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You found Jose

Mar. 25th, 2008 08:04 pm I hate moving...

But not for the reasons one would think a person generally hates moving.
Oh, who am I kidding? I hate moving for all of the generic reasons.

But aside from all the ordinary reasons one hates moving, I hate it for another reason: I’m a packrat.

When I moved from Oregon to Mexico, I took all the things I considered valuable, stuffed them in 2 or 3 boxes and shipped them off to the south and hoped for the best. I never really unpacked because I know me and I know that opening those boxes would be unleashing Pandora and today I was forced to let it out full force.

The last few days I moved what I considered the hardware: my bed, mattress, computer, speakers, bookcase, books, tv, etc. But I left my personal stuff, the hardest stuff to move, for later.

For instance, I keep in a bag all things Europe. My tickets to the museums I went to in Madrid, metro stamps from Barcelona and Prague. All I need to tell you is that I kept the toothbrush, gel, and even the last bottle of water I bought at the airport before I left the continent.
You may think it’s creepy, but looking at those objects, I’m immediately transported to a time I used it, when I bought it, how I felt, where I was going, and all things memorable.

Along with those boxes, I found valentines, invitations, birthday cards and notes. I found a letter from my grandma which almost put me to tears.
There were also thousands of movie ticket stubs I’ve collected since I was probably 12. About a fourth of those were probably collected sophomore/junior year when Megan and I would go to the movies every weekend.

And that’s what I hate. Just how emotional I get from looking at everything. So it takes me all day to go through just two boxes…because in order to go through those two boxes, I have to recap my life.

Current Location: Jardin de Miraflores
Current Mood: contentcontent
Current Music: O.A.R - Heard The World

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Jan. 8th, 2008 08:57 pm Coban(ned)

So Coban has sucked in just about any way a city could suck. we had to take a cab ride to the mall to find an ATM that would actually be willing to give me money.
the hostile (haha, get it?) here has been the one with the least friendly service, and we're having a hard time trying to find a safe way (a shuttle) to get to Livingston (without an e) but it looks like we're just going to be driven to 'a ranch' and wing it. i hope a bus is willing to stop there and take us the rest of the way. I bet this place doesn't even have warm water. psha.
Livingston will be great, i know it.
Copan was pretty cool, but a lot more expensive than i hoped it would be. The ruins were pretty cool, though. I spent most of the time sleeping trying to avoid getting sick. I think i slept over 10 hours which is weird for me. No matter how tired I am, i always sleep no more than 8 hours. The hostal was pretty cool, except there was only ONE bathroom with a toiled for about 20 people. THAT was awesome.
These past few days have been unbelievably crazy. we've been on a bus/shuttle/some sort of automobile for about 20 hours in the past 36, but we've seen so much. the views and the places have been remarkable and I just hope that when i transfer the pictures unto my computer and post them--they do justice. Semuc Champey is officially one of my most favoristest places on earth. Even though it's ridiculously difficult and dangerous to get to, I believe it's worth the risk.
The Celestine Prophecy was an excellent book to bring along with on this trip. It's so fitting and the way I feel has got me thinking about a lot of things. I can only say I feel good... and full of 'energy.'
As for school, It looks like Kike and I aren't going to suffer much for missing this first week of school, but the week we get back things are going to be pretty hectic. We won't have much time to finish the homework they left us over the break OR to study for the finals we have left. But... thankfully we don't have many, and our grades are high enough to not suffer much. Wish us luck.
I've no idea when I'll be near internet next, so this might be your last chance to request postcards.
Miss you all a lot. Cheers.

Current Location: Coban, Guatemala
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Finger Eleven - Paralyzer

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Jan. 3rd, 2008 07:07 pm Lights out.

