Thursday November 22nd. American Thanksgiving. This year I celebrated in the state of San Luis Potosi.
As I reflect on the blessings in my life, I am thankful that I met my new friend Bonnie on a travel group on Facebook. Bonnie is from Texas and she married a Mexican from Cuidad de Valles, a city close to San Ciro de Acosta. Bonnie has been here for a year and two months ago Bonnie’s mother Connie moved to San Ciro as well.
They picked me up at the hotel in the morning and we headed out on the highway. Here in Mexico there are two highways……the toll road and the free road. We used both on our journey. The toll road is quite high up in the mountains and the clouds resulted in a thick fog engulfing us. Unfortunately this obstructed the magnificent view so sadly no photos for this post.
Once we reached a lower altitude the fog dissipated although it was still cloudy. We drove on a road with some interesting stands selling tortillas, roasted chicken, menudo, raspados, beer, clothing and other miscellaneous articles.
As we ventured further into the jungle, the vegetation changed and the roads deteriorated. We passed several men on bicycles carrying firewood. It’s a long trek down this winding road to get to the highway where the buses come, and people walk for miles.
We finally arrived at the home of the Ramirez family, friends of Bonnie’s. Their son Ivan had a birthday on the weekend. Bonnie had baked a cake and brought along a piñata. She had also prepared a cactus salad and bought three roasted chickens for the occasion.
The idea of Thanksgiving is to be thankful for what we have, and to share with others. I was totally overwhelmed by emotion as we all stood holding hands as our hostess prayed in Spanish before the meal.
Our sumptuous feast was enhanced by the homemade tortillas prepared in the kitchen by one of the daughters. She did use a press to form them, but a fire blazed beneath the grill where they cooked.
We sat around the table and talked for quite a while. I was delighted with how much my Spanish has improved and I was able to converse as well as listen. I also translated for Connie who speaks no Spanish at all.
Word got out that a piñata was there and other children from the area began to gather. Bonnie had bought quite a few jackets at garage sales and gave them to the children and some of the adults. They were so appreciative as the little money their families have goes towards food. Jackets to keep them warm in the winter are a luxury.
The children enjoyed batting away at the piñata and eagerly scrambled for the candies once they began falling to the ground. Their treasure clutched in bags, it was now time to enjoy the cake Bonnie had baked. It was delicious!
Shortly after, we began our drive back to San Ciro. Once again we encountered fog. Some three hours later we arrived back home.
I think about the Ramirez family. They have so little themselves but are so giving. The family of six live in one room. They sometimes sleep outside on hammocks when it is hot. The kitchen is in a separate building. There is also an outhouse which I did not even attempt to visit. Connie wanted to buy them a fan. Instead they asked if she would buy them a blanket instead, as the nights get cold during the winter.
I am blessed. I have been given an opportunity to travel and to experience life in a way that would not have been possible had I remained in Canada. The material things I used to consider as necessities now mean nothing and have no place in the one suitcase I take on my travels. The treasure I have found here in Mexico is priceless although it cannot be measured in terms of monetary value.
Karen, more on this special family. Bonnie and Ricky went to visit them today. Son, Daniel was at the hospital with a broken arm. Mom just had dental surgery and has a beautiful new smile. Life has improved a bit. Older daughter is working in San Luis Potisi for now. They are still my favorite family that I have met in Mexico. Bonnie took them a NERF gun and lots of ammo to keep the boys entertained.