Wednesday, 22 February 2017


Gerald and Ernie
 This past month we have had the pleasure of having life long friends come for a visit.  It is always a joy to have visitors who want to experience everything, and are willing to try new things.

Having lived in various places, I am always amazed at how fast life abroad becomes 'normal' to me.  Eating new things, enjoying a new climate, understanding a foreign language, doing things differently.  One's 'normal' changes quite quickly.  What was once my normal is no longer.

Lori and I
I am surprised at things that I have adapted to, and changed about myself, and about how things are done.  I don't even realize how easily I have changed.  I don't notice the changes till I interact with people from home.  Or when people from home make comments about things they observe.

Bob and Debbie with Ernie and I
I so enjoy  have friends come here to see my life in GDL because trying to share these things with people is hard.  It is so much more meaningful to experience it than to hear about it.  It brings so much more depth to the sharing.  Having my Canadian friends meet my Mexican friends is priceless.

When I think of all the people and groups that have come to visit us over the years in Nicaragua, Northern Mexico and GDL, we have good memories together.  They have a clearer understanding of my life in those places.  My folks still talk about visiting me in Nicaragua during Michael's birth.  I could never have explained that hospital experience to them - they lived it!

Makes me want to visit all my friends and relatives that live abroad so that I can share in their lives, understand their world.  I have alway wanted to go to Australia where I have an Uncle and Aunt with their families.  My imaginings of life 'down under' would totally change.  I would have loved to visit Ernie's sister and brother-in-law in Germany.  And the list goes on and on.

I actually have a deep inside of me dream of visiting Israel to see where my Saviour lived.  Oh how that would open my eyes to His life! I see pictures from friends who have gone, I hear stories from those same people, but oh to go and experience it for myself.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Yum, Yum!

When I think of the things people eat around the world, I am so glad I live in Mexico! Because, as my sons love to say: "Mexican's KNOW how to eat!"  Mexican food is full of flavour and very diverse, with each state having their own specialty.

While many people might think of Taco Bell, when they think Mexican, or rice and beans, neither is a good description.  I will say, having lived in Northern Mexico, I would have said Mexico was all about the burritos!

 Well, here in Jalisco, they don't eat burritos, they are all about tacos!

2 Beef steak tacos and 2 'Al Pastor" (pork)
Recently we have had guests from Canada come to visit and they have both mentioned how good the food had been.  I always laugh and say that we suffer through it daily! When in reality I go to the gym so that I can enjoy it daily!!!

Here are some favourites: Girochos - gourmet tacos
Taco with the 'tortilla' being fried cheese! (this restaurant makes their tacos on gourmet tacos-
meaning: fried cheese, jicama, lettuce, cactus, corn, flour) plus 14 salsas!
Tamale - corn meal and ....well the combos are endless: chili, meat, veggies, fruit, etc.
A dish typical to Jalisco: Carne en su Jugo (meat in its juice)
My favourite breakfast: flautas (corn tortillas filled with chicken and deep fried), covered in salad and sour cream!
Enchiladas with salad
Chilaquiles: deep fried tortillas fried with red and/or green salsa, covered in cheese and sour cream, onions.
salsa de molcajete - a salsa made in the pictured stone bowl 
on the left in fried cheese drowned in salsa 
My favourite dessert: Flan (like custard)
So, as you can see, I LOVE our food options here! As do our guests from Canada! They have such a wonderful variety of food here.  And, as so much socializing is done around food, well, it would be just rude not to try! Once again a great reason to hit the gym and exercise with the hopes of at the very least not gaining weight! 

Como on down! There is a Taco stand open till 3 a.m.! And the people are just as wonderful! The climate is amazing! Only complaint I would have is that things often start at 8 p.m. and go to all hours! I am just too old for that kind of schedule.  However, I hit the hay often at midnight or much later! 


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Never ending Birthday

January is my birthday month.  I don't have many memories of birthdays as a child.  My Mom is not a 'let's throw a party' kind of person.  In Canada one does not necessarily plan parties for their birthdays, or mention that it is your birthday, and tell people to celebrate you! But I do remember getting older, some being more wished for than others.

I do remember some as I share my birthday with a cousin and we celebrated a time or two!

But, I can remember every birthday that I celebrated in Mexico! Why? Because they don't let one's birthday go by unnoticed or uncelebrated.  They have many traditions for birthdays which make celebrating fun.

1. While, we sing "happy birthday" to someone on their birthday, Mexicans take it to the next level, they have a birthday song which is either done by a mariachi, or played loudly over a sound system, or they sing it to you, as everyone knows the song!

2. La Piรฑata: Then there is the ever famous piรฑata.  While it is mostly done for children, I have been given one on my birthday and have enjoyed one at many an adult party.


3. La Mordida - The bite:  This particular tradition was my kids' favourite.  After the song and candles, everyone shouts "Mordida" and you are supposed to take a bite out of the cake.  AND... someone pushed your face into the cake!

