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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Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

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Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

January 2005 — Yesterday our dog Sunbeam died. A Basenji we’d had since her wild puppyhood, she had just turned 10. Our vet discovered a large inoperable cancer the day before, and because we are set up with our own internet connection, our housesitter (a good friend) was able to be in touch with us here in Mexico. Based on the veterinarian’s assessment and our own feelings, Kelly and I chose what we believe Sunbeam wanted, euthanasia.

Over the thirty plus years of our marriage, there have been other deaths of family dogs. But we were there with Martha, Cider, and Teddy Bear, as each in turn went into the great beyond. Not to be with Sunbeam was incredibly hard.

I’m blogging about this because one of the themes of this journey and this blog is the exploration of living part of the year (or maybe sometime all of the year) in another country. For people who live with beloved animals, this raises big questions. Finding and paying for good pet-sitters. Whether to take animals with you on trips or if you move. The quality of your connections with your animals if you are gone from home for many months a year. And, as we just experienced, the possibility of a death with no goodbyes in person. I’ve been homesick for our other dog and our two cats.

Beyond pets, a decision to travel or live abroad means that you may not be available as you would wish for family and friends: elderly parents, grown children and maybe grandchildren, dear friends, and so on. You may have to make some hard choices about when to go back home and when not to. And what if you have health or other problems yourself, in another country?

At least with the internet and telephones, you can be in touch from anywhere in the world. A woman we know at home died unexpectedly last month, and we were sorry to miss the memorial services for her but glad to feel part of the community mourning, albeit at a distance. Twenty-five years ago we roamed Mexico and Guatemala in a van for several months, and communication with home was problematic.

I can’t advise you on how to evaluate these kinds of questions as you think about whether to live in Mexico or some other country away from your home. But I can say: do give them a lot of thought.

Last night, Kelly suggested we walk into downtown Guanajuato for dinner. I wasn’t sure I was up for it, feeling very drained (and not particularly wanting to walk through the streets of the city with tears streaming down my face). But I agreed to give it a try. We started down the very steep, narrow street that we’re living on. It winds around and takes some concentration, as the best walking is on the flat paving stones in the middle of the street and you have to move aside whenever a vehicle comes up or down.

We had gone about a block down when a large truck was grinding its way up the hill. We moved over to the rougher cobblestones on the side of the street and stood waiting for it to pass. There were a couple of cars behind it too, we could see.

When the driver saw us, obviously a couple of Americans, he immediately stopped the truck’s progress up the hill and called out in English, “Hello! How are you, my friend? You like my city?” We answered briefly and continued down the hill, our hearts lighter.

We had a nice dinner, and I only began crying once, when a poignant Andrew Lloyd Webber song came on in the restaurant. Nobody noticed. As we walked back home through the busy streets, we ran into an American friend and it felt good to be able to tell her about Sunbeam. We noticed quite a few people with puppies. As Kelly walked past a dog sitting on the sidewalk, it reached over and put its jaws around his leg, not breaking the fabric of his pants.

One small dog is dead. And dogdom and life, in all their variety, go on.

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COMMENT ON THE OLD BLOG:  i understand completely how you feel. i have been coming to mexico a few months of the year for eight years now. i always left my little dog with a friend while i was gone and she always seemed so frantic when i returned. so this year i decided to bring her down here with me. i was in the midst of planning this somewhat difficult task when she had a massive seizure and quickly died. i was terribly heart broken. she had been my best friend for thirteen years. i came to mexico alone anyway, but still i grieve for her. and sometimes i feel guilty for leaving her those months in the past. but we have to continue living our lives. one of the hard parts of this experience is that people i meet here dont know that i am grieving for my dog. and even when i tell them, they dont see it as very important because she was just a dog….but i know you understand…..patricia

AND I SAID:Patricia, I certainly do understand. “Just” a dog, hmmph! People who aren’t dog lovers don’t understand the depth of grief we feel we we lose these famiy members, and as a general thing I’d say that Mexicans are less apt to form the deep bonds with pets that we do.

Personally, I believe that you will meet your little friend again beyond the Rainbow Bridge. And chances are she’s around you right now! I realize not everyone thinks this way, but if you are curious, go to our site www.hartworks.com and look at the telepathy section.

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