This if for all our dear friends and relatives who have expressed concerns about our safety and well being in the wilds of Mexico - first off we want to thank you for your concern (it is nice to know you are thinking of us!)
But really, please don't fret and worry - we actually feel just as safe here as we do at home on the mean streets of Winnipeg. There are of course problems like in any country these days and especially in the border towns. We are careful of course, and make sure not to walk in questionable areas late at night, just the same as we would do at home. Remember of course, that we do have our huge guard dog, Cujo (formally known as 15 lb Abi) with us at all times to terrorize any banditos who might accost us.
Seriously though, we encountered no problems on the drive down at all, except when Mike was sent into the hood in Albequergue searching for beer and rum. Kidding again - but he did say it wasn't a spot he's planning on going back to. Our neighbourhood here in Maz is wonderful. Our next door neighbour is Elizabeth, and we think she's adopted us. Her english is about as good as our Spanish, but she's always there to help out - even yesterday when Mike was hosing off the sidewalk (to keep down the dust - another subject). Before we knew it, there with E. with her special sidewalk broom to help out. She was also the person who called the gas co. for us. She reminds us everytime we see her that we are 'besina' - not use of the spelling, but it means neighbours, and neighbours are there to help each other.
We've also met a gentleman who seems to own several city blocks in our area, and is the owner of a company several blocks away that make the most stunning concrete counter tops and sinks (established 1872). Ernesto, his partner Jose and Jose's wife Maria have also helped us get settled in countless ways, making phone calls etc. All this just because we live on the street. It's amazing.
Everytime we go out there seems to be someone who wants to teach us something - the young man at the market who introduced us to the lady who sells candied sweet potatoes (to die for) and the man at the Shrimp Ladies who helped Mike pick out our shrimp for dinner last night (more details on the later as well).
These people are all doing this because they want to, not because they are getting anything from us in return. This has been a wonderful experience and one we wanted to share with you.