Long-time readers of "Maine to Mexico" will remember Dora and Daniel, our first Mexican friends we met as soon as we arrived in Ajijic. They were the caretakers of the small rental housing community in which we rented, down by the lake, in May 2007. They live in a small casa on the premesis, along with their children, Elian, Jesus, and Yoselin. We no longer live in that house, but we have remained friends with their family, including their extended family in Ajijic for the last four years.
We did not know that Daniel and Dora were not married, or perhaps they were married in a civil ceremony. Now that Jesus is old enough to take his first communion, it was necessary that they have a church wedding, and yesterday was the day. We attended the ceremony at the 16th century chapel on the Ajijic Plaza then attended a fiesta afterwards at an event venue in Chapala. It was a lovely ceremony, attended by many of their family and friends, as well as a good number of Americans and Canadians who have come to know them over the years. We know many of Dora's family. I had Maricella, her sister, in my English class. Pablo works in the meat department of the local supermarket. We've taken Dora, Daniel, Jesus Yoselin and their nephew, Obert, to the Guadalajara Zoo and have shared birthday and Christmas celebrations with them.
A wedding is a family affair here, with all ages participating. All the little girls, I lost count, were flower girls, and the boys and girls helped serve the food at the celebration. Every one ate, drank and danced into the night, but there was no evidence of overdrinking. Most of us gringos were beat by 10PM and went home to bed. But I imagine the party carried on long into the night. Here are some photos which capture the spirit of the day:
Here I am with Maricella, one of the best English students I've had here. She not only studied the material herself, but when I was having difficulty explaining a particular concept, Maricella would make and copy handouts which were comprehensible to the Mexican students. She and her husband, Salvadore, work in a family restaurant, Tio Domingo, on the west side of Ajijiic.
We enjoyed a dinner this week with an old friend, Marni Johnson. Marni is a member of our writers' group and writes a monthly column on visiting Mayan sites in The Lake Chapala Review. She has traveled extensively throughout Central America, visiting Mayan ruins and is very knowledgeable about their fascinating culture. Marni was also in our political discussion group, and she is an long-time progressive thinker. Her Mayan paintings are beautiful and original. Here are some photos of our evening, including our friend, Sheldon James, a former saxophonist in many jazz bands. You can see a couple of her paintings and some of the artifacts she has collected from her worldwide travels.
Otherwise, we are still living in our village apartment waiting to move into our new place on April 1. I am making a quick trip to Philadelphia this week to visit my Dad and Joy, my step mom. It will be good to spend some time with them. I will likely see my brother Fred, and his family, and perhaps my step sisters, Beth and Joanne, as well, since they live nearby. I hope to be able to post some photos of our new house when I return next week. Pixie is scheduled to visit and take some photos.
Finally, here is a photo of the lovely old mission chapel where the wedding took place yesterday. It was, I think, Ajijic's original church, built shortly after Ajijic was founded in 1531.