4. Post-It-Note Car: They have a tradition here that on your birthday people give you a birthday wish on a post-it-note and stick it to your vehicle.  Never done this but have seen it across the street from my house.

5. Family and Friends:  Birthdays are celebrated with friends and family.  Everybody comes.  On my 50th we had a nice group - 80 people or so.  Ernie is turning 60 in July and I know that he will have even more!  They want to celebrate you, they want a party.

Every birthday in Chihuahua was celebrated with our neighbours. Ladies breakfast was never missed.  Each lady in our group was celebrated. Every birthday here in GDL has been incredible! It starts in the beginning of the month and lasts for the whole month! I had my last birthday meal on January 30th! I have been sung to by a full Mariachi, I have been serenaded by a Trio (smaller version of Mariachi), I have had countless cakes, countless breakfasts and countless birthday wishes.

Although I would not feel a need for a big birthday party, I love the tradition of celebrated a person on their day. Loving on a person and making them feel special. If I think how they make me feel? I would want to pass that on to others...

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

25 Things You Should Know About Mexico...

1. Mรฉxico ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ means “In the belly button of the moon" ๐ŸŒ™ and it comes from the Nรกhuatl language: “Metztli” (moon) and “xictli” (belly button).

2. We have a population of 119,713,203 inhabitants. More than half are women. ๐Ÿ‘ฌ๐Ÿ‘ญ๐Ÿ‘ฌ๐Ÿ‘ญ๐Ÿ‘ญ

3. We have 5 different climactic systems ☀๐ŸŒค⛅☁❄

4. We are in 4th place, in the world, as a country with the greatest biological diversity, and we have 9 of 11 ecosystem types  ๐Ÿœ

5. Three 3⃣ of the 37 'wild' areas of the planet are here...

6. We have 26, 000 different types of plants ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒบ

7. We have 17 million hectares that are natural protected areas ๐ŸŒŽ

8. 12% of the planet's species are here ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ†๐Ÿ…๐Ÿ„๐ŸฆŒ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‡๐Ÿ“

9. Our invaluable human capital has arrived at, for example, 110,000 engineers and technologists a year ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿซ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ’ป

10. In 10 years, our population, in workforce numbers, will have its highest number. 84.2 million ๐Ÿ‘ท๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ”ง๐Ÿ‘ฒ

11. We have 31.4 million youth between 15 and 29 years of age… From which comes the importance of inspiring and being an example for those who are the hope of the future…๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ  ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐ŸŽ“๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐ŸŽ“

12. We are the largest exporter of:
      - Avocados ๐Ÿฅ‘
      - Tomatoes ๐Ÿ…
      - Papaya ๐Ÿ
      - Guayaba
      - Mango
      - Beer ๐Ÿป
      - Tequila ๐Ÿฅƒ
      - birthplace of chocolate ๐Ÿซ
      - and one of the principal exporters of coffee ☕ (obviously the best in the world)

13. We have an invaluable cultural treasure ๐ŸŽซ๐ŸŽญ๐Ÿ“–๐Ÿ“š
      - 7 million Mexicans speak indigenous languages
      - we are the 2nd greatest country in knowledge of herbalism and medicinal plants  ๐ŸŒฑ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŽ‹

14. Mexico city has the most museums of any city in the world ๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ–ผ

15. We are #1 in American countries with locations declared Natural World Heritage sites  ⛰

16. We have 176 protected natural areas ๐Ÿ•

17.  We have 27 sites that are declared World Cultural Heritage sites.๐Ÿ—บ

18. Also, Mexican gastronomy is considered a World Cultural Heritage ¡mmmmm! ๐ŸŒฎ๐Ÿฅ™๐Ÿฅ—๐Ÿฝ

19. 25% of the electricity is produced by renewable energy๐Ÿšฐ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ’ง

20. We are the first destination for industrial aerospace investment  ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ›ฐ

21. We are the greatest exporters of flat screens in the world ๐Ÿ“บ

22. We are the 4th provider of information technology services ๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ–ฅ๐Ÿ’ฟ

23. We are the 4th largest exporter of vehicles in the world ๐Ÿš—๐Ÿš™๐Ÿš˜๐Ÿš–

24. We are the 6th exporter of video game software, animation, and digital content ๐Ÿ“€๐Ÿ–ฒ๐Ÿ•น๐ŸŽž

25. There are 24 million tourists that come ๐Ÿ•ถ⛱ every year. 80% remain so in love with Mexico ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ, that they return to enjoy our beaches ⛱, our culture, our archeological zones, our cities ๐ŸŒ‡, music ๐ŸŽถ, food ๐Ÿฝ, art ๐Ÿ–ผ,  dance ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ•บ, joy ๐Ÿ˜ƒ and our way of life.

We are, according to the ¨Happy Planet Index¨ the 2nd happiest country ๐Ÿ˜Š in the world; and that
is a result of our family structure, our way of life, our closeness with our loved ones, music, values and solidarity....