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.

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

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


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,

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

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

Refugio, Second Time Around


narrow doorway to bus depot

Once again we headed out to the Wild Life Refuge, we caught the bus at the “hole in the wall”  bus depot and arrived safely at Los Achotes to catch the passajara.  We were the first on and before we took off there were 15 passengers and a big stainless steel ice cream jug, crowded to say the least. Passengers kept arriving, first was an older gentleman who offered us “mescal ” we declined, but in my best fractured Spanish I asked if he made it himself and he told me he made it himself in his casa. If the Senor had not been along I might have tried it, well maybe not,  many of these old gentlemen make a very fine product.  He was headed to the beach at Barre de Potosi to peddle his Mescal.  Next was the ice cream man, now this is my very favorite

Ice Cream Man

way to buy ice cream, he has this huge vat on a tricycle with a front rack, parks the tricycle and loads the ice cream vat on the pasajara and has another tricycle at the beach where he peddles his product. His ice cream cones are only 15 pesos, just little over a dollar.  His vat is divided into 3 parts, the large part is coconut, the 2 smaller are vanilla and coffee.  I have the coffee and the Senor choose to have none. It is great ice cream, look out Ben and Jerry!  I think that he may

Fresh Ice Cream in a can

have miked the cow this morning for the cream.

The Refugio was open and our wonderful guide Miguel showed us around and explained about all the

Miguel our guide

animal, with such knowledge and enthusiasm that only comes from one who loves his job.  So I asked him how he got his job and he explained he came out to visit, and they were looking for help.  They asked him if he knew about animals and he told them no, but he was a fast learner.  His primary skill was he spoke perfect  unaccented english as he grew up in the US, (I’m sure you can fill in the blanks here) and that was the skill they needed most.  His love and understanding of the animals was obvious, we learned so much about the local animals from him. Look for lots of pictures at the end of this post.

We made the trip back with no problems, a short siesta, snacks and sandwiches for dinner and then down to the Zocolo for the Sunday night happenings.  Lots of children’s performances, we feasted on fried “platanos” ( bananas)  drizzled with canned goat milk (shhh, the Senor doesn’t know)!

Fried bananas

We came back to the apartment and sitting out on our balcony that we are now sharing with a small green gecko that looks remarkably like the Gecko of T V fame, we can still hear the music acts from the Zocolo. I have never worn even a light sweater in Zihuatanejo, and dream of becoming financially solvent enough to no longer have to work so we could do a whole winter here.




Cotemundy (sp), mean enough to do in a pit bull
KO petting a pocupine




You've just got to love that face, she is a Hairy PorcupineBaby crocodile about 1 year old
Green Iguana





Baby armadillo, her skin is like an articulating bus, in segments

You just got to love this place. Signing off KO

Election day in Mexico

Some of the many beautiful ststues in Zihuatanejo
Statue in the zocolo or main plazaMorning street view fom my balconyFisherman in the morning
From the balcony towards the bay

1 30 11 Today the citizens of the state of Guerrero will elect a new Governor.  I’m told that they have a dry law that went into effect Sat midnight and lasts until Sunday midnight.  Except the restaurants that cater to tourists can still serve beer and booze with a special permit.  It’s kind of like their traffic laws, they are “more suggestions than laws”. 

Yesterday we did some grocery shopping, we went to the Senor’s favorite store the Comercial Mexicana,  and I will admit they do have just about everything and it is fairly quick to shop there. We can even use the debit card there. It’s a 20 peso cab ride away, which is the equivalent of almost $2. And the same back.  We bring our groceries back and then head out to the mercado for fresh fruits and vegies. Bought our daily supply of avocados, papayas, tomatoes, and even found some mangos.  We bought kilos of sea salt for friends and family at 5 pesos each about (50 cents) and some of the best string cheese I’ve ever had.  I must have bought about a yard of it, he kept unfolding a continuous strip about 2 inches wide until I said alto, stop.  A few more purchases then we walked back to our apartment for lunch, followed by siesta time

Later in the evening I tried, unsuccessfully, to find a good place to get a sunset picture and ended up watching the basketball game in the zocolo. Then back to the apartment for dinner and then across the street to the movie theatre.  Saw Los pequenos Fockers” or so the playbill said.  It was in english. Signing off KO