Mmmmm...BIBIMBAP*!!! yumyumyumyumyumyumyum!!!!! There are tons of recipes on the web for this stuff, so if you want to try it back home just google it and pick one that looks good. If you're in Korea, just go to practically any's super cheap (3-4,000 won, usually) and easier than making it. Basically it's just a bowl of rice (bap means rice in Korean) with assorted veggies and seaweed on top, covered by an egg. They also add hot sauce, and at some places you can get it with meat. Then, you stir it all up and moosh it together, and shovel it down your throat. Serve with a side of kimchi, of course. :-)

*this post dedicated to Melanie at 2nd chances. :-)
On our way home from Jeongju we stopped at a local Folk Village, because we're not just hashers, we're cultured hashers. The houses are maintained to be replicas of the traditional Korean way of life. Korea has quite a few Folk Villages, so this wasn't the first one I've been to. I actually enjoy being a tourist and sightseeing, but when it comes to these if you've seen one you've pretty much seen them all.

We took a quick tour of the place (it's not big at all) and then headed off for some bibimbap. Jeongju is apparently famous for their bibimbap but to me it tasted the same as the stuff we get from the ajumma down the street from our apartment.

The other night I had this crazy dream where I met the Dalai Lama. Most of you would probably have something profound to say, or an important, intelligent question to ask him. But, in my dream, I put on a Bangles album and taught him how to walk like an Egyptian.

Look that one up in your dream dictionary!

If I ever own a llama I'm totally naming it Dalai. HAHAHA!
Remember when you first heard about the black market, and you thought it was a dingy, dark alleyway where rough looking dudes sold things like nuclear weapons and kidneys they stole from tourists who woke up drugged in an ice bath? And you had to know secret passwords and everyone walked around with briefcases full of unmarked bills?


I'm going for non-Korean toothpaste and Fritos.

Unless a certain person I like to call "MOM" wants to cement the 2009 World's Greatest Mother Award by mailing me some...
Is it really Monday morning??? Where the heck did my weekend go?

I'm not even sure how to begin to describe the debauchery that occurs when you shove nine hashers and a dog into a rental van that seats six. The S2H3 roadtrip to Jeongju was a great success (once we found the place) and the entire weekend was a blast! I'd love to tell you guys some more about it, but, as you know, what happens at the hash stays at the hash! I will say this: I doubt that our hotel will be renting a bunch of rooms to foreigners again anytime soon!
Some pictures from the trail:

A few pictures from the circle:
A pre-dinner toast for Voice, and Beaver and Voice entertaining the pack with The Engineer Song:
Dinner and debauchery at the Deep In Bar:
Thanks to all of you who took a moment to send my girl Steph some positive vibes. Unfortunately, the Universe had other plans this time, and while it is frustrating and confusing that the prayers and wishes of so many went unanswered, it is a small comfort to know that the prayers and wishes of those in desperate need of new organs in order to survive had their dreams come true.
The world has suffered a truly great loss today. My best girlfriend has said goodbye to her mother, and my heart aches from it just as hers would for me if the situation were reversed. The timing was sudden and the reasons remain unclear. I guess we are not always meant to understand the meaning behind the Universe's actions ~ sometimes we just need to have faith that it knows what it is doing whether we agree or not.
Ant and I are off for the weekend. Heading south on a roadtrip with the S2H3 gang to offer our support to Korea's newest hash. Should be a drunken good time!
For the past week and a half or so we've been giving our 1st graders level tests. Basically, we need to divide up 120 first graders into high, medium, and low levels, and every kid needs to be tested individually and then ranked by a team of 3 foreign teachers and 2 Korean teachers. That means I've spent a heckuva lot of my time having conversations that went like this:

Me: Hi! What is your name?
Student: TEACHER!
Me: Your name is teacher???
Student: Teacher!!
Me: Um...what?
Student: Teacher!! Hellllooo!!!!!
Me: Hello. Um...Can I see your nametag? Oh, Gabriel is your name! Hi, Gabriel. How old are you?
Student: I'm fine, thank you.
Me: No, not how ARE you, how OLD are...ok, nevermind. YOU DID AWESOME!! HIGH FIVE!!! WANT A STICKER?!?!?

