Since returning from Maine, we have been enjoying warmer weather and have accelerated our search for a new rental. Nothing to report yet, but we have realized that we won’t likely have anything before April 1. There will be a number of good rentals becoming available by then. One home, in particular, in an area called Villa Nova, is a house we seriously considered buying in 2007, but decided on the home in Riberas instead. The home is now for rent and we will look at it on Wednesday.
We have been looking mostly lately in what they call here fraccamientos, or communities which share some common space. Pixie really would like to find a rental with access to a pool, and it’s much more economical to rent in an area which has a common pool space rather than rent a home with a private pool. Private pools, of course, require chemicals, labor, and extra electricity costs. So we’ve been looking in these communities. Here are some random photos we’ve taken of some rentals we’ve looked at:
I will include photos of the house we finally select in a future post.
We have had a couple of interesting cultural events this week. For Valentine’s Day, I bought tickets for us to see the Russian State Ballet Company’s performance of Swan Lake. The performance was here in Ajijic and, although a bit pricey (500 pesos, 40 USD) it was a bargain for such a performance. I wasn’t sure if it would really live up to its expectations, but it was amazing. The five principal dancers were all award-winning dancers from the premiere ballet school in Moscow, and the choreographer was an emeritus dancer form the Bolshoi. We’ve seen a number of professional ballet performances, but none were close to this level of dance. We were in the second row, which was spectacular. I wish I had photos to share, but I forgot the camera.
In another interesting event, our UU Fellowship in partnership with the Jewish Congregation sponsored a simulated dialogue between Jewish scholar, Abraham Heschel, Paul Tillich the Protestant ecumenical theologian and Hans Kung, the controversial Catholic theologian. The three principal characters were played by Lakeside residents otto Rand, Bob Croog, and Don Edwards. The three wrote the dialogue using actual words the three wrote. The simulated dialogue was to have taken place in New York City in 1963 during the Vatican II Conference initiated by Pope John XXIII. The three controversial clerics discussed such topics as the civil rights struggle of Martin Luther King Jr., the effort to bring religions together to work for social change, and the presidency of JFK. Here is a photo of (from left) Rand, Croog, and Edwards:
I think I need to address, again, the issue of drug cartel violence in this area. Several of you have expressed concern about this development and our safety. It is certainly true that the drug-related violence has spread into Guadalajara. Since my last post which mentioned the road blockades, an attack was made on a bar frequented by young people in Guadalajara. The perpetrators, sprayed the bar with gunfire and then threw a grenade into the bar before fleeing in taxi. The result was six dead and thirty some injuries. This attack was covered in the US press. Here is a link to a reuters article about this latest violence: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/09/us-mexico-drugs-idUSTRE7184H520110209
What I need to stress is that this violence has not spread to the Lake Chapala area. Although there have been a few, isolated attacks on police officers here at lakeside, no Americans, Canadians, or innocent Mexicans have been attacked. I think the situation is analogous to living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and avoiding driving into some areas of Detroit, or parts of many other US cities for that matter. People here are avoiding driving into Guadalajara unnecessarily, especially at night, but people here do not feel unsafe. We are obviously paying attention. If things should escalate in a way that makes us feel unsafe, we could, and many likely would, leave and return to the US or Canada. It is certainly not at that point now. I will continue to update the situation on this blog. When I started this in 2007, I promised to discuss both the benefits, and challenges, of living here, and I will continue to do this.
Here’s a few more photos of life here today: