Monday, May 31, 2010

Just here there and everywhere

Can I do that after just saying I wanted to make my blog easier to navigate. Can I write a stuff post. Well why not its my blog after all and since my mind is full of stuff Ill put it here.
First of all this last couple weeks Iv just been in awe of my online support. I call it this because now that I'm in Mexico even my family is online support. I don't have anyone to come over and give me a hug when I freak out. I take that back my husband gives the best hugs ever and when we were living apart the only one who could match them was my little sister. If you ever meet her give her a hug and your day will brighten while shes hugging you. But now those hugs only come through her writings or her eyes on the web cam. And thanks to a family site my mom pays for I am able to stay up on the going ons of everyone and to fill them in as well. I love the net its been so much help with this whole move and new life thing. But what I find so amazing about the net and something I never thought was possible, is that I have made such close friends. When I was younger and meaning in my 20s I had friends who would talk about people online that they met and how close they had gotten and would talk about one day meeting in person. I was always like how close can you really get to someone you cant sit down with to a cup of coffee and really talk. Well now I know. And thankfully Iv been blessed enough to get to meet a few of them in person and found that I really do get a long with them. Im now pretty convinced that if both parties are being them selves online that you can know if its someone you could get a long with or not. I do wish some of you lived a little closer and that we had time to hang out more but hey such is life. And to be honest even when I lived in the states I only really had one friend who took the time to hang out much (love you Samantha). And aside from the regular banter about our lives my friend Adelina and I do a bible study via skype every week (well we try. lol) and this has made here one of the closest people in my life right now. Isn't that funny that Iv never seen her in person. Sure we did web came one day or two but usually just the phone call on skype but if I have news shes one of the first to find out. Or if I feel like crying I send her an e-mail. I was just realizing today how crazy this is to me and how only like 5 years ago I was a skeptic. You just never know right?

So about my new place, we have been here now for a couple weeks. I must say the niceness of it has not worn off. Even with the few downfalls. I am so content here I cant even tell you. The leaky toilet and fact that I had to tape up the screens doesn't even bother me. Yes I said it I taped up screens. Sometimes a long with blessings comes new challenges. My husbands new promotion has him working 12 hour shifts every day of the week he hasn't had a day off since last Sunday and we are hoping for Tue or Wed. We knew it was going to be long hours and rough for a while so we are taking it in stride. The problem is there are thing this new house needs that I just cant do. Like figuring out a better way to do screens than to tape them. lol I have to re-tape them every couple days due to the dirt but its gonna have to work till hubby has the time and energy to do something more permanent. Thankfully our landlords believe in maintenance and have sent a guy over for the things everyone needs like leaks and the hot water heater. He still has to come back this week and do some more but its nice to know we even have him coming. All our other landlords told us to fix it our selves and no it wasn't coming out of our rent. What a blessing these people are. Really I didn't think this kind of renting existed here. The girls are loving the front yard and pack porch, in the mornings they play our front and in the evenings when its hot I put a tub of water on the patio for them to play in. I can actually mop the floor with out little foot prints showing up all over because they are content where they are playing. Oh and my husband just figured out that there is an extra cable in the play room. We were told that if we hook up our motum to this cable we could use our lap top in there. So out of curiosity he hooked it up to the TV. We don't get any cable channels but we do get the main ones that you would get with antenna, which we have but isn't reliable. So good for him he gets to watch the world cup. Oh and its so much easier to do the trash. The truck actually comes when the bell guy comes through and the girls are on my same level so I can hear them the whole time Im waiting. And now that we have the gate in front its no big deal for them to be out there while Im tossing in the trash. Oh and we have an extra recycling trailer attached to our truck. Iv been having trouble remembering to trow our plastic and stuff in a separate container but Ill get there again. Im excited about that. We also have a little mini supper that is actually better stocked than the old one I was buy. This is a good thing because I never get the truck anymore we are way to far from Issacs work for him to walk now. We are praying for a second form of transportation preferably a scooter for him to use for work. We have no idea on prices so if anyone does let me know.
Wow this post is getting really long but I still have a couple more things to write about. As I think I said in my previous post we found a church close by. Im just so excited about this. I love that its so small and comfortable, I actually went with out Issac yesterday and felt good the whole time. Although Im sure Im still missing a lot of what the pastor says he sticks to the bible pretty close so I get his point and a lot of what he says. And as always because of the repetition in praise music that is usually a given for me. Alana loves the little class, she is going to do so good in Kinder, I cant wait. The teachers at the church told me they cant believe how disciplined she is and how smart. Apparently they played a color game and after yelling out the color in Spanish Alana was teaching them the colors in English. Sorry I had to brag because my heart just swelled up to hear the teacher tell me these things. I was worried that Alanas Spanish wasn't advanced enough for her to do well in Kinder because her English is so good. You can seriously have a regular conversation with her and shes three. But they said they thought her Spanish was great for her age so I suppose she will do fine.
The last thing I was going to type about was the girls. Well there was my bragging on Alana. Joslin is the cutest thing you will ever see. She loves hugs and kisses and is so sweet but at the same time she will come up and strait up punch you in the face with her fist. And when she does she will give you this mean look, that makes you want to laugh. But I don't and I get on to her for hitting but it really is to funny to see her pretty little face all squinched up. Shes a tough one and doesnt let big sister push her around, Im afraid when shes a little bigger it might end up the other way around because Alana is supper sensitive and my little princes drama queen. Its so fun to have two and I cant wait to have three. Watching them interact is so interesting. Joslin now says her sisters name kind of and if she hasn't seen her for a bit will walk around the house yelling for her. She is a great communicator and no longer crys if shes hungry thirst or tired. She just tells me what she needs and we take care of it. Shes still using her sign language of course but you can hear her trying to get different syllables out while shes doing it. Ok I could go on and on like this so Ill stop now. ;)
Oh and I did finally get to the IMMS to make my appointments for my lab work and my ultrasound. They were able to get me in for lab work before my next dr. appointment but my ultrasound isn't till Aug. I will be 6mo along by then and am not comfortable waiting that long. So as soon as Issac gets off work before the ultrasound place closes we are going to go into there and pay for one. They are really cheap and its the same place I used for my gallbladder. This is one of the things with using the public system you may not get things done when you want but there is always a reasonable alternative.
I think that's the end of my random post and I just want to say I haven't been this happy in my life since right after I got married and before Issac left for Mexico. God really is good and is working in my life. Even a year ago I thought this post was a long way off. I never would have thought that I would be so comfortable and happy here this soon. I know it is a lot due to my network of online buddies. Leslie for sure was a big big help. Every since I met her she has given me hope that a white girl can be happy here. So to all of you who haven't moved yet or who have just got down here know it does get better. There is hope. I didn't know a lick of Spanish when I came and that was the hardest part and now I'm comfortable with speaking to people. This is doable and you can be happy. Ok Ill say good buy for now and sorry for such a long post I usually try to keep them shorter but I had a lot to say this time around. Well this took a while and my girls are begging for attention so Im not going to read over it. Hope it wasn't written to badly. lol