The internet is incredibly slow here so i'll once again keep this brief.
We woke up at the buttrack of dawn to catch a bus to Chichicastenango. The day before yesterday was a little rough with the windstorms, but they got progressively worse yesterday. The power went out never to return around 6pm last night in the middle of dinner. Needless to say there were no hot showers, so... i've yet to do that.
Kike (pronounced Key-keh for all those with their minds in the gutter) and I got robbed blind at the market. They overpriced everything, but then we eventually got the hang of haggling and i got some pretty cool stuff for my mom and me.
My iPod is charging, meaning that my life will be complete as soon as that done. We're waking up, yet again, at the buttcrack of dawn to visit some ruins in Honduras. That should be cool.
We've also decided to save some bucks and not go back through Belize, which means not visiting San Pedro (La Isla Bonita... you know that song madonna sings?) and that's okay. Neither Kike nor I were fans of Belize, and we think visiting Chiapas will be a lot more rewarding. Besides, we still get to see the Caribbean through Guatemala later. I can't wait to see that.
Guatemala has been amazing. Thankfully we've yet to go through anything really dangerous.
The windstorm is still going on, but the power is finally back, which is how i'm able to update.
I've only received 2 postcard requests... your time is running out.
Happy new year, all. 
Ps. Expect longer, more detailed, entries when I'm back home. and after finals.
Adios!

Current Location: Antigua, Guatemala
Current Mood: dirtydirty
Current Music: Evanescence - Going Under

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Jan. 1st, 2008 07:47 pm

I have five minutes left so i'm going to make this brief.
new years: amazing.
right now i'm panajachel (atitlan lake) and i just watched another breath-taking sunset.
I'm alive. and I feel alive.

Current Mood: contentcontent

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Dec. 27th, 2007 06:56 pm Guatemala

I created this journal with the idea that i would be traveling more often.
Since a year ago, i haven't been anywhere worth posting about.
Last week a few friends came and we visited Cancun and an island near by. we also went to Chichen Itza... twice.
I'll post about those later.
Right now I'm really excited because my friend Kike and I are leaving for Chetumal in about 3 and a half hours...and then we're leaving for Guatemala!!! So I finally have another reason to use this journal again.
This is a rough image of what our trip is going to be like:

As you can see, we also plan on hitting up a little of Honduras and travel back through Belize. I'm really excited about visiting La Isla Bonita :)
Right, so I have to pack.... if you'd like me to send you a postcard, send me your address.... even if you think I already have it
joseggil@gmail.com
I'll try to update as much as possible. I'll also try and post pictures.
WISH ME LUCK!

Current Location: Merida, Yucatan
Current Mood: ecstaticecstatic

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Aug. 28th, 2007 09:26 pm Google Earf!

Alright… so I’m getting reaquainted with my love to Google earth.

I had lost a lot of interest a while ago when I visited the Yucatan peninsula and I couldn’t see anything. I could only identify Merida because you could tell it was the largest city. Also, all roads led to it.

I opened it by accident today, and I’m really excited that you can see all of Merida very clearly! Thus far, I’ve been able to find my house, the park where I like to go for walks and my school!

My house: Pointer 20*58’36.11” N     89*37’22.61” W

Park Salvador Alvarado: 20*59’48.29”     89*37’12.18” W

Facultad de Economia – UADY: 20*57’28.36” N     89*35’27.35” W

First week of class is pretty boring. Just algebra for now. I’ll start my actual classes on Monday. I still haven’t fully tested out of English. One more exam, a talk to the English professor and talk to the Dean. Sigh.

It looks like they might not just hand over the three semesters worth of credits, so I'll have to take a foreign language...even though I wanted to in the first place. For an alternative foreign language they offer Italian and French. Though I’d love to speak Italian, I believe French will be more useful for my career. No news on the exchange program with China….

Current Location: Merida, Yucatan, Mexico
Current Mood: deviousdevious
Current Music: Destilando Amor - Soap Opera.

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Aug. 23rd, 2007 02:27 pm Dean update.

Hey, I survived!

The storm hardly affected Merida at all. I think the biggest threat was the people being mean to one another at the supermarket fighting for cans of tuna than the Hurricane. There were strong winds, but that’s it. No damage to the house or anything at all.
1 down, #? To go. It was forecasted that about 5 hurricanes were going to hit us this year, but I find that hard to believe since hurricane season is just one month (September). I guess Dean came early.
Right now my biggest worry is school. My English placement test is this Saturday, which, if I say so myself, should be a breeze. Since I missed the math placement test, I get to start school one week early by taking an algebra refresher course all next week. Awesome. At least it’s just one class. I get to find out my class schedule on Monday. I’m really nervous but more excited. It’s been a long time coming and it’s finally here.
I’ve also been asked what my address is…so here you go:

Jose G. Gil Avila
Calle 45 # 514 x 62 y 64
Colonia Centro 97000
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Streets running North-South are even numbers and streets running East-West are odd. “x 62 y 64” just means that I live on the 45th street “between 62 and 64.” That seems to be a FAQ.

