COMPUTER WOES, SPANISH CLASSES AND SOME MEXICAN CULTURE

I’ve had lot of difficulty with my “blog” program.  I will write several paragraphs and suddenly it all disappears except for the last two characters I’ve typed and at that moment the program will do an auto save.  It should be doing it every few minutes, but it isn’t.  So then I get to start all over again.  I dislike rewriting intensely, I enjoy editing but not a complete rewrite. The result is I don’t rewrite, but get a glass of wine and my book which never fails to please. This has greatly slowed down the blogging.  I did discover a couple of blogs that should have posted and didn’t. Why I do not have a clue.  So from now on I will write in “word” copy and paste on to word press to place the pictures that way I should not loose text.

My “Classe de Espanol” is getting difficult.  We are into past tense of verbs and spanish sentences are constructed differently than English with verbs and pronouns located differently depending on if it is a question or not.  Lots of rules of order plus an ever increasing vocabulary to learn.  It’s tough teaching old dogs!

One of the things I especially enjoy about Mexico is the sounds of the street vendors. Our water is delivered by a young man who honks the horn and calls out “agua keen” and we wave at him throw down our key for him to carry up a garafon of drinking water.. The ice cream vendors use a bicycle bell to announce their arrival, the knife sharpener blows a tin whistle, but many just call out their wares by name in sing song fashion. I hear “cocooooo” from the coconut man and ” bo yeee yo” from the man that delivers our bollio rolls. The Senior thought my idea a little wacky at first but has come to embrace and use it. I have a string bag on a rope with a little baggie for the coins and as he come by I call out to him, drop down the bag from our 2nd story back porch and tell him how many I need. He fills my bag takes the change and I reel up fresh warm bollios. Works great, saves time!

We have frequently bought silver jewelry from our favorite beach vendor and this year while sipping mango margaritas at a favorite restaurant along the water front I purchased several more gifts to bring home from other strolling vendors.  I think is the very best way to shop; let the stores come to you.  Signing off KO

STREET FAIR & MI CUMPLEANOS (my birthday)

 

It was a birthday to remember, one of those absolutely perfect days. After my Spanish

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Coconut ice cream cone

class I hopped on the bus to Bara De Potossi, a neighboring village that was having their annual street fair. About a 20 minute ride and then you get off the bus and climb aboard the “passajera” a lovely spanish word meaning  pick up truck with bench seats in the back. All my connections were seamless and I never had to wait at all. But the best part was the ice cream man was loading his steel tub full of ice cream on the passajera to sell at the fair. The ice cream that comes out of these tubs is the most flavorful ice cream in the world.  And I’m sure it is truly home-made and no chemicals. So I had my cone to enjoy on the trip to the fair. The fair is a couple of blocks long, of hand-made Mexican arts, crafts, food and drink.  I made a couple of purchases and headed back to Zihuatanejo.

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Mexican Bloody Mary’s to go

The Senor picked up the tres leches cake from our auction bid and deliver it to Sr. Pintos restaurant. We had invited friends to join us there to help me celebrate 3/4’s  of a century on this planet. We had requested that 4 bottles of wine and 4 blooming onions be on the table at 7, they came but “on Mexican time”. Considering we were a large group and they had other patrons they did a great job of getting everyone’s food to them in a timely fashion. Their menu is extensive, my food was great, all almost all my local friends were there. Other than 2 extra bottles of wine on our bill it was an absolutely perfect day. I plan on having many, many more just like that.  Signing off KO

 

 

