I woke up at the late hour of 7am with a slight headache. I knew I wouldn’t go three weeks without one, so I came prepared. I raided my medicine bag, took some meds and started my day. After watching some great World Jump Rope competition heats online (yeah Kevin!), I headed to breakfast. For a change today we had fruit (no mango unfortunately) with yogurt and fresh honey. It was a great way to start the day! I left the house around 9:45 to walk to the cathedral for mass. It’s a 2.2 mile walk mostly uphill!
I arrived in plenty of time for the 10:30am mass. On my way, I passed many homes where women were setting up to sell their homemade concoctions of fruit, tortillas, meat, cheese and other miscellaneous street treats. There are probably five places selling food on each block. I’m not usually one to get sick from strange food or drink, so I’m pretty sure I will be buying some of these deliciously smelling items this week. I didn’t want to do anything crazy the first week, but now that I’m acclimated to things, I am going to take the risk. And yes, I do crazy things like drink water in restaurants and brush my teeth with tap water. Most restaurants use filtered water and I don’t swallow much when brushing. I’m not making light of the stomach problems many visitors face. We have several students at our school who are very ill right now. I just don’t typically suffer from those sorts of digestive issues. I don’t know how much longer I can walk by fresh mango without getting some. Fingers are crossed that I won’t regret it!
At mass, there were many families celebrating First Communions. It was interesting that there were food stands set up inside the courtyard selling pastries, tacos and fruit ices to parishioners as they left mass. It was a bustling place. The 10:30am mass was beautiful even though a loud echo in the sanctuary made it difficult for me to hear very well. I love that the Catholic church celebrates mass the same way around the world. There is such universality in knowing that my husband and children were listening to the same scriptures back home as I did here in Mexico. It was lovely!
After mass, I met up with my HM and did some major gift shopping at the town plaza. I am getting pretty good at bartering even though it makes me really uncomfortable. I purchased several gifts, some beautiful hand-crocheted napkins for my dining room and some jewelry made by a local artisan out of seeds from native crop plants. My “corn kernal” earrings are stunning. Seriously.
My HM and I found a quaint restaurant for lunch called Iguana Greens. We were the only gringas eating there so of course, we stood out like a sore thumb. Our Spanish is really good so we didn’t feel uncomfortable though. For $7.00USD, we got a cold beer (Tecate Light) along with a huge bowl of chicken posole, two taquitos and all the garnishments. It was fabulous! And that $7.00 included tax, tip and a musical serenade by a local band. When we left, there was a line of people waiting outside the restaurant to get in for their main meal of the day. What a great find! I just wish there were time to go back before we leave!
We met up with another student and did a little more shopping before heading back toward our home. We stopped at the Mega which is a large grocery store. At stores here in Cuerna, you have to check all bags at the customer service desk before you can shop. There are armed guards throughout the store. At Office Depot, there were three armed guards. It’s so different! I purchased lots of snacks to bring back to the states to share with my students. Many of our US brands offer products here that are flavored differently than what we see on our shelves. For example, Lays potato chips are called Sabritos here. They come in lime or adobo flavor. I also got gourmet Lays chips flavored with red wine and chile pepper. Ironically, I usually dislike grocery shopping, but I find the big stores here to be fascinating. I can’t even begin to describe the bakery or the self-serve mole station. Here are some photos of products I found today.
I’m home with my “family” watching the Women’s World Cup finals. Go U.S.A! It’s bittersweet to be here on both the 4th of July and as our national team plays for the championship. I have so much left here that I want to do and can’t believe 8 days are already gone!
Back to school, zumba and lots of walking tomorrow! Have a great week!