An update from Anne, a graduate student in history with a focus on the U.S. Southwest and Mexico who is doing research on Indian history:

Sometimes, no matter how much pre-planning and diligent organization goes into the booking of a trip abroad, things can go haywire at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, a select few of the 2009-10 SMU in Oaxaca students learned this lesson the hard way.

Two back-to-back pre-dawn flight cancellations grounded about half of the class, but a third and final attempt to travel to Oaxaca proved successful. Although three of the seven students arrived as scheduled on December 26; the rest of us, including our fearless leader/instructor, joined our compadres on the following day.

Together at last, we headed right to Zocalo, the main square in the beautifully restored downtown area of Oaxaca City, festively decorated for the Christmas holiday. Some brave souls hit the ground running, trying foods such as small grasshoppers, while others opted for more traditional Oaxacan cuisine. After a somewhat nerve-wracking but exhilarating journey, our educational experience had begun.