Canadians are calling upon Trudeau to resign. Trump somehow marches on. Fauci throws a pitch on a baseball diamond but the real pitch falls on deaf ears. Race riots and anti-mask demonstrations are becoming all too common. And here in Mexico…well, I just won’t go there. Politics are not my thing, especially when I’m a visitor in a foreign country.I started a new course online on Mindfulness offered by Price University in Houston, Texas. I used to dabble in mindfulness along with meditation. But the longer this pandemic goes on the more important these practices become. Now is the time to do things. Stop procrastinating. Be aware and be mindful of every precious moment of your life.My Facebook memories today remind me of being in Kelowna, Winnipeg, Altona, Guadalajara, Mazatlan, Leavenworth, Wenatchee and McAllen on this date. Three different countries, two different provinces in Canada, two different states in the USA and two different states in Mexico.I don’t get around much anymore. I feel like a kid again that got grounded unfairly, but this time by a pandemic and not by a parent. But at least I’m in a beautiful place.Ever since my Mexican family in Culiacán adopted me almost ten years ago, I have never gone seven months without seeing them. Until now.I enjoy my video calls with my daughter and granddaughter in Kelowna. Madeline turned two in February and I’ve only seen her twice in her lifetime. This photo was taken a year ago in July when I was in Kelowna.I learned an interesting fact about water in Aguascalientes. It’s hot and dry here so there is water rationing. The city pumps it out in the morning. If individual households run out during the day……tough luck! No more until tomorrow.Why are the beaches and malecons crowded in Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta? Are they competing with Florida to set a new record for COVID-19 cases and deaths.Here in Aguascalientes people wear masks and physical distancing is the norm. I’ve had my temperature taken more times in the last week than almost in my entire lifetime. Sanitizing mats have replaced welcome mats. Antibacterial gel is readily available everywhere when entering shops as well as restaurants.Time for my morning walk. I wonder what awaits me today.
Facebook……what has happened to you? There was a time when I enjoyed scrolling through my news feed to catch up on my friends’ activities. I have friends all over the world. Many of these friends I met in my teaching and traveling in Mexico in the last ten years. I have friends back in my hometown in Canada and friends in Leavenworth. These are the people I primarily stay in touch with through Facebook. And a one liner at one time replaced email that I now view as snail mail.
But it’s getting more and more difficult and time consuming to find the posts that I really want to see.
Recently an American friend had posted photos of her new granddaughter in Mexico. Another American friend shared an excellent article on PTSD related to living in this COVID-19 world. A Canadian friend posted news of how the virus has affected life in my hometown. A friend from England shared some beautiful photos of the countryside.
I almost missed all of these.
There are too many people sharing posts out there without even reading what they are sharing first. Aside from all the misinformation, there is no reason to share upwards of ten posts every single day.
Political posts annoy me. They just add fuel to the fire that is already out of control. They divide a nation and promote animosity between neighbors no matter what country you live in.
Then there are the people who use Facebook as a daily diary. FYI I really don’t care what you ate for lunch or that it is naptime. Or that you just can’t find anything to watch on Netflix.
Then there are those who use Facebook as a pity party. They constantly complain of their aches and pains and of how life is so unfair.
All of the above mentioned people need to get a real life and stop living a virtual life.
In addition there are all the unwanted advertisements thanks to cookies.
I honestly don’t have the time or the patience to scroll through dozens of post to find the ones I am truly interested in. And selecting unfollow doesn’t seem to help.
I post notifications for my blog on Facebook. I check the groups I belong to. I use Messenger. I try to post meaningful items and not an abundance of them. Occasionally I post a Facebook memory. I very selectively share articles posted by friends.
But I no longer scroll regularly. Do you?
When I arrived in Mexico back in October, the plan was to return to Leavenworth in April. It’s been a very comfortable balance of relaxing in Mexico and a somewhat hectic schedule of volunteer work in Leavenworth. I also had decided to take two side trips to Canada so that I’d get to see both of my kids this year. My son is still in Winnipeg and in Kelowna I have my daughter and granddaughter.
But then COVID-19 reared its ugly head.
I am still in Mexico. It looks like I will be here until September. Should a miracle happen I would still like to go to Leavenworth. My Plan B is Canada.
Contrary to what ROCA has advised, there are no shortages of food, medication or supplies here.