Or something like this:

Me: Sally, how's the weather today?
Sally: Tuesday.
Me: is THURSDAY, but how is the weather?
Sally: *blank stare*
Me: Is it snowing???
Sally: *shakes head no*
Me: Good! So, if it's not snowing, what is it?
Sally: *starts picking her nose*
Me: OK!! No high five for you, but TAKE A STICKER!! AND WASH YOUR HANDS! Good job, Sally!!

And my all-time, worthy of 2 stickers, personal favorite:

Me: Hi! What is your name?
Student: Semen.
Me: WHAT?!?
Student: My name is Semen.
Me: Semen???
Student: *looking at me like I'm retarded* YES, teacher.
Me: Can you spell that?
Student: *shakes head*
Me: Where is your nametag? In your bookbag? Can you go get it?
Student: *runs off, returns shortly with nametag*
Me: Ohhhhh! Is your name Simone????
Me: Can you say See-MONE? Cause it's a pretty big difference...

Between the level tests and my regular teaching, I've grown so accustomed to speaking to 1st grade ESL students that finally the other night Ant said in his best exasperated tone, "Are you going to talk like that forever?" And I realized that I had been talking to him like he was in 1st grade and didn't speak any English. "Oh, Ant-uh!! You want food-uh? Ok. I make. You sit."

You can expect me to be a bit moody, distracted, and homesick for the next few days (PA home, not CA or ROK home), as all of my thoughts and good energy are being directed towards Pennsylvania and my dearest friend Stephanie and her family. She has been an amazing friend to me, and I am incredibly sorry and horribly sad that at a time when I should be returning the favor I am located halfway around the globe and unable to do anything but incessantly dial her cell phone number and mope around my apartment wishing Korea and the ghetto of Allentown were in the same time zone. If you're the praying type, please send one in her direction. Or, you know, say a mantra or squeeze some crystals or dance naked around a fire pit or something. Whatever you're into, just pass some of it along her way.
Yo quiero bibimbap.

Hey, look! Someone photoshopped a picture of Kara's head on my body!!!

So, I was really hoping for Americans to sweep the Boston Marathon, but considering it's her 2nd marathon EVER, I guess a third place finish is acceptable.
This weekend we were talking and it somehow came up that Ant has never seen one of those creepy thousand legger bug things that can crawl faster than I can run. He kept wanting to know the name of them, but all I've ever called them is "those creepy thousand leg bug things that run really fast." I know they're all over the East they not have them in CA?
Normally, with the exception of mosquitoes, I don't mind bugs all that much. But I can't stand these things! I have an amazingly irrational fear of them. One time while living in the charming little community of Bethlehem, PA, (it really is charming, especially around Christmastime) I stooped down to pick up a piece of fuzz off the carpet, and it turned out to be one of these bugs and I have to tell you guys, I damn near had a heart attack.

So this morning I come into my classroom, open up the closet door, and what do I see? Yup. There it was, staring right at me. I know they're harmless, but man do they freak me the hell out!

And of course, you know the little bastard is going to wait until I have a classroom full of sissies to crawl out and make an appearance. And that's exactly what it did. You have never seen or heard 10 4th graders behave in such a manner. I swear, the Japanese were a thousand times calmer when Godzilla showed up. I wasn't much better, though. I literally ran to the other side of the room while repeating to myself, "YOU ARE THE GROWN-UP!! YOU CAN'T CLIMB ON TOP OF THE DESKS!! YOU ARE THE GROWN-UP!!..."

I pulled it together long enough to remind the students of my WE DON'T KILL THINGS JUST BECAUSE WE'RE BIGGER THAN THEY ARE rule.

But we will use our workbooks to swoosh it under the door to Tim Teacher's class, then count the seconds until the 3rd graders freak out. :-)
I wish Ant would hurry up and make breakfast.
As if trying to remember that if I bend over in these pants I'll totally be flashing ass-crack to my students wasn't taking up enough of my brain power, I just realized that I may (or may not have) left the coffee maker on. Do coffee makers in Korea have auto shut-off? Auto shut-off seems a bit advanced for a place that still sells cassette tapes...

