Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday 19th December 2016..the weekend!!

I spent Saturday taking these two lovely hiking ladies to the glorious Pueblo Magical town of Bernal about a 90 minute drive away!!

Depending on which Google source you read it is or could be the third largest Monolith in the matter it is still a magical and magnificent site!!
You can climb to the ledge on the right and it is a difficult up hill climb that I have climbed twice and attempted twice and not made it so I was happy to say that today I did climb, maybe it was the incentive of keeping up with the two athletic and powerful women...Margie and Aly set a good pace!!!!
this is a close up of where we hiked...
Loved this devoted Father and his son!!!!    and of course the view behind them!!
Back after the hike the center of the little town is vibrant and full of tourists.....and you can see I am totally Mexican including the siesta!!!

I really like this shot....
It was a good afternoon and we finished up in the main Jardin back in San Miguel and the Community church choir were singing Christmas Carols in the bandstand and would you believe they invited us up to come and sing with them obviously they did not know that this boy although an ex choir boy lost his musical talent years ago ...but we all enjoyed the festive time!!!
The town is awash with tourists, festivities, parades and just a great general feeling of what the holiday season means without all the clutter and spending of other countries!!
Yesterday was the big tennis bash!!!

I organize one of these about three times a year and they are always well received and this one being no exception.....

12 well dressed and great tennis players met for 3 hours of furious action non stop fun and in some cases, singing on the courts, swearing on the courts and even a few good shots on the courts!!!
oh the stories we could tell!!!

Unfortunately during one of my matches I made a gallant stretch for a shot which I did return but I then decided to get up close and personal with the hedge and the fence and fell quite awkwardly and jammed my shoulder...I finished the afternoon but I am afraid I let Mary Pat, my partner for the afternoon, down.....but we still had some great laughs and entertainment!!!

Today was a rest day and I had to cancel my tennis for this afternoon and also for tomorrow...lots of ice and heat and I think in a few days I shall be back to my normal self.....keep those comments and thoughts to yourselves!!

I have been writing this blog every day for the last ten years and I have decided to close it down until the new year.........

I want to wish my Family, my very many special friends and all my readers a wonderful Christmas season filled with love, good health safety and happiness......

Thank you for reading and the encouragement all these years.....many blessings and please come back January 1st 2017!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday 16th December 2016...something a little different!!

Being as this is known as Pearson day when I do nothing I thought you may be interested to see what I did on this day eight years ago!!!!

  I  took the local bus to the big Tuesday outdoor market.IMG_1567
I don’t think there would be anything you could not find here.IMG_1572 IMG_1577
IMG_1570 IMG_1578
I did buy some fresh strawberries and a few hair supplies for Paola.
Took the bus back to the house and spent a couple of hours doing chores then walked back into town for my afternoon class.
I spoke to Lilly, the teacher, and asked if it was OK to bring in my computer and show the kids photos of my family, the snow in Nanaimo and some animals I have seen on my travels, she thought it would good for the kids.IMG_1579
I love the photo Paola is in the centre on the back!IMG_1581 She has a good sense of humour and wanted to try on my glasses!IMG_1582

These children are really wonderful and I always come away from the class with warmth in my heart.
I then walked down town to the main square where they had erected a huge Christmas Tree and decorated it with Poinsettias.  The whole square looks lovely.
Decided I had done enough walking for one day so took a taxi home.
Yet another great day finished, take care blessings….
PS  I was sent this photo from homesnow
today.  I used to referee soccer games here.  The mountains in the back ground are truly spectacular!!

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Thursday 15th December 2016...The Class Christmas Party!!!

So you know that I teach my students Monday and Wednesday's and that my friends Maggie and Giff have them on Thursday evenings........they have now finished their first semester and we always give them a Christmas Party and usually we have it at Maggie and Giff's home but unfortunately Maggie has not been feeling too well and they obviously could not host so we decided to have the party at the lovely restaurant Hecho en Mexico and again sadly Maggie was not able to attend.......Giff and I split the bill and it was a most beautiful evening...they all looked so gorgeous and I set the rules that only English must be spoken at the table, they had to order off the English menu and I had arranged for us to have an English speaking waiter...I then told them if I heard any words in Spanish they had to pay a fine of 5 pesos and I had a cup on the table...the sad part about this little trick was at the end of the night there was about 50 pesos in the cup and it was all from me!!!!!!!!  I was saying agua por favor and muchas gracias and of course they jumped all over me saying "5 pesos Les"!!!!

