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6 April 2010
Dave Clingman

How was your Easter?  Ours was good, though we didn't do much.  Of course, there was the Easter service, which we both fully enjoyed.  We carried candles as we entered church and kept them with us during the service, though we all extinguished them at one point.  There was incense, something that in our church is saved for only special occasions.  The priests all rang bells during the entire Gloria hymn.  It was amazing.

The previous week, Palm Sunday, Andrew was the narrator for the reenactment of Christ's betrayal, arrest and crucifixion.  And, yes, everyone got to carry palm branches during the processional around the church yard and into the sanctuary.

Our house search continued as we viewed an empty parcel of land in Palomar, the suburb on the hill above us.  We like the price, about one third what other parcels sell for in that area.  The land is very steep, but construction here is quite good at stabilizing the soil and building on hillsides.  Of course, we still haven't ruled out the land in
Patzcuaro, Michoacan that we visited a few weeks ago.

This entire past week was a holiday for almost everyone, and four of us from the gay group at church went for a hike in the
Bosque la Primavera (Primavera Forest).  The trail is very rocky in places, and steep at the beginning, but overall it was a pleasant hike with a nice view of part of Guadalajara at the end.

The next day we drove downtown to the Plaza de la Liberacion and hung out there for a few hours in the afternoon.  We had hoped the huge flag would be lowered at dusk, but there was such a crowd out enjoying the pleasant afternoon weather that the army probably wouldn't have had room to march in and perform their duty.

There was also a crafts festival taking up much of the plaza.  Andrew purchased a nice leather wallet for $60 pesos (about $4.75 US), some peanut chili sauce, and also some cajeta, the best we've ever tasted.  The half liter (about one pint) of cajeta cost us $30 pesos (about $2.30 US).

After wandering through the crafts fair, we bought two of
Alfredo's famous chocolate croissants , which we both love, and sat on a bench with a side view of a free performance on a stage in the Plaza Liberacion of some of the Ballet Foklorico dances.  You may remember that we paid to watch a performance last year in the Teatro Degollado.  Because of the acoustics in the theater, that performance was superb.  However, it was nice to see some of the dances performed for free to recorded music out in the open in front of everyone.

At the tianguis last week, we bought two and a half large shopping bags full of produce for just under ten US dollars.  Even after living here nearly a year, we are still very pleased and mildly surprised at the low cost of fresh produce.  We bought carrots, broccoli, squash, mushrooms, onions, apples, pears, bananas, oranges, and cantaloupes.  Even in central California, one of the greatest farming areas of the USA, we couldn't get prices like these.

Our hot tub is wonderful.  I still haven't been able to replace the element in the water heater we pulled from my old bus.  But the little heating element we bought for $3 US is so good that it heats the entire tub, too hot sometimes.  We are now covering the tub when we're not using it, and we have a timer on the heating element that turns it on for less than ten hours each day.  It sure is a great way to end the day, soaking and relaxing.

Have a great week.

Read update 28 March 2010

Read update 15 April 2010

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