Thursday, November 11, 2010

1000 lbs of oranges

That bag of oranges weighs more than me and was 50 pesos, about $4.  It was enough to inspire us to buy a heavy duty juicer at the market and we have been enjoying fresh oj ever since!
Will slices, Tom presses.

Will strains his - not into the pulp.  I guess that's the result of all that Tropicana pulp-free stuff...
and tasting, the best part

nice work guys

warming up in the morning

It's becoming winter in San Miguel.  Several mornings we have left for school with the thermometer reading in the high 30s!  Of course, each day the sun comes out and by the afternoon you are sweating on your way back up the hill.  Like most (if not all) houses here, we do not have heating or air conditioning.  So, on those really cold mornings (or evenings) we crank up the fireplaces and get as close as possible.   Will has still never gone to school with more than that sweatshirt he is wearing.  Alya and I have become Mexican and prefer to bundle up in our down jackets and scarves in the morning.  The flip flops and t-shirts are back on by the afternoon.    

climbing through the charco

This is about a 10 min walk from our house, back behind the city.  It's part of a nature preserve.

Towards the center of this picture you can see the ladder that is bolted in, our path down into the gorge.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Halloween, Day of the Dead

The school put on a day of the dead presentation.  Here everyone is gathered outside at before the show.
The altar made by the kids at school, honoring the revolutionaries.


Will with Hugo

The 5th grade

1st and 2nd grade - not sure what they are doing here.

Our buddy, Mason, looking good, eating a tamale.

working hard at school


i just love these darn paper flags - makes everything so festive

We're walking down the street and this guy tells us to come into his house to see this amazing display.  For the first year, the whole street decided to make one big altar, with everyone who had died represented.  It was a feast for the eyes.

all flowers and grains - some amazing art

some "catrinas" - the lovely lady skeletons

Day of the Innocents, Nov. 1 - at the cemetery

On November 2, Dia de los Muertos (day of the Dead), many people in Mexico celebrate the lives of loved ones that they have lost.  They build altars in their houses or in public spaces and cemeteries for those who've died.  The altars include pictures of the departed and things that they used to enjoy (favorite toys, favorite foods, etc...) They also include symbolic items like water (to quench their thirst after the long journey back from the dead to visit), marigolds (to help them smell the way), candles (to light the path), and many others.
November 1, el Dia de los Inocentes, or day of the Innocents, is reserved for deceased children only.   It tends to be a more somber day.  The 2nd is often more of a celebration.  Both days, as well as a few days before and after, the town is filled with these altars - at the cemeteries, in the main plaza, in businesses, schools, and in people's homes.

Walking toward the cemetery entrance, lined with flowers to buy for the grave sites.

Many people are tending to the grave sites, decorating them, etc.

Hundreds of the sites in this cemetary are for young children.

The grave stones are sometimes very simple,

and sometimes very elaborate.  This was for a teenage boy.