Last Sunday another trainee and I took a bus up to Saltillo to visit a current Peace Corps Volunteer. This was so that we could see what it is like to work in one of the offices and see how volunteers live. His office at CIQA was amazingly nice, with a campus mixing a university-type atmosphere and a government research park. They actually have graduate students and professors there, so it is an interesting type of government institution.
On Tuesday we were going to tour Saltillo, but of course the flu had shut everything down. Two of the famous museums (bird museum and desert museum) were closed, so we just wound up hanging out downtown. This is all we saw of the bird museum.
We took the night bus back on Tuesday (I wore my mask), and we got into Querétaro around 5 AM. I am definitely not liking the long bus rides... I was going to check out one of the public parks in town during the day on Wednesday, but even that was closed! Oddly enough, the museums in Querétaro were open, and I visited the Museo de la Restoración de la Republica, which highlights the role that Querétaro played in the Méxican revolution for independence.
After returning to the office on Thursday, we found out that Peace Corps had decided to cancel all training activities throughout the weekend, which meant we had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off. Our first vacation! Really, though, we cannot even take public transportation, so it limits what we can do around town. Friday in México was Labor Day, and so almost everything was closed anyways. Our events three weeks out are also being adjusted, with the possible cancellation of Counterpart Day (where we work with our future office counterparts to define our roles) and having a closed swearing-in ceremony (no ambassador, no host families, no center directors from work, etc.).
The city of Querétaro is also taking the flu seriously. They even have clinics-on-wheels at one of the Jardins in case you feel sick! I guess the newspapers on Saturday are reporting that cases of the swine flu have been found in the state of Querétaro, however the WHO thinks that overall cases have plateaued. Hopefully it will all blow over soon.
Thanksgiving in New Jersey
5 days ago