Monday, April 11, 2016

Our story is in this book!!! At Home Abroad: Today's Expats Tell Their Story

We are proud to announce that we are one of 31 stories in the new book:

At Home Abroad: Today's Expats Tell Their Story

Website at:
Facebook at
Book is available on Amazon and ebooks.
We hope you'll join us online!

Who are the 21st-century expats? Do you wonder what motivates millions around the world to leave their homes, family and friends to immerse themselves in unfamiliar cultures, learn foreign languages and get to know new people? Have you considered joining them?
It’s a movement; the number of expats grows as we become more global and mobile. While the ages, locations and experiences of these 31 internationals differ, their stories inform, inspire and expose the common threads connecting those who choose this lifestyle.
What do they find at home abroad? Some find love and romance, adventure, an economical lifestyle or satisfaction in a new job; others find rewarding retirement years; some discover a new way of life — and some discover themselves.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Settling back in Mexico.....San Cristobal de las Casas

Here we are, back in one of our favorite Mexican cities - San Cristobal de las Casas which is in the state of Chiapas. You may remember that we were here for 2 months last year and now it is the end of our first of three months. Our life is the usual for (me), drawing (us), walking (us), meditation (Ricardo), Tai Chi/Qi Gong (Ricardo), Zumba (us), visitors (us). I have to pinch myself to determine if our lives are a dream as we are so lucky to be able to live this way and enjoy our days to the max.

I would like to write about a few of the new and different experiences we have had during this time for our memories and to share with you.

First was our visit to CIDECI (Centro Indigena de Capacitacion Integral) which means roughly "A Center for Indigenous for Integral Learning". We were connected to this school through Juan Villoro who was last year's chosen author for our program in San Miguel called "Libros para Todos". Our contact was the Director, Raymundo Sanchez who is the organizer of CIDECI and one of its programs - University de la Tierra who invited us to the Centro for a tour and visit. We had actually hoped for some type of volunteer experience with them but it became obvious after the tour that they are very self contained and have a very well run program without the need for outside volunteers.

The campus of this school was amazing - decorated with brightly colored pictures of flowers, plants, leaves, nature - on everything....walls, tables, stools, etc. These are all done in the paint workshop after being built by the students in the wood shop.
Weaving loom

We learned a lot about the history of this school going back to the local Bishop from Chiapas - Samuel Ruiz, his study of liberation theology and the connection of the Bishop, Raymondo and the Zapatista movement back in the 1980's. There were many others who influenced this school for its philosophy of teaching, thinking and learning.

Woodworking classroom
The students come to this school from indigenous and other communities throughout Chiapas - many from communities called caracoles which are controlled by the Zapatistas and many who speak languages other than Spanish. After studying at CIDECI they take their practical knowledge back to their villages to teach and practice the skills that they learned. Their studies include skills such as weaving, mechanics, shoe making, electrical work, carpentry, furniture making, cooking, health, nutrition, food cultivation and raising animals, etc.
making tortillas

grinding corn
sewing classroom

Shoe making classroom

All in all, we were very impressed with this amazingly creative school on the outskirts of San Cristobal and were so glad to have had the opportunity to visit.

Semana Santa, the week before Easter and the Spring Festival, the week after Easter gives many reasons for celebrations, parades and fun. It is a time of religion and celebrating the Spring Equinox - serious and lighthearted. Here are several (of many) photos of the Festival of Spring with crowning of many queens.

Our flowering cactus
Next photos include the amazing flowering cactus in our garden - which blooms at night for 24 hours. We have already had 5 blooms with more to come. We have enjoyed the opportunity to walk in nature at "Las Canastas" with various of our friends. This naturaliza is only 15 minutes from centro.
walking by the river

With Lorie at Las Canastas

Weaving in Zinacantan

preparing tortillas

Women in Chamula
Other activities include various visits to indigenous villages - San Juan Chamula, Zinacantan and San Andres with various amigos. We never want for things to do as the variety is amazing. 

We have joined a Zumba class for "Edad Oro" (Golden Age) and were invited to a fun party with our new Mexican friends, 20 ladies and Ricardo and one other man. Here we are enjoying the party and celebrating with the new "queen" of 78 years - Gloria.

"Queen" Gloria

Having spent 10 weeks on the road in Europe is now contrasted with three months in one spot - a beautiful home, each other and much to entertain ourselves with. Thanks again for traveling with us.