Obviously, things have been crazy busy for me to ignore you all since September and I have so much to tell you. The most important piece of news is that I AM DONE MY PhD!!
I successfully defended my thesis on Dec 7 at 10 am. The defense is an oral exam where you present your thesis to your committee, supervisor, an external examiner and because it is open to the public...an audience. My presentation lasted 20 minutes and the question period was only an hour!! I have been to defenses where it has lasted 2-3 hours! I was lucky, I had a great committee with interesting and thought provoking questions... it was actually FUN! Not too many people can say that about an oral exam! I also had great support from friends, colleagues and family. There were about 25 people in the audience and even my parents came for the defense and the celebration afterwards! Now we can look forward to even more fun at my convocation in the spring!
The best part of finishing up was my reward. We went to Mexico for 3
weeks over the holidays! We spent most of our time eating and snorkeling
in a marine reserve in Puerto Morelos,
a small town of only 3 streets parallel to the beach and separated from
the main highway by a huge protected mangrove. As Frank Sinatra said
it...This is my kind of Town... Every day that we were there we indulged
in delicious food, happy hour, family and of course LOTS of snorkeling!
Arracherra, or skirt steak at least 5 times while we were there...if you like beef, this is to DIE FOR!
panuchos (the first of the 3 photos) which are fried tortillas with beans, some type of meat, pickled red onions, avocado and of course salsa. The second photo is of papadzules which are corn tortillas dipped in a pumpkin seed sauce then filled with hardboiled eggs, topped with more pumpkin seed sauce and a bit of tomato based sauce. Lastly, the soup is called sopa de lima. Lima is a type of citrus that is the size of a lemon but greenish and sweeter than either lemon or lime, it is sometimes called sweet lime. The soup has chicken and pieces of fried corn tortillas and is delicious!
chile relleno (stuffed chillies), tamales and all kinds of other amazing street food! If in doubt, ask a taxi driver where he/she eats and you are guaranteed to get something good. When we showed up at one cart in Cancun we were surprised that there was actually two different ones...how did we know which one to eat at? When a truck load of police showed up to eat at the one cart, we knew that was the right one! It was delicious!!
here. Hopefully this will be a coordinated effort among all Caribbean countries.
Of course we spent a lot of time with family over the tree weeks we were there. We did all of the typical Christmas and New Years traditions with all 30 family members that were visiting this year!! So that is it in a nutshell.
I am looking forward to catching up with all of you!