|Right to Left: Joaquin, Me, Ernie, Porfirio, Tere and Martha|
For us it was a weekend with a purpose. To gather with people informally, in their environment, and get to see another side of them. And this we did...
Porfirio (blue shirt) is from Acaponeta, so we were in his environment. Although his wife, (sitting next to him) is from a small town a short drive from there. People that are from the coast are very different than those from the big cities. They eat differently, are used to a very distinct climate, and have a different pace to life. Watching them there was to see the 'real' them. People also love to share their lives with you and they love to see you enjoy it.
So, the first thing I noticed was the food. I grew up living the farthest one could live from the ocean, east to west. Manitoba is in the middle of Canada, east to west. What we've got is lakes, which is nothing like the ocean!
I also say that, due to where I grew up, I have never been a big seafood person, and even less when it's raw! We arrived to unpack and head over to the local restaurant for our first taste of local cuisine.
This particular meal (pictured) was VERY good, although, due to the hour, they apparently did not have the 'good' fish. I said that if this was the not so good one...imagine the good one! It was called pescado zarandeado.
It was very good; it was the pre stuff that was a little unusual. The one in the forefront, which was served several times was ceviche -raw or 'cooked' in lemon. It is shrimp, bathed in lime juice, with red onions, and cucumbers. I could eat it without difficulty, Ernie not so much. The plate in the back was also shrimp but it was boiled for EXACTLY 3 minutes. That was very tasty, and preferred by Ernie. Then the 3rd plate was shrimp al ajo (garlic shrimp). Also tasty.
So, while we are on the topic of food...after our morning of fishing (pictures to follow) we went to what is referred to as a "Botanero" (snacks) restaurant. Here they charge you for your beverage and the snacks are 'free'. Meaning, they charge you more for your beverage, hoping you drink lots and that will cover the snacks. The snacks are all seafood. Once again the ceviche, plus Marlin (my personal favourite), fried fish, straight up raw shrimp (no preparation at all), etc. It was interesting.
The bowl with the green hot sauce is raw shrimp! I am showing the finished fried fish I ate. Rather the skeleton!
The next thing that I have started to struggle with is the heat! Guadalajara is relatively moderate in climate, not hot or cold. I now understand why Canadians go to Vallarta (the beach) in winter and not in summer. Summer heat is a heat which is 'sin palabras' (without words). Add rain to that temperature, which means humidity, and NO AIR CONDITIONER! WOW!
I have always been a person who hates the cold but heat now has my respect! Not that I am fussy or anything! I just want the temperate to be reasonable! (hahahaha) But, I did not go for the weather, but the company.
So, other than eat...we went fishing. Interesting that. We did not go deep sea fishing, but rather on a river (salt water inland). Nothing like I have done with my sons at the lake. The way we fished was new for me, the boat was nothing like my sons' boat, and then the fish. The fish we caught made noises like a pig! Seriously! We plan to eat them next week so I don't know yet what they taste like. Fishing in the heat and humidity was one thing... then came the mosquitos! What a morning!
So we ate, we fished, we enjoyed the ocean, we tried to cool off in a tepid pool, and we visited. It was a great weekend, but a tiring one. You see, I need to say that it is hard to sleep in the heat without air conditioning, but when the electricity fails (due to an incredible thunderstorm), and there are no more fans, well, needless to say, sleep is imposible!
All things considered we had a great weekend with our friends. We ate well, we enjoyed God's handiwork (with some incredible scenery) and His majesty in the thunderstorm, and we enjoy each other's company. Life is rich when lived in community.