Sam, to this day, claims that I had a fob/kiwi accent when I greeted him with a friendly, Cowabunga dude! (I was a teenage mutant ninja turtle fan…) in 2nd grade. A year later, Sam and I enrolled in an after-school Spanish class. We were the only two students truly dedicated to learning a language deemed exciting and exotic, both characteristics absent from a
predominantly Pacific Island community. We even continued studying Spanish as part of a handful of 8th graders taking High School Spanish. The class allowed us to have High School Lunch – which separated us socially from the our intermediate peers. Can you imagine how cool we thought we were?
Sam recently graduated from Brigham Young University. He decided to cap off his collegiate career with a six-week study abroad program in Guadalajara, Mexico. And I jetted off to spend his last weekend there with him. On Saturday, July 3, 2010, I met Sam in front of the Catedral in Plaza Tapatia (see left). This time, he looked like a fob with his Mexcian moustache. haha. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of him. Check facebook! We spent the rest of the weekend listening to the most amazing Mariachi band, exploring Guadalajara on the bus (kinda amazing!), shopping, attending the local ward (entirely in Spanish!), hanging out with Sam's host family, and eating everything! Seriously, I couldn't believe how great and cheap the food was. One of my favorites? Torta Ahogada, a unique bread made only in Guadalajara with beef drenched in a creamy tomato sauce.
Despite my attempt at Mexico becoming a relaxing getaway from Salt Lake City, I couldn't escape certain issues that have been recently consuming my life. Namely, determining my optimal career and navigating singledom. Sam, at this point of his life, is a throwback to my own transition from college student to real world adult. His plans include moving back to Hawaii and finding work within a non-profit organization. Normal, right? Except Sam shared his anxiety from the immense pressure of moving home as an adult -- hoping to achieve his life's goals. Whoa! I considered Sam's experiences along with my own and wondered: faced with endless opportunities, is it natural to fear the unknown? What a relief to learn that I was no exception to this feeling.