Year THREE in Zacango here we come...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

Wishing you all HAPPY Christmas!
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Neighbourly Visits

The other day I was visiting with our neighbour kids when we created this improptu photo shoot. Little Ale has particularily won our hearts. The short wall surrounding her house is only about 2 metres from our front door and Ale is often the first person to greet us in the morning. Her sweetness is heart-melting! She is filled with insights which she freely shares, often along with a lick of the lolipop she almost always has in her mouth.

Lalo, Damiana (hiding), Ale, and Felicita

Ale and her brother Lalo

Damiana, Ale, and Felicita
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Annual Christmas Cookie Bake

It is our last Christmas in Zacango and I think the "Kids Christmas Cookie Bake" is one of our Mexican Christmas traditions that we will miss the most.
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La Virgen de Guadalupe

On the 12th of December all of Mexico celebrates the Virgen of Guadalupe -- Mexico's patron saint. The Virgen of Guadalupe's significance and importance here in Mexico cannot be understated. She is more than an icon -- she is much beloved as the indigenous Mary and protector of Mexico (to learn more about her, and the legend surrounding her, type her name into google).
Each year on the 12th of December, along with the thousands of feistas elsewhere in Mexico celebrating her day, there is a huge procession in Olinala that attracts thousands of pilgrims. However, there is also a smaller festival in Zacango's sister community of Las Juntas. Each year that we have been here we have gone with people from Zacango to Las Juntas. This year was special as it was our last Virgen of Guadalupe day in Las Juntas.
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When we arrived in Las Juntas the community members welcomed each of us by sprinkling confetti on our heads. Ziko somehow got missed in the crowd and he was quite concerned about this so he went and sought out the confetti sprinkler and recieved his welcome.

Ziko's friend Cirilo.

Waiting for the procession to begin.
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The band accompanies the procession into the community of Las Juntas.

Diana and Hizee

Ziko and his crew of buddies: Rafael, Cirilo and Edgar
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Hizee and Chickee Poo

I can't enough of this awesomely photogenic team -- Hizee and Chickee Poo! I can't stop posting pictures of these two!

Although she now lives in the backyard, we came home one night to find that Chickee Poo had snuck into the house and found a choice place to roast for the night!
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Chickee Poo still likes to be carried under Hizee's shirt for warmth -- the place where she spent the better part of her first two months of life.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Play Zone

For the last few weeks Hizee's classroom has been the evening meeting spot for all the neighbourhood kids. They have been transforming the room into a house and everyone has their role to fill in the house. They are incredibly industrious and play late into the evening until a the moms start calling kids home.

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Fiesta of the Virgen de Ascension

On the 7th and 8th of December Zacango had one of it's two annual fiestas in celebration of the Virgen of the Ascension. A fiesta consists of: a procession into (and through) town carrying the saint who is being celebrated; a huge feast of mole; and a dance. In the picture above we are waiting to meet the oncoming procession.

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A little travelling midway came through town for the fiesta, complete with a mechanical bull. Bruce was up for the challenge and provided a good show.

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El Baile -- Highlight of the Fiesta

Complete with a live band, the dance to end the fiesta is a definite highlight for people. The dance is viewed as the opportunity to find your future spouse. In fact, people often ask Bruce and I how we ever met and got together because Bruce doesn't like to dance.

Ziko and David, dancing up a storm.
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Painting Rules!

Painting seed pods with the Friday afternoon kids group.

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