The Exchange Year

I love the decoration that you find in Mexican homes, the colors, shapes, and textures.

I went on a university exchange in Mexico program nearly thirty years ago. Wow, I can't believe how time flies. I spent a that time at the University of Guadalajara. It was first established as the Royal University of Guadalajara on November 3rd, 1792. Later it was renamed to the University of Guadalajara in 1925.

I have only fond memories of my time at the university. It has a special meaning for me because my father studied their before coming to the US to complete his education. It was there that he first met my mother.

To say that I used it as an opportunity to see some of the country is an understatement. I made a couple of friends while I was there, one of whom I am still acquainted with today. We visited: Guadalajara, Morelia, Guanajuato, we crossed over to Baja California in the Chevy that belonged to my friend's then boyfriend. We visited the capital had a vacation in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.

I went and visited my grandmothers.

I got to partake in a celebration for one of my young cousins, the quinceañera, something that I had only cursory experience with as I had never took part in the celebration when I was a child and my own was more or less subdued. I had no idea that a quince años celebration could be so big. It was bigger than most wedding I had been part of growing up.

What I had failed to realize before I left was how beautiful the landscape was. I liked the landscapes when we went back to visit family but I had failed to really appreciate it. Between the desert, beach and jungle it is a country with variety that many fail to recognize. I loved the warmth and welcoming nature of the people we met.

Once when I was traveling with my friends we had a flat. Unfortunately what should have been a simple fix became a problem when we realized that the spare was nowhere to be found.

A man and his young son stopped and helped us. He and his brother towed us into town and repaired the flat. They wouldn't take any money for the help. And his wife invited us to lunch. They were so nice, and it was only for the purpose of being nice. There help didn't have a price.

And lunch was delicious.

The food there is for me the best, simply delicious! I enjoyed the many specialties that I tried while I was there. And I even gained a dress size while I was there. Not necessarily bad, since I have been notoriously skinny. 🙂

I also fell in love with th fashion.

As it should that year I spent at the University of Guadalajara was one of exploration and learning. The experiences that I made faded with time but they stayed there in my heart.

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