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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April 4, 2008 – I’ve been reflecting on life in Mexico. It’s been over three years since we began living in our house here, and I’ve often wavered in whether I’d rather be here or in the US. Many of my American and Canadian friends here in the Lake Chapala area take to life here so naturally. So does my husband!

As I walked by myself to the street market the other morning, I thought of my life in Mexico as being a bit like a mythological quest of the sort Joseph Campbell wrote about. The hero faces many obstacles and struggles. The outcome is uncertain; suffering and even death are quite possible. And in the end, there is a success. It may not look like the success that the hero set out to find in the innocent days before all the the adventures, but there is some sort of recognizable happy ending.

For me, the challenges here have often been near-overwhelming. Here are some of them:

  • Mexican traffic
  • Uneven internet connections
  • Lack of immediate access to Amazon and some of the material items I’m used to back in the US
  • Typhoid and dengue fever are here, plus turistas
  • Not knowing so many things about the culture here in Mexico
  • The surrealism implicit in Mexican bureaucracy, and the long delays
  • Petty theft and “small” crimes
  • Being perceived as wealthy
  • Casual Mexican attitudes about safety
  • Infrastructure problems, from our whole town running out of water for days to really bad roads
  • The extremely different role of police here
  • The risk of being in a vehicle accident and being subject to more of that surrealism
  • Dealing with the fears of family and friends NOB about Mexican drug violence
  • Not being immune from worrying about possible what-ifs myself

Okay, that’s the path of the quest, and I’m sure I could think of more to add to that list, and I could write a whole blog post on any one of them.

Luckily, very luckily, we don’t have to wait till the end of the journey for the rewards of living here… I would never have made it! Here are just a few instances of the sweetness of life here in Mexico:

  • The love of life, the joyousness expressed so freely by Mexicans and by foreigners who are happy here
  • The Mexican love of babies and young children
  • The courtesy and graciousness of the people
  • The willingness to pitch in and help when a problem arises, such as when the mudslide hit our town a year and a half ago
  • The Mexicans’ “Ni modo” shrug at things they can’t control
  • The heavenly climate
  • Our ability to live very economically and simply here
  • The camaraderie among the expats here

I could go on here too, and I *have* written blog posts about a lot of these.

And so the journey continues.

3 Comments from the old post:

  • At April 04, 2009 1:19 PM,  Bob Mrotek said…

    Rosana,

    I think that if you talk to other Americans who live in Mexico for an extended period you will find that most go through stages similar to yours. Generally I find that those, like you, who find an equilibrium here are people of courage, faith, and optimism. The main thing is to keep peace in your heart…always.

  • At April 17, 2009 1:33 PM,  Sharon said…

    My partner and I lived in Ajijic and Chapala for 4 years, and owned a home in Chapala. I could add a couple of other things to your list of dislikes: trash and garbage in the streets and empty lots, and scorpions! (Although we were never stung by one, we saw plenty.) Also, I echo all the positives you mentioned, and they are truly wonderful. We came back to the US because of the stock market, 9/11, the (then) lack of water in the Lake, and the crumbling infrastructure. Wouldn’t trade the time we had in Mexico, but it’s very good to be home.

  • At April 17, 2009 2:21 PM,  Rosana Hart said…

    Scorpions… how could I forget scorpions! They are very much a part of the epic. Haven’t been bit either but we find an average of one a week in our house.

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