Monday, June 23, 2008

Guest Blog: Keelin and Kling Checking In!

Hey Everyone - It's Keelin and Kling(enberg) checking in from Puebla.

Today, our "day off" started with a 16-minute jog. We ran behind the hotel and the people who work at the Car Rental place next door cheered for us as we went by! They said "Go Americans!!" It was rather inspiring.

During our afternoon off, we took a team trip to the nearby town of Cholula - not to be confused with the "Chalupa" from Taco Bell, even though most of us called it that anyway. We went there to explore the town and to see the Great Pyramids (Tlachihualtepetl).

The pyramid itself was hidden under what looked like a hill, but we went through this tiny cavernous path to get through the mountain. It was very narrow and sometimes very low... there were some claustrophobic people on our team who had a bit of a hard time getting through it, but it wasn't too long, and everyone made it out.

Once we got to the other side, we climbed a TON of stairs up to the top of the hill - talk about altitude training. The stairs were awful. But, when we got to the top of the hill/pyramid, there was this beautifully decorated chapel. Kling really wanted to light a candle, but they didn't have any there! In lieu of the candles, we decided to sacrifice Christine Nairn - she's the youngest on the team so it makes sense if you think about it. We REALLY need to win on Wednesday and we thought it would help. Unfortunately, there were way too many altars to choose from, so we didn't end up sacrificing anyone due to indecision.

We went off on our own adventure and found a big wall made up of skeletons, including two decapitated children and people who had deformations. We saw a guy excavating in one of the holes and he didn't speak English so we talked him in to letting us past the fences to explore a little bit more. He wouldn't let us take any pictures though, so in an act of rebellion, Kling took a souvenir from the ground - a rock. It's not a skeleton, but while she was bragging about her "ancient rock", she realized that pretty much all rocks are ancient.

Then, we went shopping. The streets were lined with little shops that had all sorts of traditional local gifts - everything was so colorful! However, there was one gift that stood out above everything else, and that was the sombreros. Pretty much everyone purchased one, and that's when hilarity ensued. We did not discriminate with the hats - we bought all shapes and sizes. Kling got one that's Carolina Blue and Keelin's is Portland Purple. Meesh (Michelle Enyeart) got one in lime green. Alyssa got a tiny little sombrero that was dubbed "the Mexican Yarmulke (yamukkah)" by Casey Nogueira and Beto (the equipment manager) picked the store dry with his enormous selection.

We had an AWESOME dinner at a local restaurant, La Casona, that opened just for us - they're usually closed on a Monday. The place was beautiful - there was a huge garden in the center and tables all around, and the staff were sooooo nice. They gave us this yummy red soda that we'd never had before. They served homemade tortillas and these GREAT appetizers. For dessert we had strawberries and cream and caramel crepes. It was a great experience. The hotel food has been really good, but it was nice to get out and have something different.

After dinner it was back onto the bus, where we had a sombrero/dance party. Equipment manager Beto brought some great dance tunes and blared them throughout the bus. It was a good time, and a good way to pass the 30 minute bus ride.

We all had a great time getting out and exploring. Chalula is unlike any place you could find in the United States.

We'll be back later in the week to keep everyone posted!

Blogmasters Keelin and Kling

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