Monday, July 13, 2009

Oaxaca - El Tule

I can't believe it has been a whole week since I last posted. I was sent to Oaxaca last week and hardly had time to come home last Saturday to wash clothes, pack, sleep a couple of hours and then back to the airport.

I flew on VivaAerobus last Sunday from Monterrey. A super discount airline that packs them in like sardines. I got to the airport 40 minutes before the flight and the jerk at the counter tried to tell me the flight was closed. I said, "I don't think so". I got on the flight and there are so many seats that none of them recline. Coffee? It will cost you. A bottle of water? Tambien. They have a menu that you can order off of.

The big issue was the checkin in Monterrey. They have six flights that leave at 6 a.m. for different cities. That means there are about 1000 people waiting to be checked in. They have the system down pat but you really need to get there early.

On I went to Oaxaca. I got a "so-so" picture of Monte Alban from the air upon arrival.

Got to my hotel and things seemed to settle down a bit. I stayed at the Fiesta Inn not far from the airport and downtown. The service was fantastic. They have a complete gym so I didn't have to look for one like usual. Most hotels advertise a gym but they only have a treadmill, which is good but not for weeks at a time. The hotel food was five star, my room very comfortable with a small living area, king-size bed, a desk with wi-fi, etc.

I was working on a program that is called Reforma Integral de la EducaciĆ³n Media Superior (RIEMS). This is a program based on competences and is intended to change the way we teach and learn in Mexico. It really is something and the government and the education department are working really hard on this project. I worked with English teachers in Oaxaca introducing the program and how it will work in English classes.

I didn't have a lot of opportunity to do much else. Although I was with two excellent co-workers from Oaxaca that took me out for dinner every night. My best recommendation in Oaxaca is Los Danzantes. Everyone knows where the place is. Upper class but prices are very accomodating.

We did have the chance to visit El Tule. I was there about 10 years ago and much of the town has changed for the better. Very well-kept parks and grounds, a nice morning or afternoon trip with lots of shopping with in one block of the tree.

The tree is one of the largest in the world and over 2000 years old.

The weather was great all week. Some showers but it was never hot. Another good spot to spend the summer.

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