FOOD BANK AND STREETS OF MERIDA
12.03.2013 - 18.03.2013 34 °C
I thought that Monday evening was going to include the consul general of Canada in Cancun. But when we got to the event at Flamingos he/she was a no show. She was in Merida only! That did not take away from our lovely evening put together by the Federal Tourism Board. We were given free drinks and snacks that were quite tasty. A change from what we had last night. There were also a few games to play one being the Mexican Culture game that I scored 100%. I left the event early as I host the language classes at my house. I got home just in time to find only two people showed up but despite that it was quite good. We got one on one discussion about Spanish with the German Lady and Gustavo had a few questions for us in English!
Tuesday there was a mexican knitting class hosted by Lynda at her home. I walked over, as it is only 6 blocks from my house, finding her lovely house just across from another friends house on the beach. Her cute place is owned by a Canadian lady; and Lynda has been living here since May full time. She used to live in Merida but, after travelling to Progreso often and loving it, realised that this was where she should be living. Her cute house is a one bedroom just across the street from the beach front houses, for a fraction of the price. $475/month is incredible! While sitting on her front terrace we could see the ocean between the two houses across the street and we could hear the waves without the high winds. She still has to deal with the sand and the necessity of a housekeeper, but this is not only great for keeping the house clean but also employs a local person.
After knitting just the two of us on her terrace and getting to know one another better, I went off to meet with Sheila and Maggie, Sheila, and Reina too and so it was harder to shop and see what we wanted as you have to take four people into consideration! It takes much more time as one or the other finds the need to stop in a shop that maybe the other three weren't really wanting to. Before you know hours have passed and not a lot accomplished!
I had arranged with the wood carver to meet him in Progreso at 5 pm but I was running short on time so I called Jackie to go to Barlovento to meet him and wait for me. I show up at 5:20 and he never showed. I found that odd as he called Sunday morning when he was supposed to come in and said he still needed a few more days to complete them. When I called him he said he still had two more that needed to dry and would we come to him to pick them up. Dytsya is not an easy place to get to but we said we would see what we could arrange! It is a bit frustrating when you think you
have everything arranged and it doesn't turn out as planned. Let's hope they are exactly what we hoped for otherwise that will not be great as we have ordered 8 of these things
Wednesday is Bitch and Stitch Day as always.
We were only two today and if it hadn't been Diane's last Wednesday I might have cancelled it. Sharon came by with my bag that Socorro's daughter made for me. I was very touched as there were several bags delivered to Sharon by Carmita but this one was just for me. It had flowers on it that no others did! Oh how it is fun to meet these artisans. This brought up the new site I found and how we should go about setting something up for the several artisans we have at the Muelle market. We decided that this was what we needed to do before I leave and meet with Nola to sort it all out. I am quite excited to be helping them get underway! Let's hope that this works.
In the afternoon there was two events happening back to back at Fran's apt in Costa Brava that I wanted to attend. I whipped up some salmon rolls to bring gathered up some wine and off I went walking. As I was strolling along the road (not on the beach due to the F..... wind) a car full of ladies stopped to ask me if I knew where Costa Brava was; I sure do as I am heading there myself! I hopped in and showed them the way. They were the authors of the book I was coming to hear about. I saved the day as so many others had been given wrong directions and showed up late. What an exciting group of ladies with their lovely ensmbles some in the traditional Hibil and one even in jeans and hightop runners with her binoculars around her neck.
Here is how Fran introduced them: Have you ever dreamed of pulling up skates and starting over in an exotic locale? That's what the writers of "Our Yucatan" have done, and their book is a charming collection of stories and poems about a vibrant new place and time in their lives. The Merida Writers' Group debut will appeal to armchair travelers with dreams of getting away from it all, as as anyone who loves a good story"
It was very interesting to hear where and how each and everyone of them happened to come to Merida. Joanna was the longest resident, she had come here in 1976 from Vancouver to start a family with her Mexican husband Jorge and founded a college: Tecnologia Turistica Total; where the IWC have their monthly meetings. She has another book of note published and one soon to be released. I look forward to reading her story.
Each Lady stood up and read an excerpt from their story to get you excited; there were ten of these delightful ladies.
This followed by the High Tea gathering of the IWC. This is a potluck and so my salmon rolls were added. Here I would say there were about 25 women all cramped into Fran's apt because of the wind. It would have been so nice to have it outside on the patio under this lovely palapa they have at Costa Brava. Alas! we do not have control on the weather. Maybe next year it will be a nicer day!
As the winds continue we decided to have the language class in my dining room again. This time we had three more people attending. Still small enough to enjoy the discussions. Since we only had Gustavo present we didn't do the english lesson planned on "to be" We continued with whatever was on each others mind. The American couple from Wisconsin share their meeting with the Mayor's office about the auditory testing device they had to donate for use in the schools.
