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Children of Ajijic/Children of the World
Nov 28th, 2009 by Les

Pablo Casals, a Spanish Cellist and Conductor (1876-1973) said “The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.”

“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”  John Fitzgerald Kennedy (America’s 35th President) (1917 to 1963)

Over the course of the many parades of this last week, David has been taking pictures and, believe it or not, I have taken a very few as well.

Children are such a precious commodity.  No matter where I have traveled, no matter how many children I’ve seen, their smiles, laughter, tears, excitement and joy – though expressed in different languages – has brightened the day and given hope to a tired soul.

Ajijic is no different.  Its children are very much a part of the fabric of life here.  No matter how early or, for that matter, how late the parades may begin – there are always children marching or sitting on the curbs, in doorways and windows cheering.  The excitement that shows on their faces and the laughter that accompanies the music is heart warming.

This morning, as with most mornings this past week, the church bells began tolling all over Ajijic before 6:00 a.m.  Along with the church bells came the fireworks, the melodious tones of the doggies’ chorus, the drums kicking out a cadence for the marchers who soon followed, again accompanied with the laughter of the children.

Of course, one would wonder: “do they ever sleep?”  My guess, after this past week, is no!  Believe it or not, it has not been annoying.  We have not awakened or, for that matter, tried to sleep saying when will this end?  The music, food, beauty, lights, etc have so quickly become comforting.  A lullaby for an evenings rest.

Have you ever had the opportunity to fall asleep with a mariachi band playing a tune that you wake up the next morning humming?  If you haven’t, try it.  No sleep aides needed for the music whisks you away into a gentle slumber from which you awaken refreshed and ready to greet another day.  Thank goodness for that, otherwise there would be a bunch of ornery people traipsing through the streets of Ajijic this entire week!

A Neighbors Smile

A Neighbors Smile

Neighbors Saying "Hola"

Neighbors Saying "Hola"

The Best Neighbors

The Best Neighbors

Natural Beauty

Natural Beauty

Little Friend on the Square

Little Friend on the Square

Two Friends

Two Friends

Little Cowboy

Little Cowboy

Sweet Smile

Sweet Smile

Bells, Bands, Barks and Beauty
Nov 26th, 2009 by Les

“Round the centre of the covered market, where there is a basin of water, are the flowers: red, white, pink roses in heaps, many-colored little carnations, poppies, bits of larkspur, lemon and orange marigolds, buds of madonna lilies, pansies, a few forget-me-nots. They don’t bring the tropical flowers. Only the lilies come wild from the hills, and the mauve red orchids.”
– – –
D. H. Lawrence Mornings in Mexico

I spent quite a bit of time researching Mexican History this morning.  It is fascinating.  I wanted to follow my last post with more pictures of the parade David captured at the beginning of the week.

The quote above talks of the beauty of a morning in Mexico, yet those very colors it mentions are even more prominent in the clothing the people wear to celebrate their history.

The festival dedicated to the patron saint of Ajijic (St. Andrew) began on November 20th which is also the anniversary of the Revolution of 1910.  It started because the Mexican people were not happy with the dictator rule of President Porfino Diaz.  It didn’t simply encompass the peasants.  The revolution included people of all classes including the upper and middle classes.  The poor struggled with inflation, inferior housing and low wages and, basically, no social services.  Everyone fought – men, women and children.

Yet, as you look at the pictures below you will see – though there is still much poverty here and life is definitely not anything like living in the States – there are smiles and happiness on the faces of everyone, especially the children, that become contagious.

The week has been filled with bells, bangs, barks and beauty.  Almost each morning we are awakened (oddly not ever at any specific time usually beginning at just before sunrise – this is probably why the roosters are so screwed up here!) you will hear fireworks, bells sounding and marching bands. And, of course, there is the doggie chorus ever present in daily life here.  They are a part and parcel of the fabric that makes Mexico so interesting.

Yes, folks, you’ve got that right, anywhere from your typical marching band, to drum and bugle corps, mariachi bands, and high-tech loud speakers with current Mexican music resounding through the streets.  Thus begins another day of celebration.  The Mexican people, in my humble opinion, have perfected the art of celebrating.  They excel at it.

(Note: my posts are taking a bit longer to arrive since we finally received our furniture on Monday and are unpacking and luxuriating in the comfort of a real honest to goodness bed).

Please, again, enjoy the beauty of this place captured by the camera that is ever-present in David’s hand and his ability to tell a story without words.

Peasants and Soldiers Alike

Peasants and Soldiers Alike

The March Continues

The March Continues

Drum and Bugle Corp (Great View of Cobblestones)

Drum and Bugle Corp (Great View of Cobblestones)

Constitution 1917

Constitution 1917

Dignateries

Dignateries

Crowd Control by Neighborhood Gardian

Crowd Control by Neighborhood Guardian

Father and Son - Faces of Happiness

Father and Son - Faces of Happiness

Next President of Mexico

Next President of Mexico

Splashes of Color and Beauty Everywhere

Splashes of Color and Beauty Everywhere

Beauty Queens

Beauty Queens

A Job Well Done

A Job Well Done

St. Andrews Festival
Nov 23rd, 2009 by Les

“The nicest thing about living in a small town is that when you don’t know what you’re doing someone else does.”

I believe we live in the heart of Ajijic.  Even without being told we do, Hidalgo seems to be the starting point for parades, block parties, activities that connect the area and its people.  And quite often, dear reader, I have no clue as to what is going on.  Thank goodness David does and everyone else does, for that matter.

That being said, we were for-warned about this week.  Do you enjoy noise?  Do you happen to have any ear plugs?  How do you handle continuous excitement, activity, marching bands, sirens going off continuously, drums being pounded at what seems like odd hours, and the list goes on.  And, of course, there is the constant chorus of dogs barking and roosters cackling…no matter what time of day it is.

This week is the biggest fiesta of the year for Ajijic celebrating its patron saint, Saint Andrew.  These are naturally joyous and friendly people and, give them a fiesta, and the heavens open wide with their celebration.  Everyone is welcome.  Smiles and laughter are their way of sharing their joy…from November 20th through the 30th…along with great food, great music and much merriment.

These are the first set of pictures, out of so many David has shot, that we both decided to call a story in pictures.

Jose Doroteo Arango Arambula (5 June 1878 – 20 July 1923), better known as Pancho Villa, was one of the first Mexican revolutionary generals along with Ramiro Cervantes and Uriel Carrasco.  And then there were the soldaderas (paid soldiers basically females hired by the soldiers to work as servants doing domestic chores while they were in camp) women who fought for the revolutions as well – no domestic chores for them.  Names such as Rosa Bobadilla, Carmen Amelia Robles and Petra Ruiz among many others.  (If I’ve made any mistakes in the above narrative, please bear with me as I learn about our wonderful Mexican neighbors and their birthright.)

The pictures below are of young school children – everyone marches in the parade – dressed in celebration of their heritage.  Most of the “young couples” holding hands as they marched toward the town square.  What is interesting about these photos is the progression of the young lady and her various reactions to having her image recorded and her companion, seemingly oblivious to all the various antics of his partner.  All of the pictures were taken on the street just outside our door.

Enjoy, for there are more to come.

Peasant Uprising 1

Peasant Uprising 1

Peasant Uprising 2

Peasant Uprising 2

Peasant Uprising 3

Peasant Uprising 3

Peasant Uprising 4

Peasant Uprising 4

Peasant Uprising 5 - The Smile Says It All

Peasant Uprising 5 - The Smile Says It All

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