Well here I am, finally in Oaxaca, Mexico! The trip to get here was rather long. Caitlin and I woke up at 2:30 in the morning and left the house at like 3 to drive to Queens. When we go to the airport, the terminal itself wasn't even open yet so after we checked our bags, we had to get in this big line. After awhile, they let us go get on another line to go through security. After all that, we got to go wait at the gate. Funnnnn. Once we got on the plane, we had to wait some more in line for other planes to take off.
The Detroit airport wasn't so bad. It's HUGE. We had to walk past 60 gates to get to our next flight. They had a Taco Bell in the terminal which made me happy. They also had all these shops and a spa and everything. It was like a mall that doubled as an airport. Of course, we had to wait to get on that flight and then wait for the plane to take off. That was our longest flight - to Mexico City. It was from 9 am Eastern time to 1:00 pm Mexico City time which is actually 2 pm. So like five hours. It's the longest flight I've ever been on. They served breakfast on the plane. I don't ever remember being served a meal on a plane before, so I was kind of excited. I got even more excited as we started descending in Mexico. I saw REAL mountains for the first time in my life -- the type with snow on top! They looked awesome from above. I also saw a volcano...it wasn't erupting or anything just steaming a bit.
At Mexico City, we had to go through customs like twice. I'm not too sure what was happening. Just lots of standing and waiting. Our last flight was from Mexico City to Oaxaca and that was only an hour. I saw more mountains when we landed. They were still cool. In fact, from everywhere in the city you can see mountains, they surround the city!! I can't get over these things. Like, I've lived in hilly areas, but nothing like here...just flat flat then BAM! Mountain! Anywho...we had to go through customs again in Oaxaca but it didn't take long at all. The bus ride back to the hotel was about half an hour. It was really nice just to finally GET here. *Sigh* Why can't life be like Harry Potter and we could get places instantly???
So Thursday night my Mexico-roommate (Caitlin) and I went out in search of food. The language barrier kind of sucks...I did take Spanish in high school though so I'm okay. We were pretty shocked out how cheap everything is. Dinner for the both of us came to $200 including drinks and tips which is like $15 - $20 in US Dollars. After that we came back to the hotel to find out that the rest of our group was FINALLY hungry and going out. We decided to tag along anyway. At the restaurant, they had FRIED GRASSHOPPERS. Everybody tried them...salty. Ick.
Yesterday we had a walking tour of Oaxaca, looking at churches and such. While we were in a gallery, one of my classmates saw Mary Ellen Mark, a famous photographer. She was too shy to go into the room she was in so later as we were waiting, a few of us struck up a conversation with a woman outside. Turns out, she's a 1999 RIT graduate. From the MFA Photography program. And she was Mary Ellen Mark's assistant. She went in to get her and Mary Ellen Mark herself invited us to look at some work this evening. We'll be going there in about half an hour!! For dinner last night, we went to the Camino Real Hotel which used to be a convent. The church part of it is now used as a hall and they have a dinner and a show there. The food was amazing...dessert was my favorite part. The show was a bunch of music and dances highlighting the seven Indian cultures of Oaxaca.
Today we woke up bright and early and walked across the city to a giant market. There were lots of people selling everything you could possibly imagine. We had some food there, photographed there, then came back to our hotel, Hotel Principal. After resting a bit, we went to the Zocalo, a plaza near our hotel. We ate some more and photographed some more before wandering up to this area where people sell a lot of handmade goods. So far I got souveniers for Kayla and Annemarie. I'm on the quest to get stuff for Dana, Luke, and my parents.
So in a little bit we are going to the gallery to hang out with Mary Ellen Mark. AWESOME. Tomorrow we are doing a bunch of stuff...my professor said we are going to be out all day. Monday is a free day so I might hike up a mountain or something. That's all I know for now. I'll definitely keep you all updated and once I am back in the US I will post lots of pictures!!
((Haha two of my classmates just came back to the hotel and said they had hiked up one of the mountains...so def doing that sometime this week))