Water you gonna do about it?

By Katelynn Neufeld

It’s the end of Week 3 here at IMPLAN Los Cabos and something astonishing happened yesterday – it rained. Coming from Canada, where the weather is so varied that it’s one of the most popular topics of conversation, the climate of Los Cabos is a huge change. With an average 320 days of sunshine per year and only about 260 mm of precipitation, life in the Baja California Sur desert is no joke. The sun is intense and the other SCIIP interns (Sara Hermida and Stephanie McGlashan) and I are in a perpetual state of sweatiness when we’re not at the office. But for anyone who’s worried about the condition of my post-Canadian winter skin, don’t worry… my first sunburn is almost all healed!

The excitement that my coworkers had for the downpour Thursday morning was both unexpected and hilarious to witness. Everyone stopped working to watch from the windows, smiling and joking about things they left outside at their houses getting wet. They asked me if it rained a lot where I was from in Canada and what could I say except yes? Compared to Los Cabos, Niagara Falls is basically a rainforest.

office during rain
Some of the IMPLAN Los Cabos staff watching the rain fall. Picture by Stephanie McGlashan

It was only a few days earlier that Stephanie told me about a conversation she had with her friend Greg, who you may recognize from Humans of SCI, where she asked him when it last rained. His response? “Oh, I don’t know, maybe this time last year.” LAST YEAR! I couldn’t believe it. A year without rain, it sounds like a Selena Gomez album. (**disclaimer: no, I didn’t already know this information, the phrase sounded familiar so I Googled it, haha)

With the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean so close by, it seems intuitive that water is plentiful around here. The appearance of a tropical resort destination is a big part of the identity. There are grassy medians and non-native plants lining the roads, world-class golf courses in both major cities and along the corridor between them, and pretty much any water sport you could think of trying out. It’s still a desert though, and if you look out the office window you’ll see the man squeegee-ing puddles towards the palm trees.

view from roof
The view from the top of our apartment building. You can see the Sea of Cortez in the distance and the contrast of landscapes between desert and park.

All of this got me thinking about how much we appreciate things when they don’t happen that often or when we don’t always have access to them. The examples are endless and I’m sure everyone has had experience with this feeling in one way or another. I personally never thought I’d appreciate feeling cold, but here we are, almost 20 days of 30+ degree Celsius temperatures later and I’m ready to jump into a glass of Agua de Jamaica after walking home from work.

There are so many things that I take for granted, and don’t realize how important they are to me until they’re gone. The comforts of my house, the familiarity of my hometown, or even just parts of a routine I never knew I had. I love the challenge of finding my way in a new place though; trying new things and experiencing a different way of life. It’s not my first time living abroad, but moving to Mexico for six months has proved this to me yet again.

IMG_0648 (2)
The Mexican flag in the middle of Plaza Mijares in the Historic Centro of San José del Cabo.

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