August 6, 2004
Oaxaca was amazing! I ended up staying for six days and wishing I could stay longer. I could relax all day
and talk with interesting people from all over the world. I feel like Iīve probably made friends for life with a couple
of people from England and Israel. One thing is for sure. Iīm finding a way to lear Hebrew when I get home.
While I was there, I got to know the area well enough to start serving as a tour guide. Thatīs how I met a lot of pepole.
I offered to take them to the grocery store or museum. But I ended up not eating a lot of times and pushing miles and
miles every day. I canīt wait to weigh myself when I get home because Iīm sure Iīve lost a ton of weight. And
my birthday is one week away from today. Thatīs also the day Iīm supposed to see Natalie again. Sheīs bringing
her boyfriend, Ivan, along, though. From what sheīs told me, heīs a jealous, mid-thirties, recent divorcee, so Iīm assuming
we will have no fun together (Natalie and I) and heīll make the whole thing awkward. Maybe Iīll be wrong and everything
will be fine, but Iīm not getting my hopes up. As for today, Iīm supposed to be doing something with Cara and Juan Carlos,
but maybe not, because we always stay up so late that we canīt seem to up before noon. Such a hard life, I know.
Oh yeah, I also got a haircut last night and now I look like I have an extremely short mullet. *Sigh*...
August 14, 2004
Yesterday was my twenty-third birthday. It passed rather uneventfully except for dinner at Tony Romaīs, which was
divine. I wanted to go out dancing or something, but Cara was exhausted from the trip here to Puebla and my friend Kike
couldnīt go out because he had to get up early this morning to leave for his football game in Veracruz. But man, I was
lucky to even have a place to stay. Apparently Kike is the suite mate I have left still living at the UDLA (my study
abroad university). Tonio got kicked out of the dorms after he got caught with a girl in his room after hours... and
he was a moderator! Marma, of course, died last December in the car accident. Henri and French graduated.
Diego apparently dropped out, but I was never that close with him. I donīt know what happened with Luis. A couple
of people told me that he didnīt come back this semester, but just a few weeks ago I talked to him and he told me that I could
stay with him here at the school. Who knows! Itīs ironic, though, that out of all of my suite mates from before,
I knew Kike the least, and now heīs the one who has given me a place to stay. The dorm still smells the same, but thatīs
about where the familiarities end. There are new renovations everywhere, new furniture, the bathroom has been redone,
and thereīs someone named Hefer sleeping in my old bed! I couldnīt sleep this morning, so I got up early and went for
a stroll around the whole campus just to walk down memory lane a little. But it was scary. I felt like a ghost.
The place where Natalie and I spent so much time talking and singing songs has been landscaped beyond recognition. The
only thing I could find was the tree we used to sit under together, but even the ground around it is so different that itīs
completely unrecognizable unless you are really trying hard to find it. I was going along and wondering if I really
was a ghost... How would I know? Iīve only run into a couple of people I remember from before, and it was awkward to
see them. I guess it really is true that you can never go back. I really have no place here anymore. Itīs
really scary and quite upsetting both at the same time. But classes start here in two more days, and Iīm going to go
by the old chorus class and see any friends that might still be here. Natalie wrote and said that she wouldnīt be into
Puebla until Sunday night. I donīt even know if I care anymore. I just feel like everything I ever had or felt
here is gone forever. But people have been so nice. All of Kikeīs new suite mates have just been wonderful to
me, and this morning the guy that cleans the kitchen area welcomed me and said he was glad I was here, even if it was for
a visit. The people in reception said it was a ĻmiracleĻto see me again, and were so glad that I had come back to study,
until I explained that I had graduated over a year ago and was just visiting. And whatīs the weirdest of all is that
I know that within a week I would fit right in if I could stay here and study, but I know thatīs not a possibility and Iīm
heading back to my old life in four more days. Itīs so bizarre to have just gotten here and be leaving again so soon.
Every other time Iīve come to the school, Iīve stayed for about four months. Now Iīm staying four days, and in all likelihood,
will never come back here again. Itīs sad. But I guess life goes on. We canīt cling to the past forever
and this is one of those times where I really have to learn the lesson well.
August 26, 2004
Wow, the excitement just never stops. In my never-ending change of ideas, I have decided to try and get into
graduate school. Now that I've discovered what International Development is, I think about it all the time. It
would be perfect for me if only I could get walking. Speaking of which, I wore my leg brace for about two hours while
I was cleaning the house this morning. And I called the hospital about my forthcoming plastic surgery appointments.
The lady told me that I will get a follow-up appointment with the NP and the Dietician at eighteen months, and then if they
say so (which they will, please God, let them will), I get an appointment to meet the plastic surgeon. Now the people
in the program say it could take up to six months to get surgery after meeting that doctor, but three other woman cornered
me one day and told me that it wasn't true, and that the wait is only two or three months long. I sure hope so.
I'm so tired of waiting. My leg brace, which hardly fit at all before surgery, is now so large that when I walk, the
skin from my thigh folds over and pinches inside. It doesn't feel good, that's for sure. But I want to walk so
badly. And also, my lower back hurts so much when I stand for more than a minute or so. I know it's because of
all the weight of the skin on the front of my body. So the lady on the phone, who does the scheduling for the bariatric
program, told me that she'd make me a priority for getting an early appointment because of my walking situation. Around
March or April would be an ideal time for me to get my surgeries because I would really like to get a job working for Camp
Thorpe, the camp I went to as a kid, as a counselor. And that couple of months before the start of summer would be the
perfect amount of time for healing to happen. But I'd really like to do my best to get stronger and walking before the
surgeries, because that way I won't have to worry about learning to walk afterward. I just pray that everything works
out. I know it will. It always does, even if it's not how I expected it to... which it rarely is. If all
my plans follow through, I could really be busy by this spring, finally having my life go in a forward direction. The
longer I live, the more I see how time flies and I don't really have to wait that long for anything to come along. Of
course I may not feel the same tomorrow, but lately that seems to be how things have been going. Finally, there is hope
in my life and light at the end of the tunnel.