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1 May 2010
Dave Clingman


Hot and Dry, Safe and Secure


Andrew was ill much of this week (he's fine now), but he still managed to make his appointment to teach the class at the new school. He did quite well, but realized that he lacks experience teaching a classroom full of kids, and prefers working with smaller groups or one on one. Also, that school doesn't pay much more than Mundo Bilingue where he presently teaches, which limits their classes to eight students. So, for now, he'll continue as he has been doing, working six hours a week at Mundo Bilingue and spending a few hours a week with his five private clients. Oh, he got a new private client this week, too.

Last Friday, to celebrate our being in Guadalajara, Mexico for one year, we went to the Adventure Park located near the entrance to our RV park. Strange that it has taken us a year to try out this place. The fun park has zip lines, rock climbing walls, kiddy rides, bungy jumping/bouncing, go karts, and several other things. After zipping high above the park on three different spans, we tried out the go karts, and then Andrew tried his hands (and feet) on the rock climbing wall.

After a couple of laps on the go karts, I hit the gas pedal while trying to reach the brake around the sharpest curve on the track, and I crashed. Actually, I merely drove the cart up onto the hill median and back down again. The attendants came running over and spoke to me in Spanish. I thought they were making sure I was okay and telling me to be more careful, but it turns out they were telling me that I lost my driving privileges. Yikes. They then stopped Andrew's cart, and I buckled in next to him. It was rather embarrassing. I simply am no good on those little cars, and I actually enjoyed riding with him more than driving myself.

This time of year (is it really spring?) is the hottest and driest here in central Mexico. The temperatures have been around the mid 80's (29-30 C) for a few weeks, but next week it will get into the upper 90's (over 37 C). The rains and cooler weather will begin late next month, hopefully.

Because of this drought (having little rain last year and no rain so far this season), the wells on the property here all dried up. Andrew, as a resource planner, thinks that over a longer time scale, this is a consequence of having a whole lot of new housing developments in the area, each with their own wells, with no overall monitoring, planning or allocation of water taken. For a week or three (not sure, since different people have different stories), the RV Park management had to pay to have water trucked in daily at a cost of $1100 pesos (nearly $90 US). Needless to say, they didn't want us watering a lot of plants. Ironically, this was when Andrew and I finally decided to invest in a few pots, some potting soil, and a few plants. Since we have only five small plants, I don't feel bad about watering them. Supposedly, the RV Park now has a deeper well and a new pump, and we're okay.

We saw Jorge the horse again finally this week. Someone has begun tying him to the fence near the gate, so that whenever we are over on that side of the park, we can go inside and visit him. Andrew brought him an apple yesterday, and Jorge very much enjoyed that. It is that time of year again, when it is dry and hot, and the vegetation all is dying and drying. It has been almost a year since we first met and began caring for Jorge. It appears that this year, someone else has taken on that job, though we don't know yet who is doing it. Mela at first meeting didn't know what to make of this monster sized "dog", but after we spent some time with Jorge, Mela decided that Jorge's okay. She even jumps up and touches noses with Jorge. It is quite a sight to see our little dog jump up nearly a meter (three feet) into the air to greet Jorge.

Since some of you asked, we didn't know about the Tijuana earthquake last month until after the fact. Andrew keeps up on much of the news worldwide, but I didn't know about the quake until an email friend asked me if we were okay (thanks, Bob). Tijuana is nearly twelve hundred miles (almost 1900 kilometers) by air from Guadalajara. So, no, we were not affected by that earthquake. Guadalajara area has very few earthquakes. Truly, we are fine here and feel very safe. We're more bothered by occasional ants on the kitchen sink than by anything else. Even the very rare cockroach inside our van is merely one more toy for Mela, though we usually get it away from her before she can eat it.

Well, the sun is rising on a new day (though I won't get this emailed until after Andrew edits it as usual), and I am looking out my window at the park covered in a purple carpet of jacaranda flowers and listening to the many birds greeting the dawn. It amazes me how very pretty our little area is here. When I am outside walking Mela or just enjoying the weather, I often look up into the huge trees above our van and wonder at the beauty, quiet, and peacefulness of our home here in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Read update 22 April 2010

Read update 6 May 2010

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