Morgan and the Turtles of Ayotocali

Morgan, my granddaughter, is volunteering at the turtle sanctuary.  She goes out at night and patrols the beaches of Playa Larga and Barra de Potosi looking for signs of turtle nests and for laying turtles.  When nests are discovered they are carefully removed and transported back to the turtle sanctuary’s incubator area and reburied at the exact same depth that mama turtle placed them. Then the nest is labeled with the exact geographical coordinates of  their original location, time and date and any other information they might have about the particular nest.  When a laying turtle is discovered they stay with her until she is finished laying her eggs and safely back to sea.  They do  this to protect the mama turtle from predators, both man, wild dog packs and other wild animals that might be about. Only one in 1000 of the little hatch-lings will live to adulthood to mate and return to the beach where they were hatched to continue this life cycle.  That is why this project is so important.

When the nest hatches in about 60 days the turtles are care fully released on the sand at sunset.  They head towards the light of the setting sun and then swim out to sea. The staff and volunteers are careful not to handle the babies so no human bacteria is transfer to the babies.  And what is best of all you can personally participate in the almost nightly turtle releases.  The staff will give you your turtle(s) in a little bowl and when instructed you gently let the turtle slip out of your bowl on to the sand and the race to the sea is on!

The sanctuary does a lot of work with the local children, teaching them why it is wrong to harvest and eat turtle eggs, or turtle meat.  They have camps during the summer and work with the schools during the rest of the year. If you are in Mexico with children this is a must see project. They will learn a lot about turtles and their life cycle and have an unforgettable experience.  If you are an adult, you also will learn a lot and enjoy the great experience of giving mother nature a helping hand.

There is no charge for visiting the turtle sanctuary and participating in the turtle releases, but donations are appreciated.  This is an all volunteer program. They do have programs where for a nominal fee you can adopt a nest and of course T shirts and other souvenirs are available for purchase to help fund this very important program. There are almost always volunteers from the sanctuary at the Eco- Tianguis Sanka, the little Saturday morning market that sets up across the street from the museum next to the school.  They will be more than happy to share their knowledge of turtles and the releases.  Signing off  KO

 

 

IT’S HOT AND HUMIDITY IS HIGH

As we move further into November it keeps getting hotter.  Most unusual! It should be getting cooler. Depending on which weather channel you tune into the highs are in the low to mid 90’s and you get the “feels like” at about 100-106 . The breeze that usually blows in off the bay is non existent.

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Sun setting on Zihuatanejo Bay

A storm is predicted for Tuesday which hopefully will cool things down a bit.

I have a couple of home projects that I am working on.  Yesterday I bought new curtain rods for my apartment. I have an electric drill and drill bits for concrete.  I also picked up fabric to recover my

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new fabric

 

couch.  It got stained last year and i wasn’t able to get it clean.

My limited Spanish helps in making purchases and  “google translate” helps me with words I don’t know . But Tuesday I will resume Spanish classes.  Last year I started with my friend Faye and another couple and it will be with the same group again. It should be fun.

I came across a little restaurant with some unusual seating and then later saw these beautiful swings.  In my yard at home I have had a wood board swing for years.   I think I will have to replace it with one of these beauties.  Signing off KO

Every day I learn something new

img_1151Yesterday I finally made it to the swimming pool, now I am talking about the Zihuatanejo’s Olympic size Alberca de Olympica at the sports complex.  I have been swimming there for years, quite frequently I would be one of two or three people in the pool at 8 AM,  nice for lap swimming.  A few years ago they covered the pool with a Quonset hut type roof and it kept the pool cool as the sun didn’t beat on it, but it was ice cold in the morning.  The locker room was a disaster,  gang showers that didn’t work, toilets that flushed with a bucket, doors missing and no running water.  Few gringos would venture forth, but I am dedicated lap swimmer and you would find me there most mornings at 8.  I knew they had remodeled and I hoped it would be nice and and is it ever nice.  Stall showers with actual running water, new flush toilets, sink with running water.  It is  beautiful, they did an amazing job

My next surprise was when I went to get in the pool, it wasn’t ice cold. Very pleasant to  jump right in, none of that shock of taking your breath away as you hit the water.  Now that may be just because the temperature has been so hot, or possible a heating system, time will tell.

So today my second pool day I carefully read the new signs posted where you pay at the entrance and between the sign and my conversation with the attendant in my fractured Spanish I learned I can buy a month log pass for $150 pesos.  I can swim as much as I want for 30 calendar days for that price, twice a day if I like, ( but that’s not going to happen) or I can pay 15 pesos every time I go  Even if I only swim 3 times a week I’m ahead!  I like this new system.  But the down fall is so does everyone else in town!  The pool is busy with both lap swimmers and classes.  But that’s OK, I’m up before the crack of dawn and I will just start swimming a little earlier in the morning and maybe avoid the class of 10 or so young boys racing across the pool. If you haven’t ever tried the pool or if you have and were turned off by the experience give it a chance. You should like it.

From the pool I walked over to the Megga. There is a real bad intersection to cross near the new Waldos where another lady and I stood there for an eternity kind of shaking our heads wondering if we would ever cross.  She saw a break in the traffic, grabbed my hand and we ran across the street together, safety in numbers. People here are so helpful, how can one not love Mexico.

