Welcome to the Adventure

Living in Mexico is often indescribable...you just have to live here. I have been journaling experiences for a while, and I hope you can get a feel for stupid-ass gringos trying to get it. But I am still here, and that says a lot for those of us sticking it out, as the payback is what makes life so good here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"I think it's hot in here..."

Maggie cooling off....

It is hot. If the snowbirds haven’t left by now, they are packing up and getting out as I type. We are getting the heat about a month early. Usually this is the windy month, then we get the heat, then we get the rain. Rain. Let’s hope it comes a month early too. But, this is not an excuse! I have been busy. Friends are coming and going, as my head spins. We have languid days swimming, sipping, and long lovely sweetly scented evenings with friends eating and laughing. The flowers that let out their aromas at night surround me with memories of childhood summers in the Sacramento Valley. The owls are mating and damn they are loud suckers when on the hunt. I remember last year, when nephew Jon was here, they were keeping him awake with that beep that just touches the nerve. I’m more sympathetic this year, I agree, at times they might be annoying.

I am writing for our local expat paper “Huatulco Eye”. I just wrote an article about a place that needs help here, Piña Palmera, a center to teach children and adults with disabilities to live as independently as possible. They are taught skills that will financially support them and their families. Or at the least, live independently, with dignity. Go to their website: http://www.pinapalmera.org/index_en.htm. They could use money, volunteers - especially carpenters who aren’t afraid to teach others how to work on projects with wood, i.e., their flying birds are famous, and maintain the wood shop machines and teach others how to maintain them as well. I’m thinking, for you Cali peeps, a Dave Alt would be perfect! They also have a start-up internet cafe business going, and they need a techie to maintain and teach others to maintain this business. Everyone who works there is a volunteer. They come from all over the world. Mostly youngish, but some retired folks as well. All they ask is that you stay for 6 months, and try and learn some Spanish. The clients will melt your hearts.

Twenty-five years ago it was a place that families/communities just “dumped” their children with disabilities and so started as a specialized orphanage. There are just four clients left from those days but they service about 400 from southern coastal Oaxaca. You can choose either residential or outpatient therapy, or a combination, as some of these people live in communities that aren’t so easy to go to, or get out of, on any given day. I’ll put the article up on my blog when it is published here, but I urge you to check them out. They make incredible handicrafts including bird mobiles that are breathtaking, and they have their own paper making shop, that does fine work. They have a little store on their campus that sells to tourists/visitors. Amazing handicrafts are found there, all done by persons with disabilities, not just from clients of Piña Palmera.

Now, to change the subject, the condos on the beach below us are more than half done. It has been so noisy this year, and although we protested impotently, I now cannot wait until they are done. This development was our first real taste on how things go in Mexico, but we knew already, before protests even had time to make an impact. The one big lesson we learned is that truly one government agency does not know what the other government agency does (much like what goes on in the US), and there, as they old saying goes, “but for the nail in the shoe” it was a done deal. Let it go.....

But for all that, and aside the every so slightly awful rise in temperature, and this walking issue, life is good. We are having a very rich life here. Not everyone gets an opportunity to learn a new culture and language as intimately as we have, it has been such a powerful experience. Plus the cats are lovin’ the lizards and snakes. Great stuff!