Tuesday, April 5, 2011
It's that time of the year again and we are now counting the days until it is time to leave and head north, to the other home. I am not counting happily, by the way, as I was when it was time to leave to head south!
I do love my home in Canada, and everyone who knows me is aware of how very proud I am to be a Canadian. But I have also come to care for and about Mexico, my adopted country, and I will be very sad to leave.
I try not to dwell on the bad press that Mazatlan has received over the past several years. This is the third year that we have come for a long term stay, and during that time we have not had a single instance where we have felt insecure or at risk. I know that things have happened, and it has had a truly dreadful effect on the economy. Tourism is down, the cruise ships stops have been sporadic, and it has been harmful. However, all we can do is pray that next year will be better. The government of the State of Sinaloa and the City of Mazatlan are doing everything in their power to correct the situation, and we just need to do whatever needs to be done to support them in their efforts.
It has been a magical six months. We have renewed friendships with people we met on previous visits, and have developed many more. It is easy to make friends here; we joke that perhaps it is because we have chosen the same path and are anxious to share our adventures. For whatever reason, we know that many of the delightful people we have met will remain our friends forever.
Mike has golfed more this year, which, of course, makes him a very happy man. I have learned to play Magic Train, and have spent many hours struggling to count my leftover dominoes at the end of the game, praying that I do not come in last, again. Whatever, it's fun, and someone has to be the caboose! And I don't lose all the time, so there is hope!! Our monthly wine tasting group is flourishing and we have welcomed many new members to the group this year. I have remained very involved with the Library, and have already started to plan next year's anniversary party, and our Fundraiser in January.
We have continued to shop regularly at the Mercado, and now have favourite vendors for fruit and veggies, chicken and seafood.
We also have our favourite restaurants and in several cases have become close with the owners and serving staff.
Our neighbours in the 'hood welcomed us back this year with smiles and have told us they are pleased that we are coming back to the same house in November. It's been a quiet year on the street, no big parties - and no banda! The cars are as loud as ever and people leave for work as early and as noisily as ever, but we are used to it now. We have heard complaints from many about the noise level in Mazatlan, and yes, it is loud, often very loud, but this is Mexico. The culture is different here and the Mexicans are just a very rambunctious, happy people. It's something that you need to adjust to, and I think we have finally managed to do that. There are times that we feel the need to shut the front door, and yes, there have been days when I feel like stepping outside and glaring at someone, but all in all, it's been fairly peaceful.
There are still so many things that we would like to do before we leave. We've planned several more trips to Stone Island and have made arrangements to meet with friends for a final dinner before we all head north. Of course, many of our friends stay here year round, and I try to stifle my jealousy when we see them! Mazatlan is brutally hot and humid here during the summer months, so perhaps going home for a few months is not such a bad thing. I just need to keep reminding myself.
I still have not made the climp to the El Faro Lighthouse, and I have yet to make the trip to El Quelite. The list of things yet to be discovered is endless.
The truly wonderful thing is that I know we are coming back, so whatever didn't get done this year is something to look forward to in the Fall, when we return.