Kiley Eliason is serving an 18 month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
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Hermana Kiley Eliason
Prolongación Adolfo López Mateos #98A
Colonia Trojes de Alonso
C.P. 20116 Jesus Maria,
My email address: email@example.com
Monday, January 27, 2014
My New Home!
I am here! I am in Mexico! Although I was called to Aguascalientes, I am actually in a completely different state called Zacatecas. Within Zacatecas is the city of Fresnillos which is my first area! This city is very old and colonial (and fun fact: this place is known for having the largest silver mine in the world!) Things are very very different here. But different isn't bad...its just new and exciting. So, here is a list describing a little bit more about what is going on down here!
The streets: There are no lines in the streets here! Traffic is insane and there are tons of modes of transportation. Lots of motorcycles, bikes, buses, cars, and walking. And no joke...almost every 5th car here is a VW bug! I keep wanting to punch someone, 'cause slug bugs are everywhere! Okay there are also no crosswalks, so we J-walk in between traffic all the time. Unless we go into the center of the city, there are no street lights, stop signs, or street names. Everyone just describes where they live based off of landmarks or stores. And unless we are in the center of the city, all the roads are either cobblestone or cement. No asphalt!
The houses and buildings: COLORS everywhere! The houses and stores are all bright blue, green, orange, yellow, red, purple... you name it! It is beautiful in my eyes, even though it looks as if all the buildings here could collapse at any moment. Since everything is super old, houses and stores are falling apart or barely holding up. Also there is absolutely NO carpet! NONE! Everything is either cement or tile. There are bars on every window and lots of gates - but at least they are colorful too! Graffeti decorates everything and the Coca-Cola logo is huge down here! There are no dishwashers and hardly any ovens. Only microwaves and stove tops are common. One thing I love is that there are elephant statues in tons of people's houses ('cause it represents good luck!)
The food: TORTILLAS! All day every day! Seriously! Lots of beans and rice with some sort of meat. My companion is surprised by my willingness to try almost anything! I had some really hot chili salsa the other day, which only made me cry a little! haha One thing that is kind of a bummer, is that the people here drink everything but water! Tons of soda and juice. If we come across some water, it is either unsafe to drink or nice and warm!
Quick story: While I was taking my morning shower (using two buckets) ... my sweet companion prepared my breakfast. A bowl of cereal. But I was a bit surprised to find upon my first bite, that the milk was hot! Apparently warm cereal is the norm here! The following day when I prepared my cereal with cold milk she thought it was weird! haha
The people: Very short! I am taller than EVERY woman so far, and most of the men. I definitely stand out a lot! All the men wear hats, boots, and grow mustaches! Tight clothing among the women is very popular - and nothing ever matches. But I kind of like it because there are tons of patterns and colors all over! The people are very friendly and polite, and the women always greet us (and each other) with a kiss on the cheek. We aren´t allowed to smile or talk to the men on the street, which is a bit weird for me. My cute little companion is my protector!
My companion: Her name is Hermana Ortiz. She is from Pachuca, Mexico and knows absolutely no English! She is super patient with me and my spanglish. She converted to our church when she was 19 years old and is now 23 years old. She teaches me so much and is very kind.
The weather: It is nice here and very similar to the weather in California. (Very sunny and warm but not scorching hot) At night I can see a lot of stars and it is pretty noisy, because of all of the stray dogs. They howl and bark a lot, but they never bug us.
I have a ton more to tell you all, but I am out of time. (this key board is in Spanish and it was hard to write without a lot of errors) I will include more stories about our investigators and area next week. I love you all so much and am very grateful for your love and support! I am doing great and adjusting to my new life here!