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17 September 2009
Dave Clingman

Yesterday was Independence Day here in Mexico.  16 de Septiembre (September 16) is a holiday, of course, but the big celebration actually seems to occur the night before.  At 11 pm the governor steps out onto the balcony of his palace and initiates the "Grito".  Basically, the governor lists the heroes of the independence and gets the crowd to cheer for each, "Viva!".  Click here to see a couple of our photos, as well as a link to a very large video of the entire Grito.  Before, during and after the Grito and fireworks, people are partying, some all night long.  When we were back home, we could hear a local home partying, and when we woke the next morning, the music was still playing.

We figured the traffic would be a huge problem downtown for the celebration, so we rode the Metro to avoid it.  We are very glad we did.  Even the trains were very crowded, standing room only for most people.  The traffic in the area of the 16 de Septiembre Mexico Independence Day celebration was moving very slowly when it moved at all.

Sunday we finally found a church where we felt very welcome, even as a couple.  The Anglican (or Episcopal)
St. Mark's church had been highlighted in the Guadalajara Reporter (for which I write the Bits & Bytes column) as having a bilingual service followed by a Grito celebration and ringing of the bell, and then a used book sale and a free pot luck.  We attended mostly to enjoy the Grito and bell ringing.

After the service, we walked over to the book sale and found a few that we wanted.  I don't even know how the book seller and I got started talking, but he mentioned his "partner" who sings in the choir.  I wondered if he meant gay partner, and it turns out that is precisely what he meant.  All of the people at that church were friendly, and many of them came up and introduced themselves to Andrew and me as we sat near a corner talking and eating.  Now don't get me wrong, this is not a gay church where the majority are gay, but they at least are open to us.  Even the pastor came up and introduced himself to us and welcomed us, and he knew that we are a couple.  We think we have found ourselves a new home church.  Thank you, Lord.

The book seller and his partner also have a monthly meeting for gay christians.  The last meeting was the night before the church service we attended, but we have on our calendars to visit next month.  The people seem very friendly, as I've said, and they seem to love Jesus, which is very important to us.

Other than two tianguis we attended this week (including one this morning), that is about all for our week.  I've been "accused" of having a busy schedule here in Mexico.  I guess I make it seem busier than we actually are.  Andrew is certainly busier than I am, since he works over twenty hours a week, in addition to the other things that we do.  But I work only about ten hours a week, mas o menos (more or less), on client websites.  That means that we both have quite a bit of free time when we simply sit in our van and read articles online, continue our ongoing project of digitizing old documents, watch videos, or just sit and talk.  This truly is an enjoyable and simple life, and we both thank God everyday for it.

Read update 11 September 2009

Read update 24 September 2009

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