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Published: January 30th 2011
Time flies when you're having fun. I remember, somewhere near the beginning of my stay in Mexico, sitting on the bed in my new room and thinking 'I'm going to be sitting here, in the same place, in 6 months time thinking where did the time go?'. So obviously my psychic abilities are improving because that's exactly what I've done!
I don't know where the time has gone. I can look back at a list of places I've been to and know I've seen alot of the country, I can flick through hundreds of photos and see all the things I have done and people I've met; but the daily life in Sahuayo seems to have slipped by so fast and what I am really going to miss is my life here in Mexico; my friends, my work and all the ordinary chores and errands and happenings which mean I have lived here and not just passed through as a visitor.
Sahuayo is not the prettiest city I have ever seen. There is little here to reccommend it to tourists and all of us teachers have complained of being bored from time to time, yet it has been home. I know
the man who sells cakes on the corner of the street, I have a particular stall in the market where I always buy my mangoes, there's the cafe where I celebrated my birthday, the crazy 'coffin shop' which has since put in windows and sliding doors and now looks the respectable funeral directors, and the shop where I buy huge sheets of card for work and the woman who asks after my students and classes.
The teaching has been fun and despite lesson planning and observations and parent days it has all been very relaxed and hardly felt like work most of the time. I've liked all my classes and had great fun with the students, many of whom are now friends.
The school has been a lovely supportive place to work. I was initially surprised at the schedule where students come for an hour Monday to Friday, but it has worked and been enjoyable. Lessons have never felt too long and students have progressed from day to day. Being in an English speaking environment every day seems to have huge benefits as even the laziest student finds it hard to forget too much in a mere 24 hour period.
I am so proud of the students and amazed that they have remained dedicated enough to come every day for the entire term. The children have come on in leaps and bounds (often quite literally as my Beeline class have certainly been under and over the tables - hey! it's an excellent way to teach prepositions!) and one older student has staggard me with how quickly she can pick up language as she walked into my classroom the first day unable to say more than 'hello' and by the last class was able to (admittedly stiltingly and with a dictionary in hand) have a conversation in three tenses.
I am really happy I came to Mexico. It has been an unexpected adventure as I was originally looking eastwards for TEFL work and the position in Mexico came up quite by chance. It has been a busy 6 months. I have taught my own classes and used Spanish for real communication rather than homework. I have travelled both along the tourist routes and round the locality. I have made friends and been a part of the local community. Most importantly, I have felt at home here.
When I left India after
my gap year at age 19 I found it strange that I could feel at home in such a vastly different place. It was weird to sit back at home and be struck by sudden moments of homesickness for a place so different from my actual home. I have managed to adjust to life back in England, helped no doubt by the fact I have been back to India every couple of years since! I always thought my love of India was nostalgia for my first 'big trip' and perhaps by the fact it was 'real travel', living without internet and home comforts.... and frequently hot water and electricity! I'm finding however, on my last day in Mexico, that this is not a unique phenomenom. Perhaps it is due to the friends I am leaving behind, the hopes I have to see them again soon and the fantasy of what it will be like on my return visit to Sahauyo. India has long felt like my second home... I feel I now have a third and I hope it will not be long before I see Mexico again.
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