Tuesday, November 18, 2008

back from el norte

After five days in Hermosillo I'm happy to be back in the south. I went with a group from CIESAS and presented at a linguistics conference at the Universidad de Sonora. The conference was great, and it was exciting to see a different kind of Mexico. Hermosillo is in the desert and I didn't see a cloud, or much in the way of greenery, for days. Everything was very flat, except for a hill near the center of town. I went up with a group of linguists (left) to check out the views.

Despite the name, Hermosillo is not especially hermoso. The downtown area is, in urban planning speak, rather blighted (if Jess did have to stay in Mexico for a job, there would be plenty of work to do here). Not very pedestrian friendly, not much going on in the streets, and a lot of run-down or closed businesses. People in Hermosillo apparently do not walk (they looked at us in horror when we told them we were thinking of walking to the top of the hill above). One person attributed this to the fact that if you walk very far in the summer, you die. Last week it was in the mid-90's most of the time. This is November, which is their winter too. We were told in the summer highs can reach 54 celsius. I just plugged that into a converter and it tells me that means 129 degrees fahrenheit. Despite the heat, people in Hermosillo were extremely friendly and had very nice Norteño accents.

On the last day of the conference, the organizers took a group of about 50 linguists to a small beach town called San Carlos (below). I'd never been to such a desert-y beach before, but the cactus-covered hills in the background were lovely, as was the turquoise blue water. You can see by the hotels in the background that San Carlos is growing, and I felt the need to apologize on behalf Gringolandia for the drunken American teenagers screaming as they drove ATVs through groups of sun-bathers and their jetskis through groups of swimmers.

A very nice trip but it's good to be home, though we only have about half of the fahrenheit degrees here in San Cristóbal as they did in Hermosillo and I think I am getting a cold.

Finally, here is our city in the news (thanks David!). We're looking forward to showing it off during visits from Ephraim and the Burgesses next week.

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