Sunday, May 30, 2010

need suggestions

Ok so Iv been sending some new people to my blog and am finding that its kind of hard to navigate if your new. Most people just write me to ask if I have a post on such and such and I look for it and send a link. But I think what I need to do is redo my labels or something. Anyone got any good ideas. Seriously opening up to suggestions here so if there is something on my page that you have thought to be confusing or something now is the time to say so.

Friday, May 28, 2010

A breaking heart

So I have always been pretty tinder hearted. As child it came out often as tears. My family use to tease that a falling leaf would make me tear up. As a muchacha it came out as a peace loving hippy. And as an adult I have held on to both of these releases. Before I met my current husband I use to try and try to not cry over things and I would hold it all in till the one fateful day or night when all alone and just let it out. Thankfully he reminded me its ok to let my love out in this way and to let others see it. I have also since my teen years written a lot and find that this helps to ease the pain I feel for others. Of course since I have become close to Christ I also find that prayer combined with all of these things helps. When I use to work night shifts my rounds didn't only consist of checking foleys and IVs but I would also pray with all my heart over my patients. Something that my personality wont let me understand is how it is possible for people to be so mean to each other. Now mind you I don't mean short lapses in judgment or a loss of temper, believe me I suffer these as much as anyone. So now with this brief insight I go into to point of this post.

Recently my heart has been in my throat more than one day regarding things that are going on my home country. Even though I don't live there it still affects me and I just cant ignore it. I cant understand how people can be so cruel and in that cruelty not see past their own noses.Before I say to much more I want to add that my husband and I are not for illegal immigration to the US or we would be there. Believe me we thought about it after he got his permanent ban. But we knew in our spirit that that was not the rout God had planned for us. To be honest there is just so much to say on this issue that I don't think can really say it all. And I am not upset at those who are angry about the illegals. What I hate is the profiling and racism that is flying left and right because of that anger. I agree that all immigrants should go through the legal rout. BUT (wish I could make that bigger)after being through the system myself and seeing its many wholes and leaks and fall throughs I also know why they don't. Why can we channel all this hatred and energy into a solution instead of hurting so many people. And why on earth is Mexico getting hit so hard, they are not the only illegals there. I saw a picture of a sign where people were even talking badly about Mexican babies. How can you do that how can you bring babies who so far have made no decisions in life into this. And how can you talk of any human being as if they are cattle or items to be dealt with. A person no matter who they are is a person.
What is worse is that I have seen people pull then name of Christ into their arguments. This must break his spirit so to see his name used in such a hateful way. Jesus loves all kinds... everyone.. the poor.. the broken.. thank God he even loves the druggies or I would have never came back around.
I know there is no easy solution but what I do know is that guns, hatred, ignorant words, and turning on our own kind is not the solution. Violence has never been the solution and so often we have seen this in the past why can we not learn as a people. I think the worse part is feeling so helpless. And seeing so many hurting and seeing so many who think that its ok if you hurt because you were not born in the US. Its never ok to hurt we all bleed and cry.

Anyway like I said I'm not going to get into the politics because really there is just to much to say. This post is to be more of the effect of all the hatred and how even though I'm not there it still affects us. I cant imagine how hard it is for those couple still in the states. Before I left often in my job your personal life comes into conversation with patients and families. And you have no idea the grief I got from the same people I was praying over.