And speaking of my pants, why couldn't I have a natural desire to be involved in activities that make my thighs smaller instead of bigger?!? Sheesh. I look like freakin' Quadzilla stomping around here.
Should be, but I'm stuck in Korea. And, I'm a kind of crappy climber lately. Had a good time at the gym last night, though I'm discovering that I do much better on my own than I do with all the "helpful suggestions" everyone is giving me. Part of it, I'm sure, is a language barrier and most of it is just me being weak and inexperienced. I'm noticing small improvements, which is a pretty cool feeling, but true to my nature I'm also getting impatient with how slowly I'm improving. Especially next to Ant, who is tackling new routes everytime we go while I'm still trying not to freak out about the whole height/falling on my skull thing.

Anyway, enough about me. How are you guys?
The other night I made plans to meet Ant after work so we could go to Suyu (waaay up north on the blue line) to check out a climbing place.

So I got to our designated meeting spot a few minutes early. And I waited. And waited. And waited some more. I finally dug Rockzilla out of my backpack, so at least I had music to help make the time pass quicker. Finally, about 20 minutes after we were supposed to meet I got a call from Ant asking me where I was because he couldn't find me.

"Dude." [translation: I'm exactly where I said I'd be, and it's freaking freezing out so hurry up!]

He was actually in the same station, so he told me to wait and he'd be out in a minute. And I waited 20 more minutes before he called again to say he couldn't find me.

"DUDE!" [translation: I'm the only freakin' person in the ENTIRE COUNTRY with red hair, and I'm wearing a bright green puffy vest!! I'm surprised people aren't hanging Christmas ornaments on me!! If the red hair and vest don't tip you off, why not just look for the only white girl within a 10 mile radius?!?]

What can I say? Tired Jes + Hungry Jes = Totally Bitchy Jes. Luckily Ant knew enough to pour a vanilla latte down my throat and tell me to shut up.

Finally, I went back to the station and found him and we hopped on the train and made it to the climbing gym. It was pretty easy to find, but it's not really close to our place. Nothing is close to our place, though, and I'm slowly getting used to having to travel at least 40 minutes to get anywhere.

It was a pretty small area, just some bouldering routes set up in a basement. The owner was super friendly and helpful and spoke passable English, and there seemed to be a pretty regular crowd of male and female climbers who were all really cool. Everyone was way more advanced than us, and it would have been easy for them to just choose to ignore us or make us feel totally out of place, but instead they were practically standing in line to help us out. It's probably not the nicest or biggest climbing gym in Seoul, but I can't imagine you'd find a better group of people. There was absolutely no elitism. People cheered the other climbers on, and even individual chalk bags were cast aside for a big community box of chalk in the middle of the room that we all helped ourselves to. Everyone was eager to help us with routes and techniques, which was awesome for a newbie like myself. Suyu is a hike for people living in the central or southern parts of the city, so it probably wouldn't be worth the hike to get there, but if you're in the Nowon area I'd totally recommend checking it out.

So, we're going back tonight. We've decided to get a membership for 1 month to see how it goes. Seems like a much more productive way to spend my afternoons than what I've been doing lately, which is pretty much limited to napping and soduku puzzles.
I picked up a book by Margaret Atwood without really bothering to look at it, because it was on sale and it's Margaret Freakin' Atwood so it has to be great, right?!?

It so totally and completely sucks. I'm not even going to finish it.


I always feel so let down when an author I love puts out shitty work.

Ms. Atwood, I know you're reading, and you owe me $7.95 U.S. for tricking me into buying the worst book ever. I'm finding it hard to believe you even wrote that stuff. Are there 2 Margaret Atwoods?
Yesterday during class, my 4th graders told me they were going on a field trip today. The conversation went something like this:
"Englishee?? What does that mean? I never heard of the word Englishee."
*Sigh* "Teacher! ENGLISH! Tomorrow, no English class!! We have field trip!"

It is a fine example of Korean organizational skills that the teachers are the last to know they don't have class. It's not the first, or last, time for this kind of last minute announcement. 2 days ago my students told me when they would be taking my mid-term exam. Apparently, mid-terms are next week. I had no idea.

Anywho, my 4th graders informed me that they were going on a field trip to the most boring place in the whole world, and I was like, "Really? You guys are going all the way to my hometown of Sunbury, PA just for a field trip?!? Say hi to my mom!!" But apparently there's some garden or something that is even more boring than my place of birth. Boring is one of their new vocab words this month, and ever since they learned it there hasn't been a single thing that's happened in their young lives that isn't described as "soooooooo booooring!!!"

