"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Almost Over (Recreation)

This may have been the shortest three weeks ever. Oour time in Mexico just sped by, we were busy just about every day. Anyone who has moved far from home, but whose relatives mostly stayed put knows that a visit home isn't really a vacation. There are so many people to visit, and the holidays superimpose their own hectic schedule.

Christmas was nice. Homero's grandmother hosted. Abuelita Adelina doesn't know how old she is, having been born in a time and a place without birth certificates, but her oldest child is well into his seventies. Adelina has slowed down, of course, but she is still capable of getting up at six am and making enough tamales to feed a crowd. Dinner was tamales, roast chicken, a delicious and interesting potato/apple salad, and ponche. Ponche is basically a whole lor of fruit - mostly things we don't have at home and that I didn't even recognize, such as tecojote and ciruela and guayaba - thrown into a kettle with cinnamon sticks and boiled for a while. It was very good, especially with a little "piquete."

I used the children as an excuse to go home and go to bed around midnight, but of course the party went on. As it did in the streets all around us. Mexicans love fireworks, the bigger the bang the better they like them. It sounded like Christmas in Afghanistan until about three a.m. Oddly, I've become accustomed and can sleep through most of the fireworks, the packs of howling dogs, and the rediculously loud music. At home, I sleep with blackout curtains and ask everyone to please use headphones after eleven. I am only a few steps away from Michael Jackson, sleeping in a sensory deprivation tank. Truth is, I'd LOVE a sensory deprivation tank. Here, I guess I've acepted the fact that there is absolutely nothing to be done about the noise. I can make my own dog stop barking at home, but a chorus of raggedy ass Mexican street curs? Not likely. Pull the covers over your head and shut it out.

The weather has been pretty much delightful the entire time. The first couple of days was very hot - maybe 90? - and I wasn't careful. I took a long walk and didn't hydrate enough and ended up with the most massive migraine ever. I thought I was going to die, but luckily our resident physicians (my brother and sister in law) went to the pharmacy and brought back something that killed the migraine in fifteen minutes flat. I know the Spanish name but not the English name. I plan to bring some home, if I can. After the first few days, the weather has been terrific. Still hot enough to be aware you are in Mexico, but not can't-move hot.

Yesterday, Mama and I took all four little girls out to a water park some twenty miles out of town. It would be a small water park by US standards - it isn't a third the size of the birch bay waterslides, for example - but it was heaven for us. Three tall waterslides (even though one of them gave some pretty hefty electrical shocks when you first step in) and three pools for swimming. The air was hot and the water was cold and they sold beer and snacks and I had sunblock with me and it was great.

After the waterpark, we went to see some nearby ruins that Mama had never seen before. There are so many prehispanic ruins around here that only the largest, such as Monte Alban, ahve any kind of national or international name. The entire state is covered with medium and small ruins that were once towns or noble houses. This was a heavily populated area before Europeans arrived. The ruin we went to see is called Yagul, and was probably once a pretty good sized town. It has a very well preserved ball court and the remains of a rambling palace that they call the labyrinth. For good reason! We ran around the inside, up and down narow corridors, finding small courtyards and shouting to each other over the shoulder-high walls. we could see each other's heads, but we couldn't reach each other in the twisty passages. The children adored it.

Today we are having a quiet day, relaxing at home and sorting through our luggage preparatory to packing up. Later on this afternoon, we will take the children downtown and take a tour through the city botanical gardens, something I have meant to do on every visit but haven't yet. Tomorrow is our last full day here. We leave at 6 am thursday, first taking a six hour bus ride to Mexico City and then two flights home, with a two hour drive home from the airport on the other side.

I am ready to go home. I miss Rowan, my oldest, who stayed home to watch the farm. I miss the farm. I miss my dog and my goats. And my sister. Not necesarily in that order.


Maven said...

Wow! I have a feeling I'll be going thru the same noise pollution myself as I'll be heading to India in 2012. My solution? Ear plugs. I carry them wherever I go (especially to my own family's parties etc, as half my family is deaf and the other half are LOUD TALKERS).

Many happy and healthy wishes to you and your family for 2012!

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