Monday, April 7, 2014

Last Post

My take on How I Met Your Mother

For those of you who watch How I Met Your Mother (or even if you don’t), you’ve probably heard about the backlash against how the finale ended.  Don’t worry – I’m not giving away any spoilers.  It was a shock to many long-time viewers who were upset that the writers ended it like they did. 

In many ways, I see parts of my own life in certain characters from HIMYM.  Like other viewers, as I’ve watched it over the last few years I’ve grown to expect certain things to happen throughout the plot and different people to come to different points in their life before the show ends.  The last episode was certainly not what most people were counting on.

It is with a HIMYM analogy that I share with you the news that for me, Mexico will also be like that last episode – it’s not going to end the way I originally envisioned.  Over the last few months, my work and experience here have been increasingly difficult and challenging often leading me to feel exhausted and frustrated.  For this reason, I am opting to return to the U.S. ahead of schedule at the end of the month.

Although it is not the outcome I was hoping for, right now it is the best decision.  If I learned anything about teaching music students during five years of college it’s that sometimes no matter how much you want something to work, your best bet on fourth and long is simply to punt. 

This is not to say that my time in Mexico has taught me nothing.  Quite the opposite.  I have learned a lot about the people here, people in general, Mexico, the U.S., life outside of school and myself.  It has been an invaluable experience and I am thankful to everyone who has shared it with me in one way or another along the way. 

As I prepare to return to Wisconsin in a few weeks, offer your prayers for those who will still be in their YAGM service, living in Mexico, or already back in the States.

See you soon.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Q & A

It's been a long time since I wrote anything in my blog.  So I decided that in writing the next entry, instead of me just telling you all about Mexico (which hasn't really changed that much since I got here), I decided it might be better to answer any questions you might have about what exactly it is I do here.

I realize that that probably sounds super vague and open-ended and in a way it's supposed to be.  I don't want you to think that you have to ask about a certain topic or sound 'smart' or come up with something really cool.  Whatever question you have, I'll answer.

To get you started thinking, I'll give you some background on what's been happening:

I've been here for six months now and been living very close to Mexico City.

I have just returned from six days in Arizona and Sonora on the US/Mexico border.  Being there and seeing border issues/injustices unfold is unlike any other experience I've had.

In Mexico, I work in a community center near a dump and teach English.

I live with a Mexican host family.

The program I'm a part of is called Young Adults in Global Mission.  There are six of us in Mexico and we all work in different sites.

We frequently have retreats to learn about global and US/Mexico current issues pertaining to our work in Mexico.

Mexico and the US have a very interesting relationship both in terms of politics and people.

I'm a Sagittarius.  (OK, that one probably won't help you think of any questions, but it's still true).

Don't be afraid to ask about myths or things you've heard about Mexico or the border.  There's a lot of stuff that gets flung around so don't feel bad asking.  In the same way, if I don't know an answer, I'll just say 'I don't know.'  If I get enough questions, my goal is to do one a week as a blog entry.  I'll make sure to credit you with the question or you can be anonymous if you want.  Send your questions to

Happy Asking!!