Year THREE in Zacango here we come...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Kids English Program

As I've briefly blogged about in the past, we have a kids English class this year and we just recently had a little program for the parents. It was great fun putting it together and the kids were beyond-eager particpants and performers! Zam and Hizee also come to English class. Here are the kids getting a sign ready for the program at our new classroom in the primary school...and below, a little pre-program wrestling match between Zam and Lalo. Unfortunately, our battery ran out in our camera and we didn't get very many good pics or video of the actual program.
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Getting ready to perform...
Ziko with his buddies David and Cerilo taking it all in...
and more of the audience.
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Celebrating Advent

We started celebrating advent a bit early this year because we'll be travelling to Manitoba for Christmas and the kids didn't want to miss all of their advent traditions. Unfortunately, Ziko was sick during the first Sunday we celebrated.
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The Great Gallina Sacrafice

It's custom to have a big mole meal once you have harvested your corn and to feed all the people who have helped you with your harvest. It was perfect timing for our chickens whom we had had for over a year and had never taken to "setting" (all except one). So we "sacraficed" three of our hens and had our big harvest celebration meal! I couldn't actually kill the chickens so Enrique and Blance caught them and their mom, Cleofas, killed them to make the broth for the mole...yum!

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Cookie Kings

Zam had to make cookies as part of his measurment study in here are the two bakers (Zam and Miguel) hard at work! Miguel often joins us when we have homeschool, much to the excitment of Zam.
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Harvest All Around

Everyone in Zacango has been crazy-busy this past month harvesting their corn. Last week Elizabeth (introducing...Elizabeth, our new co-worker and friend who arrived in September) and I helped Elvira harvest her corn.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Harvest Time

We were super excited to harvest our mini-plot of maize last week!!! We planted red maize and it is astoundingly beautiful! Here is Hizee displaying two beautiful cobs; Ziko demonstrating the harvesting technique (ripping the top open and pulling out the cob); Miguel, Enrique, and Ziko leaving our field with the sacks filled with the maize cobs; and finally, the maize put out to dry on our roof. Once the corn has had more time to dry we will rub the kernals off (probably in February or so).

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A few weeks ago we helped Luis and his family harvest peanuts; first in the field where we dug up all the plants and later at their house, picking all the peanuts off the plants. Hizee was an especially eager worker together with her good friend Anaisa.
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Andie's Bunnies!

Here is our neighbor Cesar with his new bunny from Green's (Ziko's big white rabbit) litter; and just as Green's bunnies had all found eagerly awaiting owners to go home to we had another surprise in our rabbit pen. You may recall that when our niece Andie was here this summer she had her very own bunny who stayed living with us in Mexico after she left. We originally thought that "Bo Bo" was a male but soon after Andie left we discovered otherwise. Although Bo Bo was seperated from our male rabbit Eduardo, I put her with him about a month ago thinking that she would "do away" with her first litter (as female rabbits most commonly do). So I wasn't surprised not to see any little bunnies in any of the "caves" a month later. However, about three weeks after the Bo Bo's due date we saw what we thought were rats streaking across the pen. When Miguel stuck his hand in one of the caves he found six beautiful little bunnies: five gray, and one white. So congratulations would love these little guys...they are very cute!!! Everyone on the "Zacango bunny wish list" already has a bunny so Miguel and Zam are going to sell the little guys in Olinala to get money to pay for more rabbit food. We will, however, keep one as you requested Andie. Let us know what you would like us to name him!

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

A couple of weeks ago we said good-bye to Liz, Martin, Isaiah, and Micah, as they finished their term with MCC here in Mexico and headed back to the U.S. Here is a little photo collage of some of the special times we shared together. We are really going to miss you guys and wish you much joy and happiness during the next steps of your journey!
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ziko is a little party animal! Here are Ziko and Hizee at their friend Reyna's birthday party. Birthday parties for kids are a little different in Zacango than in places in Canada. Parents generally don't plan games and there are usually people from across the generations, not just kids. At Reyna's party the kids headed out to the kitchen and started these circle rhyming games all on their own without any adult leading or supervision. In the video it was Ziko's turn in the middle and he is lovin' it up!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Harvesting Sacate

This past week Bruce, Luis, Miguel and Herminio harvested the sacate from our milpa. Sacate are the dryed up leaves from the corn stalks that are used to feed donkeys. They took the sacate to our house where it is being stored in a tree above our pig pen.

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Dia de los muertos

The Day of the Dead is a huge celebration in Mexico and this year we had the joy of experiencing this holiday in Zacango. The collage shows the preperation and finished designs of the alters that people make to honour their family members who have passed away. It is not a sad holiday but a joyous one! There is lots of eating of wonderful food (as always) and the family members favourite foods are set out on the alter. Although an alter would naturally never be made for an animal we did not discourage Hizee when she asked to make an alter for Flo. Her alter is pictured below, along with photos of the play food that she and her friends placed on Flo's grave.

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Halloween...Zacango Style!

The idea of Halloween is sort of a US imported event in the bigger towns and cities in Mexico. The kids told us that in Zacango, on the last day of the Day of the Dead activites the kids go around and ask for the things from the alters but they don't usually dress up. Well, we have a whole suitcase full of dress-up clothes so some of the kids came and dress up and we went door-to-door "trick or treating" for the items on the alters: bread, tlaxcalis, fruit, mole chicken, etc. It was great fun!
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A Saturday hike in the hills around Zacango .
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