How Exciting (Nehemie Gauthier, Mexico)

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In my first week in Mexico, I got to meet so many amazing people and visit some incredible places. When I first arrived, I felt a bit homesick and out of place. I say this because Mexico was very different from the United States. I am staying in Merida, Yucatan and it is very common for families not to use AC. Instead, they have windows and doors open. With windows and doors open, mosquitoes are able to enter the house. This means that the one bottle of repellent I brought with me was not going to be enough. I would need over 3 bottles to survive especially because of how frequently I applied the repellant. I would spray it on right before I went to sleep, as soon as I woke up, and whenever I was going out. I knew that this would have to become my new lifestyle if I didn’t want to wake up with itchy bumps the next day. Another reason I felt out of place was because I didn’t speak the language. The family I am living with have lived in Merida their whole lives and speak little to no English. With such a large language barrier, it became difficult to communicate. Lastly, I was in a foreign country where I knew no one. I was very nervous. Eventually, I got to meet my roommate Oriana and other students from the University of Florida. We all attend the Autonomous University of Yucatan where we are enrolled in our Spanish class. I have a Spanish class Monday- Wednesday, 8 am to 11 am. I am also taking an epidemiology course with 7 other students. That class is Monday through Thursday from 3 pm to 5 pm at a library downtown. Lastly, every weekend we go on excursions.

The pictures below are of my university and a group picture. The first picture was provided by Daniel Vazquez. and the second one was take by one of the students. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to meet such amazing people and I’m excited to form new bonds. At the end of my study abroad program, I would like to have made progress in Spanish and be able to make long-lasting friendships. Merida is such a beautiful vibrant city full of life and joy. I am looking forward to my time here.