Monday, July 30, 2007
Mexico: Part 2 (The Weather and Land of Mexico)
At the Pre-field Orientation we talked as a team about to leave for Mexico about the hot climate. Of course Mexico City has a high elevation, but it's also July and in the tropics... right? Therefore we didn't pack much warm clothes, some of us didn't pack any. On the plane into the city the the pilot came on the speaker system to tell us the weather, "partly cloudy and....... 63 degrees" and that was at about 1pm in the afternoon! We of course thought it was a mis calculation from transfering from Celsius to Ferenheight. Nope, we got off the place and it was in the low 60's! Later that night during our first worship time in the Atizapan church there was also a turrential downpour of rain which resulted in even cooler temps, in the 50's. I was freezing! I didn't mention that the church has a tarp for a roof and no walls! Sunday we had more of the same, beautiful sunny weather in the early day time and then heavy rain in the late afternoon, followed by falling temperatures. From Atizapan we traveled north into the wilderness and rural areas of the state of Hidalgo. After passing through a large town about 1.5 hours outside Mexico City we began to climb into the larger mountains. The first range was beautiful, containing moderately sized trees with many cactuses. As we neared the highest elevations we came upon taller and greener vegetations. At the top was what seemed like a rain forest, beatiful, tall spruce-like trees with moss and fog surrounding. I was shocked that this was Mexico, I expected nothing but desert. As we continued we came upon a huge canyon and more desert like terain, more stereotypically Mexican in character. This continued until it got dark. I asked Arturo, our fearless leader, if Ahuatitla was in a desert climate. He had already told me it would be hot, but I didn't believe him. He told me we would soon be entering a more Jungle-like area where we would find our destination. Arturo was right, the trees grew larger and almost completely overhang the road in places. It was dark so we couldn't see much. Was seemed to fall onto the road from the cliffs and trees around us. Finally arriving in Ahuatitla some hours in the very very early morning we all noticed how warm it was. Though the mountains were amazing surrounding this village we had droped in elevation from Mexico City, so it was in fact much warmer. I didn't know this until the end of the week, but according to Arturo it was 110 F on Tuesday! What a difference from Sunday! The weather was hot and sunny for the rest of the week. I'll post pictures of the mountains later, and write more too.