At the Megga I discovered how to sign up for a “frequent flyer card” so maybe by the end of the season I will have enough points to save a few bucks on something special. And I bought packages of grated cheddar cheese, nothing in a block, but cheddar none the less.  Signing off KO

 

 

 

 

Festival of Turtles

Monday was our first beach day, we opted for Playa las Gattas. Rode the water taxi over with my favorite waiter of many years, Jose. He always takes good care of us. Did a little snorkeling, a little swimming and a tad too much sun.  Both Morgan and I are a bit pink in places where the sunscreen missed

As Morgan is volunteering with the Ayotlcalli Turtle Sanctuary she was to meet up with the other volunteers in Ixtapa for a children’s program sponsored by the local department of Ecology.

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Morgan and Ian and other  volunteers

I went with her as she had never been to Ixtapa where it was being held. So now she is well indoctrinated on how to get around by bus.  The turtle Sanctuary did a puppet show on the life cycle of a turtle including all the hazards they meet in the ocean, many man made.IMG_0134 Next the kids went from station to station to learn different aspects of how to protect the turtles.  Nice little program and lots of cute, bright interested kids.

We finished up the day with a “Meet and Greet” at Paty’s on La Ropa busy, but fun day even with the humidity being almost too high to enjoy the weather.  Signing off KO

Dia del Muerto and Parade of the Catrinas

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I’ve always wanted wings

What a night, beautiful, colorful and crowded, fiesta done full up! The food vendors were set up so Morgan finally got the churros she has been dreaming of.  We I visited all the alters and luckily was at the right place at the right time as two separate catrinia parades entered the Zocolo.

The alters were lit mostly by candle light but some had gotten quite creative with colored lighting. Some were very simple others quite elaborate.  Foods and drink and pictures were on display.  El centro Zihuatanejo was far more colorful than I have ever seen it.  More like our Christmas displays at home.IMG_0115 (2)

I would have to say their were hundreds of catrinias, some absolutely gorgeous, some funny and a couple a bit scary.  Parades started at several points in town and all converged at the Zocolo eventually. Their was judging of the alters and the catrinias and

I understand several thousand pesos were to be awarded.  Then to top the night off there was to be a rock concert.  My apartment is just far enough away from the Zocolo that they can party all night and not disturb me. Having a bit of trouble managing photos.  Put together a whole album but can’t get it to load.  But the above pictures are my favorites. Signing off KO

HALLOWEEN A LA MEXICANA

IMG_1872My first Mexican Halloween, I had no idea what to expect.  One thing happened that no one expected was RAIN! and bucket loads of it.  Since Steve and Brian were playing at Cate’s Legends Bar we thought we would go there and listen to the music and see what was going on.  Soon crowds of kids, most with parents following, began arriving with small bags and plastic pumpkins, some just had a bowl.  Some shouted Halloween, Halloween, some just smiled but not  one trick or treat was uttered. The bar and patrons  handed out candy until it was all gone.  When I went home a little before 10 some  kids were still splashing through the streets looking for anyone who had candy left.  The kids were in costumes, most home made and clever, some with purchased masks, most had their face painted or decorated including parents.  Frequently the parents were in some sort of costume or at least face paint. I think this will be the Halloween the kids talk about for years, running ankle deep in water from place to place to get their treats.  An interesting evening , next year I will be prepared with a bag of candy for treats.

Halloween is fun time for kids and parents, where Dia del Muerto is more celebratory and I would have thought more somber.  But here in Zihuatanejo it was also a fiesta.

Morgan and I went to watch the parade of catrinas on Calle Adelita last night and viewed many of the lovely alters that had been set up along the way and at the small cemetery. Quite artistic, thoughtful, some included pictures of past family members, foods or drinks they enjoyed.  A truly lovely sentiment and you know as they construct these alters their thoughts are about those whom they are remembering. their lives together.

The parade of the catrinas was a disappointment. I had expected beautifully painted faces, lovely costuming and what happened was a two minute passing of a group of 20 or so tightly packed together so you really couldn’t see individuals and most seemed to be in black robes white faces and then they were gone. But that is what happens when you have too high of expectations, best to keep ones mind more open

The fiesta part, was as expected, very loud music, some sort of a play was being conducted on a stage, table after table of food for sale, elbow to elbow folks visiting, laughing and enjoying themselves. Very Mexican.  Still more Dia del Muerto come today. Signing off KO

Day of the Dead Market or Mercado Dia del Muerto

IMG_0030This is my first time I have been in Zihuatanejo for this very special Mexican tradition. Dia del Muerto honors and pays tribute to loved ones who have past.  It is not macabre, it is spiritual. The belief is that loved ones spirits are with the families on this night. To honor them and show their respect, alters are constructed with flowers and food and revered items of the loved ones.  Yes they miss them, but no longer mourn them  They can now happily remember them, tell stories about them and share with the younger generation.

Hopefully I have not misconstrued anything as I am still learning.  Fortunately I have a friend and neighbor who resides here full time and has for many years to guide me to places of interest that I might not otherwise know about.  Yesterday she took us to the Day of the Dead market.  Which is a “rabbit warren” of stalls tickey tacked together overnight on the side walks just past the big mercado with overhead tarps to protect from the sun.  It was crowed with shoppers and suppliers restocking the booths maneuvering the narrow passage ways.  It was festive and fun and interesting.  Came back with a skull made of sugar and a bunch of gold flowers for our apartment. the bottom picture is all candy. Friday and Saturday there will be some displays in the Zozolo, Cancha or plazza .  All names for the same place which the center of activities for Zihuatanejo.  It consists of a large plaza, a gazebo and a recessed basketball court. Signing off KO