Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Missing Chacala, Loving Morelia

Cathedral in Morelia, Michoacan
It´s 8pm and I am interneting at a great spot with brand new flat screens and very fast computers. And a little breeze. No rain today. Nice comfortable weather. Met some people who are friends of my friends who left Morelia yesterday, and we spent some time at the Casa de la Artisans, which has lots of beautiful, very tempting, objects to purchase.

First thing this morning I took my dirty clothes to the they-do-it-for-you laundry. While I waited I walked next door to the biggest fruit and vegetable market I have ever seen. I had, for breakfast, a banana (tiny and sweet), a banana (large and regular tasting), two peaches, one nectarine, and a yoghurt. And an apple juice. Managed to put off my morning Coke until 11am, when the caffeine headache hit like a bomb. Took my nice clean clothes back to Hostel Allende and met up with my friend´s friends. The husband is Cuban, the wife from the US, and they have lived in Costa Rica for a long time, and now live around Morelia. Really nice people. Had a good time with them. Did some more museums and little shops.

Everytime I see an open door along the street I peak in, and take a look into the central patios. The inside patios are so beautiful. So are the museums. Incredible old buildings being put to good use in the "modern" world. It makes me especially happy that the building down at the Chacala dingy beach is being put to good use. All the old parts are still showing, plus they are now protected, and the building is useful, instead of being an eyesore and trash collection area.

Anyway. When my feet got really tired I got on one of the¨"Red" collectivos. There are six different colors of collectivos, which indicate where they are going. Of course, I had no idea where the red one was going. I just got on because by feet were tired and the front seat (my favorite) was empty. We drove a long ways, dropping people off mostly, and then ended up at the garage place. The driver took me over to the other driver, who was taking another collectivo back to the center of town, the Zocalo. This driver pointed out every single point of interest all the way back in, and even swung out of the way a couple of times to show me cool buildings.
Another view, same Cathedral
When we got to the center of town, which is built around two plazas and a cathedral, he wouldn´t take a tip. Really, really wouldn´t. Not just being polite. So I paid less than 80 cents US for about an hour and a 1/2 tour of Morelia´s colonias (neighborhoods).

I am tired and going home to bed. Tomorrow is Patzcuaro, which is a much smaller and very beautiful town. Today on the way to the Internet Cafe I ran into three Chacala people, who are in Morelia on a subsidized trip for the scholarship kids plus a few other people who can afford it. It was really nice to see them. I was so surprised when someone said "Hola Andee" to me on the street.

Just my opinion, but it´s starting to look like the gap between resources available for kids in Chacala in the scholarship program, and those who aren´t, is widening. I hope my understanding is incorrect. Hard for me to understand what´s really happening anywhere in Chacala. The family interconnections and small-town history are pretty unknowable to new residents, gringas in particular. And of course, no mattter how kind and generous peoples´ intentions are, there are always unforseen consequences to any generous act. It seems as though some of those consequences are starting to become more obvious in Chacala.

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