And behold (!!) some boring pictures from boring English class:

So today, I suffered through 120 minutes with my 1st graders, and have been wasting time on the interwebz for the rest of it. It probably sounds nice, but it's starting to feel like this day will never end!

I wrote this awhile ago, but didn't post it because when Ant read it he said it jumped around a bit and was all over the place and blah, blah, blah. And I read it again and thought, "I'll never admit this, but he's kind of right." So I thought I'd work on it a little and then post it, but I just haven't gotten back to it. So it will remain scattered and a bit fragmented, because that's how my brain is sometimes.
I've actually ran quite a bit (though not as much as I'd like to) since writing this, so hopefully I'll be back on track and be a regular runner again soon! I wanted to post a snazzy running pic of myself (I know you mofos don't come here to actually read!!) but I couldn't find one so instead you're stuck with a pic of my friends running at a Southside Hash a few weeks ago. I forget what part of the city we were in...Isu? I don't know. Somewhere south of the Han on the blue line.

And now, a crappy, scattered post that is all over the place and only sort of about running...
The other day I ran for the first time in a long time, and while I wasn't setting any speed or distance records I was pleasantly surprised at how good I felt out there, and I definitely out-performed my expectations. Of course, it is the nature of running that one day you're on top of the world and the next you're gasping desperately for air, holding your side, and wondering what the hell that strange pain in your ass/left shin/hip/knee/etc. is. Still, a mere few months ago I was on the losing end of my battle with Vince and I couldn't have run a mile if my life depended on it. My doctors had remained a bit vague on the, "Can I still run?" question, sometimes telling me it "probably wasn't a good idea," and sometimes launching into a long, boring, overly personal lecture on the quality of life for people with an illness like mine. While they couldn't seem to come to many agreements regarding treatment, prognosis, recommended dosages, etc., all of them agreed on one thing: I would, soon, reach a point where running wouldn't be an option, and so the to run or not to run question was rather pointless.
Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is...well, it is everything you could imagine it to be and worse. It is clearly a very personal event, and as such people will handle it in different ways. I don't pretend to know how it affects everyone, or what the best reaction is. I get a fair amount of emails from people who are beginning their own battles with their own illnesses or, for better or worse, ending their battles, and while I'm empathic I have no solid advice for them. At that point, really, it comes down to whatever gets you through the day. For many, it seems like the hardest part of their diagnosis is dealing with what they describe as all the things they have missed out on. I tend to keep my mouth shut on that point, because I figure the real truth is that they had opportunities to do those things everyday of their lives and they chose not to, opting instead to wait until the kids are grown, wait until retirement, wait until the grand kids are old enough to go along, wait until the economy is better, wait, wait, wait...I usually respond with some crap about being happy with the choices you make in your life, because I really do believe there's a reason we're all on the paths we're on. And that sounds a helluva lot nicer than, "Hey, a ton of good that boring desk job and 40 year mortgage on a place you can't afford is doing you now, eh?!? Good thing you've spent much of your adult life complaining about how much you hate your job instead of just taking a chance and quitting!!!"

So, while others may struggle most with the, "What if I never get the chance to ____________?!?" dilemma, for me the most difficult part of the illness was learning to recognize and live with the horrible physical limitations it put on me. While I was never exactly Olympic bound, and probably never would have been (will be) as good as my brother, I used to be a fairly decent runner. I've raced distances from 400 meters to a full marathon, always preferring the longer distances. I dreamed of joining the 7 continent club by running a marathon on all the continents. I was starting to research ultras. I was looking at speed records for various trails and thinking (and really believing) that with the right training I could totally own that record!!
And then, I couldn't so much as go to the bathroom by myself. And it only got worse from that point.

Fast forward, and Vince and I have since reached an agreement. If he wants to take up residence in my brain, fine. So be it. What's a little brain tumor among friends, anyway? I won't poison myself in an attempt to oust him. Nobody will be threatening his home by drilling through my skull. I will monitor my platelets by the amount of nasty bruises appearing without warning all over my body instead of through pesky, seemingly constant blood tests. I will not waste all of our time by dragging him to specialist after specialist after specialist hoping that one of them can finally validate the things my inner-self has known all along. His side of the agreement? No loud parties, no friends over without permission, he has to let me get outside more, and he has to keep those 15 or so pounds he violently stole from me. He's well aware that if he breaks his side of the bargain I will attack him with anything and everything offered to me, and while he occasionally reminds me of his existence overall he tends to behave pretty well.