The 14th of every month, is packing for the food bank and with so many people already gone it was quite a small group getting the 87 bags together! It always feels good to be doing this! Then this follows the next day with handing the bags of food out. It touches me so much to see the smiles on peoples faces as they receive their donations. I get to see the small children coming to me for their vitamins and the hope for a candy and this month we completely forgot to buy a bag to hand to them! There were a couple of ladies who had come to meet the family they are sponsoring; with a gift bag in hand the family were overwhelmed by their generosity!
On both days I walked home along the lovely beach between Chicxulub and my house. The breeze kept me cool in the hot sun! It gives me time to meditate and appreciate the beauty of this place!
I had been trying to eat up all my food so when I was invited to spend the evening at Natasha's Pantelones Restaurant I hesitated but went along as John entertained us with his guitar playing and singing of country music.
I visited Socorro again and told them about the website. I got Doris and Mirley to come by to the house so they could see the website we are going to put them on!
Saturday was an alone day in Merida walking all around finding places I had wanted to see since I arrived. Some ended up closed just before I got there. The Slow Food Market, held every Saturday, was interesting to see. It was the vendors at their best!
I walked around taking photos of the houses I love old and new with colours and from all extremes. The large mansions on Paseo Montejo to the back streets with the walls falling down!
Go to the link below to see my street photos of Merida. This is one of the reasons why I love it here so much!
There was this one strange item I found in a shop while walking the streets
Sunday: With no rental car we decide to take a taxi to the monthly Funky Market in Chalem. I guess that wasn't the wisest choice as we could have done it for 14 pesos each instead of 50pesos!! It was a big of a disappointment to see so few people there and really nothing more than a few who aren't at the Muelle Market. Next year I will give it a miss.
I met up with Pauly a German Canadian woman, that I have recently become acquainted with in the language class, she was with another German lady. When suddenly I remembered who my text was from; a lady in Chicxulub square with a T shirt for me as they were talking about there being nothing that represented the crater for sale.
So off we went to meet her and along the bus ride I had a very interesting chat with Pauly. Her friends and kids back home were questioning her why she comes down here as they feel it isn't safe, especially a woman on her own. She said that coming here has actually given her a whole new lease on life. She felt stuck in a rut at home in Toronto where she had the same friends and did the same thing for over 30 years. They talked about the same things!! It was very conservative and boring. She discovered a whole new life here with all new people from so many other walks of life that she might never had had the opportunity to meet had she stayed in Toronto. Had she stayed at home she might have withered away to nothing and not experienced any of the new things in her life; not seen so many new places; and learnt so many new things not to mention another language. She is feeling so much more fulfilled. Our social life here is so much more active than back at home even when the weather isn't cold. People have their own lives and don't interact as much as we do here.
I totally agree with her. We are connecting on a whole new level with people of all sorts of different back grounds from the routine lives of home.
I continued to observe this later on when I went to a party for St Patricks Day. I found myself talking to people from all over Canada and of varying lives: one farmer from northern ontario, a former hockey player (not sure his name and not that it mattered), and a doctor and his wife deciding to live down here permanently. Others from Gatineau here for the first time and another couple from Chelsea. WE had a great time singing and celebrating this Irish holiday.
We bid farewell to so many who will be departing over the next week for their respective towns across our vast country of Canada. Knowing that we will see one another again next year gave us a lot of joy and comfort!
The evening ended with a visit to the town square in Progreso where there are cultural activities every Sunday evening. Never made it down there until tonight. So many other Sundays were spent doing very little at home! It was quite entertaining. This is not put on for tourists but for the locals themselves. It was like a recital of folklore dancing children and guitar players of various levels playing one piece at a time from the smaller group of advance players; with the group growing as they made their way to the beginners. The parents were so proud of their kids and all of them had their cell phones or cameras fixed on their kids. The smiles of the proud parents as seen by all parents when their kids are performing all around the globe. They ended the evening with a skit performed by students of the drama group from the cultural centre! Laughs were seen all around us. Some of the subtleties were lost in translation! I likely understood more than my evening companions of the Wheelers and the Murrays!
Monday I was all set to go back into Merida to pick up my car as I was told by Hertz that there would be one for me early in the morning. Just as I was leaving I made a quick call; with keys and bag in my hand I find out there still is no car for me to rent!!! You can just imagine the words I had to say or was wishing I could say to them. I was to get a call as soon as the car arrived. I took this opportunity to reflect on my week here and work on my blog. Feeling a little down that nothing was working out for me just as I had convinced myself to rent this darn car. I relaxed the day by swimming in the beautiful ocean, letting all my troubles melt away. It was not meant to be and I decided to let it all go.
My week ended with a large class outside on my terrace in the lovely evening and invited all the students to return on Wednesday for dinner here on me. I chose this opportunity to use up much of what is in my freezer: my spaghetti and chili will do well with the 14 people and my dining table is large enough to accommodate us all. I am looking forward to that this coming final week. The evening ended with quite the show: a spectacular sunset with the sun and clouds giving a wonderful scene and at the same time there were dolphins jumping in front of us. This then followed by an incredible lightning show over the ocean that we took in while sipping on several glasses of wine with my lovely neighbours.