Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Feliz Navidad!

I think having a white Christmas is highly overrated. Give me warm temperatures where I can go shopping without 3 layers of sweaters and coats, no snowbanks to get stuck in, or frozen cars to ride home in.  As Brad said, he's lost us forever to warm climates.

The city is decorated much like any Canadian or U.S. city and we got into the social scene when we were invited to a Christmas posada at a friend's house on Saturday.  They had a 3 piece band that was so good, Roger even broke his rule of 1 dance a year --- I think we have to be up to at least 2013 by now!

We haven't gotten used to working on Mexican time --- the party started late and went to 4 a.m. --- we left at midnight and things were just starting to heat up!

Today, my friend, Tracey took me to help volunteer at the Christmas posada for C.A.M.E.    It is a school of close to 100 children aged 6 to 16.  These kids all have some form of disability -- ranging from Down's Syndrome, autism, deafness, blindness, to learning disabilities. 

Each child there has a story, and I hope over the next few months I can learn more about them.

There were games, food and presents -- all the makings of a great party.  Some gifts were donated by the American Consulate, and the rest from the group I'll be joining in January, ESIA, which stands for English Speakers in Action.  These ladies come from all over the world -- their common bond is they speak English and want to give back to those in need.  All I can say is, "Sign me up". 

Pinatas are an integral part of any party.  Here, the 2 janitors stand on the rooftops and bounce the pinata up and down as children take turns whacking it....

Below is the aftermath of the pinata crashing to the was like watching the doors open at stores on Boxing Day!

As you can see, there are older kids...

...but the younger set really captured my heart.  I found out the little guy with the bike helmet is missing part of his cranium and both parents are deaf. I can only imagine how difficult life is for that family...

He smiled all the time and then he blew me kisses goodbye when his dad came to pick him up..... I'm going to have to break it to Roger there is now another man in my life...

The school is publicly funded which means they are given a building, and little else. The teachers are apparently extremely poorly paid, but their classrooms clearly show the pride and professionalism they feel.  I was surprised to hear that all the cardboard scraps from the gifts was collected so it could be used in the classrooms --- nothing goes to waste and pieces of crayons, pencils and erasers are treasured --- not thrown away.  Volunteers help teach lifeskills such as cooking, sewing, carpentry etc., so that is what I'll be doing in January --- I'm looking forward to it already!

We head home to Calgary on Dec 19th for a whirlwind Christmas with family and friends.  Then, on Dec 28th we're packing up the Expedition and driving to Hermosillo -- a mere 3,000 km drive, but with Roger at the wheel, it will be a piece of cake....I'm just praying for good weather.

May this holiday season bring everyone joy and an opportunity to remember how fortunate we all are to have a roof over our heads, food in the fridge, and a warm bed to climb into at night.

Feliz navidad.

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."       
                                                                                  Winston Churchill

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