The ways that Vince reminds me of his existence are subtle. Dizzy spells. Periodic black outs lasting no more than the amount of time it takes me to hit the floor, wake up, and wonder what happened. Deteriorated motor skills that cause me to trip, stumble, spill things, break things much more often than the average bear. My memory is much worse than it used to be, especially for certain parts of my life. I sleep more. I'm quite a bit moodier than I used to be. These reminders are OK with me. I can, and do, live with them. Already my body has compensated for them, and they have become such a part of my daily routine that they feel normal. Indeed, it is hard to remember a time when I didn't periodically black out, or have dizzy spells, or went through a day without dropping/breaking/spilling half of everything I touched. People who knew me before and after pretend they don't notice. New people in my life joke about my clumsiness. I prefer the latter.

It is the emotional reminders and moodiness that I continue to really struggle with. Vince seems to have gobbled up much of the security, self-worth, and ability to cut myself some slack that I worked so hard to develop during my pre-teen and early teen years. Sometimes, in the dead of night when I'm unable to sleep I replay conversations I've had with friends (usually Ant and Stephanie) and I realize that I sound every bit as insecure and needy as a questioning, unaware 12 year old. I wonder how they are able to put up with me. I wonder if they remember that I wasn't always like this, that I used to be confident enough to take on the world at a moment's notice, that I never held myself back because of fear and rarely, if ever, sought attention and approval in the ways that I often do now.

This doesn't only affect my personal relationships, it affects my running as well. I don't feel like I'm good enough to be part of the running community, which is crazy because runners are some of the least judgemental people on the planet. I shy away from leaving comments on blogs that are asking for any kind of running related advice, because I feel like I couldn't possibly contribute anything worthy. I have years of personal experience, and I read the same blogs/websites/magazines/books that everyone involved in the sport does. In San Francisco, where recreating in any manner is taken so seriously that I wonder how anyone there has any fun anymore, I found myself thinking ridiculous thoughts like, "I'm not stylish enough to be part of this running community!! I can't drop 300 bucks on an outfit just to run in!!!" Not being stylish enough to run?!? Jeez.


If allowing myself to finally recognize my physical limitations was tough, allowing myself to be healthy again has proven to be a thousand times tougher. A sneeze is never just a sneeze. A mild headache is made worse by the panic that comes along with it. I have yet to find a way to allow myself to be healthy. To allow myself to push my body beyond a set comfort zone instead of stopping at the slightest ache "just in case." My odds of getting that sick again are slim, but I just can't stop over analyzing every little ache, sniffle, bit of fatigue...what if I'm out of breath because_____, what if I'm so tired because ______, what if that headache isn't really a result of all the beer last night but is really_______ ? These questions relay themselves in my head like an unwanted mantra, and as tired as I have become of them, I can't make them stop.

Lately, I have spent a great deal of time thinking about how all of this affects my running. I still think of myself as the runner I was before getting sick, but the truth is I am no where near that level. I feel bad and beat myself up internally for not pushing myself more when I'm on the trails. I should be doing speed work!! I should be strength training!! I need to increase my mileage!! Still thinking of myself as an endurance athlete, I set totally unrealistic goals and soon become unmotivated when I realize that I am not even healthy/conditioned enough to complete the 1st week of the training plan, let alone the speedwork and long runs that will be coming up shortly. I just can't seem to find a balance between giving myself enough time to heal, and saying, "Enough is enough!! Either start running seriously, or find another freaking hobby!!" Right now, an achievable goal for me would probably be a 10 or 12k, finishing in a fairly moderate time. But that's something I used to be able to do backwards with my eyes shut. It's an enormous challenge for me to allow myself to go back to a level that I feel I should be past, even though there is no other way for me to improve and reach the point where I was before.

I think, for me, that running is a key part of my full recovery. And by 'full recovery' I mean the emotional recovery as well as the physical. As much as I would love to be kicking Brownie's ass in some obscure ultra-marathon in the middle of nowhere, or joining him on his rim-to-rim-to-rim Grand Canyon trail run, even more so I would like to feel like the person I was before getting sick. I'd like to take the part of my brain that clings to relentless amounts of information about lymph nodes, platelets, cell counts, MRI's, and medicine to handle the side effects of other medicines and replace it with the positive, secure thoughts about myself that I used to have. I'd like to give myself permission to start over. To feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in completing something that used to be easy for me. To finally show Vince, once and for all, who's really the boss of this operation.
On a scale of 1 - 10 I would rate my desire to be at work today at a good, solid negative 60 kabillion.