I have a wardrobe of masks and physical distancing is the norm here. So are sanitizing mats, having my temperature taken before entering restaurants and larger stores, as well as an abundance of antibacterial gel everywhere.
I am well aware that these precautions are not being taken in every state in this country. But they are also not being taken everywhere up north in the USA or Canada either from what friends tell me.
Then there are the statistics. I don’t believe them. It’s impossible to get reliable numbers. There are way too many variables when it comes to testing. And are all the deaths being reported solely due to COVID-19? Or are there other factors involved?
Then there are the many conspiracy theories that many people dwell upon. Decades ago when I was in college I took a course in World History. My professor’s words have always haunted me, and even more so today. “There will be another world war in your lifetime. But it will not be fought with guns or bombs.” Interestingly enough, I also recall that this professor was Chinese.
But dwelling upon conspiracy theories and assessing blame on politicians is not helpful either. COVID-19 is here to stay and we need to learn to live with it.
Man’s inhumanity to man is what is at the core and it needs to be addressed. Selfishness is being displayed all too prominently right now. Instead consideration for the lives of others should be where the focus is placed. This virus does not discriminate between race, religion or socioeconomic background. And neither should we.
We are all in this together. And together we can get through this. Together.
May 23, 2020.
This will be an interesting addition to Memoirs For Madeline, a written compilation of memories to share with my granddaughter when she is older. Celebrating my birthday quarantined in a foreign country during a pandemic is not exactly what I had in mind for this year.
I envisioned a leisurely dinner with friends at Visconti’s in Leavenworth. I’m not sure what I’ll be having for dinner this year but it will be some kind of takeout and will be eaten in my room with the TV as company.
My birthday cake this year will probably be a pingüino, Mexico’s version of a Hostess cupcake. And yes it is chocolate, my favorite. Visions of cakes from Eiffel Tower, Jeannie’s and other pastelerías float through my head. Maybe someday again.
I have wonderful memories of celebrating other birthdays in the past in various places with family and friends. And I look forward to celebrating many more birthdays in the future with others. I actually wonder just where I will be next year at this time, as this nomad is just itching to be on the move again. I’ve been in Aguascalientes for seven months now, and in all likelihood I will be here for another two months. That’s the longest stretch I’ve stayed anywhere in years since I’ve retired. Even when I was teaching full-time I traveled on weekends and holidays. But not this year.
In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy the culture and the beauty of this country.
Happy Birthday Karen!
I was in San Ciro de Acosta, San Luis Potosí when this year began. About two weeks later I traveled to Aguascalientes City, Aguascalientes.
A frenzy of visiting fourteen museums, countless churches and beautiful parks followed. I also went leather shopping in León, Guanajuato and visited the pueblo mágico of Calvillo.
Three months flew by and I found myself on a flight to Seattle from Puerto Vallarta. And shortly after I arrived in Leavenworth.
The months I spend in Washington state are filled with activity. I volunteer at church, teach fitness classes, belong to a book club, play bridge and am active at the senior center. But of most importance are the friendships I’ve made over the years and the time I spend with these special people.
This past summer I also took a side trip to Kelowna to see my granddaughter. Madeline was just a few weeks old the last time I saw her and at 17 months she was now an active toddler.
Other highlights of my time in Washington included Vacation Bible School at Leavenworth Church of the Nazarene, as well as attending the 9/11 service at Spirit of America in Cashmere.
All too soon fall arrived and I boarded a flight to Guadalajara. A short bus ride followed and I was back in Aguascalientes City.
I’m staying in the Las Flores area again. Last winter I found a church close by and it felt like returning home this winter. I truly am blessed to have a church family here in Mexico as well as in Leavenworth.
This winter has been very different. I am not running around playing tourist. I’m taking time for ME instead. I do have friends here and I am teaching English a few hours a week. But I find time to color and to go for long walks. I am really focusing on my Spanish language skills. Because I live in a very Mexican neighborhood where virtually no-one else speaks English, I am totally immersed both in the culture and in the Spanish language. I also watch movies in Spanish with no English subtitles.
Other than one trip to Culiacán, I haven’t traveled much this winter. However I do have some travel ideas for 2020.
I spent Christmas with friends and will be attending an event at my church on New Year’s Eve.
This is my last post for 2019. At this time I’d like to thank all my readers for taking the time to follow my blog posts. I wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2020. May it be another fabulous year for everyone!