To end this post I want to say the other day when my heart was truly bleeding over this issue I posted about it on facebook and you wouldn't believe the response. I was quickly reminded of where the love is. There is a lot of love out there but as we know it takes three good things to reverse on bad. But aside from that I am so thankful for all the support I have and I only pray that others can have the same. This is a call to all who pray to pray for those who are being so poorly treated in our country. And that we pray that this issue doesn't start some type of civil war, and that it can be helped before it gets to much worse.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Amazing Blessings

We have for the last month or two been looking for rentals. We did for a short while think we might be able to buy because my husband had enough points to get his housing loan through the seguro. We quickly found out that this only covered at the most half of the cost and that we only make half of the min for a bank to supplement for a housing loan. The day we figured this out we threw out the reality book and began again looking into the rentals. In our town the only way to find a rental is to drive around and look for se renta signs. I do want to add in here that also over the last month of so God has brought it to my attention that I do not conversate with him on a regular basis the way I use to. I don't have the extended time alone in the car anymore and really no time alone at all. And that was what would keep me on track an just that alone time with God would help me to continue to conversate with him through out the day. So just over the last weeks I have been trying to make a more conscious effort to speak with Jesus through the day just about everything. The same morning we realized we wouldn't be able to buy I realized I hadn't brought any of this house stuff to God. That day I did. And later that evening is when we drove past the house I'm now sitting in. When we saw it we kinda said well Im sure they are asking more than we can pay. Most houses this size here are going for about 2500p a month and we cant go more than 2000 which actually was pushing it for us. As we are looking in the windows and my husband is waiting for the owner to answer I'm whispering in his ear just talk them down to 2100p we will find a way. While hes talking to them the all important question comes up, Que precio, his eyes got all big and he smiled at me as he repeated.. dos cientos (2000). My mouth droped open and I said can we see it. They said yes and that they would be right over. Well its perfect, God reminded me how important it is for us to bring our needs to him. Sometimes I dont like to because I dont want to treat God like my sugar daddy, but he does want us to chat with him and tell him our needs even when he already knows them. You see my Jesus came here and died so he could know us and love us ALL and not just the few prophets. We were created to love, laugh, talk and commuine with him. So anyway the owners told us that a week ago someone had called them about it and they told them it was still occupied and to call back in a week which was that very day. They were taken with the girls and told us they hoped they didn't hear from the other family but that if they did out of respect for them they would need to show them and give them the first choice. We were told we would hear from them in the morning one way or another. Again we prayed and left it in Gods capable hands. Later that evening as my husband comes in from being over at the tienda he tells me to get a friends info so we could use it in the morning as our witness. Im like well you mean we might need it. He then strait faced as ever says, no they called the house is ours and we go sign a lease at 9am. Well then theres all the boring paper work and stress full moving but more or less you get the picture.
So this was far from our greatest blessing this week. All the above happened over the weekend. On that Monday my husband was put up for a promotion and by Wed he was hired. He is now the jefe(boss) de la pani or the bakery. He will get his raise over a 3month time period but basically hes getting about 100p more a day. That is a huge deal hear and means the 200p a month in crease in rent will not even be noticed, and more grocery money. Seriously there couldn't have been a better time for this. I woke up this morning and wondered if this really all happened this week. I cant tell you how thankful we are to our God and Father for loving us enough to provide so well. So now we have an extra room for when the baby comes and is big enough to not be in our room, we have a little front yard, and large back patio, and 2 bathrooms. We are also in a quiet neighborhood and don't have to listen to trucks all day. Every room has windows that open in every room and some have more than one, compared to one functioning window in the whole place. My laundry is on the main level and where the girls have plenty of room to play. Im so excited that now we can get a cat. I'm gonna put up a few pics. We obviously have a lot of work ahead of us so please excuse the blankets on the windows and the boxes on the patio. Issac has been busy recauking everything, we still need to put in screens before the flys overwhelm us, and we had to put down some death to roaches paste, but all in all we are so happy.
So I wrote this post yesterday afternoon and waited till today to edit it, Im so glad I did. I need to add another blessing. For those of you noncatholics out there you may know how hard it is it find a noncatholic church. We had a pretty good one by our old place and had recently been getting better about going. For a long time we didn't go because we just were not connecting with people the way we would like. But then we decided despite that we want our girls growing up going to church so we were going. Well one of the times leaving this house while moving in we saw a sign for a Christian church. And here when they say that they mean noncatholic. I know Catholics are Christian but that's a whole different conversation when it comes to Mexico. Yesterday late evening when we had finished all we were going to do here we decided to walk up and check it out (its only like 2 blocks away). We loved it, the sermon was about how being a Christian is not a religion but about a personal relationship to Christ. And he said more than once that it is your responsibility to study your bible. There couldn't have been a better sermon to convince me that I liked the preacher. And then to top it off after wards I actually connected with a few girls and one of the guys Issac use to play with as a kid when visiting his grandma. We are so excited to go back, I should mention that there was only like 15 people in service which we actually liked a lot compared to the 50 at the other church. I think this was why it was easier to connect with people so quickly. For us this is as big of a blessing as the other two events this week.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Productive according to the lovely wickapedia is: # Capable of producing something, especially in abundance; fertile
# yielding good or useful results; constructive
I had to laugh about the fertile part as I sit here eating my anchovie filled olives. No this post isn't going to be about my weird prego cravings but because of a past post I do need to mention one other. I'm a big time coffee drinker I believe the darker, the hotter, the better and only a touch of sugar. I cant stand nescafe for the most part unless its with desert. Oh but now every morning I'm thankful my husband turns off the pot before I have to smell it. I then fill my coffee cup with cold milk, and a teaspoon and a half of nescafe AND A LOT OF SUGAR. I don't even know who I am anymore. Man these olives are good...
Ok on to more important matters. The other day I headed out of my house with a prayer for peace and control of temper on my lips. (She hulk has been visiting some days because she doesn't like the heat) My plan was to drive around looking for houses and then around 12 head to the seguro. Both of these plans can be quite frustrating but seem to be getting more and more rewarding the more I do them. The house looking went ok. I did find this lovely gated community and the security guard insisted on showing me around when he saw me putting the number into my phone. We of course cant afford anything remotely touching this lovely block of real estate, but it was fun to look. And I did quite well with the conversation. The great thing was he obviously realized I was American because he kept translating the pesos to dollars but apparently didn't realize I'm not to fluent in Spanish even when I was talking to him. I say that because you can always tell, you can see the recognition on their faces and they stop talking as much. But I never saw it and I kept up pretty much with everything he said. So although I didn't find to much in the way of leads for a house I felt it was time well spent.
Now off to the seguro for vaccines and questioning the nurse about getting prenatal care. We showed up at 15 till 12 on a wed which is normally not to slammed but for some reason this day it was. I think I recall Leslie saying Monday was teachers day so maybe they were closed. Anyway.... I went to my normal door to turn in my booklets and it was closed so I stood near by to be sure I got mine in before anyone else who might come after me. Then a lady thankfully told me this nurse was at lunch and I needed to go to a different door. Ok no problem and I turned in our books, but this was a new nurse that I hadn't seen before so I was a little nervous about how this would go. I have somewhat of a repor with the other nurse because she sees us every time and is very patient with me. We ended up waiting till almost 130 before getting to see the nurse. Halfway through this wait my normal nurse came back and took half the books, so I wasn't sure which one had ours. But no biggy I was just sure to listen at both doors. Its not to hard to listen because they always studder on my name and you can hear the stress in their voice when they are trying to say it and they never even attempt my madden name Seyer. Anyway during that time my girls ran around or sat on my lap and actually it was fine because it felt good in there they had on the air and for sure it was much more comfortable than at home. The girls hadn't played that well in awhile because hot kids make grumpy kids. When we got called in the nurse was as relaxed and good with me as the other one. I was due for my second half of the tetanus shot and I was sure to let her know I was pregnant. I was pretty sure it was ok for me to have it but I wanted to make sure she knew. At this point she went to ask the other nurse just to be sure. When she came back she was even more pleasant, apparently the other nurse recognized my photo in my booklet and filled her in on the fact that Iv only been here a little while and that I had no family here. Bob you were right they really do remember me. So of course I got the typical Que deficil para ti, and so on and so forth and it was fine, I was just happy to be carrying on a conversation. I got my shot, wt and ht taken and blood sugar tested. The girls got their polio drops. I did get the scoop on the best place to go get my uniform for the red cross so I plan to do that with in a week so I can get going with that. Her comment about me volunteering there was that all I would see is dead and dirty people. She was laughing about it ( in a good way) and it made me laugh. I also asked her how to go about getting my prenatal care going and she actually walked me over to the counter and explained to the lady that I needed an appointment to see the doctor. She told her I needed it as soon as she could give it to me. Imagine my surprise when the girl gave me an appointment for later that evening. Luckily it was late enough to be able to get the girls home fed and put down for a nap. The whole family went with later that evening because hubby likes to be at any dr appointment which is nice, nurses I can handle but doctors are sometimes a different story. Basically she did a light check up and proscribed some vitamins. She also wrote out scripts for us to go to the hospital to get blood and urine test and an ultrasound. I might be going tomorrow solo to get those scheduled, but for sure hubby will want to be around for the ultrasound. She said its best if we can get them done before we see her again in a month, but if they don't have any openings before then that its ok. It seems that I will be seeing her for my appointments then an OB who is stationed in the hospital will be doing the delivery. She seems like a good doctor although she is new to our town and is from Guadalajara so when the question of if they give the epidural came up she wasn't sure. Her response was that even in Guadalajara they only give it if its medically necessary, which with my first it was but with the second it wasn't and I didn't get it till like 15min before I started pushing. (sorry for the details but this is a big deal to me) She suggested I ask when I'm getting my tests done at the hospital. I'm all about getting the epidural but I'm also about having a little money in the bank. I think I'm going to go through with the seguro even if they don't have it. So that's it for now till I go for the testing and that should be loads of fun.
All in all a productive day wouldn't you agree... in all meanings of the word. ;)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Rio Verde