KAYAKING AND AN EXPERIMENT IN COOKING

I was planning to kayak with a friend this morning but Sunday didn’t work for her so it was solo kayaking for me. I went early a the surf is usually calmer  then and easier to launch and return. Left from La Madera beach and circumnavigated the bay. At the IMG_1687mouth of the bay I had intended to go out just a ways into the ocean, but I think the tide may have been coming in as there were some low rolling waves at that point and I decided it might be too much work. I’m not a novice kayak-er, I have one of my own and have done several Puget Sound trips, but I’m not a strong kayak-er.  Hell, I’m not a strong anything anymore. And due to previous experience landing thru the surf I planned to hop off before the waves break and swim or walk the kayak in.  But as I approached the shore the surf looked to mild that I went for it. And shouldn’t have! The surf pushed me sideways a position you never want to be in a kayak . As I started to hop off the kayak it, came with me and dumped me in the sand with the kayak on top of me. I could lift it up but could not flip it off me.  I lifted up I think 3 times long enough to catch a breath before the next wave came,  then some one came and lifted it off and I was finally able to get up and walk in. When I have rented a kayak here before the staff was a little more attentive as to helping you get in.  I think in the future just before I come in I might call the Senior to be available for one of my ungraceful landings and render necessary assistance.  Also in the future I will  get off before the waves and float it in.

We are trying to empty out the freezer before purchasing any more meat or fish and

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Not pretty, but it worked

plan carefully for out last month so we aren’t giving a lot of stuff away.  We still had 1 pack of left over turkey from Thanksgiving so I decided to make a turkey pot pie, a favorite of the Senior’s. Of course no rolling-pin, no pot pie pan and no turkey gravy. But mushroom soup worked for gravy.  I rolled out the crust on tin foil using a large jar of beans. and a small 2 handle sauce pan doubled for a pie pan. I then baked it in our portable oven.  It came out surprisingly good. Not bad for someone who isn’t much of a cook!  Signing off KO

 

 

LIFE IS NOT ALL A BEACH, BUT GREAT WHEN YOU GET IT

 

We come to Zihuatanejo for the warm weather, but the beach is a great bonus. We are not true beach people, we don’t go to lay in the sun to bake and marinate and work on

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Resort of Puerto Parisio 

our tans. We do enjoy the beach, but don’t go every day even though it is only a block away.  And you ask why?  It’s because we live here 5 months of the year vs vacationing. Much of our time here is spent on the daily tasks of just living, cooking, laundry, errands and Spanish classes .  I will admit we do have plenty of personal time to enjoy, The senor with his TV and I am on my 13th book this season, Larry Mc Murty’s Comanche Moon.  Not usually a fan of westerns, but a big fan of Mc Murtry.

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Puerto Parisio Beahfron

Earlier this week was the Sailfest Volunteers Appreciation party held at a remote beach resort, Puerto Parisio on Playa Larga. Quite secluded and right on the beach where about 75 of us spent a fantastic afternoon eating and drinking the goodies we brought to share and enjoying the pool.

I’m  not sure if it is quicker to errands here or at home. But is definitely less expensive. I My computer wouldn’t  turn on. 50 pesos ($2.60) and 20 minutes of time it was fixed. Next on to the bakery to order my birthday cake.  I had the winning bid on a cake from an  earlier auction.

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the beach at its best! A good book, mango margarita, sun, san!d and sea

My last errand took me to the beach to reserve a kayak for Sunday and while there I went swimming.  Pretty good planing on my part. It did take the better part of an afternoon. But no fossil fuel was expended, I got to swim and logged 3.80 miles on my fitbit. A productive but enjoyable day.  Signing off  KO

 

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS, NOT FOR ME AND MORE CONSTRUCTION

Living in a second floor apartment with an Iron security gate makes it difficult for a drop by visitor. I thought it would be so great to have a hanging rope that would ring a bell  and then we could throw down the key and out friends could come up.  Its nicer than hollering from the street which due to traffic noise out side and TV noise inside isn’t very effective.  After much searching I found the right bell a lovely brass bell, this was after

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My beautiful brass door bell

 

the Senor said the bicycle bell I had previously found would definitely not do.

To me every thing is a simple process, hang a rope, with the bell tied to the railing and let our friends know about it. Not so with the Senor.  He is more logical. No a rope wouldn’t last , heavy fishing line would be better, and would need to strung thru a series of eye hooks to position the bell in the most advantageous position for us to hear the bell and not bind He installed it as planned but the command strip eye hooks would not stick on the cement railing and the bell bound against the iron railing when pulled hard and someone cut the fishing-line and removed  the pull handle. So now he has a plan be requiring supplies from home. So maybe next year.

