This blog entry is FAAAR overdue… BUT I figured I’d still write it. I AM BACK IN THE U.S OF A! And first thing I get asked since my arrival, “Did you like Mexico, how was it?”
Every time I get asked this, I pause….. I smile and say, “Loved it”. Truth is, I can’t seem to find the words to describe my experience. Making a comparison between Mexico and the United States is silly, they are completely different countries, different worlds!
The day I got off that plane and arrived at my new home I had no idea what I had in store. I had family members and thank the lord; I was going to live with two dear cousins. Still, I was alone…. A gringa alone in the big city of Guadalajara. Carless, I had to learn to use other means of transportation, Macrobus, “el tren”, “el camion”, TAXI, used them all….and my favorite was, “TAXI!!!” 🙂 My favorite thing to do? Drink coffee and sit at coffee shops, work, read, and write… that is currently what I am doing. It is also something I did in Mexico and just sitting here makes me miss the smell, taste, and life Mexico has to offer. Mexico is a third world country and there are horrible things currently going on but it is still one of my favorite places in the whole wide world!
The first days I began working at SJRTV, I was overwhelmed…overwhelmed by the huge “borracho edificio”, by the five floors that make up the building and by the hundreds of people walking in and out. People stared at me and wondered, “Who is this girl?” Soon enough they figured I was the “reportera de los Estados Unidos”. First meetings, first stories, I was shy…. and then I got comfortable enough that I began meeting people! In Mexico, you don’t smile, wave, throw a peace sign or say hello to someone…whether they are acquaintances or your best friends, you MUST go up to a person, shake their hand, give a hug and a kiss on the cheek!
Because I’ve already shared on my experience working there, I’ll share more so on the life outside of SJRTV. It is extremely common that people that work together, go to school together, do whatever together go afterwards and grab a drink! Or wings! “Wings” restaurants are the most popular thing to do among the 17-30. Guadalajara has not one, two or three bars, restaurants, lounges, nightclubs…there must be around 200 or 300!?! And they all have a unique style, architecture, and theme to them. My favorites, “El salmon” “Zapotlan” “Lola Lolita”, to name a few. Nightlife begins at 12am and ends at 6, 7 or 8am. There is food open at all hours and there is even a street nicknamed, “la calle del hambre”, Hungry Street. You can find the BEST TACOS on this street, trust me! And there is also random streets dedicated to selling medicines, fixing your cars, selling you car parts…all at very cheap prices!
Also, there is always a carnival, festival or celebration going on. El centro de GDL or the downtown hosts concerts, shows, and exhibitions every weekend! Now, I will make a comparison, San Francisco and Guadalajara are similar in relation to culture, it’s never-ending.
Soccer games! Now, these were MEMORABLE. I love soccer games, always have gone to them…I wear a soccer jersey, love to yell and cheer on teams. But the love for soccer in Mexico is something else! (I’m sure you can imagine). Stadiums are packed, there is a huge party prior to the soccer games outside of the stadiums and everyone and anyone is an “aficionado”. People don’t sit and quietly watch the game….oh no! There are songs dedicated to players, to teams, moves, refs…. Everyone is on their feet, screaming their lungs out and having a huge celebration whether their team is winning or not! Another great experience, “La lucha libre”, a wrestling match. 90% of the people attend, NOT to watch but to have a good time! The stadium is divided into two, there is a bottom section and an upper. It is all a joke, according to the ticket prices, the people on the lower part of the stadium are the “rich” and the ones belonging to the upper are the “poor”. There is live music playing in the background and the entire time the people sing, and yell at each other. I must have looked like the “lost child” here…..I didn’t understand what was going on until it was explained to me.
I thank every single person that I met during my stay in México; I made friends that I consider more like best friends at this point or even family. Although Mexico living is very different to my current living in the United States, I would go back and experience it all over again! This experience has been breathtaking and there wasn’t ONE day that I went without doing something, learning something, experiencing something new! If I’ve learned something from this was that every single country has something great to offer, and Mexico offers love for life, music and culture. Goals for the future? I want to experience living in Spain or Latin America.
So if you have or haven’t asked me how my experience was, did I love it, would I go back? The answer lies in this blog, what do you think?!?!
I have done something I never thought I’d do…. SPORTS REPORTING. I have always enjoyed sports (competitive nature)… I enjoy going to games and cheering on teams but this was something else!
