Those of you who have been following Maine to Mexico since the beginning may remember Danie, Dora and their children. When we rented a house on the west end of Ajijic, from May of 2007 through March of 2008, Daniel and Dora were the live-in couple who managed the property. There are six casas in the compound and a swimming pool. Most of the casas are owned by Mexican families from Guadalajara who used their casas on weekends. We, of course lived in one full time, and Kathy Kinney, an artist form Indiana, also lived in one. We became friends with Daniel and Dora and their family, and we still get together occasionally to celebrate birthdays, etc. Here is a recent photo of their family on the occasion of Jesus' eleventh birthday. From left are Dora, Jesus, Daniel with Yoselin, and Dora's older son Elias. Tonight we are going over to their house (they still live in the same place) for a dinner of tamales and atole (a sweet corn-based drink which is a speciality of Michoacan, Doras' home state). Yoselin and Jesus are growing up!
Before we head over to Daniel and Dora's, we will be attending a memorial service to be held on the patio of the Lake Chapala Society for Rick Sargent. Rick was a friend of ours, married to Mary Alice Sargent, who has been responsible for the Lake Chapala Society's sponsorship of the Wilkes Education Center where I taught English for the first two years I was here. Rick and Mary Alice are from New Hampshire, and we usually see them at our monthly New Hampshire-Maine group where we met for drinks then had dinner together. They have been active in the community sponsoring several Mexican children by paying their educational expenses. Rick died unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago while undergoing surgery to repair an aortic aneurism.
We've had typical rainy season weather since we've been home. It rains most nights, sometimes very hard, then clears by morning, and we enjoy sunny but refreshingly cool weather during the days. We had a pot-luck lunch at our house for about fifty people following our UU Fellowship service last Sunday. We had a visiting minister, Rev. Howard Hunter, visit our Fellowship and speak. Dr. Hunter is a part-time speaker at the UU church in Harvard Square and lives in Rockport, Massachusetts. He has travelled and studied world religions in many countries and is a fascinating speaker. You can see from the photos that we had to figure out a way to accommodate everyone under cover. This was because rain was threatening Sunday, even during the daylight hours. Below is Reverend Hunter with his young friend, Amir, a Lebanese-Mexican professor at a university in Mexico City.
Another event Pixie hosted last week was a surprise birthday party for our good friend Jeanne Haley. She put together an old-fashioned girls birthday party for Jeanne, including games like pin-the-tail-on -the- donkey, musical chairs, Mother may I?, and dropping clothespins in a bottle. They additionally had cake, gifts, and a pinata. You can tell they had fun!
There was an interesting article in the Guadalajara Reporter this week. It was about roughly 40 homeowners, many Americans and Canadians, in the coastal town of Tenacatita who had their property seized by the Mexican government, even though they thought they had legal titles for their properties. After the 1910 revolution, the government set aside vast tracts of land for the indigenous population called ejito land. No one was allowed to develop this land. Over the years, some ejito land has been allowed to be sold to developers following a complex legal process. In fact, until several years ago, foreigners were prohibited from owning coastal property at all. Apparently, the properties in Tenacatita were built on ejito land, at least that's the assertion. The case will be appealed in Mexican courts, but meantime, their property has been seized. Such seizures have occasionally occurred here at Lakeside. As a result, anyone buying property in Mexico must be very careful to be sure there is no question about the land once being classified as ejito land.
I will close this entry with a few photos we took on a recent walk along the malecon in Chapala. It's always a pleasure to enjoy the lake, the sun, and the many Mexican families who use this lakeside area for relaxation.
Well, I have to include a couple more photos. A couple of days ago, we were dog-sitting for Layla, Chuy's best friend, a golden retriever owned by our next-door neighbors, Ron and Pat. You can see, Chuy enjoyed having a friend to hang with.