Archive for February, 2009

Gom Jabbar

You gotta hold on

Smile and turn.Besides playing guitar, another manner that adolescent males bond is to hold an electrical conductor in one hand and a friend’s hand in the other. A smiling old man slowly turns up the voltage and each young man repeats he can’t feel anything. Then they stop talking and just smile at one another. Soon after, one of the two will start to giggle and the other looks as if he’s planning to jump. Finally, one yelps and lets go and the other is declared a winner. Loser pays the man with the box. Fun, yes??

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Circus Shetland

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Esso, sandwiched between last week’s circus and the ever present cemetery.

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Fat Tuesday

Click to see a larger image

Last night, the jardin was full of kids, young and old, running around smashing eggs on heads. The eggs were emptied, then painted and filled with glitter, flour, or confetti. This is how San Miguel celebrates Mardi Gras.

It began on Sunday. F and I took a leisurely stroll to the jardin and sat on one of the benches which is usually what we do on Sundays. Only this time, something was different. There were gangs of kids running around and smashing eggs on other kids heads. Apparently, if you were carrying a bag of eggs, you were playing. If you were standing, taking pictures, then you were in. If you were innocently walking in the jardin: fair game. Finally, if you were sitting on a bench, minding your own business, your head was a target.

After I kept getting smashed on the head by the little demons (and one big demon wearing a Toyota shirt), I decided to play. A live band started up in the middle of the jardin adding an enthusiastic score to the mayhem. I bought my ammo from the egg dealer sitting across from us (pictured in the middle of the collage) and started retaliating whenever I got hit. I stalked Toyota shirt and got her good, two eggs at once. I took no prisoners: little children, gangster-types, pretty girls, I crushed them all. I found egg war was like running in the rain: at first, it’s a nuisance, but as soon as you’re good and wet, running in the rain is fun. This was fun too.

I walked around the jardin for three bags worth, nonchalantly crushing eggs on unsuspecting players. Once officially in, I got hammered. When it was time to go home, I was soaked in glitter, confetti and flour… happy and tired.

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Madre Lourdes comes to town

Madre Lourdes thanks the luncheon attendees for their support.

Things are looking up for Buen Pastor.  Last Friday, Madre Lourdes came to San Miguel for a benefit luncheon in her honor set up by Vancouverites John and Sharon Doherty.  John and Sharon do a lot of good in town and have decided to help Buen Pastor as well.  Among other things, they arranged a lovely luncheon and invited 25 women to come and spend the afternoon with Madre Lourdes.  It was a nice time and raised enough money to buy all the girls back at Buen Pastor bed covers and new curtains. The girls have new bedspreads.  Curtains and paint job to come! Another woman generously donated enough money to buy a very much needed freezer.  The one they use now doesn’t work properly. Since it was donated used, I don’t think it ever did.  There was enough money left over for school uniforms and to pay the girls’ schooling, a constant struggle for Madre Lourdes.

Friday night, Madre Lourdes slept over at the Toones, another fantastic and supportive family here in town that does a lot for Buen Pastor.  Joe brought out a bottle of champagne and we celebrated, including Madre Lourdes.

Saturday, John and Sharon took Madre L back to Guanajuato.  I came along and Madre L and I gave them a tour.  It took half the day to show them all the programs:

  • Womens shelter
  • Girls’ foster care
  • University student housing
  • Medical dispensary for the poor
  • Learning center where folks from the community learn to read and write and have access to computers/internet
  • School for fifty children

The little ones in the shelter especially loved the treats that John and Sharon gave them.  A couple of the mothers had tears in their eyes when they saw the beautiful clothes that they brought with them from Vancouver.  It was touching.

Madre Lourdes and John Doherty standing in the doorway of Buen PastorIt’s incredible to think of all these programs run by 6 madres who also care for two more sisters in their 80’s.  At 65, Madre Lourdes is the youngest.  

Altogether, it was a tremendously successful weekend and a great new beginning for connections between caring people in San Miguel de Allende and the work of Buen Pastor.

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Thunderbird in the jardin at last week’s car show.

I’ve been busy with Buen Pastor the last couple of days.  There’s lot of good news to report and I hope to do so soon.

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Dancing girls

Traditional dances

Last Friday, school children danced traditional forms from morning until noon. As the stage was set a couple minutes from my place, I could hear the music when I woke up and wandered down to watch awhile after a thermos of maté.

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