Comments from Jeri Howard

Our trip to Mexico was my first real spring break trip. Sure I've been to close places, but I still managed to work forty house during the week. The trip was going to be good from the start because it meant twelve whole days with no Wal*Mart anywhere in sight! I left work Thursday night, completely ready for anything. Friday was great. We all net and loaded up the van with our stuff for the trip. Things looked to be great. Everyone was in a good mood. The guys in the back of the van were a little uncomfortable due to what they said was a woman's lack of van packing skills. Even though, everyone had a great time. We picked up the Oklahoma people around eight the first evening, this really didn't matter that much because we didn't get to know them until we reached Mexico anyway.

While this trip was great fun and I learned a lot of biological standpoints and experienced many new things during the fieldwork portion of the trip, I think I learned more during the off time. I know that I learned many things that I would never have if I had spent the week at work.

The first thing I learned was that it is necessary to keep and have with you all sorts of paper work that you'd never figure you'd need, because the border patrol will want it. It is also very important to maintain a serious and calm attitude at any checkpoints or in place where a police force or military force is present. Mexican officials carry very large guns and aren't afraid to use them. It is possible to evade problems if you are young and blonde and give them a phone number (preferably not your own). Another thing to keep in mind is that no matter how beautiful mountains are or how much you love them, it is best to travel through them while sleeping. This is necessary only after a day or two without sleep in a very large van on a very narrow, low maintenance-winding road.

I have also come to appreciate toilets that flush with actual seats on them. They're very nice.

Maybe some of the more important things are about people themselves. If you put a person in a strange place, they will adjust and have a good time no matter what the situation involves.

Camping on the beach is fun, and there are more places on the human body that sand can be trapped in than is imaginable. No matter how warm the water in a hot spring is, the air outside it will be cold, especially at midnight.

You can survive without electricity and no one will think you look bad because you didn't curl your hair that day.

You can also survive by eating eggs, beans, rice, and tortillas at every meal, every day, even though it will become very boring.

You can shower in cold water, and shaving is overrated.

There is such a thing as too much pop, and even harder to believe, too much beer. You will crave both water and juice.

Walking on the beach is beautiful and relaxing no matter what time of day it is or what mood you're in.

Afternoon naps aren't a thing reserved only for pre-school classrooms.

Pineapple in Mexico only costs 15 cents and is fresher and better tasting than anything you'll ever find in the United States.

There are restaurants in Mexico that serve better hamburgers than can be found in the United States, this is also true for margaritas.

Maybe the hardest, if not most important thing I learned is that someone that is your best friend can act like your worst enemy, even though they still care about you and teach you a lot about both yourself and the world. And in the end your friendship will be stronger than it was to begin with. Also during the hard time while they're the enemy, other people will see your self worth and be there for you when you most need it.

My trip to Mexico was incredible and I would do it again any day. I recommend it to anyone.
Last updated on 16 April 2001.
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