And I just got here.

Just a few pics from our wanderings on Saturday morning. Not a bad way to pass the time. This weekend was awesome...Sushi with Paul Friday afternoon, Indian food and beers with Voice Friday night, lots of wandering Saturday morning on our way to Boramae Park, and hashing with Southside at Seoul National University on Sunday. There was no Easter egg hunt (Easter isn't really a big deal over here), but our awesome hares - Voice and Three Man - were kind enough to organize a beer hunt for us. And last night, I kicked Ant's ass in Scrabble!
Today I taught my 4th graders my THERE'S NO SCHOOL TOMORROW!!!!!! dance. They totally loved it!

And then the questions started.

"Teacher!!! What will you do tomorrow?"
"Teacher Teacher Teeeaaacherrrr!!! "
"Will you and your Ant have date tomorrow?" (I love that they always say "your Ant." I correct them, but they say it everytime. Cracks me up.)

"No. No date tomorrow, because Ant has to work. HAHAHAHAHAHA!! SUCKAH!!!!!"

"Teacher!! What is 'suckah' mean?!?"

"Uh.....nothing! Open your books!!!"

Teacher of the year, folks. Teacher.Of.The.Year.

In other news, the weather here has been fantastic! Warm, but no humidity yet. Trees are blooming, flowers are blossoming. I can do without winter, but I really missed the change of seasons during my year in San Francisco. I love the start of spring and fall. It was so nice out this morning I even got my lazy butt out of bed early and ran for a bit. Yay me!
The afternoons have been great, too. I also really like watching the days get longer. In Korea days are actually 26 hours long, but only after daylight savings time. OK, I'm kidding. I meant, I like that there's more daylight. Yesterday I stopped at the mini-stop on my way home from work for some outside beer drinking. I was joined by my buddy/co-worker Patrick. We chatted and had a few beers, then accosted Ant on his way out of the subway and made him go to dinner with us. It was some of the best food I've had here!

Alright, I'm done rambling. Back to class.

Here we have the Mexican Ant in his natural habitat. Look closely, and you will see that the Mexican Ant is happiest when surrounded by water, sun, and warm temperatures. The Mexican Ant prefers a somewhat strong wind and enough swell to successfully complete a session of kiteboarding/surfing. The Mexican Ant also responds well to familiarity, and so this particular Mexican Ant has nested in the same area for much of his life.

When it comes to communication, it appears that the Mexican Ant may not be as evolved as other members of its' species. The Mexican Ant prefers to communicate through the use of one long, slowly uttered syllable. "Duuuuuuude." After extensive research into the communication habits of the Mexican Ant, I have discovered that this sound can mean yes, no, I'm not sure, Are you really drinking beer at 9:37 a.m. on a Tuesday, and everything in between.

When removed from his natural habitat, the Mexican Ant responds by withdrawing, complaining, and becoming overly critical of his surroundings. It is nothing short of a natural wonder how quickly the Mexican Ant is able to find fault with any object/idea presented to him. The Mexican Ant will talk incessantly about his former nesting place, forgetting completely that there were very good reasons to leave that nest and set up a new one.

Slowly, however, the Mexican Ant will begin to appear less and less withdrawn. He will occasionally start to play the ukelele. He will download new music and listen to the entire album even though it is clear to his mate from the first few notes that it sucks. He will hike to mountainside temples and begin to explore his new habitat. He will replace his cravings for avocados and burritos with kimbap, taegi galbi, and bibimbap. He will, with minimal prodding, pleading and threatening from his mate, do a few chores around his new nest. He will read a book or watch a movie instead of staring longingly at his surfboards. He will find non-water related activities to pursue, such as going to clubs, climbing, and participating in the shenanigans of the Southside Hash House Harriers. He will find a Facebook group for surfers and kiters in Korea, and realize that it is possible to find overhead waves in the R.O.K.

Although further research is needed, it appears that the Mexican Ant is capable of adapting to his new environment and may even begin to thrive here.