Wish me luck in school, everyone!

Current Location: Merida, Yucatan
Current Mood: fullfull
Current Music: VH1 - currently playing the video of Berlin - Take my breath away

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Aug. 20th, 2007 09:33 pm Dean-o-saur.

I’m sitting in my room watching an old episode of flavor of love. It's the season finale...This is where New York gets what’s coming to her…again. Ha!

My parents arrived about 3 hours ago and I was very happy to see them. This means I won’t have to leave home to face the hurricane elsewhere. I also get the satisfaction of knowing that they are safe with me rather than stuck at an airport.

Almost immediately after arriving…and after calling a few of her siblings, my mom insisted we go to the supermarket to get more food. It’s a good thing we did, because they closed fifteen minutes after we left.
My mom started making small conversation with the cashier, and jokingly said that we would purposely leave our van in their basement, the girl said that it gets really flooded so it would be a really bad idea anyway.

The city also shutting down electricity at midnight (less then 3 hours), so I’m trying my best to enjoy my last few moments of trash-tv and internet.

As you can see, tomorrow around 2pm will be about the worst for Merida, but at least the eye of the storm won’t pass over here. It was suggested to me that I travel south, but I think that getting in a car in the middle of a storm is a terrible idea. Also, I have no where south to go. I wonder if I have some long-lost relative in Belize who will take me…Better yet, Guatemala.

I want everyone to know that I appreciate you concerns, and that your attention means a lot to me. But it’s also important for you to know that I DON’T WANT TO DIE. I’m not staying in Merida out of stubbornness (like the people who stayed in New Orleans when Katrina happened), but because I think staying here is the safest, smartest thing to do. I am not alone. I am with my parents. We have cans of food, fruit, milk, and a plethora of juices to last us at least a week. Even if the storm strengthens into a Category 5 hurricane, I’m pretty sure my house can take it. We share two stone, cement walls with both our neighbors, so I don't think the house will receive much damage (except for the water getting in), if any.

My intention is not to sound like a jerk, but rather to ease your minds. If it makes any of you feel any better, the school directly across from my house was turned into a shelter, so if necessary, I could walk about 25 feet into a shelter.
After midnight, there will be no way to contact the world outside these walls, and as soon as I’m able to resurface, I’ll contact as many of you as I can to let you know I’m still alive.
As for now, I feel that I’m as prepared as one can be.

  • Doritos? Check.
  • Cookies? Check.
  • Nutella? Check.
  • Caramel sauce? Check.
  • Chocolate bars? Check.
  • Chocolate rice krispies? Check.
  • Books? Check.
  • Candles for reading late at night? Check.
  • Sodoku for mental stimulation? Check.
  • Playing dominoes (Mexican train [my mother’s favorite]) as soon as the lights go out? Check.

And so here it is, my last goodbye.
Thank you for your concerns.
I love you all.
See you soon.

Current Location: Out of Dean's way.
Current Mood: indifferentindifferent
Current Music: Coldplay - Yellow

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Aug. 19th, 2007 04:45 pm It's all been Dean

I haven’t done anything since I’ve been back.

My sister had invited me to go to the beach with her, but I couldn’t because I had to wait for my bag to be delivered.

I could have gone yesterday, but I was enjoying my time alone so much that I didn’t call her. In the afternoon it started raining with thunder and lightening. I was kind of scared that this was it, the Hurricane was finally here, even though the radar page said it won’t get here until Tuesday. Monday for Cancun.

Is it sad that my biggest fear is being without electricity? That would mean that I could only have my lap top for about 3 hours after they turn it off…along with my internet.

I have several books to read to pass the time, but I’m worried about the damage to the house. There aren’t that many windows, but the window to my room isn’t sealed very well.

