My experience in Puebla will stay with me forever. Since I have returned to the United States, I find myself thinking about it every day, smiling at and reliving the memories. Throughout my time in Mexico I gradually found a balance between the always-available support from the program and independently stepping outward into a genuine immersion in Mexican culture.
My host family, and the program itself, represented a kind of intermediary between staying within and stepping outside of my comfort level, and provided the support necessary to go beyond my personal limits. With this support and encouragement I gained confidence in my language skills and in myself. I learned to be patient with others and with myself, to see the experience as a learning process, to learn from and accept my mistakes.