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Monday, 17 May 2010

Trueno y relámpago

Friday started off like any other normal day at Universidad del Istmo.Hot. Really hot, and progressively hotter as the day went on. On arrival in our offices at 9 in the morning, everyone is literally sweating it out and seeking refuge close to our office fans. When you live in a climate such as there is in Ireland, people tend to worry about sweat patches on their shirts when they are in their offices at work. Little sweat patches under peoples arms tend to be a source of great discomfort and embarrassment. A slight hint of that feeling followed me to Mexico, however it only lasted for about half an hour when I started working because after a few moments in the class rooms you appear to have been targeted by a garden hose.

The weather hasn't really varied much here, its just got hotter and hotter. There has been little to no rain or any other variation. We returned home from the university on Friday night to hang out in our hammocks in the garden, as we often do after work. A few drops of rain fell as we were sitting but very little. We went into the house to cook some dinner and at about 9 o'clock the heavens quite literally opened. What I consider a massive storm started. There was consistent booming thunder and lightning accompanied by the heaviest rain I have ever seen.

Heavier rain than our poor house could cope with apparently. The first leak started over my bedroom door, after it had been raining for 5 or 10 minutes. Followed by another leak in the corner of the kitchen and two others in the hallway area. Then the water started breaching my bedroom window. My air conditioner started taking in water from outside the window, flooding water into my room and then killing the air-conditioner itself. It was clear that the air-conditioner installation , like a lot of the construction work in our house, left a lot to be desired, but I imagined that as it is normal for air-conditioners to sit half in the house, half out, that rain wouldn't be a problem. I was wrong. Along with my airconditioner, all the most important documents i own got wet as a result. This included all my degree certificates with apostilles attached, my passport and fm3 visa. Luckily after an evening of peeling pages apart and drying them with a fan i managed to rescue everything. Apart from the odd stain all the documents arent really that damaged.

One of the effects of the rain is that all the spiders, lizards, and recently toads, see our house and its surroundings as some kind of refuge. This spider was the first big tarantula like one ive seen, and to be honest, hopefully the last.

I have been without a camera for the last month or so , due to the fact that I somehow managed to lose my 100th one.Well technically my sisters camera because I broke another camera two days before I came to Mexico by sitting on it so Ciara kindly gave me hers. I don't break or lose mobile phones or any other items but somehow cameras don't have a very long lifespan when I own them. They either run off to a new home, fall victim to broken zooms or meet some other end. SO this week has been the first photo opportunities ive had in a while, starting off when we decided to head to the beach outside Salina Cruz.

Salina Cruz is a city about 50 minutes away from Ixtepec with some really nice beaches nearby. Since I've been here I've had other things to do every weekend and haven't had any beach trips, so this weekend was a first for me.We spent to day at Cangrejo. The beach there is beautiful and the weather was perfect. Its my first experience of being at a beach where the water isnt painfully cold. We spent a lot of time in the water but the waves were massive all day, so it was pretty treacherous at times!

The beaches are lined with palapas which are thatched-roof, open-sided structures. The material to cover the roof of a palapa typically consists of dried and woven palm-tree leaves. The main idea is to get some shade from the baking sun, but you can also buy drinks and sea food at some of the palapas. I had heard about how good the sea food was at the beach, so I went to try it out for myself. We chose our own fresh fish and they cooked it over a grill right there on the beach.

As some of you are already aware of, my brother Shea is cycling across America this summer. He is taking part in what is called the Illinois 4000. He started his journey today at 7.30am in New York City. He's going to make his way over more than 4000miles and hopefully end up in San Francisco in August sometime. You can catch up with what he is up to here.

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