Thursday, September 9, 2010

September 9

Today I think I may have more photos than news.

I have been enthralled by all the national flagwaving here.  You can't go down a street without seeing red, white, and green flags or bunting or other sorts of decorations hanging from balconies or strung up over the streets.  As I mentioned the other day, the sellers of these patriotic materials are out in full force.  This is what they look like.

I even saw a woman on the street wearing a red, white and green wig, like in the middle picture.  I love it all:  it's so exuberant!

I'm happy to report that I continue to feel well.  This morning I drank my first batch of kefir (pronounced KEEfer), the souped-up yogurt stuff I'm making every day from starter "grains" (clumped milk micro-organisms, looks like popcorn kernels), and intend never to have parasites again.  The grains take about a day to ferment the lactose in the milk; it tastes like buttermilk and has the texture of thin yogurt.  I got the grains yesterday morning from a woman here who generously gave me her extras and even came to my house to show me how to make it.  If you're curious about kefir -- I knew absolutely nothing about it -- here's the Wikipedia entry:  It's also interesting to look up kefir vs. yogurt.

Today I walked to the Biblioteca, probably half a mile or so and much of it uphill.  This was my longest walk in probably three weeks because I was feeling so lousy.  My path takes me through the Jardin, which is wonderful because there's always something new to see no matter the time of day.  It's been raining in the evening lately, and today I watched a bunch of guys erecting an enormous tent over the place where the spectators sit to watch whatever show is going on.

The man tying the tent to the bars at the left, and there's another at the right, is maneuvering himself along at the top of a ladder, wiggling his hips to move the ladder legs like stilts!  The steps in the background are the main entrance to the Parroquia.

At the Biblioteca I found Rick at a table in conversation with a woman who's lived in Mexico for many years.  Befor we knew it, we'd been talking for two hours and have made a new friend.  I can't get over this.  And unlike Camano Island, people here don't just accept our invitations, they invite us back!  Even first!

Tonight we met our friends Megan and Harry for an evening that was superb.  To celebrate Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish New Year -- L'Shana Tova, everyone! -- there was a concert of Sephardic Jewish music in a totally gorgeous courtyard at the Instituto Allende.  I had never been in this courtyard.  There was no way to take a photo that would give you a good idea of it, so I'll try to describe it.  Imagine a huge space covered by a white canvas roof against the sun and rain.  Open on one end, there is a spectacular view out over the center of town, with the Parroquia in the middle.  Along the walls are trees and plants, and there's stone art hanging on the stone walls of the courtyard.  Whatever my eyes fell upon was lovely.  Honestly, it was so beautiful I found myself breathless and teary-eyed.  It is such a privilege to live in this town!

There was a huge turnout, something like a hundred people, many of whom stood at the back and around the sides.  The music was sung in Ladino, the language of Sephardic Jews originally from Spain and Portugal.  Some of the music sounded Hebrew to me and some sounded Hispanic.  It was a wonderful New Year's present.  Then in a gallery opening off the courtyard there was an art exhibit of photographs I loved but the other three weren't so impressed with.  The four of us went out to dinner and once again, the talk never flagged.  I keep being astonished at this.

As your last blog present, I give you a photo of my favorite tree in San Miguel.

You have to love a town that loves trees this much.

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