Sunday, May 1, 2011

Semana Santa Pool Party

Probably the highlight of Semana Santa, for us, may have been the pool party Pixie and her other teachers put on for twelve of the children from the orphanage on the Saturday before Easter.  We wanted to have the party at our house, but since we have five homes sharing a common space we had to check with the other residents.  The Mexican family was planning to be here for the weekend, and they indicated that they would prefer a quiet time rather than have twelve kids having a pool party.  Understandable.  So we had the party at Christiana Park in Chapala, a huge public park with two pools and a waterslide.  We all brought food and the orphanage van was supposed to bring the kids at 10 AM.  Well, as typically happens in Mexico, the kids were not there at 10, or 11, or 12!  Pixie and her other teacher, Kate, finally went over to check what was up.  There was a miscommunication, but they finally showed up at about 1PM.  Well, we had all planned to be home by 2, but, as it turned out, we were having the party until 4, and finally came home exhausted at about 5.  I had trouble keeping track of which kids were “ours”, so to speak.  Once the kids get wet in the pool, with 150 other kids, it’s, honestly, hard to tell who’s who.  I memorized the designs on their bathing suits, and that worked pretty well, until they got dressed later.  Without their suits, I couldn’t tell who was who.  Typical gringo problem, I suspect.  They think we all look alike!  Anyway, the party went fine, with two exceptions: Brian decided to take off his bathing suit in the pool and was ordered out, and Coco threw up.  Otherwise, it was a fun, but exhausting day.  Here are some photos:

We had a couple of informal dinners at our house this week.  We invited my Mexican student, Francisco, and his step mom, Janice, along with the friend from our Fellowship, Bebe, who rented us the house in town for the winter.  Then we invited our old next-door neighbors, Ron & Pat, from Montreal, and Wayne and Claudette, from New Brunswick, for dinner.  It’s nice to be able to enjoy our house and entertain again.  Here are some photos.  From left, Francisco, Janice, and Bebe:  

                                                   Ron and Chuy:

                                                   Pat and Wayne:

                                                       Pixie and Claudette:

Living on the west side of Ajijic, with only one car, we sometimes have conflicts with time.  I like to take the local buses, so it’s usually not a problem.  The buses here are cheap, frequent, and provide good transportation for Mexicans getting to work or doing shopping.  I am often the only gringo on the bus, but I enjoy the experience.  Here is a photo from the inside of the bus, and another of some lovely Oaxacan Rugs for sale along the main drag.  They are pricey with the small ones costing about $50US, and the large ones $250 or so. 

The Mexican peso is benefitting from the weak US dollar.  It’s gone down from a high of about 13 pesos/ dollar to about 11.5 now.  For us that means that when we go to the ATM to take out 5000 pesos, it costs $435 instead of $385.  Such is the risk of living under another currency.   

No big news here; life goes on slowly in the heat, and we are happy. 

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