Monday, October 15, 2007

Guadalajara Zoo and Other Matters

Last Thursday, we had a chance to visit the zoo in Guadalajara. We joined our Mexican friends, Dora and Daniel, their children Jesus and Yoselin, and Obert, their nephew. The zoo is excellent with many typical zoo animals and many not found in northern zoos because of the tropical climate here. Pictured here are giraffes, which we were able to feed carrots to on the African safari ride.

To the left, the kids are fascinated by the polar bear who was somewhat uncooperative and slept the entire time we looked at him. Below is a marvelous Toucan, native to the coastal areas of Mexico.

At the end of a long day, the kids were ready for more, while all the adults were exhausted!

We are enjoying the warm October weather, which ranges from the high 60's at night to the 80's during the day. It doesn't really feel like fall to us, except that I have been able to watch the Red Sox in the ACLS on our Canadian satellite TV. (They are losing to the Indians in game 3 tonight!) We are told it's been a beautiful fall in Maine, and we do miss the colors and the apple picking. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Curt and Judy Webber who will arrive next week: our first visitors form Maine. We are looking forward to showing them around our new hometown and introducing them to some of our friends here. It will be a fun week!

Pixie has been involved in the Sunday Service Committee at church, and is planning to lead our Thanksgiving Service. She is planning another service in January as well. I finally read some of my poetry at the writer's group, which was a good experience. I will have some poetry published in a local magazine in November.

We have been looking at some real estate; last week we looked at seven houses, all in the Ajijic area, all in our price range. We are in no hurry to buy a house because we're not sure the market is as good as it will be later, and we will be able to find many rentals in the spring. It was interesting looking at the houses, though. Since all the homes here are behind walls, you can't really tell what they're like. Every house seems to be very different with different layouts, colorful tiles, gardens, and terraces. Here is a house we liked the best, but it had a few problems which made us decide it wasn't THE ONE.
We are finding the prices of houses in Ajijic to be quite high, and we're wondering whether we might get more house for the money if we rent. We might eventually decide to buy a house in another town, like Chapala or Riberas, but, for now, we like it in Ajijic. We'll see what turns up in the spring, when there are more houses available to rent after the snowbirds leave. We're also wondering if prices may decline as a result of the mortgage problems in the US. If people can't sell their houses there, they can't buy them here.

An update on the mudslides: the situation is much better. The people of San Juan Cosala have received much support, and most are back in their homes. They are having a big fund raiser fiesta this weekend with food, mariachi music, crafts, and other events. Many people will be going, including us.

I will probably do the next blog entry after our trip to Guanajuato with Curt and Judy. It is supposed to be gorgeous, so I should have some great photos.

Here's a short poem about Mexican houses:


Far from the hollow wood-frame walls

Whose siding I painted and caulked all those years,

These houses were built brick by brick

With cement mixed by boys with shovels,

Stand against the sun, thick with color.

Some grow back from walls and gates

Unseen garden spaces, stone, and water

Spilling over fountains. Iron, glass, and

Leather tables, chairs, sit inside, outside, inside

On covered terraces, quiet among succulent leaves

And rainbow blossoms.

Giddy tiles: mustard, indigo, crimson

Join in patterns like ceramic quilts

Cool and permanent.


Isabel said...

Oh the children are so cute in their little hats!

pedro said...

I was recently in the area and I am from the area. Seein your lovely pictures makes me miss it everyday. I seen that you have been my my small little town, San Pedro and have to agree with you that it is a town where there is not much due to the fact that most of the inhabitants have gone to "el norte".Hope you are enjoying your stay.

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