You might want to grab a fresh cup of coffee for this one.
* waits *
Ibis and I have come to the difficult decision that it's best if I move back to Michigan. If you're a regular reader of this blog, I don't think I need to explain why, but the biggest reasons are the increasing violence and the whole not-having-money thing.
Owen and I will be flying into Chicago on February 23rd, then I'll drive my dad's van to my parents' house in Michigan, where I will become a cliché. Yes, I'm moving into their basement.
I'd rather not get into all the details on the internet, but I'm sure you have a couple obvious questions.
No, we are not getting divorced. We've talked about sending me back to the US to work for well over a year now and I've always resisted (again, for a lot of reasons I'd rather not get into).
No, I don't have a job yet, but I'm working on it. I've applied to one place (I know…) and I have a list of "industry" folks that I plan to contact. Michigan's economy is among the worst in the US, but that's where my family is.
The good thing is I no longer have the limitations I had by trying to work in Mexico or Canada. As an immigrant you are required work within your field of study -- for me, graphic design -- and there just aren't that many design positions in a struggling economy. Now if I want to wait tables or work at a bookstore (or both), I can.
I've also started writing for Demand Studios -- an online company that supplies articles for eHow, Livestrong, and several other website. I've already had two articles approved, and yes, I'm kicking myself for not doing this two years ago.
Ibis & The US
No, my being in the US will not change anything about Ibis getting into the country. He is facing a ten-year ban for unlawful presence and that ban will not be lifted. Period. The answer we received in September was regarding an extreme-hardship waiver that we filed on my behalf. Appealing that decision or reapplying will only waste more years and more money. He can reapply in seven years. Period.
Travel to Zihua
Yes, I still think it's safe to visit Zihuatanejo. In fact, my dad arrives today for two months and my brother will be here at the beginning of March.
True, the violence helped persuade me to leave, but the dangers I face are because I'm a local. (I'm going to generalize here, so bear with me.) When some locals see me -- a white American who doesn't work -- they assume I have money, or if I don't have money, my family does. After all, we're getting by somehow, right? That puts me in danger, especially when all around us people are struggling to survive. Burglaries and muggings have increased drastically since we moved here three years ago, and you can only avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time for so long.
If you've been here you know that the local police and government takes tourism very seriously and it's very rare for anything bad to happen IF YOU STICK TO THE TOURISTY areas. The Canadians who were shot in mid-January were on a deserted bike path. Another tourist was raped a couple days after that, but again, she was on a fairly isolated beach. (I don't know the details of that attack or I would tell you more.)
Yes, bad things happen, but that's not limited to Zihuatanejo or Mexico. I've decided I've had enough of this place, but that doesn't mean I'll never return to visit.
Okay, now everyone take a deep breath.
* inhales *
* waits for everyone to join in *
* turns blue *
Okay, seriously people. Take a deep breath.
* takes another deep breath but only pretends to hold it and breathes out my nose *
Because I'm leaving Mexico, this blog will no longer make sense. So… I have a new blog:
Go check it out!
* waits *
What do you think? There are still a couple things I'd like to tweak, but for the most part, I'm happy with it. I decided to switch to Wordpress for a couple reasons, number one being I can still keep "melanieavila" as the name.
One question for you fellow Wordpress bloggers: is there a Followers button? I know I can see who's following me, but I like having it displayed on the main page.
A benefit I didn't anticipate is the extra pages Wordpress allows you to set up. As you can see (you looked, right?) I've essentially turned this into my writing/author/whatever website. Some of you may recall I have another website that also has my writing info on it. Well not anymore! I've changed that too:
* waits *
This site hasn't changed as much, but I've refreshed a couple things, including the About Me photo. Ibis and I had a mini photo shoot on the roof over the weekend. Didn't he do a great job?
But wait, there's more!
Because designing a five-page Wordpress blog and updating my design site weren't enough, I started yet another blog:
What Am I Doing in Michigan?
* waits with a big smile *
Eh? Eh? What do you think?
I feel bad retiring What Am I Doing in Mexico?, but not bad enough to stay. I'll continue posting here until I leave, then transition to Hoosblog once I get settled in Michigan. Once there, I'll keep this blog online, but I'll probably deactivate comments.
One last favor before I go: Will you please follow my new blogs? I'd really appreciate it. :)
* takes a big sip of coffee *