Thursday, March 13, 2008

Everyone's Leaving But I'm Still Here!

This entry is dedicated to the good people I have met during my stay here and a few iguanas ...

Leon (left), Magda (centre) and Allan ( (right) are enjoying their last night in Chacala at sunset. Leon just arrived a week before from Montana to apprentice with Allan but Magda has been here since December and Allan has been here since November. Allan asked me what I was going to write about in my blog once I got home. I didn't consider this until he suggested I post my thoughts on my "Re-Entry" into my old life again. I welcomed that idea. Allan had a good idea of how to maintain ties with Chacala. He bought a house the day before he left! Magda and Allan have been so kind since I've been here. Although I didn't officially study the teachings of the Toltec, I bought Allan's book and have been immersing myself in it on the beach since he left. Being in the company of people who live a truly joyful existence does have a way of sneaking into your soul. They hosted a fantastic farewell dinner party last weekend.

Here's the best fish dinner I've had in Chacala ....

Cooked on an open fire out back of El Faro by Leon the master chef.

While the women drank wine, munched on homemade salsa and guacamole with tortilla chips and chatted ...

I hope to get to San Francisco this August to attend Allan's summer gathering. Magda lives in Prague which is a city I've always dreamed of visiting. The beauty of travelling and making new friends is that sometimes these friendships are maintained and opportunities to visit new places present themselves. They are all welcome to visit me in Canada ... in the summer! I will miss these good folks. And I hope they enjoy being the stars of my blog ... :) Allan, if you're reading this ... I hope you had a safe trip back to Santa Rosa and thanks again for everything. As a side note, Leon stayed in my old place at El Faro. He too co-existed peacefully with the geccos who reside there. One of the little critters found its way into his box of Raisin Bran which he discovered as he was pouring it out into a bowl for breakfast! Yikes! That would have had me running for the hills! The good thing about staying though is that I was the lucky one to get Allan and Magda's leftover food ... including organic almond butter and real whole wheat bread and almost real mantiquilla (butter) :) The mantiquilla in Mexico is quite awful. It reminds me of that bright yellow stuff that came in gallon pails that we ate as kids and it tastes just as bad.

I am missing my orange pekoe tea too. The bag I brought is gone now. I told Kate that the other day and she was sweet enough to pick me up some black tea in Puerto Vallarta which is close but still not Red Rose. Only in Canada, eh. Pity.

An earlier story told about the grande tour of Las Varas I gave two ladies I met on the collectivo. Well, our paths did cross again in Chacala. This is a very small place after all. Lindy and Amy are from Port Townsend, Washington and stayed at Casa Aurora's, the place I will be moving to in a few days. We met on the beach at sunset and became fast friends. It was nice to meet two women friends for a change and not feel like the third wheel. Amy went through a similar experience of taking stock of her life and realizing how unhappy she was in her job. One day, she threw caution to the wind and quit. She said it was terrifying at first but has turned out better than she ever expected. She really gave me a lot of encouragement and hope about my decision. Muchas muchas gracias Amy. They both have such a warm, positive vibe that even though it was a short time, I feel that I have made two very good friends. They both are in love with Chacala too. Funny how some people come into your life and you just click. We went out for breakfast one morning at Majahua, which I wrote about previously. BUT! Did I ever miss a lot of Majahua the first time around. We discovered a path that went up into the jungle where Majahua expanded into a spiritual prayer centre, a wonderful spa, an outdoors art gallery of sorts and the whole place is kind of carved into the jungle. Whoever created this place is some kind of magical architectural god! We spent a lot of time there just kinda going .... ooooohhhh .... ahhhhhh .... wow look at that ... you get the idea. Here's a little glimpse but the pictures really don't do the place justice.

Amy in front, Lindy behind ...

Ummmm .. me thinks a massage booking is in order?

I have discovered more iguanas in the rocks along the path down to the beach. I really find these creatures quite fascinating to watch and they don't creep me out in the least.

And where there's one, there's always more. I had to be really still and quiet to take these and it took quite a while to catch them. The least little movement and they are gone. Am I becoming an iguana stalker?

There's a marina that I pass by every day where the fishing boats dock. These good fishermen give us the mouth-watering fish at the restaurants every night.

This guy is waiting for his fish dinner too ...

I finally found out when the church service was and attended Mass Tuesday evening. It was a spontaneous decision. As I was walking back from the sunset after meeting Lindy and Amy, my butt and feet still full of sand and the bottom of my pants still rolled up, I heard singing coming from the church and decided to just join in. I must be really relaxed eh? I didn't understand a word but the same rituals of a Catholic service took place and I found myself genuflecting, saying Amen and making the sign of the cross all at the right places. The communion host is still received on the tongue here but it is dipped in wine! Viva Mexico! "Peace be with you" is said as "La Paz". I even knew a few of the people in the congregation. I left when I thought it was over but as I was walking home I heard everyone singing so I guess I left too early. They really sing their hearts out too! They need to cushion those kneeling benches though. Ouch.

I just stepped outside for a break from writing this and saw a shooting star. I thought of the words of that Blue Rodeo song, "And in that second of a shooting star, somehow, it all makes sense." Somehow, this place does make sense. It does for me anyway. There was music playing from somewhere too. There's always music playing wherever I go, serenading my thoughts and dreams. I am grateful and feel blessed for every moment I spend here.

Everyone in town is gearing up for Semana Santa, the two-week Easter holiday. Schools are closed for two weeks and all the Mexican families who live inland come to the beach towns to celebrate. The little tiendas are packed to the rafters with food supplies and cerveza. There are little palapa stands showing up along the beach that weren't there yesterday. I can't imagine what it will be like yet but I hear it is pretty much time to party here. Someone told me today that a few discos will be set up with live music this weekend. I guess I will be able to get my dancing shoes on before I leave after all.

Es todo for now ....

La Paz to all friends near and far.


Update on Semana Santa ... this morning I walked the beach and one bus load had already arrived. Families are setting up tents and kids are playing in the waves. I will keep you updated with pictures as the festivities progress.


Anonymous said...

Mom you look so beautiful in that picture and I LOVE your dress!!! wow.
It seems that my little Zimba has followed you all the way to Mexico... you didn't mention it but I saw her again in another photo you took in an earlier blog.. is she your little friend??

Charmalita said...

Thanks! That's the dress I bought at the La Penita market. It has dragonflies on it. Yes, that little Zimba twin lives around the corner. I think you mean the picture where she's sitting in front of the tinaco? There's 3 of them actually and they hang around that patio in the picture. I discovered why they are around there so much. Bird in bird cage right above! Bad ode puddy tat .. lol.