Sunday, August 21, 2011

Losing a Good Friend

I am sad to have to note, this week, the passing of one of our dearest friends here at Lake Chapala, Don Edwards.  We first met Don and his wife, Valerie, when we joined the Great Books discussion group when we first arrived here.  Don had an interesting background.  He was enrolled as a seminarian to become a priest but ultimately he had too many questions for which there were no good answers.  He went to study at St. John's College (coincidentally where the Great Books Program originated) where he met the love of his life Val. He eventually went to work for IBM and spent part of his career living in Rome and Paris, among other places. Don was a scholar.  He teamed up with a local rabbi to construct  hypothetical dialogues between religious figures from throughout history; all the dialogues were based on actual writings of these figures. These dialogues, performed at regular intervals here, were fascinating.  But to those of us who knew and loved Don, we was an insufferable punster and humorist who never let an opportunity go by without a good play on words.  Even during the two difficult years of his final illness, he always maintained his good humor and was usually ready with a good pun or two.  We will miss you, Don!   

The rains are starting to come in less frequent intervals, and often they do not seem to last very long.   By mid-September, we will have only occasional rains which will end completely by late October or November.  The above photo shows the clouds over the very green mountains on the north side of the lake. The other day I took a walk on Rio Zula, where we used to live when we first arrived. Below are two photos, one of Chayote vines.  Chayotes are squash-like vegetables with edible seeds popular here.  The vines resemble grape vines, I think.  

I have been continuing to work with my student, Francisco, pictured below, at his loom.  He is progressing very well on his English.  He participates actively in our Unitarian Fellowship where he sings in the choir.  I brought back a copy of The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, and we are spending part of each lesson reading it.  Since the story takes place in Cuba, there are a number of Spanish words in the story.  
Chuy has enjoyed having Rudy here for the last thirteen days.  At first, they had to learn to share and get along, but as you can see, they grew pretty friendly.  Rudy has now returned home, but Chuy will go bunk with Rudy when we go to Mexico city this week.  
So, we're leaving for Mexico City on Wednesday.  We are traveling with Bob and Kathy Koches and two other couples, Paul Bennett and Jeanne Haley and Bill and Bonnie Phillips. Bob has done a super job of planning our itinerary and planning transportation.  We will be staying in the historical center of the city, but Bob has planned the use of a van and driver on two of the days to take us to the pyramids on the outskirts of the city, as well as Frida Kahlo's house and the Basilica of Guadalupe.  Pixie and I will find out how easy it will be to maintain our vegan diet, although I think in a big metropolitan area like Mexico City, it will be easier.  We'll see.   In any event, I'll be reporting on the trip in my next post in early September, after we return.  

Here's a friendly horse I saw on my walk:

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