Snow-bird Migration North

We know it is time to go as the weather has warmed up, not so much the temperature, but the humidity is rising. This gives us a taste of what it might be like during the summer season. Too much for us, “snow-birding” is the way for us. Most of our “snowbird” acquaintances have headed back already as we will in a week.

Since December I have not worn any clothing with sleeves, nor shoes with laces. I have eaten at least two meals every day out side and regularly swam  outside. I have become accustom to mangoes and little 3 inch bananas for breakfast and fresh fish  for dinner. Life is good! Returning to Washington with it’s dreary spring weather will be a period of adjustment, but we will be busy. Only two weeks to get my tax information together, Doctor, dentist, eye exam appointments for both of us are scheduled as we resume the rat race. I look forward to visiting with my sons, both my girls live out of state and those visits will have to wait. It will be great to see our local grandchildren and of course trying to make amends to Denzel our cat for our long absence, even though he was well spoiled by my oldest son who house sat, cat sat and even took care of our chickens.

Last night we enjoyed Coconuts happy hour, followed by a great dinner at

Paul and Faye

Don Memos with friends Faye and Paul, and new friends Rick and Shelia.  We are all headed out to Troncones for a last couple of R&R days before we tackle dreaded job of packing up, what go what stays and saying our last

Shelia and Rick
The girls making my green papaya salad and spring roll

 

The tamale man

 

minute good-byes.

Today was my last “Saturday Market” My green papaya salad from the “Eco Tianquis Sanka” aka the “Saturday Morning Market” was the best I have ever had, The Senor always has me get him a Championes Tamale, but today it was Tamales vedura which he ate with no complaint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While enjoying cold drinks at the waterfront and people watching a young man dressed in medical clothing asked us if we would like our blood pressure taken. We agreed and both of us had low blood pressure.

While enjoying

The young man explained to Doyle that he may not need to take his blood pressure medicine during the months he spends at the beach and he should talk to his doctor about it once he gets home. Of course we gave a “small donation”. A new interesting way to pan handle or was It a young medical student gaining experience? It doesn’t matter it’s all part of the Mexican experience.  Signing off KO

SAILING ON THE PATRICIA BELLE

One of the most fun parts of Sailfest is the Sail Parade where for 300 pesos (less than $15) you can spend a day on a sailing on a sail boat.  The the best thing is all that money goes to build and improve schools for  the poorest children in Mexico, and there are no paid administrators to siphon off the funds.

Faye holding the sign to assemble our group
Faye holding the sign to assemble our group

This morning around 300 people lined the pier waiting for the pangas to take them out to the various boats they has signed up to spend the day on. My companion Faye and I decided we wanted to do the Patricia Belle again because she is such a FUN boat. The Patricia Belle is very large, some 60 feet of deck space and 30 of us enjoyed the captain and the crew’s hospitality. This boat was built some 20 years ago about 10 miles from where I live. Built of timber logged off the captains property behind the Bear Creek Store on the old Belfair Highway in Washington state.

We led the sail parade around Zihuatanejo bay and then out past Ixtapa, paid our respects to the Port Captain then sailed off to do some middle of the ocean swimming. About two thirds of the passengers and all of the crew jumped or dove overboard and swam along side the boat as she gentled sailed on, and I do mean gently as there was almost no wind at all. There are lines over the side that you can hold on to if you aren’t comfortable swimming away from the boat.

Faye and me on the pier after a day of sailing and swimming
Faye and me on the pier after a day of sailing and swimming

We had packed picnic lunches complete with salmon, cheese, capers, olives, crackers, jicama and of course wine  It’s just a fantastic way to spend and afternoon sailing, eating, drinking and swimming in the ocean where the water temperature is about 82 degrees and meeting so many new friends.  Signing off KO

A VISIT TO A MEXICAN HIGH SCHOOL

The money eared from last years Sailfest went to building a high school. The first new high school in over 20 years and this one targets kids who dropped out of school for a myriad of reasons, most commonly financial. They needed to go to work to help support their family, sometimes drugs or pregnancy are the issues. I would equate this somewhat with our  “alternative” schools except that these students already know what life is like with out an education and are now highly motivated to continue their education. They come from very poor families, but are all promising students and this school is free. An unbelievable opportunity for them. Many poor children here little or no schooling past their 12th birthday when they start helping earn an income for the family.

