Wednesday, February 23, 2011

San Jose de Gracias

A little about where we are. Here is Jan and Joyce`s beautiful front door. We notice that Mexican construction is often a little shotty, as Todd loves to remind me when we are crossing over the high rickety footbridge to cross the highway. Although the wiring is sketchy, and nothing is quite level, there are beautiful details like this door and these drain pipes. Just lovely.

Lavender really flourishes here. Here is J & J`s back deck.

My favourite spot to read.

The house is located next to a ranch that raises fighting bulls. This made us a little uneasy until we learned how skittish they are. I was quite lucky to see this one. Usually we see only a cloud of dust as they flee from us.

At the end of our road is this little cactus garden.

And my favourite burro.

The house is a 40 minute walk to the bus stop and so we make the trek nearly every day. We walk through the nearby little village San Jose de Gracias.

Here is my favourite gate in San Jose. The villagers live in large family complexes behind gates and walls. Some complexes have as many as 30 people living in them.

This is the San Jose`s church. There is no preist and no mass except for wedding, baptisms and funerals. But we often here the church bells ring around 5 pm. The other day I happened to be walking by the church when the bells rang and I saw several women enter the church and recite prayers together and take turns reading from the prayer book. It was kind of nice.

There are these little air plants covering many of the trees and obviously they are not to fussy what they attach to since they love the telephone and power lines in San Jose.

This is downtown San Jose. The orange building is the store where we get all kinds of wonderful things from pastries to produce, beer and cheese, eggs and juice. It took a little while to figure out how to shop here. On Saturdays we hear loud speakers starting early in the morning. The first time we heard it, Todd was concerned it was some kind of anouncement of civil unrest. Turns out, it was the farmer selling vegetables and eggs out of his truck. There is also a vender of pots and pans and plastic buckets, and an icecream vender and probably others that we have yet to discover. So on Saturdays the floor of the little store is completely filled with bags of produce, animal feed, and all kinds of things. The fruit and vegetables are fantastic. So ripe and flavourful. We went to the large grocery store a couple of times but the produce is lousy - more like the stuff we get in the north and costs twice as much as in our local store. Not to mention that we have to lug it up the hill afterwards.

This is about 50 meters past downtown San Jose. There are lots of farm animals. Many of them roaming the streets: pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, donkeys, chickens, cows

and dogs everywhere. This little guy barks and growls like crazy whenever it is cool out, but in the heat of mid day he just lays in the dirt and takes no notice of us.

We thought we had seen all the farm animals until just a couple of days ago, this guy and a flock of 12 more crosed our path. Not sure where they hide. After we walk through San Jose on the cobblestone road we take a dirt trail through the savanna, then back on the road through the second village, Los Organos and to the bus stop at the highway. Apparently the school kids really like Todd with his blond hair and red beard - they say he looks like Hernando Cortez. We seem to be the only Gringos that walk to the bus. The villagers are getting to know us and now they often give us rides in the back of their pick ups. So far we have shared trucks with roosters, bicycles, crowds of people and recently Todd got a ride on a flat bed truck carrying construction materials. There was no place to sit down so he stood up the whole way holding on with one hand like he was bronco riding. All this to go to beautiful San Miguel de Allende.

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