Monday, February 8, 2010
Unusual Winter Rain Postpones Butterfly Excursion
This is a very friendly bulldog we saw a couple of weeks ago on out trip to Tlaquepaque. His face was definitely worth a photo.
This past week we were scheduled to drive to the Michoacan town of Zitcacuaro, east of Morelia to visit a Monarch butterfly sanctuary, but the weather failed to cooperate. Of course, everyone knows that this is the dry season in central Mexico, so every day is supposed to be bright and sunny. However, not this year. Last week we had torrential downpours from the el nino in the Pacific Ocean. Since we were going to get to the butterfly sanctuary by horseback, riding up a muddy mountain in the pouring rain did not seem like a good idea. As a matter of fact, 13 people were reportedly killed in this area of Michoacan by flooding and mudslides as a result of the rain. Fortunately for us, we were able to postpone our trip until February 21 without a penalty, so I hope to be able to provide photos and impressions of the Monarch sanctuary in a couple of weeks.
Our friends Curt and Judy returned to Maine last week. We were able to travel into Guadalajara before they left to see a performance of the Jalisco Symphony Orchestra at the renowned 19th century theater, Teatro Degollado, in Guadalajara. We first ate supper at a restaurant in the historic central district, Fonda de la San Miguel, which used to be a monastery. The food and atmosphere were wonderful. Then we walked to the theater. This building, dedicated in the 1860's, is modeled after the La Scala Opera House in Milan, Italy, so it's quite a treat just to see a performance there. We found seats on the first balcony for 140 pesos (about $11). We heard two Mexican pieces, one a world premier, and after intermission, Tchaikovsky's fifth symphony. Here are some photos of the evening:
Another big event this past week or so was the book signing even held at the Casa del Sol B&B in Ajijic. I had planned this event to roll out my new book, Agave Blood. I joined up with an interesting group of lakeside women who had written an anthology several years ago, called Agave Marias. Thus, we called our event, "Two Agaves, No Tequila!" We had a good crowd on hand for the readings and the signings. I sold 18 books, which put me well over the break-even point in book sales. Most of all, however, it was a lot of fun for everyone.
One more photo for this post. Chuy has formed a special relationship with Horacio, our gardener. Whenever Horacio comes to work, Chuy likes to follow him and sit and watch as he digs in the dirt and generally does things which bring him down to Chuy's level. Here they are together:
You probably heard or read about the terrible massacre of students last week in the border city of Juarez. This is another example of the terrible drug-related violence that has plagued Mexico since President Calderon declared war on the Narco gangs. This publicity causes many to fear even coming into Mexico. Here's an article from the AP which address the issue of Mexican violence in a more balanced fashion: