Friday, April 06, 2007

Almost a year!

As we near the end of our first year here in Mexico, we are naturally reflecting on all the things we have learned. Despite the fact that we thought we were well-prepared (we planned our move for almost two years!), we realize that the difference between visiting Mexico and living in Mexico are is more different than we could possibly imagine.

We have had both challenges and delights that we could not have anticipated...the Mexican bureaucracy is difficult to navigate for native Spanish speakers. For those of us with rudimentary Spanish, just getting your utilities connected can be very daunting. We chose to live in a Mexican neighborhood, away from the tourists, and find that none of our neighbors speak English and none of the storekeepers we deal with daily speak English. So learning Spanish is not only good manners, it is essential.

But one of our most pleasant surprises has been our wonderful Mexican neighbors, who have made us feel welcome here and included us in their family celebrations. And it is wonderful to live in a small town again, where you meet people you know every time you walk down the street. We have begun to feel that we are really at home here.

As we prepare to celebrate our first anniversary here, we will make a more definitive list of pluses and minuses to publish. But the conclusion we have reached is no secret. We have no regrets. We look forward to living out our years in the warmth and beauty of Mexico.