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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Dec. 27, 2005 — This afternoon Kelly and I walked to Ajijic (pronounced ah-he-HEEK), the next town over from where we are staying in our RV. It took less than an hour to walk to the bus station for Guadalajara, where he would resume the consultation begun yesterday with a periodontist.

I said goodbye to him at the station … well, actually, at the fish market two doors down from the tiny station, because the man who sells bus tickets is the son of the fish vendor, so he was hanging out and selling tickets there.

I didn’t know what I was going to do exactly, just stroll around, maybe walk home or maybe figure out the local buses. I got an ice cream cone and sat on a bench in the plaza eating it.

After a while, an older Mexican lady asked me if I lived there. I said no, and we got into conversation. After a while, her granddaughter joined us. She spoke good English, and that was helpful as I was finding it a little difficult to follow the older lady’s Spanish.

We chatted for a long time. The older lady had been widowed with five very young children many years earlier, and she had worked in a scientific capacity rare at the time. She wasn’t credentialed in the field but had learned a lot from her husband, a doctor, before he died. Her granddaughter lives in nearby Jocotepec and works at a school for both deaf children and children with disabilities. Its funding has been greatly helped by the foreign community.

The granddaughter had a sister with her, who took this picture. She’s married to an American, and they were visiting from Texas.

I was curious to know the old lady’s age but wasn’t sure if it was polite to ask. So I asked the granddaughter if I could ask and she said it would be fine. The old lady proudly said that she was 91. You can see that she doesn’t look it. (Just for the record, she is the one in the middle!)

After we parted, my heart was full from such a friendly encounter. I wandered around Ajijic and meandered back toward home, never quite figuring out the buses. That was just as well, because later I had another good conversation when I stopped to browse in a shop. I got to talking with a man who appeared to own the shop, and a young woman of approximately college age. Her English was way better than my Spanish, and we got into a far-ranging conversation about Erich Fromm’s Escape from Freedom, capitalism, living an authentic life, and much more!

My sister claims that I am a world-class extrovert, but I think that these kinds of exchanges are available to any visitor to Mexico who is willing to stretch a little. If you don’t speak much Spanish, of course there will be limitations but the bulk of both talks today was in English.

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