I Was Not Made For Here

I was recently privileged to be a part of a photography project my friend, Sandra Villanueva , is working on. She is using her company, New Village Photography, for a purpose and to make a difference in the world. One of her projects is to take quotes, scripture and words that have made a difference in people lives, the way they think and what they do, write them on each person’s body and photograph them in a striking way that brings attention the meaning of these words.

I am inspired by the way Sandra sees the world and by the way she is using her passion and art to bring awareness of issues that are important. This was the first time that I “modeled” for a photography project, and I am excited to be a part of Sandra’s future work.

See what other project’s Sandra is working on and check out more of her work at http://www.newvillagephoto.com/


A Stamp in my Passport and A Crocodile

Today was full of firsts and fun times. I arrived in Cancun this afternoon for the first time ever! After a quick four and a half hour, non-stop flight, my sister and I exited our plane to a room FILLED with people waiting to get their passports and forms checked. Seriously, the room was packed; I thought for sure it was people waiting to check in at first. My sister and I spent the next forty five minutes in a snaked line cracking jokes that only we would ever find funny, behind a family of four with a little girl who spent the entire time not quite crying, but making it quite clear that she was not happy with the situation. Me either, kid, but pipe down.

When it was our turn at the customs counter, the gentleman working there quickly checked our forms without smile or ceremony and, wait for it….gave my passport its first stamp ever!! First number TWO for the day! I’ve been trying to use my passport for years with no luck, so this was a pretty exciting moment for me.

Fast forward an hour or so later and my sister, Jaimie, and I are greeted at the condo with a huge hug from our other sister, Jessica, who arrived yesterday with her husband. We were all starving, so we decided to go to a seafood restaurant right on the water directly across the street from where we are staying. I had the lobster tacos, which were good, but not terribly impressive, and my sisters both had filets of some sort. Just as we were finishing our meals, our waiter, who introduced himself as a Mexican Danny Devito (the resemblance was definitely there), came over to our table to tell us there was a crocodile in the water just off the deck of the restaurant. I was confused. There are crocodiles in Cancun? We rushed over to the railing of the deck, where there was already a family with four or five little kids, and sure enough, there was a crocodile just hanging out right there! He was sitting right under a sign that said “Beware of Crocodile”, so I’m guessing that is his regular table (no joke). From out of the kitchen came a couple of fish heads, which two children immediately grabbed and threw into the water, one by one as the crocodile ate them. We stood there “wow”ing and “whoa!”ing as the crocodile lifted his head out of the water to crush the first fish head in his strong jaws, then the second, the sound of cracking bones clear in the evening air. Adding crocodiles to my list of ocean fears along with sharks, we headed back to our table to pay our bill and wonder aloud if there were any crocodiles in the water in front of our hotel.

Fast forward again another hour and find the three of us, me and my two sisters, walking around downtown Cancun at night. We had gone to Wal-Mart for breakfast and sunscreen and stuff since we were told not to buy anything around the hotels because of the inflated tourist prices, but when we left the store looking for another bus, there were none to be found. We walked the dark, mostly empty streets of downtown Cancun, darting across roads at inconvenient spots and constantly refusing expensive taxi offers looking for a bus stop for about half an hour. Finally, we came across some sort of security check point and asked the officer where the next bus stop was. He said it was about two and a half kilometers further. I’m not going to lie, I don’t know exactly how far that is, but we were carrying bags and had already been walking for half an hour in the dark in a strange Mexican city (which I secretly liked since it was so adventurous feeling), so it sounded far. The nice officer offered to flag down a bus for us. He did and even with our crazy, super speedy bus driver who I’m pretty sure almost crashed three times, it still took us another half hour to get back to our hotel.

First day in Cancun: Success