Author Archives: Joshua McGraw

Arrival Home

Coming home ended up not being as difficult as I though it would. I was thinking that we would go through customs in Mexico, not in Texas, and was concerned I might say something wrong. However, we didn’t go through customs until we made it to Texas, and we all flew through! I was so ready to be home, to see my family and friends, but now am missing all of my Mexican friends and family! There was one portion of my trip from Queretaro to Mexico City that I had a problem with. The guy at the ticket counter, when he checked my bag, gave me the wrong ticked stub, and I had a hard time getting one of my bags, because I didn’t have the “right” ticket. The guy was asking me whats something specific in you bag so I know its yours…I thought and thought but all I could think of was clothing, luckily he got busy and just handed me my bag. I was very happy. Other than that the trip was problem free! We even made it to PDX a little early. This program taught me so much and I would not trade this summer for anything. I cannot wait to return to my home away from home and see my friends and family. Queretaro will always be home to me, and the people who live there will always be close at heart. I made friendships with people in our group that will last a lifetime, and we all even talked about going back to Queretaro in a year for a reunion! As for now I am happy to be in the good ole USA, but also cannot wait to return to good ole Mexico! Screen shot 2013-08-12 at 1.44.47 PM

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Preparing to go home:

Well I am now finishing my last day in Queretaro, Mexico and I a little sad to leave. While I am very excited to be home with my family and friends, it is sad to leave such wonderful people that I have meet here, behind. In looking back to my Pre-departure post, I was completely wrong. There are very tall buildings, many cars, and the city is very clean. There was not a time while being in Queretaro did I feel unsafe. I love this city and all the people in it. Queretaro will forever be my home away from home. Having been both in Spain and Mexico, I was trying to look for similarities, however, there are none that I have seen. Even though both are places that speak Spanish, the only other similarity is the way in which History is preserved for the culture. Screen shot 2013-08-02 at 4.20.14 PM

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Week Four!

Well we are coming down to our last week of the program and its been nice to sort of take a break from going going going. We actually had a weekend where we just got to relax! We also finally had time to do our homework in a timely manner! This last weekend my Uncle came to visit from the states so I was able to spend a little time with him, showing him my home away from home. He loved it here! We went out with the group to dinner, on friday and he was able to practice his Spanish. Then saturday we went to a little Ghost Town called Pozos. It was AMAZING! We went down into a mine and even tried our hand at “mining”. Im thinking teaching is a better career choice for me… after that we went out to dinner with his host. Oh my gosh it was the BEST tacos I have eaten yet! The locals sure know how to pick the places! We stayed up until 2 or 3 in the morning just talking! Not sure if that was such a great idea though since we decided to go back to Bernal on Sunday! My Uncle wanted to hike to the top, and I said ok ill do it again! It was such an amazing experience the first time I couldn’t pass it up. Once we climbed Bernal, we went to a town called Taquisquiapan, where we met my host family for dinner and shopping! I am absolutely in love with this city and the people here. I will be saddened to leave in a week, but am also excited to see my family and friends back in the US. Screen shot 2013-07-28 at 11.10.50 AM

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Week Three!

This week was very fun, but also very tiring! During the weekend (last weekend) the group and I went to Mexico City. Mexico City reminds me a lot of New York, everyone always moving, the city coming to life after dark, people dressed nicely… With saying this, Mexico City I would have to say was (so far) my least favorite place on this program. There was just too much packed into such a short time. My favorite place was the Frida Kahlo Museum, in my past Spanish Classes I was taught a lot about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, so to be able to actually see their house and their art work, was just amazing. The other place that we went to was Teotihuacan. This place was just amazing, the history that is held deep in the walls of the places and the work that went into creating these enormous structures was just amazing. Climbing the Pyramid was an amazing experience as well! I am just so overwhelmed with how nice the people are here and how willing they are to help you find where you are going or help fix the way that you said something, if it was wrong. Some friends and I got a little lost this last week looking for our school and we ran into this very nice man who was walking in that direction and was willing to show us where to go…later we realized that he miss understood us and took us to the opposite university, but it was still nice of him, and we also got a chance to communicate with another local! My uncle was here these past 5 days just visiting and that was so amazing! Im glad that he was able to be here, because his host was able to recommend places to eat and visit, giving me an advantage of knowing more areas! I also now have more friends in Queretaro, for future visits! Any ways its getting late here so this is all for now! :) Screen shot 2013-07-21 at 8.46.55 PM

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Week 2 Post

Hi all! All I can really say is WOW! Mexico is so amazing. I have learned so much just in the short time I have been here. This past weekend we went to Bernal and hicked to the middle point. What a view! Even though my feet were pretty tired it was well worth it to see the view from the top. I have included a few pictures of our trek. Once we got of the mountain, we were able to go through town, looking at all of the wonderful items that the people of Bernal made. I purchased several items for gifts for my family. I think that it has finally become “real” about being in a different country and learning all about the differences between the US and here. Im in classes most of the day so I really dont get out into the city much, but I can say that my host family is amazing, and I dont think I could have picked a better match for me than then company did. This weekend we are going to D.F. and I am pretty excited for that. Cant wait to see what all this weekend has to offer. Screen shot 2013-07-10 at 8.27.56 PM

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First Week!

I absolutely love it here! Everyone is so nice and helpful. My preconceived notions were wrong, there are so many cars, tall buildings and the city is VERY clean! I could not have asked for a better host family! They have been so understanding about when it takes me a little longer to come up with a response. I have learned so much just in the few days I have been here, I believe my understanding of the Spanish language and culture has grown, placing me closer to my end goal of becoming fluent! Having gone to a museum I was able to see a bit more of the Spanish culture, I also took a trolley ride through the historic down-town. On this tour the guide gave us a history of the buildings and streets. Some parts were a little difficult to understand because the guide used words i did not know, however Carmen was able to translate those tricky parts. We met an elementary teacher here who is wanting to learn English so we sort of traded, she helped us with Spanish and we helped her with English. She was able to teach us more about the culture and history of Queretaro. She also introduced us to some of her friends. Meeting more people in an unfamiliar place is always good, we now have friends for a lifetime and are able to continue getting to know them and through them get to know the city! Screen shot 2013-07-03 at 7.29.19 PM

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Screen shot 2013-07-03 at 7.30.24 PM I have included a few pictures of my first days in Mexico, hope you enjoy.

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Arrival

Arrival was very interesting! I was very glad that we had Carmen with us to help with the spanish. Upon arrival we immediately went through customs and it went very well. Once we got through all that we bought a ticket for the bus to Queretaro. That was a fun experience, the ms weaved in and out of traffic, sometimes creating an extra lane. Once we got to Queretaro we went straight to bed, we were all very tired! These past few days have proven to me that my spanish is not as good as i thought, but i have learned alot these last few days and am really excited to meet my family tomorrow. Today we took the trolly around town and walked alot. It was nice to get to know the city. I cant wait to see what this next week has to offer! image

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Pre-Departure

image At this point I am very excited for this program and a little nervous! I am very thankful that we have Carmen with us! I expect that there will not be very many cars in Queretaro. Really Im not sure what to expect. Because i have been to Spain I kinda think i will be similar but i am really not sure. Well thats all for now!

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Introduction: Josh McGraw

Hi my name is Josh and I am doing the Queretaro Summer session program. I am interested in this program because I am wanting to complete an endorsement in Bilingual/ESOL. This degree will allow me to help ELL students further their education in a positive more efficient way. I cannot wait to get to know my host family, and the other students on this program, more.

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