My Athens Homecoming by Cameron Glover

 Hey! How was Mexico? What did you do? Where did you go? What was the weather like? How was the food? Tell me everything!
My roommate and I in our Mama's hometown of Tikul in a tricycle taxi.

Good thing we have already gone over of my responses to most of these questions. I’m encouraged by how curious my friends are about my experiences abroad, but the nonstop inquiry of what happened during my trip was a bit overwhelming to tend to my first week back in Athens. At the same time, however, it was exciting to share some of my favorite memories with some of my favorite people.

Many of my Athens roommates and friends were interested in hearing about my visits to beautiful Caribbean beaches and ancient Mayan ruins. They were impressed with my improvements in Spanish and my new (but limited) knowledge of a few Mayan words, even though one friend believed that I was making up the language after I said “Hello, my name is Cameron” with the strange accent.

Explaining the basics never occurs without mentioning my new amigos who shared Winter Quarter with me in the extraordinary city of Merida. For 10 weeks, all 45 of us Ohio University students did practically everything together making it impossible not to grow close to one another. As I’ve mentioned before, my favorite memories were made during weekend excursions and spontaneous visits around the Yucatan. Of course, nothing screams “college student” more like 16 kids sharing a room with eight bunk beds and one bathroom for a weekend. Hostel life was a necessary, and interesting, part of the experience.

A group shot of everyone on an excursion bus.

 

To be honest, not spending every waking moment with some of those friends since I have returned has contributed to my reverse culture shock – that and not waking up in Mexico every morning. A group of us actually had a small reunion last week, which was a great opportunity to reminisce and listen to some of our favorite reggaeton songs. At the end of the night, we all decided to make our reunion a regular thing and try to get everyone to come every time. My house on Mill Street was volunteered as the next location.

 

There is something that is hard for me to explain about the bond that we now share. There is never a dull moment when we are together and recounting inside jokes about who accidentally said what to the cab driver or what magnificent meal someone’s Mama made them for lunch. If it weren’t for the other students in the 2010 Programa Mayab education abroad adventure, my 10 weeks spent in Merida, Mexico would have been a completely different experience. I can only hope that we all remain close friends after leaving Athens. That way our stories will never end.

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