The meal was very good as it always is and the evening was so much know that we have been doing pay it forward every Wednesday and I told that of a different side to that.....I had bought them all a small poinsettia to take home to their families and at the Garden center where I bought them a young guy served me..the cost of the plants was 300 pesos and I gave him 2 x 100 pesos notes and what I thought was 2 x 50 pesos notes......he loaded the plants in the car and I got in to start to drive away and he knocked on the window and told me I had given him 50 pesos too much!!!
There was no need for him to do this as I would never had what I told the girls was that we had done and talked about what it felt like to pay it forward but now I know what it is like to have someone pay forward to me and how it made me feel.....a truly meaningful experience.

All the girls took it in turns to say thank you to Giff and me for our work and help of course that was not needed but it made us feel very special!!!!

A fabulous evening!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Wednesday 14th December 2016.....Vegas here I come!!!!!!

Wednesday is my exercise free day but I did go for a walk around the neighborhood this day I am going to walk all over town and just take photographs of door knockers and handles!!!

This is just one I liked this morning...

This is San Antonio church which is the church that can be seen from the tennis courts!!!
Another favorite saying here is that you never know what lies behind any door....

Want to guess what is behind this door!!!!
If you guessed 3 clay tennis courts, 8 apartments and a small RV park for 12 small motor homes you would have been right!!!

1.00 pm and time for poker...this was my biggest win to date 370 pesos....I guess I had my poker face on!!!!

Tonight is the last of my English classes for the year.....and as it was Wednesday my students had to talk about what they had done to pay or pass it forward.....this I started a month ago and already it is sweetly blossoming into something quite wonderful....they have all entered into the concept and the things they are doing are quite amazing and also very touching.....
Tonight they talked about helping a homeless man, rescuing a dog from a highway and giving chocolates to kids on the street.....
We just sat in a small group and was the high light of my day....
Tomorrow the other Thursday night teachers Maggie and Giff and myself are taking them out to dinner to celebrate their first semester and the Christmas break!!!

 I took these shots from the balcony of the school looking towards the main Jardin!!

Now I have to decide what to do with my winnings!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tuesday 13th December 2016...what can I same old same old!!!

So I will not tell you about the sunshine, the great tennis, the lunch on the patio, the training session with Joe and then more reading on the deck!!!!

Coming back from my session at the gym I saw this car...he normally has great big teddy bears adorning everywhere but nice to see he is in the Christmas spirit!!!

I cooked a sweet potato and some veggies and with a salad had a lovely dinner and then I just happened to find a soccer game from England!!

When I was in La Commer(the big supermarket) I saw a wonderful print of a South African sunset, with a willowy tree and two adult and a baby caught my eye right away and I intended to buy it but when I got a closer look the print was damaged and it was flawed......anyway of course it right away reminded me of my elephant encounter in the summer!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday 12th December 2016...the official start of the Mexican Christmas season!!!

Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe

Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe - December 12 The Celebration

On this day people from all parts of Mexico make their way to Mexico's chief religious center at the Basilica of the Virgen of Guadalupe, located in Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo, a northern neighbourhood of Mexico City. There, they will celebrate the Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe) with a mass ceremony and a traditional fair in her honor. The Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe became an national holiday in 1859.

Today, tens of thousands of people travel to Mexico City to visit the place where the Virgin appeared to the Mexican People. The holiday is a national fiesta that includes traditional music and fun attractions. Pilgrims bring presents to the virgin, usually bouquets of flowers while other visitors will perform dances and song for her. Some pilgrims walk on their knees on the stone street leading to the Basilica, asking for miracles or giving thanks to the virgin for a petition granted.

At the plaza the fiesta starts after the mass ceremony with delicious food, vendors selling crafts and clothes, along with many performances of music and dance. In other parts of Mexico, similar festivities are organized with some unique variations of the celebration. In some places, altars of flowers are built in her honor. Other parts have traditional food prepared like bunuelosraspados and tortas as well as activities like parades, rodeos, and bullfights.

History of the Celebration

The Story behind this celebration demonstrates how the Catholic faith gained importance in the hearts of the Mexican people. It is a story of miracles and faith which mark a change in the history of Mexico.

The Spaniards, after they conquered Mexico, had in mind the goal of converting the indigenous indians into Catholicism. But the Spaniards encountered many difficulties because the Mexican people had existing strong beliefs in their many gods. It wasn't until the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe and Juan Diego that this started to change.

