Well here we are . . . still, at the Baden Powell apartments in Morelia, going to the Baden Powell Institute of Languages! Yup, Baden Powell - Be Prepared . . . as any good boy cub/scout would remember!
Morelia continues to be a city of awe for us! It has also been both exciting and exhausting as we have hauled our "bedraggled" bodies to/from school, each day, over the past 2 weeks, to learn Spanish, still! We have met many interesting gringos through the school as well as some fabulous Instructors! Although an exhausting experience, it has been wonderful.
You cannot continue to embarrass and humiliate yourself through Spanish lessons without taking a break! So, last week we went on a tour to the "reserva de las mariposas Monarch", the Monarch butterfly reserve on the east side of the state. We met up with a van full of wonderful Mexicana folks, whose company we truly enjoyed. In fact, the bus trip (3 hours each way) became yet another Spanish class.
The tour was quite incredible. After a one hour hike you arrived at one of the monarch sites. Remember how snow storms sometimes develop. . . first you see a single flake, then another and soon you are surrounded by an infinity of snow flakes! So to with the Monarchs! It is still staggering to the imagination how these insects make the bi-annual pilgrimage from Mexico to the US & Canada, and return. Apparently after mating in Mexico, the male butterflies die and the females make their way north. It was truly awesome to see the Monarchs fluttering about in silence, preparing for their flight. We were truly blessed to have this experience. I have taken several short videos of the reserve, however, For some reason they refuse to play on the I pad. I plan to send them later from a real computer!
One of the more inspirational moments of this adventure was an abuela (grandmother) and her grandson. He had assisted her all the way up the mountain so she could see the butterflies. Step by step they worked there way to the top. Even after a stumble to the ground, the abuela regrouped and continued the trek. Both her and her grandson were inspirational to us.
Every Sunday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm the City of Morelia cordons off one of the main Streets to traffic, allowing only "ped-icular" traffic of all sorts: bicycles, trikes, skateboards, roller blades, baby buggies and walkers! Sunday is really a Dia de familia (family day) with Moms and Dads and chillens on bikes etc. enjoying their day together.
We also had the pleasure to visit the cathedral on Saturday night to watch the "los fuegos de artificiales". (Fireworks!) It happened that this particular weekend many things were being celebrated resulting in the streets being closed off, rock bands playing in front of the church, a show and shine of cars, motorcycles and boom box cars . . .who knew! Families, friends and strangers hovered around the cathedral awaiting the dimming of the lights. At last the lights dimmed and the music began, a soul warming piece of orchestral music filled the air followed by the splendour of fireworks. So there we were, standing in the middle of the street with fireworks being launched overhead, with the now lit up cathedral in the immediate background, with this soul wrenching music! We felt as if we were caught in the middle of a Peter Pan and Chariots of Fire screen set. It was one of those "peak living moments" where you simply had to be there to understand the rapture of the moment. Again I have videos that you can't see, yet.
And yes, the moto; I thought it would be a great way to get around Morelia! And it's a two seater!
Although I pitched it the best way possible, I was out voted! Actually, the deal was, I could buy the moto, if Carole could fill the closet with shoes like these!
About once per month Eugenio, the director of the school, invites his students on a "walking tour" of Centro. It begins around 4:00 and ends around 6:30 or so! A small group of students so enjoyed this tour. Eugenio offered about one dozen stops c/w talks about each point of interest. He first relayed the message in Espanol and then repeated it in Ingleis, for anyone who missed parts of the Spanish translation. The tour was "over the top" wonderful for us. Both Carole and I have become quite infatuated by Morelia and to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the city only enhanced those feelings. Oh, so lucky are we!
We have also met some very interesting Morelian folks. We shared our home one evening with a very young man who recently graduated with his MBA from a Texas University. This young man was full of hope and energy to make the world a better place. We spent an afternoon with Eugenio, the director of BP Spanish school, discussing life in Morelia and our interest in returning in returning to BP amongst other things. He is truly a gracious man, willing to offer any assistance.
So we continue our adventure till Monday, when we pack up our packs and head to Guanajuato by bus. I know, you thought Carole might re-consider on the moto, but alas!
So here is a series of photos taken at different times, different places in or near Morelia
So the final photo is of our "time machine". We love the showers in Mexico and we have likened them to our very own time machine. This is me, arriving back from an Elton John concert circa 1980's!