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Day Two: Tuxtla

This is not the first time I've been stranded in a hotel room, unable to go more than a block or two from the hotel.  The first time it happened was in Nouackchott, Mauritania, when the government was suddenly overthrown.  I had just gotten back from a three week trip to the US, and had gotten to the capital city the night before.  I woke up that morning to go to the bank, and on my way out the door I received a panicked call from my father asking me if I was ok.  My father, in the United States, had known about the coup before I did.  Shortly thereafter I received a call from the Peace Corps, telling us...

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A Pack of Marlboro Reds

However, once I was spit out of the jungle, I came over a hill, only to see that there were miles of semi trucks backed up.  I was able to sneak around them, and as I came to a police officer with a road block, and asked him if it was ok, he happily waved me on.  I knew as I drove on that something was definitely not ok.  There were no other cars.  For at least three miles.  I came over another hill to see a tree laying across the road, with a small fire burning next to it.

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Veracruz

Lonely Planet's section on Veracruz starts, "Be Careful.  Veracruz is intoxicating... both regal and trashy, Veracruz could make even the most stoic traveler wax poetic."I'd have to agree, and it's  a much needed respite from all the "prettiness" of San Miguel de Allende. Veracruz is like nowhere I've ever been in Mexico, but more like a combination of everywhere I've ever traveled.  The harbor reminds me of Baltimore.  The run down, colonial buildings remind me of St Louis, Senegal.  The occasional scent of urine, also reminds me of Africa.  My hotel room is like everywhere I ever stayed in Southeast Asia- just nice enough with amazing air conditioning.  The zocolo, is all things wonderful about Mexico- last night dancers and musicians...

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Two Trips Deferred

I like to think that my ability to tackle the seemingly impossible and surely terrifying things in life has improved with age.  I also have to give some tribute to the students I spend most of my time with, as many of them are English language learners.  Watching them struggle and triumph through all the difficulties of learning a new language, has definitely given me courage to do the same.

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Lost Again.

It was 103 degrees as I crossed the border in Nuevo Laredo.  It seemed simple enough. You go through the customs lane, and look to your right for a large white building.  As I got my green light at customs, I looked to my right.  No building.  I had no choice but to drive on.

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