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The high school

The road to the school high on a hill overlooking Zihuatanejo is probably the worst road I have ever ridden on. Steep, switchbacks and only roughly graded.  Many rocks, pot holes Truly only a road fit for ATV’s and we took a 15 passenger van up to it. The kids come by combi (small van type bus) to the bottom of the hill and walk the rest of the way looking sharp in

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Young girl narrated program in very good english

 

their school uniforms. A nice breeze blows up on the hill negating any need for air conditioning except in their computer lab. 6 classrooms, 14 teacher and 130 kids who like to try their English with you as do their teachers.

There studies are heavy on math and science with ethics and economics also taught. Art, music, dance and sports are relegated to after school clubs which are all a large part of their

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Dancers

culture.  The students performed several regional dance routines and performed a tragic play of some of the problems of today dealing with guns and violence.  While it was done in Spanish we all got the gist of it. The “leading lady” played her role with such emotion that I would not be surprised to see her on “the silver screen” someday.

Our second stop was to visit a tutorial school,

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Dance with machetes

where children come from their regular schools and get additional help, or study time or simple spend time better occupied than “hanging around”.  The primary kids attend in the morning where the big draw is food.  They get both  breakfast and lunch and  for many kids these are their only meals.

They have a wonderful teacher who loves what she is doing and loves doing it in Zihuatanejo. signing off KO

SAIL-FEST, KIDS IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT!

Yesterday the senor and I walked over to Madera Beach  Along the way we watched a father and son fish with nets, saw benches and

Father & son fishing with nets
Father & son fishing with nets

stairs newly decorated.  As many years as we have participated in the Sail-fest activities we have never gone to the play day at the beach.  As we arrived we saw what sail fest was really all about. It isn’t just the fun of bidding at an auction, winning a dinner out, tasting chili or buying crafts.  It’s not just spending a day on a sail boat or helping crew in a race it’s about the kids.

Decorated stone bench on way toPlaya La Madera
Decorated stone bench on way toPlaya La Madera

Yesterday was the day the children from the extremely impoverished hill areas of Zihuatanejo are brought to the beach for a play day. I’m told that for many this is the first  time they have been to the beach. About 110 kids of all ages were happily playing in the surf, some older ones kicked a soccer ball along the beach, there was food and drink for everyone all under the watchful eyes of volunteers.  This is Sail-fest at it’s finest!

A sea of children
A sea of children

 

 

The rest of the day was spent doing those everyday things that always seem like more of an adventure here than at home. We did some shopping at the Comercial Mexicana trying not to pick up more that we know we can use as our trip is rapidly coming to an close.  We actually had to look at a calendar for the first time and plan out when we would use our certificates for dinners out and what we needed to purchase for dinners in. Most days we breakfast on the balcony, lunch time is usually too hot for the balcony so we eat inside.  We’ve learned to leave all doors and windows open and we get a nice breeze blowing through and seldom ever need the air conditioner on except for maybe an hour or so in the late afternoon.  Come evening doors and windows are open and we get the breeze again.

We eat out quite often and since neither of us are big eaters ( I know you wouldn’t know that to look at us)  we frequently share a meal or if we order separately we get the doggie bag and have left overs for either lunch or dinner the next day. We’ve kept our cooking simple, mostly crock pot cooking. We don’t really have a favorite restaurant as we have been trying different places and all have served us great meals to have served us great meals, We don’t do the fancy ones, but I do prefer the ambiance of eating at an outside table along the malecon, watching the continual activity, saying hola to passerby that we know, hearing the waves on the beach and feeling the cool evening breeze. signing off KOIMG_5681

Happy faces at the beach
Happy faces at the beach

LAZY SUNDAYS IN ZIHUATANEJO

IMG_5017 IMG_5020 IMG_5024 IMG_5018Sundays are quieter here, many shops and businesses close, more families on the beach, restaurants are full.  Come evening and the Zocolo Zihuatanejo’s Square or plaza is rimmed with food vendors, not like we would see at a local fair or event.  No trailers with windows, at best a folding table for food vendors, others may just spread a blanket on the ground to set up shop. At best to describe the Zocolo it is a basketball court, set down 4-5 steps on all sides arena style, and backs up to the beach,  On the front and sides of this court is a large plaza complete with a gazebos, some trees and a few benches. Fronting the plaza is one of the main streets of town, but narrow so there is only one lane of traffic.  On each end are the beach front restaurants The zocolo is always busy, the social point of town but is special on Sunday night as this is the only night the vendors come out.  They have all kinds of different foods that I really don’t know about.  There is corn on the cob, slathered with mayo and then hot sauce dribbled over it