We got to go swimming out at Rio Verde again and it was so great. First off another day in my hot box apartment and I thought I was going to loss it. I should note that around here when people say they are going to the rio they don't mean it like we did growing up. When I mention actually swimming in the river people look at me like I'm crazy. Seriously people if you saw some of the creeks my dad let us swim in as kids you would know Id be ok with any Mexican river. They mean they are going to a set of pools near the river. So near the river that while you swim you can enjoy the view. Also as most of you know Mexicans are crazy about not being cold. For example when my husband or suegra are here and I put the girls in the kiddie pool I have to run warm water into it even if its sweltering hot outside. I can remember swimming with blue lips and I'm still alive. Anyway that is to get to the point that the water used for the pools is feed from an underground hot spring. So all the pools are like bathwater. And to be honest the only refreshment I get is to dunk in and then sit on the side and let the breeze cool me off. But the girls and all the other people love it. And really when the sun isn't directly overhead it is pretty nice. They actually have two kiddie pools that are pretty large with tarps over them to shade the pools for the babies. This time around we brought our tent and all. We are doing some small experiments with it to see how the girls will do on a full out camping trip. Toting all the stuff was totally worth it. We were there from 10am till 5pm and perfectly happy and comfortable the whole time. We also found out that we could camp all night there and thats our plan for next time. Its actually really cheap to swim all day long, it was $85p total for Alana my husband and me and the baby was of course free. There are not any pictures of all the pools and stuff but there is one pool that is at least 7-9ft deep all a long it and it has three diving boards, a different one that is from 5-6or7feet deep that has a huge coiling slide, a medium size pool that's about 3 feet, two baby pools that are like 1foot or so those have the shade, and a child pool that was about 3feet or so that had two slides one that curled and the other that you have to go under a water fall to start sliding. Another thing that you notice here is less swimsuits. Its not that there aren't any but a lot of people just swim in their cloths. I can remember how this would have been humiliating for families in the states, and how some places wont even let you in with out one. I do think some of it might have to do with money here but to be honest I don't think it does totally. Its just that a swimsuit isn't necessary for fun in the water. Some of the very people who didn't have suits had some of the best looking floaters, food and site set up stuff. So I began to think they could have bought suites but its more like why bother. They of course have a little tienda that somehow always has what you need. We did miss having our friends there (Leslies family) but at the same time it was kinda nice for us to just get out as a family and spend the day together. We realize we do this quite rarely. My husband and I are both social people and love to be surrounded by lots of people we love. So we almost always tend to invite people. Not to say it would be any less fun the other way but it was a nice experience. I have a feeling some day we wont have to invite people to be surrounded. We recently found out that we will be having baby number three in November sometime. We are excited and guess what all we will be going through the seguro for the whole thing so here comes some more info your way. ;)Here are some pics of Rio Verde.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Just an FYI

