A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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March 21, 2005 — Two years ago, on our first visit to Bernal, people told us we should stay for the spring equinox celebration, when thousands of people pour into town from all over Mexico. We couldn’t stay that time, but we’ve had the full experience yesterday and today.

Things got started last night with several events, including some compelling traditional dancing. We knew Juvenal, one of the group who were to go up to the top of the Peña (see pictures in my next blog entry) and spend the night in prayer and ritual. At its heart, this event is a prayer for peace and harmony throughout the world. It got started about 12 years ago by a group of friends and has grown to the point now that we were told some 40,000 people would come to this town of 5,000. It’s hard to estimate but we guessed that at least 20,000 did turn up today.

We were home around 8PM last night, when there was a knock on the door. A couple of Mexican women were looking for a place to sleep. I remembered that a friend of ours down the street rented out rooms to women, so we went down there. I hadn’t thought to ask but it turned out that these two women were part of a group that included two other women, a man, and 4-year-old child. That was more than my friend wanted to take on, but she suggested another neighbor. We went there, and he didn’t have a place but said all the hotels in Bernal were full and suggested they go to Ezekial Montes, a larger town only about 20 minutes away. That was the best solution, so off they went. Before I realized how many there were, I thought we could have let them sleep in Cando, but there are no drains in town for emptying our RV’s blackwater, so it really wasn’t an option.

Around 9PM, there was a fireworks display, one of the best I have ever seen. Mexicans love fireworks, and this one really went all out. We watched it from our upstairs deck, also catching views of laser lights playing on the church in the Jardin (Garden, or central plaza) and a searchlight playing on the Peña. Stunning!

As that finished, a van parked in front of our house and disgorged a large number of Mexicans. Over the next hour or two, they unloaded mattresses and other gear from the top of the van and moved into the tiny empty house next door. We had heard that the owners lived out of town and came for special events, so that was evidently the scene. They got right to work straightening the place up, including burning a large pile of brush about midnight. It’s fascinating how Mexicans simply go about living their lives without the kind of concerns about noise that are so common at home. We’ve both lost some sleep as a result, but it’s also fun.

The next blog entry continues the equinox story, with some great photos Kelly got.

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