We have settled into our routine – although it is still pretty flexible and I intend to keep it that way. I work at my desk in the morning – answering emails, planning programs, balancing budgets. Grant putts around in the garage – fixing stuff or making stuff – inevitably needing some part he will never find. Our afternoons are spent at the orphanage – teaching English 2 days a week, and being silly the other 3.
But Saturday is for experiencing Mexico and on Saturday nights we often jump in the car with our friends and head to one of the nearby towns to hang with the locals in the town square. There are 18-20 towns in the surrounding area and every one has a town square with a raised bandstand and colorful flags and ice cream vendors and taco stands. Each town has a specific night in which the community will gather in the square to listen to music, dance and visit with their neighbors. Grandmas and Grandpas dance together while little children run among them. Old men in cowboy hats sit in circles telling stories and teens flirt with one another. Although Grant and I are often the only gringos in the square, we are welcomed as though we belong. It is fun and we stay until the band stops playing at 10:00. 2 weeks ago we spent the evening in San Juan de Abajo and last Saturday we were off to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. I am a terrible dancer, made only worse by the Mexican quick tempo music and the realization that everyone around me was born with the rhythm DNA that my white parents did not have. Grant is worse. But we have fun anyway and we feel like we are becoming part of the fabric of our community.
The town of San Juan de Abajo
Fresh, hot Mexican Churros – tastes just like a mini donut at the fair
As we head into summer months, the demographics have shifted drastically. Most Canadians and Americans have now headed home. Many shops and restaurants have reduced their hours or closed completely. It is sinking in that we are definitely not here on vacation. As we walked into one empty Mexican restaurant, it’s owner asked “What happened, did they leave you behind?”.
“Nope – we live here now. We’re locals”. Best. Words. Ever.