Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Last post of the year....Feliz Ano Nuevo

Guanajuato - capital of the state - about 1 1/4 hr from San Miguel
 The last few weeks of December brought us a few more family to visit in our large house at Vergel #1. We did similar activities with many of the guests and visiting Guanajuato was one of them. This is a beautiful city where most of the roads are underground. At one time it was the richest city in the world - because of the gold and silver mines. With Alan and Marilyn we had a tour of the mines which was new for us.
We managed to have time for most of our usual activities and our guests joined us for many - yoga, spanish classes and of course our weekly breakfast with NC friends - usually at Mama Mia's. This is always a chance for guests of the various families to meet each other and we always catch up on what we have been doing all week. It is amazing how retired folks can have so much to do!

One of the weekly breakfasts at Mama Mia's

The gang in Guanajuato
Richard, Nancy, Bryna, Greg, Sadie, Ben

Sitting at the Jardin

Christmas Pinata

One of the activities for every day is sitting at the Jardin - the central square in town in front of the church where it is great to people watch, read or relax. We were all lucky to see the fantastic light show on the Parrochia (the large church in town) which was designed for this year's bicentennial activities. We celebrated Christmas here for the first time - pinata's everywhere, usually in this star shape. There are posadas for the nine days before Christmas where folks go from house to house replicating the time of Joseph and Mary. They are turned away several times before being invited in. We were passing by one in our neighborhood and were invited to join with sparklers and candles as we walked and then invited inside for a prayer service with many children after which they received a bag or gift of candy which was to replicate a gift from god. We were a large jewish contingent yet it was very beautiful to see their rituals and religious celebrations. During the whole Christmas season there was no commercial activities and there are no gifts on Christmas - just a family dinner. We understand that there is simple gift giving on the "Three Kings Day" which is January 6th.

The larger celebration was the birthday of The Virgin of Guadalupe who is the patron saint of Mexico. On that day there were parades and many fireworks. Here is Alan walking behind the parade.
Alan joins the parade!

One of our side trips was to this very large Sabino Tree with an incredible root system. This is in a nearby town called Huerta, a very small pueblo.
The Sabino Tree

Now the year is coming to an end. We have our nephew Noah and his wife Laura with us this week and once again visiting our favorite places.

I would like to take this time to reflect on the gratitude we have for this wonderful life and for each other. I am writing this on Wed, Dec. 29th just before our 20th wedding anniversary which is tomorrow and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate than being together in this wonderful land.

We would like to wish you all a very happy New Year and may 2011 bring you everything you wish for.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

December visitors, holidays and good wishes for all

December has been a busy time for us. We rented a fantastic and large home at Vergel #1 which is in Col. San Antonio so we would have room for our many family members visiting. First came Alan and Marilyn who stayed for over 2 weeks and we had a great time showing them all our favorite sights. Alan took no time finding new friends to "help" both with their home projects and with Casita Linda which is a program similar to Habitat for Humanity which helps build homes for less priviledged folks in the "campo" (countryside outside SMA). They both joined me out in San Miguel Viejo, the afterschool program called Ojala. Alan helped with the woodworking and we helped with the weaving class.
During most of December I took an off loom weaving course with Patricia Robeles (see picture at right) and learned many stitches using different fibers. Hopefully I will continue with this on my own as I enjoyed it very much and found it very meditative.
We spent many morning hiking up the canyon to the Botanical Garden and then down through the streets of the city. It was hard keeping up the pace with Alan but we all enjoyed the challenge. We have continued this tradition with all the guests who have followed.  During the time Al and Marilyn were with us we also had Nancy Reiss and Gary Hinz who were visiting from New Hampshire. They stayed at a small apt that we found for them. Shortly before A & M left, Nancy (sister) arrived and she just left today. During her week with us we had our cousins Greg and Bryna Rapp and their great teenagers Sadie and Bryna. We had fun again showing everyone our favorite places which included La Gruta (hot springs), Botanical Gardin, Artisan Market, Fabrica Aurora, jardin with special light show on weekends, Christmas Posadas and other holiday events and a progressive meal day yesterday to celebrate the holiday with our friends from NC and their families.
We kept up some yoga and our spanish classes during our visitor days and are winding down the year.

 I'll write a bit more before the year ends but will take this moment to wish you all Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year.

We are grateful for all our good fortunes and our wonderful friends and family and the chance to spend this incredible year here in Mexico and experience a wonderful culture.

Love and good wishes to all.