Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Navidad in the Village

Here is a painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe painted on the side of a house in our new neighborhood.  This image, although obviously religious, is also a symbol of Mexican national pride.  We often see the image displayed with a Mexican flag.  It’s a uniquely Mexican symbol.  Last week was El Dia de la Guadalupe, and families set up makeshift altars to her image all over the village.

As Christmas approaches, we are settling into our village home and recovering from the hectic month we’ve just had.  Pixie’s mouth and teeth continue to improve.  She’s had a root canal on the tooth that was reinserted.  The front tooth next to this one was also injured, although it did not come out.  She had to have a root canal on that one as well.  Our dentist, Dr. Garcia is working very carefully to be sure that he does not cause any problems with the injured teeth.  It looks as though both teeth will be fine.  She’s finished her dental work for now, although he wants her to return for an x-ray next week.  She feels lucky the damage could be repaired.  Pixie’s lips and mouth are just about completely healed, although she has a bit of swelling that she is treating with warm compresses.  We delivered a Christmas basket to Dr. Garcia and his family on Monday to show our appreciation. 

We are grateful to have the ordeal of moving behind us, at least for a couple of months.  Our little house, although small, is certainly adequate for a temporary stay.  We brought our plants with us from the old house so the garden is much more lush.  We turned over the key to our old house to Sra. Romero, the new owner.  She lives in Guadalajara and plans to spend a couple of weekends a month at the house.  I don’t think she liked our decorating.  She told us she intends to sell all our furniture and paint the inside all white.  Go figure!  Anyway, we are happy to turn it over and not have to worry about it any more.  We are hoping to find a beautiful rental in a couple of months as the snowbirds return north and many rentals become available.  In the meantime, we are happy here. 

Chuy is having to adjust to the new surroundings as well.  We have a much nicer walking space.  Yesterday, he made a friend with this Chihuahua. 

Where we live is very Mexican and very colorful.  People sell food on the street and families sit outside and drink cerveza and play their music.  So it’s not exactly a quiet neighborhood, but the people are very friendly and it’s fun to walk around and explore.  Here are some photos from our new neighborhood.  Notice the large wok-like vessel.  The carniceria, or butcher shop, is cooking pork scraps in lard.  The Mexicans love these carnitas, but we vegetarians, not so much.   The bottom photo shows the outside of our new house.  The entire width of our house is the width of those metal garage doors.  The white and brown building to its right is not our house, but our neighbor's.

One interesting aspect of our neighborhood, and indeed of Ajijic in general, is that very Mexican neighborhoods exist quite well side-by-side with more up-scale gringo homes.  The Mexican neighborhood we are in is adjacent to one of the most posh gringo areas at Lakeside.  So when Chuy and I take our walk, we start in our poor Mexican neighborhood but soon find ourselves among million dollar homes in Las Salvias, a gringo neighborhood.  Here are some photos of this area:

Although Christmas here is more religious and much warmer, there are many Christmas traditions.  Tonight we are going to the Posada, or nativity procession, in San Antonio, the neighboring town.  We have gone several times, and I have posted photos of this posada before.  We had a special musical service at our UU Fellowship last Sunday.  We attended a Christmas party with some writer friends of ours last Monday, and we have our New England Gathering tomorrow night.   We will be having Christmas dinner with some Maine friends.  We are wishing we had been able to make our trip to see our children in early December, as planned, but we are now scheduled to fly to Boston on  January 14, to Indiana on January 22, and back to Guadalajara on January 30.  We will surely be in for a climate shock!  But, of course, celebrating a late Christmas with our family will be wonderful.

So, we are finally getting some down time and enjoying the Christmas season.  To all my family, friends and blog-followers around the world, I wish you Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo!

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