So as Iv posted these before I just thought Id go ahead and post this one. I like how they are clear about the fact that not all of Mexico is bad and that as long as your not stupid some of it is safe. Anyway here is the recent warning that was sent my way.

United States Consulate General Guadalajara



SUBJECT: Travel Warning for Mexico

Date: May 06, 2010


1. The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens traveling to and living in Mexico about the security situation in Mexico, and to advise that the authorized departure of family members of U.S. government personnel from U.S. Consulates in the northern Mexico border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros has been extended. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Mexico dated April 12, 2010 to note the extension of authorized departure and to update guidance on security conditions and crime.

2. Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year. This includes tens of thousands who cross the border every day for study, tourism or business and at least one million U.S. citizens who live in Mexico. The Mexican government makes a considerable effort to protect U.S. citizens and other visitors to major tourist estinations. Major resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major drug trafficking routes. Nevertheless, crime and violence are serious problems. While most victims of violence are Mexican citizens associated with criminal activity, the security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well.

3. It is imperative that U.S. citizens understand the risks involved in travel to Mexico, how best to avoid dangerous situations, and who to contact if one becomes a victim of crime or violence. Common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where criminal activity might occur, can help ensure that travel to Mexico is safe and enjoyable. U.S. citizen victims of crime in Mexico are urged to contact the consular section of the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy for advice and assistance. Contact information is provided at the end of this message.

General Conditions

4. Since 2006, the Mexican government has engaged in an extensive effort to combat drug-trafficking organizations (DTOs). Mexican DTOs, meanwhile, have been engaged in a vicious struggle with each other for control of trafficking routes. In order to combat violence, the government of Mexico has deployed military troops throughout the country. U.S. citizens should expect to encounter military and other law enforcement checkpoints when traveling in Mexico and are urged to cooperate fully. In confrontations with the Mexican army and police, DTOs have employed automatic weapons and grenades. In some cases, assailants have worn full or partial police or military uniforms and have used vehicles that resemble police vehicles. According to published reports, 22,700 people have been killed in narcotics-related violence since 2006. The great majority of those killed have been members of DTOs. However, innocent bystanders have been killed in shootouts between DTOs and Mexican law enforcement.

5. Recent violent attacks and persistent security concerns have prompted the U.S. Embassy to urge U.S. citizens to defer unnecessary travel to Michoacan and Tamaulipas, to parts of Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Durango, and Coahuila, (see details below) and to advise U.S. citizens residing or traveling in those areas to exercise extreme caution.

Violence Along the U.S.-Mexico Border

6. Much of the country's narcotics-related violence has occurred in the northern border region. For example, since 2006, three times as many people have been murdered in Ciudad Juarez, in the state of Chihuahua, across from El Paso, Texas, than in any other city in Mexico. More than half of all Americans killed in Mexico in FY 2009 whose deaths were reported to the U.S. Embassy were killed in the border cities of Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana.

7. Since 2006, large firefights have taken place in towns and cities in many parts of Mexico, often in broad daylight on streets and other public venues. Such firefights have occurred mostly in northern Mexico, including Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, Chihuahua City, Nogales, Nuevo Laredo, Piedras Negras, Reynosa, Matamoros and Monterrey. During some of these incidents, U.S. citizens have been trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area.

8. The situation in northern Mexico remains fluid; the location and timing of future armed engagements cannot be predicted. U.S. citizens are urged to exercise extreme caution when traveling throughout the region, particularly in those areas specifically mentioned in this Travel Warning.

9. In recent months, DTOs have used stolen trucks to block major highways and thus prevent the military from responding to criminal activity, most notably in the area around Monterrey. Also in Monterrey, DTOs have kidnapped guests out of reputable hotels in the downtown area, blocking off adjoining streets to prevent law enforcement response. DTOs have also attacked Mexican government facilities such as military barracks and a customs and immigration post.

10. U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to Ciudad Juarez and to the Guadalupe Bravo area southeast of Ciudad Juarez. U.S. citizens should also defer travel to the northwest quarter of the state of Chihuahua, including the city of Nuevas Casas Grandes and surrounding communities. From the United States, these areas are often reached through the Columbus, NM and Fabens and Fort Hancock, TX ports-of-entry. In both areas, American citizens have been victims of drug related violence.

11. The Consular agency in Reynosa, Tamaulipas was closed temporarily in February 2010 in response to firefights between police and DTOs and between DTOs. In April 2010, a grenade thrown into the Consulate compound at 11:00 PM caused damage to the U.S. Consulate General in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. The Consulate General in Nuevo Laredo and the Consular Agency in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, were closed for one day as a result. The Consulate General in Nuevo Laredo prohibits employees from entering the entertainment zone in Nuevo Laredo known as "Boys Town" because of concerns about violent crime in that area.

12. Between 2006 and 2009, the number of narcotics-related murders in the state of Durango increased ten-fold. The cities of Durango and Gomez Palacio, and the area known as "La Laguna" in the state of Coahuila, which includes the city of Torreon, have experienced sharp increases in violence. In late 2009 and early 2010, four visiting U.S. citizens were murdered in Gomez Palacio, Durango. These are among several unsolved murders in the state of Durango that have been cause for particular concern.

13. Travelers on the highways between Monterrey and the United States (notably through Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros) have been targeted for robbery that has resulted in violence and have also been caught in incidents of gunfire between criminals and Mexican law enforcement. Criminals have followed and harassed U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles in border areas including Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, and Tijuana. U.S. citizens traveling by road to and from the U.S. border through Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Durango, and Sinaloa should be especially vigilant. Criminals appear to especially target SUVs and full-size pick-up trucks for theft and car-jacking along these routes. DTOs have also erected unauthorized checkpoints on roads and killed motorists who have not stopped at them.

14. The situation in the state of Chihuahua, specifically Ciudad Juarez, is of special concern. Mexican authorities report that more than 2,600 people were killed in Ciudad Juarez in 2009. Three persons associated with the Consulate General were murdered in March, 2010. U.S. citizens should pay close attention to their surroundings while traveling in Ciudad Juarez, avoid isolated locations during late night and early morning hours, and remain alert to news reports.

15. There have been recent incidents of serious narcotics-related violence in the vicinity of the Copper Canyon in Chihuahua.

Crime and Violence Throughout Mexico

16. Although narcotics-related crime is a particular concern along Mexico's northern border, violence has occurred throughout the country, including in areas frequented by American tourists. U.S. citizens traveling in Mexico should exercise caution in unfamiliar areas and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Bystanders have been injured or killed in violent attacks in cities across the country, demonstrating the heightened risk of violence in public places. In recent years, dozens of U.S. citizens living in Mexico have been kidnapped and most of their cases remain unsolved.

17. One of Mexico's most powerful DTOs is based in the state of Sinaloa. Since 2006, more homicides have occurred in the state's capital city of Culiacan than in any other city in Mexico, with the exception of Ciudad Juarez. Furthermore, the city of Mazatlan has experienced a recent increase in violent crime, with more murders in the first quarter of 2010 than in all of 2009. U.S. citizens should defer unnecessary travel to Culiacan and exercise extreme caution when visiting the rest of the state.

18. The state of Michoacan is home to another of Mexico's most dangerous DTOs, "La Familia". In April 2010, the Secretary for Public Security for Michoacan was shot in a DTO ambush. Security incidents have also occurred in and around the State's world famous butterfly sanctuaries. In 2008, a grenade attack on a public gathering in Morelia, the state capital, killed eight people. U.S. citizens should exercise extreme caution when traveling in Michoacan, especially outside major tourist areas.

19. U.S. citizens should also exercise extreme caution when traveling in the northwestern part of the state of Guerrero, which likewise has a strong DTO presence. U.S. citizens should not take the dangerous, isolated road through Ciudad Altamirano to the beach resorts of Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo. The popular beach resort of Acapulco has been affected by narcotics-related violence. In April 2010, three innocent bystanders were killed in a shootout between Mexican police and DTO members during broad daylight in one of the city's main tourist areas. Also that month, numerous incidents of narcotics-related violence occurred in the city of Cuernavaca, in the State of Morelos, a popular destination for American language students.

20. U.S. citizens traveling to towns and villages with large indigenous communities located predominantly but not exclusively in southern Mexico, should be aware that land disputes between residents and between residents and local authorities have led to violence. In April 2010, two members of a non-governmental aid organization, one of whom was a foreign citizen, were murdered near the village of San Juan Capola in Oaxaca.

Safety Recommendations

21. U.S. citizens who believe they are being targeted for kidnapping or other crimes should notify Mexican law enforcement officials and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City or the nearest U.S. consulate as soon as possible. Any U.S. visitor who suspects they are a target should consider returning to the United States immediately. U.S. citizens should be aware that many cases of violent crime are never resolved by Mexican law enforcement, and the U.S. government has no authority to investigate crimes committed in Mexico.