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They moved 2 cement truck loads by wheel barrow to make the cement  floor of this restaurant

The construction project behind our apartment has been a great source of entertainment watching a crew of about 5 men  build this restaurant behind our apartment from the ground up.  They work very hard in very hot weather and it is all manual labor. The only power tool they have used is a “tamper” to compress the soil after the dirt has been redistributed all over the site by wheel barrow.  It sounds like a helicopter that is going to take off only it never takes off.  They also have a manual tamper.

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The man in the green shirt and white hat bought sodas for the crew

 

Last Friday they poured the concrete floor over interlaced re bar. Two cement truck loads were wheel barreled from the front of the site and distributed through out it. It attracted the attention of a tourist whom I’m sure was a cement truck driver back home.  He conversed with the driver inspected the the truck was obviously quite interested in the project and then did the nicest thing.  He went to the store round the corner and returned with cokes for the guys. Definitely a very nice, kind, thoughtful person! Signing off KO

 

More Sailfest

One of the most fun events of Sailfest is the Sail Parade. For 300 pesos you can purchase an opportunity to spend the day on a sailboat, sailing out of Zihuatanejo Bay to Ixtapa and then on to where ever your group chooses to do. Over the years groups I have been with groups who have chosen to “just sail”, go fishing, swim in the open ocean. But most popular seems to be to sail to Ixtapa Island  and swim or lunch there.IMG_1523

A group of 16 of my friends opted to go out on the Ziva a 50 plus foot catamaran that was either brand new or just looked like it.  It is definitely the Cadillac of catamarans, the most beautiful boat I have ever seen. Along with the 16 of us there were at least 8 -10 others and in no way were we ever crowded.  We all brought food and drink to share and our destination was to be Ixtapa Island. Along IMG_1526the way we sunned, visited made new friends, I discovered folks that are probably related, distantly, but us Driscolls all originated from Ireland. As we anchored off Ixtapa Island Captain Jeff called for the panga from our preferred restaurant to come out to take folks ashore to eat and drink more. We were anchored about 200 meters off shore so another gal and I “jumped ship” and swam a shore ahead of the crowd and got us a great table.  A couple of more also swam in but most took the

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Our favorite hostess Tina Tequila 

boat. We ate, we drank, we purchased silver from the wandering silver vendor had wonderful day and returning home, happy and tired.

This year Sailfest profited over 2,090,226 pesos which is $108,414. which will all go to building schools and improving the educational opportunities for Zihuatanejo’s poorest children. Signing off KO

 

Sailfest a Busy and Fun Time

 

Sailfest is a week of fun events that raise money to provide school classrooms and other educational needs for the poorest children of Zihuatanejo. During the week there are daily opportunities for sunset sailboat cruises, a sailboat regatta/race, chili cook off, concerts, dances, dinners with mariachi bands, auctions both live and silent and opportunities to purchase T-shirts, hats, cook books, raffle tickets,

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The Senor accepting a bottle of Big Boy tequila won on a raffle ticket at M Dock concert

and other souvenirs. It originated with a few of the cruisers (boat folks) who wanted to help and brought down educational supplies and has morphed into a wonderful week with 20 plus yachts and sailboats participating along with over a hundred non-sailing volunteers.  One of the amazing facts about this non-profit organization is that there are no paid administrators or other staff, the only paid staff is the required accountant.

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silent auction

Since I am part of this community for several months I do participate, not only by attending events, but also by manning the sales desk for several shifts. It has been a wonderful way to meet people to make new friends and really feel a part of the community.  Besides it’s just a whole lot of fun.  But more importantly is the benefit to the children.  Many of which have previously been attending schools in sheds

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chili cook off

reminiscent of  a chicken coop now will have a modern classroom with running water for bathrooms and kitchens which can prepare lunches for hungry children. Over 2 million pesos were raised during this week.  Signing off KO