Lots of foods cooked in banana leaves, several with pick and choose ingredients, fried bananas, ice cream push carts, large variety of iced drinks dispensed from 3-4 gallon glass jugs in flavors I’ve never heard of. And people, people everywhere, young, old and in between. Groups of teenagers out checking out the social scene. Sort of like “cruzin” with out the cars. Old women gossip, babies and children wheedle parents into buying them cheap carnival toys.This happens every Sunday year round.

Most of my Sunday I spend quietly reading at “TaTa’s”, a beach front restaurant enjoying my mango margarita while the Senior is off watching the playoffs. On my way to the beach I stop to feed a flock of chickens our table scraps. The coconut man just across the bridge to La Madera has taught be how to call chickens in Spanish, they don’t respond to chick, chick chick like ours at home do. To call them you say ado, ado, ado real fast. I’ll have to give our chickens at home a spanish lesson.

Monday I have big plans, the senior and i are going for pedicures and I am going to purchase cell phones for our use here. I like to be out and about much more than the Senior does so it will help keep us in touch, make it possible to change plans, let each other know if something is happening. Signing off KO

Adios Zihuatanejo

Sunday night in Zihuatanejo is always an experience and our last Sunday was no exception. A carnival had come to town and st up just a couple of blocks away.  A very large carnival with lots of rides including roller coasters.  Pretty much a rag-tag out fit compared to what we have come to expect with our Fathoms of Fun Celebration in Port Orchard.  I’m usually up for most new experiences, but you couldn’t have paid me to get on one of their rides, especially in a country where there is no “liability issues”, which can translate to no safety regulations.

From the carnival I headed to the Zocolo to watch the dancers perform the native folk dances, couldn’t get close enough to get any good pictures, but as I turned to leave an impromptu Mardi Gras parade came thru, just a few folks with clever costumes complete with a band playing music. A great end to a last Sunday in Zihuatanejo!

Our last day in Zihuatanejo and so much of it is taken up with the organization of packing.  We came with 2 large suitcases, and 2 small carry ons. when we arrived we picked up a carry on size suitcase we had left with our shopkeeper friend.  This year we are leaving one of the large suitcases with our apartment manager which has everything from various kitchen items including our new crock pot to our beach and bath towels. some items are heavy others are just bulky and it just makes it easier if next year all we have to pack is our clothing and our personal care items and a couple of computers. So we are returning with 2 carry ons and one large suitcase.  I think this is progress

So with the organizing done we head out for lunch after dropping off our laundry at the Laundaria. I had a great new soup, I think it was squash corn and poblano chile in a great broth, the Senor of course had a hamburger.  We walked around town, visited with some friends for the last time this year, learned that pedicures cost 120 pesos, about 10 dollars.  Surprisingly enough my manicure has lasted 6 weeks, I haven’t even changed polish while I’ve been here.  That’s what a life of leisure (and a good manicurist) does for you.

We spent the afternoon in siesta mode, reading and watching TV then got real busy and went and picked up our nicely folded laundry and headed out for dinner.  Being a “fish-aterian” I absolutely love the food here and always try new menu items.  So tonight it was fish tacos al pastor, which was absolutely fantastic.  Topped of with ice cream at our favorite ice cream shop.  They have such a variety of wonderful flavors, with mango and capachino being near the top of the list. Tomorrow I will take what little produce we have left down to my chickens, and anything else left in our cupboards we will offer to our neighbor or our shopkeeper friend.

Tomorrow we will sadly pack the rest of our belongings,

Best eggs benedict in the world @ Zihua Pancake Houseeat our last meals here and head out to catch a plane back to the rain. Actually we will fly into LAX tomorrow and on to Seattle the next morning. I do want to thank the folks who have taken time to read this blog and have allowed me to share my joy and experiences of being in this wonderful country, and thank you to those who have left comment, they have been greatly appreciated. Signing off for the last time until Jan 10 2013 KOStreet artistYoung street artists at the Zocolo