Year THREE in Zacango here we come...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bruce and His Baby

Bruce still likes to test his strength by picking up our little burrita, Cecina. She's quite the homely looking little thing but we love her to bits.
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mexico's Bicentenial

Mexico celebrated 200 years of independence on the 15 of September. Here is a collage of pictures of the celebration in Zacango. Like on the past Independence Days that we've been here for, part of the celebration included processing through town at night with celophane lanterns sculpted into different figures such as airplanes, dolls, churches, fowers etc. Only this year the lanterns seemed more grandiose in scale and creativity. Mexico City had been counting down the day to the bicentenial for the past year and had a massive celebration in the Zocolo (city square). As with all celebrations here in Mexico, people really know how to fiesta!
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Elote TIme

We are very proud of our little plot of maize which our neighbours help us tend to. This past month we harvested some elotes (maize cobs which are young enough to boil and eat...very tasty fixed with mayonnaize, cheese, and chile) and have been eating elotes daily thanks to our neighbours and friends who keep us well supplied. The rest of the maize (only a very small portion is taken to eat as elotes) will remain on the stalks to dry and we will harvest it at the end of October. While we will use this dried maize to feed our animals, the families in Zacango will use the majority of their maize to make tortillas as well as to feed their animals.
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Our GREEN, GREEN community

Some of you who have visited during the dry season have expressed wonder at how our desert like environment could ever be green with life...well, here are a few pictures taken off of our roof to show you how it looks during the rainy season. This year it is particularily lush as we recieved record rainfall.

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Home School

Our last year of homeschooling the kids... we're having a great time and I know I will really cherish the memories of teaching them but I am really looking forward to when they can go to school - school. Hizee always asks me what it will be like and loves talking about the idea of having recess and taking lunch to school. I pack her a snack in a lunch box everyday and it's so cute how religious she is about snack time. She never wants me to tell her what I have packed and I love watching her as she unpacks her surprise.
There are a few more pictures of Ziko and Hizee in this collage because their teacher is a bit more snap happy. Bruce is teaching Zam grade four this year and I am teaching Hizee grade one. Although Ziko is not "officially" in school he participates in almost everything Hizee does and we've set up a little desk for him as well as a computer centre. Ziko also goes to the local preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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Class Pets

Little Man and Orange Cat often join the kids for school. The day often starts off with a comment like "Oh, Little Man has decided to be in grade one today or Orange Cat is in grade four." We keep telling the kids to really enjoy having their pets beside them as they're "in school" because next year (when we return to Canada) their pets won't be able to come to school with them.
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Community Classes in Zacango

At the end of August we began classes in Zacango after summer break. Our schedules are a bit different this year, especially for me, as Nompilo (the new MCCer in Zacango) is now teaching the English classes I used to teach. We continue to spend the mornings homeschooling our own kids and in the afternoons Bruce teaches computer and internet classes (he brings the groups into the nearby town of Olinala for the internet portion of the class); and works together with the community water group and newspaper group. As for me, I am continuing to work together with the baking group, the art group, teach beginning literacy and math classes, and have started working together with Bruce on mentoring the newspaper group. Bruce and I also meet with a group of 25 or so kids every Friday where we sing, do crafts and play sports. Lately the focus has been mainly on sports as we are preparing to challenge a nearby community to a soccer match and basketball game.
The soccer pictures in this post were taken when Bruce took the kids group to Olinala to practice on their regulation sized pitch. The kids were thrilled about practicing in on a "real" pitch.

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Art Group

The youth art group meets every Monday and Wednesday night at our house and they've become a very tight knit group. It is so neat to see them interacting as most of them completed their school careers at grade six. The group meetings give them the opportunity to be together in a "structured" setting. They often hang around after group meetings to talk, listen to music, and even cook and eat together.

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Weekends at the Barranca

With all the rain we've been having the barrancas (streams) have been FULL and we've been heading out to swim on the weekends. SUPER fun times!
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Cooking classes and Welcome for Nompilo

The baking group in Zacango continues to be very active. We meet every Monday and the women have decided that I need to learn all their Mexican recipes before our last year here is through. The women took the opportunity to teach me how to make tamales by making a welcome meal for Nompilo, the new MCCer who is now living and working in Zacango. Nompilo is from Zimbabwe and is part of MCC's YAMEN program -- a one year cultural exchange program. Nompilo felt very humbled and extremely welcomed by the tamale feast they prepared for her!
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The Welcome Feast

Nompilo and her fellow YAMENer, Clifford, who will be spending his year in Chiapas working at an ecumenical centre. Clifford came along to bring Nompilo to her home.
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