Juan Diego was a young indigenous Indian walking toward the Hill of Tepeyac on December 12, 1531 when he was stopped by the appearance of the Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary appearing to Juan Diego was a young woman with black hair and dark skin which looked more like an indigenous person. She ordered Juan Diego to go to the Bishop and ask him to build a church at the Hill of Tepeyac. Juan Diego then ran to the Bishop to tell him what the Virgin Mary had told him. The Bishop didn't believe what this young men was telling him and decided to ignore the petition.

The Virgin Mary appeared again in front of Juan Diego and told him to collect flowers from the top of the hill, but because it was December Juan Diego knew that there was not going to be any flowers at the rocky hill. Upon reaching the top of the hill, Juan Diego was surprised to see that it was covered with colorful and beautiful flowers. Juan Diego, as he was asked to, collected the flowers using his overcoat and ran again to see the Bishop.

Juan Diego gave the coat full of flowers to the bishop, and here the bishop discovered the image of Virgin Mary's picture was miraculously traced on the coat. Seeing both the unseasonal flowers and the image of the Virgin, the Bishop realized Juan Diego had told him the truth and The Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe was built on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico City

All day all night fireworks are the is lovely to hear and to know that celebrations are important to the Mexican people........
My last Spanish lesson this year Bonnie leaves for Chicago tomorrow...she bought me this lovely gift this morning....thanks...

Yashi Kochi!!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday 11th December 2016.....a big hike day!!!

Only 4 of us went on the big hike today but we did pick up another hiker right at the start of the hike....
I named him CAP!!
 and he followed us all the way to the summit and as soon as we got back to our starting point he left..he was a cute dog!!!
 That is where we are heading and it was a really interesting morning sometimes clouds, sometimes above the clouds but always very beautiful!!

 I like to think this one is the shot of the day!!
 The sky was a vibrant blue and the air  fresh..

 It was a steep climb for the first hour then we levelled out and went into some lovely shaded forest areas..
 and after two and a half hours reached the high point just over 9000 feet and enjoyed this view..
 Susan, Pierre and Analise enjoying the break, their lunch and the fantastic view...
 Cap checking out the countryside too!!

being as he forgot his lunch at home he had to have some of mine!!

 The return was much easier and the clouds had all lifted and this guy was checking us out!!!
We were gone nearly 6 hours and we reckon we hiked close to 10 really was a nice hike and thanks Pierre for all you hard work charting and leading these hikes and Analise a safe journey back to Switzerland tomorrow.

Came home and just relaxed before going into town and checking out the start of the big celebrations as tomorrow is a Public Holiday!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Saturday 10th December about something a little different!!!!

I am sure by now some of you (mainly those that live in cold climes) get a little perturbed with my recent posts stating that the days are lovely, sunny and warm and that I spend a lot of time on the tennis courts or out hiking in this incredible area or be careful this photo shows some nudity then show you pictures of my ugly toes......  so by way of something totally different how about you write a post for my blog....send it to my e mail address.....

Think about it and then drop me a note....

Oh by the way....played tennis in beautiful weather this morning!!!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Friday 9th December 2016......two for one!!!

Had some Internet issues last night so you lucky readers get a two for one blog today!!!

So going back to yesterday morning found me on the courts at 9 am and these guys still have lots of great tennis shots in their was a greatncouple of hours and I want to thanks Steve, he is in the middle, he has organized this group for all the years I have been playing, not easy to schedule everyone but Steve you do a great job...thanks!!!

 After tennis I just get a chance to come home grab something to eat relax a tad and then off to Joe's gym for my session..another great workout and I have lost another 4 pounds down to 182!!!!

I then did some chores in town before coming to meet Bonnie for my Spanish lesson i was trying to talk the whole hour in Spanish, only in present tense but very slowly I am finding my way around this lovely language!!!

Had a quiet evening just relaxing watching some TV and doing some writing.....

So now onto today which as you know by now is a Pearson took it east this morning and then did my favorite hike here in SMA..

What is at the red???

So the hike up there goes by this canyon
and straight up to the cross..
Soon afterwards you get this view..

and about half way across the bridge you get this view..
and then my "meditation" slot canyon!!!
I always come back from this hike feeling refreshed and happy and very blessed!!!

Tonight!!! television and just maybe a hockey game!!!

Yashi Kochi!!

Thursday 5 th January 2023…it was a great run!!!

 This was my first ever blog post back in November of 2006!!! With just a couple of days off I have written a blog every day since and I hav...