Like I discussed before, the games began on October 15th with an Inauguration. This inauguration took place in the new Chivas Stadium in Guadalajara, “Omnilife”. Beauty, culture, traditions, colors, and music together wowed EVERYONE. It was a spectacular event and it gave the perfect introduction.
To go into detail on these past weeks would be a never-ending blog so let me TRY and be brief.
The first games I covered along with another reporter and cameraman were Gymnastics. A beautiful, creative and passionate performance by those of USA, Mexico, Chile, Brazil etc. As a reporter, I was about to experience something I’d never experienced before…. a press conference! After the first medal ceremony where the U.S. was given the gold, Mexico the silver and Brazil the bronze in the individual rhythmic competition, all those belonging to the press ran to what we know as the “Press conference”. With open eyes and ears, I quickly understood what was to be done…what I didn’t know was that I’d be the only representative that spoke English. I was one of the few who was fluently bilingual…at this event and every other event I attended (shocker) throughout the Pan American games!
After getting over my first crazy experience as a sports reporter, I was prepared for what was to come.
I covered cycling indoors as well as outdoors, Taekwondo, athletics, basketball, “fronton”, and fencing.. That and much more!
I was able to see Mexico triumph in these Pan American games! With the opportunity of interviewing the winners, like Marisol Romero, a runner who received a call from President Calderon after being the second in breaking the record for medals Mexico has ever won in these games (133 to be exact). Or like being present at the most intense basketball game! First, Mexico faces Puerto Rico for the second time in these games with hopes of taking the gold medal (they lost the first time)… Then, President of Mexico shows up at the games, a row in front of me along with his wife and first lady. Mexico unfortunately didn’t take home the gold but they took something more important, the silver along with the respect of the people and the fans. You see basketball is not a very popular sport in this county and they at many times lack support and resources.
Like I said, describing these games in detail would make this a very long blog…as well as cause my fingers to ache… So instead I will conclude with expressing the passion I have grown for this city, for the people and culture. YOU HAVE NO IDEA! Or maybe you do…. But to see all the colors, the music, the happiness that people express here is incredible and only draws you to join in! Besides having fallen in love with this place and the games, I have developed a passion for sports and sports reporting… Just like all journalism, it’s stressful, a workload and all of the above but covering sports gives you an adrenaline rush! You can’t help but get sucked in and want to cheer and scream and PLAY…. So to any sports reporter out there, props to you!
Here are some photos and videos I took with my phone…so although it’s not the best quality, ENJOY!
¡Los Juegos Panamericanos han comenzado! Este viernes pasado, el 14 de Octubre se llevo a cabo la Inauguración en el estadio Omnilife, mas bien conocido como el nuevo estadio de las Chivas aquí en Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. Desde entonces mi vida y la vida de todos quienes son atletas, entrenadores, periodistas, voluntarios etc. ha sido un total “chaos”!
En los años pasados los países de Estados Unidos, Canadá y Brasil sobresalieron de los demás países. Este año los juegos solo han comenzado pero ya se ha notado una gran diferencia. Trabajando como reportera para C7, el canal de los panamericanos he tenido la oportunidad de verlo. Ayer cubriendo la competencia de la gimnasia individual fue Estados Unidos quien se llevo la medalla de oro pero fue México quien se llevo la de plata. Hoy, cubrí las semifinales de ping pong o tenis de mesa y pude entrevistar a los ganadores quienes de nuevo fueron México.
Concluyo este Blog con unas fotos que les demostrará poco de lo que me toco ver.
The Pan American games have begun! This past friday, October 14th, the inauguration took place here in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico at the Omnilife stadium, better known as the stadium of the Chivas. Since then, my life as well as the life of any athlete, trainer, journalist, volunteer etc. has been a total chaos!
In past years, the countries of Brazil, the United States and Canada have outshined others. This year, the games have just begun but you can already notice a difference as to who is triumphing. Working as a reporter for C7, “the channel of the Pan American games” I have witnessed this firsthand. Yesterday, covering the individual gymnastics competition it was the U.S. which won the gold medal but it was Mexico who won the silver. Today, I covered the semi final ping-pong or table tennis competition, and I was able to interview the winners who were yet again, Mexico.
I conclude this short blog by providing you with some photos so you can see some of what I have experienced.