Thunder just started and I’m sure rain and lightening will follow soon. I’m still weighing the options of going to the movies. I’ve done nothing but be online since I’ve been here so I just kind of wanna get out…and remain alone at the same time.

I should call my sisters. I feel like this house is safer than their own, but I don’t want to insult them. I also don’t feel like going to their houses. I’m not really scared of going through this hurricane alone, but then again it’s not really here yet. Perhaps fear will set in later.

After the mini storm yesterday, I went out and bought some canned foods. I have 2 dozen eggs, a large can of mushrooms, mushroom soup, 2 cans of refried beans, chips, cookies, powdered chocolate milk, bread, toasted bread, nutella, peanut butter and jelly, and boxed orange juice and milk. I can see now why they put juice and milk in a box: As long as they remain unopened, they can last up to 5 months without refrigeration.

I had a meeting at school tomorrow, but I wonder if it’s going to be cancelled, or even to go at all.

I also want to buy more things…They say that after a hurricane strikes, it make take up to a week before stores open again, so it’s good to be WELL stocked. I’m thinking I might need more candles and matches so that I may have proper lighting for reading when the electricity is shut off.

Oh yeah. While in Oregon, some of you we were worried of how to get a hold of me if something were to happen…or who to call, etc, in case of an emergency.

One can buy a cheap $5 calling card to Mexico at like a 7/11. They usually last about 2 hours give or take a half hour or so. You dial the 1-800 number, put in the code from the card and then you dial this:

001 – for outside of the US

52 – for Mexico

999 – for Yucatan

-------------------------------------

9-28-90-90 <house number

9991-29-59-37 <my cell phone

9995-75-39-69 <my sister’s cell phone

9999-47-91-38 <my dad’s cell phone

for example, to call my house one dials 011-52-999-9-28-90-90, or my cell phone 011-52-999-9991-29-59-37. I know. Far too many 9’s for a phone number… but yeah. I promise you all I’ll be okay. 
It's difficult to hear the phone from upstairs, so if I don't answer, feel free to leave a message. I may call you back for like a second to tell you to call me back and we can chat freely on your dime :)
Please refrain from calling the cell phones unless it's something important.
hmmm what else? Oh...If I’m not online for like a week, it just means I have no way to get online…

Wish me luck!

Current Location: Hurricane Central
Current Mood: lazylazy
Current Music: Iron and Wine - Such Great Heights

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Jun. 1st, 2007 10:11 am weather or not.

Since my arrival in January, I have been less than looking forward for the months of april and May. I was warned that this year they were going to be unbearably hot, and even 3 degrees hotter than ever. I'm assuming my mom was speaking in celcius. Merida's high is usually 42*C on the hottest days of the year, so my mom assumed that this meant the temperatures would reach 45. The only thing I saw on the news is that deaths happen every year. To be very careful about what water you drink and to avoid having soups and "juices" prepared outside of the house. To have a minimum of 2 Liters of water a day, and to take over-the-counter medication at the earliest sign of diarrhea. 
Since this year was going to be hotter than usual, it made sense that there would be more deaths than usual...and it's not that I want to see anyone die, but April and May came and went and nothing. I guess I prepared myself for waaaaaaaay worse and it's almost disappointing.Yes, it's been hot...but nothing terribly unbearable. And dare I say...I'm getting used to the heat?
I'm Ron Burgandy?
I guess I kinda wanted to brag that I survived living somewhere that reached 45*C...but that's silly. I hope nowhere in the world does it reach 45*C.

I'm getting used to seeing sunshine every day, but I miss the rain. A lot.
Today for the first time in god-knows-when, it'll be cloudy all day. The temp is down to 86*F and I almost feel like putting on a hoodie (I miss hoodies a lot).

Alas, June has arrived, and it's Storm Time. My mom has been preparing all of the month of May, buying candles, canned goods, and other type of c-words to prepare for the coming storms/hurricanes/rains.
I'm excited about the rains, but I'm sad that the temperature won't drop very much. It's going to stay hot until the end of the year. I'm not, however, excited about the strong storms and the possible 5 hurricanes that'll hit land. Those should be amazing.

Current Location: Merida
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
Current Music: Franz Ferdinand - Dark of the Matinée

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