Monday, September 1, 2008

Old Wet Gringos on a Bus

This photo shows some of our friends, from left: Paul, Sharon, Norm, Lew, and Trudy, as we made it back onto the bus after a downpour in Guadalajara after watching the annual parade which kicks off the city's Mariachi Festival. Mariachi music was popularized after the 1910 revolution and was founded in Jalisco. Each year, mariachi bands from all over the world gather in Guadalajara. We saw mariachis from as far away as Asia.

We were able to sit on the balcony of a local restaurant to view the parade. Here are some photos of our friends and some of the parade:

Clockwise from top left: Pixie, Steve and Sue; Fred and Mardele; Sharon, Angela, Bebe, and Trudy; Lew, Jeanne, Paul, and Norm. These are some of our best friends from our UU Fellowship, probably all Obama voters.

These are photos of the parade festivities. (You can click on the images to make them bigger.)

On a more serious note, you may have been hearing about increasing violence in Mexico these days. This is definitely true, and it is almost all drug-related violence. There have been many kidnappings and brutal murders. Mexican President Felipe Calderon has "declared war" on the drug cartels, who are moving drugs from South America through Mexico to the USA border. He has ordered the Mexican army to lead the fight, along with the federal, state and local police. Most of the people being targeted are rival drug gangs, police officers and journalists. Although there has been crime in the lake Chapala area, it is mostly theft. Security is a concern, and most of the gringos here take it seriously, but we are not worried about our safety here. The only incident I have heard of recently is a drive-by shooting in Chapala, which was drug-related , and a kidnapping in Jocotepec of a loan shark. The victims in both of these cases have been Mexican. So far, there seems to be little concern for retired expats, other than theft. I will post more about this in the future because it does concern relatives and friends up north, and especially those considering moving here themselves.

We have a crew here this week finishing up the last of the immediate work we are doing on the house: painting the exterior. Picking colors has a been difficult here in Mexico because none of the old rules apply. We see so many wild colors that would look ridiculous in Maine but are just fine here. We want to select good colors for this type of architecture, but with so many choices, it's difficult to decide. We spent some time riding around looking at houses and comparing the colors to our color charts. We finally selected a dark tan with terra cotta trim, with a lighter tan for the outside wall. It's looking great so far; I'll post photos soon!

Below is a photo of our dinner club group celebrating Jeanne's birthday just before we all sat down to watch Barack Obama's splendid speech last Thursday.

Note: The following paragraph is for mature Democrats and Liberal Independents. Some Republicans may find this content offensive.

Since the weekend, we've all been astonished at the selection of Gov. Palin to be McCain's running mate. Although I originally thought it was going to be a disaster for MCain and help Obama be elected, I have come to my senses and realize that this is the same electorate which elected George W. Bush twice! Could they put this young governor a 72 year-old heartbeat away from the most powerful position in the world?!

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