Here is Evi, standing at the mouth of the river where it once was all jungly, and where we camped that first year. All that land has been cleared now. Evi lives in the village, and runs a simple restaurant down here on weekends. She saw some of my humble crayon drawings (future blog entry) and asked if I'd make a portrait of her, so here is my muse/portrait to work from.
Ah! A village wedding. Mind you, folks here don't seem to like to smile for the camera. These two ARE happy! Gerardo (very youngest brother of our Mayor) just returned from some 6 years in the States in order to find a village girl to marry. He found a lovely, sweet young woman. Big village-wide dance, food for all, live music, dancing and games! And they had many truckloads of sand hauled in, to pour over the dirt road in front of their home which is where all this took place! Made for soft, clean, and smooth dancing.
Here the Mayor, Guillermo (eldest brother of the groom), dances with the bride, while his wife Sara dances with the groom. Very joyous party.
How I love these kids. That's Ariana, front and center (the Mayor's youngest, now 9). She has been my shadow for lo these many years, curious about everything and wanting to be everywhere.
This is the front yard of Guillermo's home... A comfortable, welcoming place right in the dead center of the village. Note that the home is "wattle and daub" -- cool in summer, warm in winter, free, and easy to repair and expand. It is one of the most ancient, world-wide construction styles. Cement is the new style, but is it an improvement?
Mirna and Litzi -- our first friends, from back in the days of camping by the river-mouth in the rainy jungle among the biting ants and burrowing frogs and... well, our decision to find a way to LIVE here (see future entry of "pix from the early days"). It was Mirna who arranged for us to buy our casita from her brother who lives in Fresno, CA. In this photo, little Litzi is celebrating her 9th birthday. We arrived the year Litzi celebrated her 3rd birthday.
These guys grew up on us, too!
Raul and Benito (Mirna's son) are the fastest runners in the village... At a recent school event, their race against each other was a tie. I know. I was there. It was a nail-biter and these boys put out all they had in them. It was beautiful.
Here is little Luis, lookin' at you. His t-shirt says in English, "MAJOR TROUBLE." Look at that hammer action--a blur in this photo. He does not speak yet (since he lost his mama), but has graceful, meaningful gestures to indicate what he wants to say.
These three are regular visitors... Luis, Damian(cito), and Gloria Estafani. Inside, I have several shelves filled with toys for all ages of kids, and the kids just waltz in to choose what they want. Then, they put it all away again when they are ready to leave.
A National Holiday.......
Little Pancho Villa's roaming the countryside!!! All the kids paraded past our home in traditional costumes from days gone by, including sombreros and flowing skirts and some on horseback.