without visiting the famous site - everyone from Oaxaca that I met asked me how I hadn't visited the city yet. I felt a little guilty, but we finally got a chance to go. It's a city that flourished during the Classical period here, but after it was deserted other groups came to live in the already constructed buildings, but never formed a society as prolific as the first. It was really need to go, we took a bus about 20 minutes uphill from Oaxaca, and from the hill that Monte Alban you can see the entire valley that the city of Oaxaca is located in. We walked around the site all afternoon, climbing pyramids and taking lots of pictures (and luckily no one got too sunburned this time, unlike previous trips to pyramids...).

We haven't had many excursions as of late, because classes have been getting busy. We are currently working on final projects and essays for our anthropology class, which is challenging but very interesting. A couple of weeks ago, we also had our first exam with Profesora Ramsay in our history class, which was difficult but showed how much we have learned so far. I really enjoy learning about the history and culture of Mexico while I am here, because it helps me understand so much better what I am seeing every day, and I am able to make connections and learn in a much more personal way than I would be able to in McMinnville or any other place. It's a great experience.

Other than those notes - a couple of weeks ago we had spring break here, which for us was the week before La Semana Santa (the week before Easter, when ALL of Mexico is on vacation and EVERYONE heads to the beach). This was good for us because we were able to go to the beach without it being too crazy anywhere. The group of students all went to a hostel together, but we arrived at different times and left at different times. It was great to get out of Oaxaca and relax, spend time in the hammocks and on the beaches, which are beautiful here. I think that all of us were ready to come back to the city though, because the cool thing is that by this point, we are familiar with the city, have friends, family, and interests here that we miss when we're gone. That's a pretty cool thing to experience.

Today marks 2 months since we came to Oaxaca. Time's going by too fast, and I'm trying not to think about it. We are preparing for another test tomorrow, and on Sunday we'll head to Chiapas for about 10 days to explore the colonial city, as well as some Mayan ruins. Should be exciting!!!!

Hasta la próxima!

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