Back when I started thinking about my year abroad, having to factor in a long distance relationship alongside all the other madness that comes with living in a foreign country was not something I anticipated, and I am 99% sure my boyfriend neither planned on, nor wanted, a girlfriend living five and a half thousand miles away. But here we are, 6 months into my year abroad, me in Mexico City and him back in England; así es la vida.
In November 2000, Alan and Pamela Skuse left their home on the Sunshine Coast of Australia, to volunteer at an orphanage in Tapachula, southern Mexico, for 12 months. The orphanage closed down after six months however, leaving the Skuses with a life changing decision: to return to Australia, or take on the overwhelming challenge of caring for the seven children full time.
Leaving the children to return to the streets and lives of poverty and abuse was not an option so, despite the lack of resources and support, the couple decided to take on the huge responsibility of establishing their own refuge, ’Albergue, Misión México, Dando Amor, Vida y Esperanza’ (Mission Mexico Refuge, Giving Love, Life and Hope).
Levi Ramsden is a third year Modern Language student at Lancaster University, and has spent the first half of her year abroad studying in Puebla, Mexico. To find out more about what she's up to, you can follow her blog, but here is her insider guide to Mexico: getting around, eating out, the university, being a foreigner and useful vocabulary to get to grips with...