Sunday, June 14, 2015

Week 1

Welcome to the Merida 2015 blog, guardians and friends! We have all survived our first week together in Mérida and have lots to share with you!

In the Houston airport, about to embark upon our journey to the Yucatan!

Arrived safely to México on Sunday! Just finished passing through passport control, on our way to customs and stopped for a quick group photo. Although we did not have to combat much jetlag, the intense sun and intense emotions caused for some tired bodies, but our spirits are high and there is much excitement!


Here we are upon arrival to the school where the students will have classes and choir, dance or theater practice daily.

More pics of the school, and here specifically is the space where students gather during breaks during the school day and where we give daily announcements and hold important meetings. Although it is outside, the shade and decorations make all the difference and make for a cozy, festive ambiance!

Please follow link below for the video!
A an exciting moment where some students meet their host families for the first time!

Tuesday we had orientation to go over program expectations and check in on how everyone had been settling into life in the Yucatan!

It can't all be fun and games unfortunately :) Here students are working hard to complete their program assessment which will be repeated prior to departure to assess language gains ( which by the way all students have already made big ones!!) over the course of the summer.

Wednesday: First day of school! Here are the students as their host families drop them off for their first experience in the classroom as IUHPFL students. They’ve only known each other for a few days but the smiles and hugs show that the bonding has already begun!

Sneak peaks inside the classroom!

Here we all are practicing singing and learning the lyrics of some of the songs that will be sung during the farewell show a few days before departure. Some will share their vocal talents while the rest will either choose to show off their acting skills or dance moves! Stay tuned for more pics of that action!

Please follow link below for video!
Some dance practice with Marisela, our assistant in the choir/dance class.

Getting ready to head home and eat lunch after a long school day!

Friday: Quick pic of everyone before heading on the bus tour of Merida!

 The French braid experts are in high demand...most likely very soon by Profesora Carly also!!! :)

Hola from the tour bus!!

Monumento de la Patria

A tour around the beautiful city of Mérida, which went wonderfully, minus the 10 minutes the bus stalled and we thought we might have to get out and push, which all were willing to do! :) But it got started again quickly and we were able to continue the tour.

After the tour brought us back to Santa Lucía Park, there were some we are waiting for ice cream inside.....Dairy Queen!

Nothing like DQ to fight the HEAT ( and man, it is HOT here in Mérida!)

Everybody on their way home for lunch and maybe, a siesta??

Here we are all gathered at the Cathedral in the Main Square right before the beginning a scavenger hunt around the city. Whichever group of students gets back first having taken pictures of all necessary items and having obtained all correct trivia answers from taking to locals would win Gansitos! (a very tasty chocolate treat!)

Inside the beautiful Cathedral
The main square
The victorious group with their prizes!

Saturday we had our first activity outside of Mérida: THE BEACH! Yep, we all headed to Progreso beach which is in the town of Progreso just about an hour away from Mérida. 

Excited to be heading to the beach..well...

Ok there we go, a bit more excited now!

Excited but sleepy too..a few are still recovering from the long day upon arrival, but mostly the sleepiness is from the heat we are sure!

Let's get in the water already and stop having to pose for another "Foto!?" :)

Loving it in the PERFECT water! Great day for the playa!

Lounging now...sun comes and goes but enough sun to get some of us tan, but, well, more of us burned, but just a tad!

A comer! Let's eat! It's hard to go back to real life after a day like this!

Students had time to explore the beach town to buy souvenirs, some bought key chains and necklaces, while others bought Fedoras!

Some pics of the profs so the students don't forget about us! :)

Adios Progreso!

Arriving back to Mérida, maybe still wishing we were at the beach! But happy to be back to our home away from home!

As much fun as we all had at the beach, many more exciting excursions await! Sunday many students visited Mérida en Domingo with their host families which consists of a huge market exhibiting an array items and really is a wonderful cultural experience. Students also were able to just relax at home with their families and do homework we are sure! :) prepare for this upcoming school week. 

We are all very happy with how the first week went here in Mérida, everyone seems to be getting settled into their home, finding their way around the city and getting used to classes and schedules, but there is so much more to come. Thanks for hanging out with us here on the blog and we'll see you next weekend! Adios ( for now! :))

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