22. U.S. citizens should make every attempt to travel on main roads during daylight hours, particularly the toll ("cuota") roads, which generally are more secure. When warranted, the U.S. Embassy and consulates advise their employees as well as private U.S. citizens to avoid certain areas, abstain from driving on certain roads because of dangerous conditions or criminal activity, or recommend driving during daylight hours only. When this happens, the Embassy or the affected consulate will alert the local U.S. citizen Warden network and post the information on their respective websites, indicating the nature of the concern and the expected time period for which the restriction will remain in place.

23. U.S. citizen visitors are encouraged to stay in the well-known tourist areas. Travelers should leave their itinerary with a friend or family member not traveling with them, avoid traveling alone, and check with their cellular provider prior to departure to confirm that their cell phone is capable of roaming on GSM or 3G international networks. Cell phone coverage in isolated parts of Mexico, for example, the Copper Canyon, is spotty or non-existent.

24. Do not display expensive-looking jewelry, large amounts of money, or other valuable items. Travelers to remote or isolated venues should be aware that they may be distant from appropriate medical, law enforcement, and consular services in an emergency situation.

25. U.S. citizens applying for passports or requesting other fee-based services from consulates or the Embassy are encouraged to make arrangements to pay for those services using a non-cash method. U.S. citizens should be alert for credit card fraud, especially outside major commercial establishments.

26. American employees of the U.S. Embassy are prohibited from hailing taxis on the street in Mexico City because of frequent robberies. American citizens are urged to only use taxis associated with the organized taxi stands ("sitios") that are common throughout Mexico.

27. U.S. citizens should be alert to pickpockets and general street crime throughout Mexico, but especially in large cities. Between FY 2006 and FY 2009 the number of U.S. passports reported stolen in Mexico rose from 184 to 288.

Demonstrations and Large Public Gatherings

28. Demonstrations occur frequently throughout Mexico and usually are peaceful. However, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate to violence unexpectedly. Violent demonstrations have resulted in deaths, including that of an American citizen in Oaxaca in 2006. During demonstrations or law enforcement operations, U.S. citizens are advised to remain in their homes or hotels, avoid large crowds, and avoid the downtown and surrounding areas.

29. Demonstrators in Mexico may block traffic on roads, including major arteries, or take control of toll-booths on highways. U.S. citizens should avoid confrontations in such situations.

30. Since the timing and routes of scheduled marches and demonstrations are always subject to change, U.S. citizens should monitor local media sources for new developments and exercise extreme caution while within the vicinity of protests.

31. The Mexican Constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners, and such actions may result in detention and/or deportation. U.S. citizens are therefore advised to avoid participating in demonstrations or other activities that might be deemed political by Mexican authorities. As is always the case in any large gathering, U.S. citizens should remain alert to their surroundings.

Further Information

32. U.S. citizens are urged to monitor local media for information about fast-breaking situations that could affect their security.

33. U.S. citizens are encouraged to review the U.S. Embassy's Mexico Security Update. The update contains information about recent security incidents in Mexico that could affect the safety of the traveling public. For more detailed information on staying safe in Mexico, please see the Mexico Country Specific Information. Information on security and travel to popular tourist destinations is also provided in the publication: "Spring Break in Mexico- Know Before You Go!!"

34. For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's internet web site at where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers from Mexico, a regular toll line at 001-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). American citizens traveling or residing overseas are encouraged to register with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the State Department's travel registration website at

35. For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens in Mexico, please contact the U.S. Embassy or the closest U.S. Consulate. The numbers provided below for the Embassy and Consulates are available around the clock.

The U.S. Embassy is located in Mexico City at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, telephone from the United States: 011-52-55-5080-2000; telephone within Mexico City: 5080-2000; telephone long distance within Mexico 01-55-5080-2000. You may also contact the Embassy by e-mail at: The Embassy's internet address is

Consulates (with consular districts):

Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua): Paseo de la Victoria 3650, tel. (011)(52)(656) 227-3000.

Guadalajara (Nayarit, Jalisco, Aguascalientes, and Colima): Progreso 175, telephone (011)(52)(333) 268-2100.

Hermosillo (Sinaloa and the southern part of the state of Sonora): Avenida Monterrey 141, telephone (011)(52)(662) 289-3500.

Matamoros (the southern part of Tamaulipas with the exception of the city of Tampico): Avenida Primera 2002, telephone (011)(52)(868) 812-4402.

Merida (Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo): Calle 60 no. 338-K x 29 y 31, Col. Alcala Martin, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico 97050, telephone (011)(52)(999) 942-5700 or 202- 250-3711 (U.S. number).

Monterrey (Nuevo Leon, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, and the southern part of Coahuila): Avenida Constitucion 411 Poniente, telephone (011)(52)(818) 047-3100.

Nogales (the northern part of Sonora): Calle San Jose, Nogales, Sonora, telephone (011)(52)(631) 311-8150.

Nuevo Laredo (the northern part of Coahuila and the northwestern part of Tamaulipas): Calle Allende 3330, col. Jardin, telephone (011)(52)(867) 714-0512.

Tijuana (Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur): Tapachula 96, telephone (011)(52)(664) 622-7400.

All other Mexican states, and the Federal District of Mexico City, are part of the Embassy's consular district.

Consular Agencies:
Acapulco: Hotel Continental Emporio, Costera Miguel Aleman 121 - local 14, telephone (011)(52)(744) 484-0300 or (011)(52)(744) 469-0556.

