Tag Archives: espanol

Day 245: Dr. Mendizábal

Some more homemade stationery and envelopes made from supplies from Paper Source.

Some more homemade stationery and envelopes made from supplies from Paper Source.

Today’s letter is for my all time favorite professor. I had a lot of flexibility in who I chose for my professors and I pretty much only took two – aside from professors I took while studying abroad – and Dr. Mendizábal was one of them. He was also the director of the study abroad program to Valladolid, Spain where I studied for a semester.

He’s since retired from teaching at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where I completed my undergraduate degree. It’s too bad too, because he was the best! My only regret is that sometimes I may have fallen asleep in his classes – not because they were boring or uninteresting, but he taught some early morning classes and I may have stayed up a bit too late on a few rare occasions!

Hopefully my Spanish is still good enough that I don’t embarrass myself.


(Translated from Spanish)

Dr. Mendizábal,

 I hope this letter finds you well and that you’ve had an enjoyable summer.

A few days ago I was reflecting on who have been the role models in my life and I thought about you. Without a doubt you were my favorite professor. Literature never interested me much, but as a result of your classes I gained an appreciation for it – especially the great writers from Spain and Latin America: Fernando de Rojas, Francisco de Quevedo, Cervantes, Zorrilla, Jiménez, Unamuno, Darío, Vargas Llosa, Pomba, Allende, Fuentes and obviously García Márquez.

I think my favorite class of yours was Short Stories – not because there were so few pages to read, but because of the mastery required to create such profound works in so few words fascinates me. 

I never heard you speak a negative word about anyone inside or outside of the classroom. It’s a characteristic that I greatly admire and strive to incorporate more in my own life. I admire you very much and wanted you to know that even 20 years after taking your classes, I think about you often.

Warm regards for you and your wife,
Reed Sandridge

P.S. A few months back I reconnected with my host family from Valladolid: Domi and Manuel Sánchez. They are all doing well.

Day 80: Lupita


This map shows Guasave. Before going there in 1990, I asked my Spanish tutor where it was. I remember him pulling out a map of Mexico. We looked through the index of towns and didn’t see Guasave. He said something like, “Well, either I have a really bad map or that town is pretty small – probably a little bit of both.” He was right. That said, there were even smaller towns around Guasave like El Burrion, Palos Blancos, San Rafael, Las Brisas, etc.

I spent my junior year of high school as an exchange student in the small town of Guasave, Sinaloa on Mexico’s western coast. I lived with a family for the entire year and this Sunday is the birthday of my host mother Lupita.

One of the best year’s of my life – the experience without a doubt helped shape the person I am today. Lupita and her husband Ramiro were great parents for me while I was there. It’s been nearly 10 years since I’ve been there and I have not been good about staying in touch with them – except I would see their son Aurelio somewhat regularly as he was living in Miami and he would stay at my house in DC when he was here for work and I would stay at his place in Miami when work sent me there. Unfortunately for me – he recently moved to San Diego. I’ll have to find a reason to go there too!

Anyway, I owe a lot to Lupita and Ramiro – they took care of me as if I was their own son. I should be a better son and stay in touch more often.

Day 80

Here’s the translated version of my letter…


Happy birthday! Sorry that this letter didn’t arrive before the 22nd. I hope that you enjoyed the day.

It’s been too long since I have written. I’ve noticed that now with Facebook I don’t hardly write or call friends and family. And even though I see the Facebook updates, it’s just not the same. It’s sad that culturally we have lost the tradition of maintaining contact through letter-writing and calls – not texts.

Day 80-2I’m doing well – working a lot and doing various personal projects. I was in touch with Aurelio recently – I hope he’s enjoying living in San Diego. I’m going to miss him when I visit Miami – I enjoyed that I would always get to see him during my business trips there.

I think it’s been eight years or more since I’ve been to Guasave. I have to plan a trip there.

I hope everyone is well. I remember with great fondness my time living with you all – I’ll carry those memories with me forever. Big hugs to Ramiro, Katia and all the extended family.


Day 43: A letter to Jesus

That's Jesus taking an order for pick up.

That’s Jesús taking an order for pick up.

No, this is not a letter to that Jesus…it’s a letter to Jesús – my favorite taquero. If you are in the DC area you have to try Jesús’ tacos. I lived in Mexico for a year and Tacos El Chilango is the real deal. If you have any doubt, check them out on Yelp.com – I kid you not that this truck has the highest rating of all restaurants in Arlington County. That’s insane – and awesome all in one. I love these guys – they are part responsible for my overall happiness in DC and also part responsible for the 15 pounds I can’t seem to lose.

You can find Jesús at the corner of 14th Street N. and N. Quinn Street every day but Sunday. Jesús’ brother Juan Antonio has opened a brick and mortar shop at 1119 V St NW which is the same, actually it has a bit more expanded menu, but I still prefer the truck.

day 43-2


day 43(English translation)

Dear Jesús,

I wanted to send you a letter to tell you that you have the best tacos! I think that this month marks 5 years since the first time I visited the truck. The meat is always tasty – cut just the way they do in Mexico. The diced onion and fresh cilantro (and cucumber slices) complete each taco. They’re delicious and authentic. You and your team always are kind and treat your guests like friends. Even my Dad, who lives in Pennsylvania, asks about you guys.

Congratulations and best regards,

Yelp.es user: Prairie S

Yelp.es user: Prairie S