Friday, December 7, 2012

A Week of Firsts for the Mister

We had quite a week. I'm a little sad and not sure what to write. No, I don't want to talk about it. That's really an understatement. Regardless of everything going on, some fantastic things happened for the first time this week. The first first is that we bought a bottle of vodka, which is probably what made the rest of the week start to look a little less gloomy. #addictioncalls We made all sorts of new cocktails and it was like freshman year all over again. Koolaid. That's all I gotta say.

The 2nd first was that Mr. Cruz went to the dentist for the first time in his entire life. When he was younger he couldn't afford to go, and as an adult, I believe that I have scared the absolute shit out of him when it comes to dental work. After years of smoking crystal meth, my teeth are basically irreparable and I have endless horror stories about random, bottom of the barrel, questionable dentists. Don't do drugs kids. Because of my stories, Gordo was absolutely terrified to go to the dentist. I nagged and nagged until he made an appointment though and he went in yesterday for his first cleaning. Exciting stuff people.

I wish I could've gone with him for support and also because I am one nosey ass motherfucker who is dying to see what it's like to go to a dentista Mexicana, but of course I couldn't make it because I was working at the time of his appointment. I have tons of work that needs to be done and the latest estimate from my dentist in El Paso would leave me with a $5,000+ (US$) bill. I've held off, to say the least. Despite my lack of presence, he came out of his first cleaning alive. Although apparently they injected him with Novocaine which seemed odd to me for a cleaning, but what do I know? I'm just a crazy American, right?! Moving on...

The 3rd first, which comes in far ahead of dental work and discovering the joys of vodka, is that on Tuesday my mister ENROLLED IN PREPA! That is the Mexican version of high school. Of course I saved the best first for last. In Mexico, the educational system is very different from that in the US and your public education is only free through la secundaria which I suppose can be compared to middle school in America. Even up to that point, children only go to school for about 4 hours a day compared to the 7-8 hours a day in the US. I'm not educated enough on the topic to discuss the quality of that 4 hours. I have little to no experience with the Mexican public education system but it's clear that there are differences from the American version. I do know that Mexican private schools can be beyond excellent and there is definitely something lacking for the poor here. Surprise, surprise.

My husband's family couldn't afford to send him to prepa so at 33 years old, he was enthralled to discover that the maquila he is working for will cover the cost. I am so excited for him! As I've discussed in the past, I believe that education is everything in this world, and something the majority of us take for granted in the US. Of course he is nervous and intimidated and worried but I know this is going to be an amazing thing for him. I'm proud of him for taking this step because I know what it means for him and understand the emotional cost and the fear behind all of it. I am so unbelievably proud of him. He is supposed to start class on January 5th. I'll keep you posted with the progress.

In perspective, it's been an amazing week. I suppose I am just writing this as a reminder that I need to concentrate on the good things. Keep it real lovers. Keep it real.


  1. That's very exciting about the prepa!! Mis sobrinos go to school for 8am to 2pm approx in Tlaxcala. I hope that my hubby can someday return to school. He'd like to learn nutrition so he can be a personal trainer and help people get healthy.


    1. Krystal, that's promising! Are they in public or private school? I wonder if the short days is a Chihuahua State thing? All the kids I know here in public school go for just a half day and Gordo said that's what it was like for him growing up in Parral. I wouldn't necessarily think it's a bad thing if the kids are being given sufficient homework and if the parents are involved but I doubt that's always the case.

    2. Hi Emily, I'm originally from Parral, where I always went to public schools. In elementary school I remember attending from 8 am to 1 pm with a 30 minutes break at mid morning; For secundaria and prepa I believe it was something like 8am-2pm with a 20 minute break. Most prepas are public and so are most universities, though you do pay a nominal fee. In my time I believe it was around 40 usd per semester in prepa and around 150 usd per semester in university.

      In my experience, when people say they can't afford to send their children to school (which is a very real problem) what they mean is not so much the fees but the fact that they can't afford to support them economically instead of them working. At least that was why my parents only made it to middle school.

      Anyway, I just wanted to congratulate you and your husband for all the things you've accomplished. I just discovered your blog and as a former juarense (I lived there 10 years) I like it very much!

    3. Interesting info Miguel. I think for my husband specifically, it was a combination of the family not being able to afford for all the kids to attend and him having a strong desire to get to work and help out financially.

      I'm glad you like the blog and thanks for stopping by!

  2. Superb. And, to note, I always get novacaine when I get my teeth cleaned because of sensitive areas below the gum line. If there's pain, I won't remain! You are so honest about your past and I admire that,. So few ever get away from meth, from what I understand,so that lone is a mega accomplishment. Kudos, kiddo!

  3. Most elementary schools in Mexico are 4 hour days. There are a few Very rare) that go all day. That is awesome about hubby going to Prepa!! School quality is lacking here, unfortunately. My kids are more advanced than kids their age by about 3 years.

  4. I went to school in Mexico up to High School and attended school from 7:00 am to 3:10 pm, except from primary school which was from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. It was the norm in the state of Oaxaca, and public schools were good enough that I earned a scholarship to study in the U.S. at the SUNY system. Most High Schools are Math/Science focused, at least in the coast of Oaxaca, it could be different in northern states. Congrants to your husband, I can see a future industrial engineer!

    A Happy Resident in the east coast!

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