Narcotrafico, border issues and immigration continue in the news up north. While on that side of the fence we found ourselves often asked questions about safety, what was going on, etc. etc. We dont even bother suggesting that grandkids might enjoy a visit here anymore. Obviously there are serious problems, but in this country of 106 million people, daily life goes on for ordinary folks pretty much as before. We find ourselves not enjoying the view of large State Police pickups and even larger military vehicles loaded with armed police and soldiers patrolling the roads. I am not sure what their purpose is, but they are intimidating. I do wonder how much profits for US automakers and gunmakers have been helped by their addition to Mexican forces. I don't really want to address these problems in the blog, at least not at this point. I'd rather let you know of the other stuff that fill our lives. If you want some reasonably reliable sites for news of the uglier aspects, the Americas Mexico Blog is a good starting point.
We are still struggling with Hughes satellite service for our internet so there still won’t be many (any) pictures for awhile.
While in big cities customs are fading, in our colonia they persist. Yesterday was Three Kings Day., the traditional present-giving day and lots of kids were out showing what they’d received. Girls got mostly dolls of all sorts. Boys had trucks and cars. There were a couple of radio cars, but mostly ones that were motorized by hands. Two boys had trucks with horses in them. Everyone looked happy.
I bought two fruit called chicozapotes. They are UGLY. They were in the bin right under the bin for mamey zapotes. Mamey zapotes are sleek looking,with a rough light-brown skin, kind of egg-shaped with a point on one end. They have a fairly sweet orange flesh which can have a touch of bitterness. The chicozapotes were sort of round, sort of lumpy and battered looking. They had dirty orange flesh BUT tjhey tasted sublime. They were a little more expensive. You know that old saw, don’t judge a book….
As you mostly know, we had a sad summer and fall with two of Jim’s siblings dying. It is quite clear to us by now that at our age death has much more immediate impact: not grandparents or great-aunts or your parents friends or even your parents. Instead, siblings and close friends and famous contemporaries whom you admire and are shocked to learn are gone. Roger Ebert addresses this truth here as well as giving some insights into how one lives with it. Ebert’s blog is a treasure.
Guillermo is picking our coffee now and this year we are going to process some of it and try roasting it. First batch has been processed and is continuing to dry. Guillermo and his son took about twenty kilos up to a processor in the colonia yesterday. The first step involves washing off the fruity top layer of the coffee bean.
There is a fair amount of noise about the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world this year. I have lifted almost all of an Aztlan listserv pos by David Hixon, PhD which provides good information.
"Dr. John Hoopes... has authored a well-researched and extensive blog entry regarding 2012. We, the current moderators of Aztlan, have asked list members to refrain from back-and-forth discussions of the 2012 phenomenon on our list. But we have promised to forward any messages that relate to solid research being published online or in print. To that end, here is a link to Dr. Hoopes' new resource for both academics and the general public:
What You Should Know About 2012: Answers to 13 Questions
"He wrote, in part
"'[This blog entry] originated in my email answers to two international journalists, one from China and the other from Bulgaria, as an attempt to answer some of the most common questions that I've been fielding from the media over the past several years (my first interview on this topic was in 2006). If there's anything in the post that you think merits correction or clarification, please don't hesitate to let me know. I'm trying my best not to perpetuate any more disinformation on the topic than is already out there! I keep hoping that providing basic information in clear terms will lead to more sophisticated and interesting questions about the Maya and Mesoamerica. I've thought for a while now that the 2012 hype and the massive tourism that will accompany it will result in a watershed for quality knowledge about the pre-Hispanic Americas.'
"Please contact Dr. Hoopes directly with any comments or questions at:
"Hoopes, John W. <firstname.lastname@example.org> "
We have had very chilly weather recently. At least three people have died from the cold in our area..