I wish you success, health and happiness for this new year. After a long semester at the Coast Guard Academy, with its highs and lows, I finally achieved my objective: I carried out the semester and enjoyed a well-deserved rest. I feel sad being back at the Academy but at the same time I was very happy to have been able to enjoy my leave in Mexico surrounded by my family and friends.
I am going to tell you a little bit about the traditions in Mexico for this very special time of the year. During these days everybody is surrounded by family and friends with whom you enjoy delicious Christmas food and to have lots of fun. Before Christmas we do something called Posadas. The Posadas start every December 16th of the year and ends on Christmas day. Its objective is to prepare us for Christmas. The main activity is to ask Posada, by simulating being Virgin Mary and Joseph when they were looking for a place where Jesus could be brought to Earth. We sing villancicos, break piñatas and distribute aguinaldos. We enjoy fruit punch, candies, fruits and Mexican food. For the New Year’s party, we traditionally spend the night in surrounded by our family where we enjoy a delicious dinner with turkey, an apple salad, ham, apple sauce, cod, chipotles chili, etc. For the final countdown to begin the New Year, we traditionally eat twelve grapes. Every grape represents each month of the new year where we wish something we want to accomplish this year.
My vacations were pretty special because I had the opportunity to gather with all my family, my best friend from the Mexican naval academy, my other friends from the Mexican naval academy and to visit Mexico City, Puebla, Cordoba, Orizaba and Veracruz. I enjoyed the company of my best friend, Luz del Carmen Urista Mendoza. She and I have been friends since we started the selection process to attend the Mexican naval academy. We have been partners during the good and bad times. We grew up together achieving our goals day by day. At the same time, I enjoyed really good times with my parents and my brother. They were really happy of being with me but they got even happier with all the Coast Guard presents I bought for them. I shared my experiences with my friends from the Mexican Naval Academy while I joined them in their way back to my old academy. On the other hand, I enjoyed a lot the Christmas Holiday’s parties surrounded by my cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents. It was a unique experience learning how to cook the Christmas dinner with my Grandmother from my mother’s side.
It was really sad to have to leave my country once again and make my way to a new semester at the Academy but it was worth it. These vacations reminded me of all the people for who I am here now and for whom I wake up every day and give the best of myself. My goals, my family and my friends are the fuel that encourages me to succeed. That is something we should never forget, because when hard times occur it is really easy to stop trying and quit. I thank God for bringing me back to my faith and for giving me the solution to minimize my difficulties and to keep on going.
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