Cabo San Lucas: Blvd. Marina local c-4, Plaza Nautica, col. Centro, telephone (011)(52)(624) 143-3566.

Canczn: Plaza Caracol two, second level, no. 320-323, Boulevard Kukulcan, km. 8.5, Zona Hotelera, telephone (011)(52)(998) 883-0272 or, 202-640-2511 (a U.S. number).

Ciudad Acuqa: Closed until further notice.

Cozumel: Plaza Villa Mar en el Centro, Plaza Principal, (Parque Juarez between Melgar and 5th ave.) 2nd floor, locales #8 and 9, telephone (011)(52)(987) 872-4574 or, 202-459-4661 (a U.S. number).

Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo: Hotel Fontan, Blvd. Ixtapa, telephone (011)(52)(755) 553-2100.

Mazatlan: Playa Gaviotas #202, Zona Dorada, telephone (011)(52)(669) 916-5889.

Oaxaca: Macedonio Alcala no. 407, interior 20, telephone (011)(52)(951) 514-3054, (011) (52)(951) 516-2853.

Piedras Negras: Abasolo #211, Zona Centro, Piedras Negras, Coah., Tel. (011)(52)(878) 782-5586.

Playa del Carmen: "The Palapa," Calle 1 Sur, between Avenida 15 and Avenida 20, telephone (011)(52)(984) 873-0303 or 202-370-6708(a U.S. number).

Puerto Vallarta: Paradise Plaza, Paseo de los Cocoteros #1, Local #4, Interior #17, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, telephone (011)(52)(322) 222-0069.

Reynosa: Calle Monterrey #390, Esq. Sinaloa, Colonia Rodrmguez, telephone: (011)(52)(899) 923 - 9331.

San Luis Potosm: Edificio "Las Terrazas", Avenida Venustiano Carranza 2076-41, Col. Polanco, telephone: (011)(52)(444) 811-7802/7803.

San Miguel de Allende: Dr. Hernandez Macias #72, telephone (011)(52)(415) 152-2357 or (011)(52)(415) 152-0068.


U.S. Consulate General Guadalajara

175 Progreso Street; Col. Americana

Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

011 52 33 3268 2100

The Consulate office hours are Monday through Friday

from 08:00 a.m. to 04:30 p.m. (except from Mexican and U.S. holidays).

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

La Cruz Roja

As an update since I decided to stay home with my girls and not freak out on finding a job a new friend got me into the idea of volunteering again. He is a med student in Guadalajara but is from my town. I met him at a friends house on Easter and he introduced me to some of the people at the Cruz Roja in town a week later. Also thanks to his persistence I was able to talk on the phone with the doctor who directs that particular branch and get an appointment with him. As you might not remember from a post a long time ago, I have in the past attempted many times to reach this doctor to no avail. At that appointment while I was waiting I realized that the copies of my lic and BLS card were of my expired cards. So after talking to him about everything I brought this to his attention and he asked me to go get him a copy of the new ones right then. He said he would be waiting on me and that there was a place to make copies one block away. Well that one was out of order and I ended up walking more like 10-15 blocks total before it was all over. But hey I got the copies and returned, and we can all use a little exercise. After sitting down he explained that I also would need to provide a solicitu (not sure I wrote that right) but basically a formal request to volunteer there. He said I could bring it by any time over the next week or so because the other director who would have to help with the decision would be out of town on a honey moon. No prob but what the heck did I just walk 10 blocks to make a copy for if I was coming back anyway. Well because that's just how things go here. All in all the doctor was very nice and seemed excited for me to help there. From there I went home and quickly had the letter written up. Due to being out of ink and other issues it took me till this week on Monday to bring him the letter. I was so surprised when he called yesterday and told me I just needed to go into the Cruz Roja and talk to a lady named Sandra. I went when he said she would be there.... And you'll never believe this.... SHE WAS ACTUALLY THERE. This is a first for me with them. lol She said I could come when ever I want as long as I wear a white uniform and bring a copy of my credentials for her to have on file there. I explained that Saturdays would be good for me and she was happy because apparently they are slammed all day. So now to get a uniform. I haven't worn a white uniform since nursing school this will be fun. We are planning a trip to Rio Verde this weekend so I wont get to start till next week but either way its coming and I'm excited. I had a dream last night that I was back at my old work place but working as a floor nurse. Its funny because it felt so nice and all day I was thinking about it. I'm glad to be at home with my girls and I know its where I need to be but nursing is in my core and I cant get it out nor do I want to. Whoo hooo so here is to some possible exciting posts about the difference of nursing here and there. And also exciting that I will be getting out there and forced to make another drastic step with my Spanish. I so need this I'm at a plateau right now and I think this will help a lot.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Fair and Expo

This week was the culmination of the Tepabril festivites. We went to the fair which had a free circus with the tickets and we also went to the animal expo. Both were great fun although Alana and I were still getting over a stomach infection for the fair. I have no idea what we had or how we got it but it didn't go away until we took antibiotics and it was pretty nasty until then. I will post a few pictures of the fair and expo here. A few of the pictures are of the pictures of saints that people put on the rides. It never fails to amaze me where people will put these things and how they will adorn them. I don't do or say this to offend any Catholics out there it is just different here and they do this kind of thing more. Aside from things like this and some different foods the fair just feels like a fair and same with the expo except at home those two were always together and not in separate places.