The chronicles of Guadalajara

Our journey to Guadalajara begins with a double #failoftheday we boarded the bus after saying our goodbyes and were ready to doze off on our 8 hour night bus. Suddenly a harrassed and out of breath Sandra jumped onto the bus waving a mobile phone that had been left in her car. It belonged to Emma, who was happily reunited with her electronic friend. After our further thank yous and good byes to Sandra we set off and all fell asleep! We were awoken by a man shouting that we had arrived in Guadalajara – 6 sleepy heads disembarked and collected their bags – unconvincingly ready to meet a new city. When no one was at the bus station to meet us we were mildly concerned and after confirming that we had in fact arrived to the incorrect bus stop and got off the bus a stop too early, we sheepishly called Marisa to ask for help! #teamfail Marisa and Rosanna came to our rescue and took us back to Marisa’s house where we collapsed into bed for a nap. We awoke a little more ready to face the day! We had a delicious breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast and cake! Even Kayleigh who has been unwell managed to eat a slice (she’s definitely on the mend).

We took a trip to our training location for the next couple of days to scout out the space before it was time for lunch, Raquel made us rice with minced beef, chorizo and potato it was super tasty and just what we needed. We drank much needed coffee and spent the afternoon being tourists in downtown Guadalajara. We visited the Minerva statue and arches before visiting the cathedral and other areas. We had tacos for dinner before separating for the night. Emma, Zoe and Rachel are staying with Annalynn! We were all so tired and loved falling asleep in real beds after spending the night on the bus.

Tuesday morning began with training girasoles haditas and guias. The girls had a fun session and enjoyed songs and games together to start the day. They learnt about the guiding laws of guias de Mexico.

We had lunch at Rosanna’s house to the west of the city. It was beautiful – at the edge of the spring forest. We had a BBQ followed by a much needed nap!

In the evening we trained outdoors with intermediates, mayores and leaders. We discussed recruitment and retention and the mayores and leaders wrote and voted on their key messages for guias de Guadalajara.

The evening was spent trying new foods in Zapopan – Annabel and Kayleigh tried sopes, and the rest ate pozole – which Zoe described as meat and popcorn soup. It was very yummy and very filling.

On Wednesday we trained the same girasoles, haditas and guias. It was great to see familiar faces! The girasoles and haditas learnt about leadership characteristics and qualities. The guias did sessions on communication skills.

Lunch time was spent at Blanca’s house – we ate pizza, tried tequila (Emma was not a fan!) and watched mean girls! Much needed rest time!

Our evening session with adults, intermediates and mayores was spent playing team work and communication games. The session was great fun and ended with canción de despedida which translates as the song of goodbye. It is to the tune to Auld Lang Syne. It was very emotional and a lovely way to end our training in Guadalajara.

In the evening we went to a bariachi – A cross between a mariachi and a bar! The band were amazing and the food delicious. The restaurant was decorated with papel picado and piñatas, it was so colourful and created a great atmosphere. We all went dancing and despite enjoying the Mexican music when the spice girls came on we were all ecstatic! We said our goodbyes and headed home. Thursday morning has been spent packing and getting ready for our flight!

Despite our somewhat unsuccessful start in Guadalajara we have loved our time here! Thank you to our amazing hosts and all attendees of our training sessions for making our time in Guadalajara so special! Today we fly to Juarez and are not looking forward to the heat and ‘burning sun’ we’ve been warned about! See you soon, love GOLD team Mexico xxx

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