Now that I have arrived safely in Mexico City and gotten settled here at the seminary, started language courses, and become acquainted with the surrounding area, I thought I would provide a few “snapshots” of my first week and a half:
Lunes – 6 de Junio
It’s been a long day! My flight left Sacramento close to midnight, and I didn’t get any real sleep on the plane, so it’s been about 36 hours since I’ve had some good rest. All that said, this city is amazing! As soon as we got off the plane and into the car, we took in the sights and sounds of Mexico City. This summer holds a lot of fun, surprises, and growth! But first, sleep!
Martes – 7 de Junio
I am now officially a student of La Universidad Pontificia de Mexico, or The Pontifical University of Mexico, which is about a 20 minute walk from the seminary. Here at the university we will take all of our language courses, after being assessed and sorted into appropriate classes. The campus is stunning – it seems to be a mix of modern university and old-style pueblo. The grounds are immaculate, and our new professors seem ready and eager to help us learn.
Viernes – 10 de Junio
Today is laundry day, but not just any laundry day – I ventured out to a large supermarket to buy laundry supplies with a few of the guys. It was a terrific chance to use my Spanish skills. All in all, a good trip. Well, until I realized that the “soap” I bought was actually fabric softener, realized of course after I had started the load! Oh well, back to the drawing board, and back to the store!
Sabado – 11 de Junio
Today we went to the Museo Nacional de Antropología, or National Museum of Anthropology. There was so much to learn, we felt like we hit only the very tip of the iceberg! Looking through the eyes of the Mayans, Aztecs, and Spanish, one gets a taste of the depth and breadth of the story of the Mexican people. If only we had about another week to spend here. I wouldn’t mind coming back to Mexico in the future just to study the history itself, visiting the ancient sites and getting to know the people even further. I am certainly looking forward to the various excursions we have planned this summer…
Domingo – 12 de Junio
Today, we visited la Parroquia de San Augustín, a beautiful church here in Tlalpan, the district of Mexico City that will be my home for the next three months. They have masses almost every hour on Sunday and they are ALL packed! We also had a chance to attend mass here three days ago, and the priest invited us back to the sacristy. Words can’t do it justice, so I will try to get the pictures posted soon!
Lunes – 13 de Junio
Today I started reading a book in Spanish called El Hobbit. Have any of you heard of it before?
Oh, and la venganza de Moctezuma is a real thing. (Edit 15 de Junio – So far 4 of us have encountered Señor Moctezuma. I got off fairly light so far, but prayers would be appreciated – some of the guys seem to have been hit hard).
Miercoles – 15 de Junio
Have I mentioned the weather here yet? It’s absolutely gorgeous. The temperatures are a bit on the warm side, but comfortable. Rain is frequent, usually in the late afternoons. My favorite part, however, are the nights: for the past several days we have had some pretty awesome thunderstorms, which are great for falling asleep to. The sounds of the weather at night, mixed with those of the city, have helped me adjust nicely to this new environment.
(Don’t tell my mom, but you should have seen how soaked we were the other day coming back from the bus after a short trip to OfficeMax – it was great!)
So, this first several days have been packed. They keep us busy – all told, by the end of the two months of classes, we will have had over 180 hours of coursework in language and culture. Then in August, I will be sent to a local parish to serve for one month, at the end of which Bishop Soto will come down to visit me and the other Sacramento guys. I can’t wait to take what I am learning here back to Sacramento to put to use in our diocese! I will try to organize and post pictures soon.
Before closing, I would like to say thank you to all of you who support your seminarians and priests. There are so many I could mention by name, but that’s simply not possible… My family and friends, especially my parents, whose love and encouragement have been constant… My home parish and diocese, especially my pastor and my Knights of Columbus council, without whose steadfast support I would not be here… And most of all, Almighty God for leading me and the other Sacramento seminarians forward in this wonderful life. To Him be the glory!
Please know that you are in all of our prayers daily. ¡Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, ruega por nosotros!