Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Times, They Are A Changin’

 

 

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Hi, I’m, back. Did anybody miss me? Actually I didn’t go anywhere, I just have not posted for a couple of weeks. We’ve been BUSY! And this is a good thing. For the longest time, even though we have been enjoying San Miguel, we have kind of been feeling like outsiders here.

I don’t know about Todd, but I’ve been a little homesick for Patzcuaro and Michoacán. I miss volunteering in the kitchen at El Sagrario, and all the wonderful folks there. It was nice to walk through town or the mercado, and have so many people wave or stop to chat. I felt like I was really part of the community there.

 

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El Sagrario, Patzcuaro

 

But then I realized, after a couple of really busy weeks, that our lifestyle has changed quite radically since we first arrived in San Miguel. For the last six or eight months I have been taking a conversational Spanish class twice a week in a little back room in Juan’s Café where I have met some wonderful people. We are such a diverse group, with totally different opinions and perspectives, that our discussions are often very lively.

 

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Juan’s Café on Calle Reloj

 

At times it seems more like a book club than a Spanish class, as we read novels and discuss them in the class. There are days though, when we don’t even get to the novel because someone has mentioned some current event happening in the news and we’re off and running. Our teacher José, a charming young man from Aguascalientes, is a wonderful mediator, somehow always managing to keep us on track.

This class has really become the highlight of my week, but lately it’s been vying for position with so many other things going on in our lives. A couple of months ago Todd began volunteering for the house tour which takes place every Sunday afternoon. It is one of the many events overseen by Emma Salazar, the event coordinator for the public library. This is one of the ways the library raises money to maintain itself as well as for several local charities.

Somewhere along the way Todd became the photographer for the house tour and Emma’s all around go to guy, which keeps him, and sometimes me, pretty busy. Last Sunday after the house tour we enjoyed the company of Todd’s fellow volunteers at Milagros, one of my favorite restaurants here in San Miguel.

 

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Milagros

 

There is always live music at Milagros and the menu is huge. From the inexpensive burgers and Tex/Mex section (which is almost impossible to come by in Mexico) to the moderately priced fresh salads, pastas and seafood, to the pricier classic Mexican cuisine which includes authentic Molcajetes, the food is always consistent and delicious.

 

Molcajete

 

The Molcajete is a basalt stone bowl which sits on three little legs and is used to grind spices and make salsas and guacamole. In this case, however, it is piping hot and filled with grilled arrachera, marinated flank steak, grilled chicken, chorizo sausage and panela cheese, chiles, and nopal cactus, all bathed in a homemade salsa verde. You wrap these delicacies in hot freshly pressed corn tortillas and it is absolutely mouthwatering.

 

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Some of the charming Milagros staff

 

If you go to Milagros on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon you can enjoy your molcajete while you listen to the music of Jack and Francis. They both play seven string guitars, which was totally new to me, and they are incredibly adept. Their music is varied, and depending on their mood you may hear classical, jazz, country, R&B or just about any other genre you can think of. I’m not really sure which category the Beatles fall into but Jack and Francis recreate their music beautifully.

Where I was actually going with this before I got off on a tangent, was that while we were dining last Sunday Emma told me that her next project with the library is going to be an English class for local kids. Emma speaks excellent English and knows what opportunities it can give the local kids when they are ready to go to work. She asked me if I would be interested in helping out with the class. I was delighted and told her that I would love to help.

This may be just what I have been looking for since moving to San Miguel. I’ve been wanting a way to connect with the community here like I did in Patzcuaro.  We have our classes, Todd has taken improv and is thinking about an acting class, and I have my Spanish and recently took a course with the new Lifelong Learning program here and we have new clients that are keeping us busy, but I was still feeling like something was missing.

I think now our “Plan” is finally coming together and somewhere along the way San Miguel de Allende became home and I didn’t even realize it.

 

 

All the photos in this post are compliments of Todd McIntosh except the Molcajete.

4 comments:

  1. I'm SO glad.......volunteering opens up all kinds of doors to people you'll love knowing!

    You might also want to meet the folks at Feed the Hungry. It's a wonderful program and they always need drivers to deliver food in the campo.....

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  2. I have heard wonderful things about Feed the Hungry. I could definitely be a driver. Thanks Barbara.

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  3. How does that line go? If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans.

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    1. LOL, I'm sure she's laughing at me!

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