Archive for December, 2015

Christmas 2015

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

John pointed out that this is the ninth Christmas in the Foreign Service – we’ve celebrated in Washington, D.C., Cuidad Juarez, Tel Aviv, Islamabad, and now, Guadalajara. We got off work early on Christmas Eve (and amazingly, no emergencies kept me at the office!), so we went to see the new “Star Wars” movie – fun! We opened presents on Christmas morning – for two people who don’t really do much for Christmas, we sure had a lot of packages to open!

I was happy to see my two annual favorites – chocolate-covered cherries and the new Audubon calendar (I use them to jot down what I do everyday and have them dating back to the mid-90s). John gave me a sloth wall calendar that will go in my office – so cute, and it reminds me of our wonderful time spent in Costa Rica way back when!

After presents, we watched “Love Actually,” a great Christmas morning tradition. Later in the day, we went to a friend’s house for an informal lunch, and have been enjoying the long weekend, talking with lots of family and friends.

Posadas, etc.

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

Ana Rosa's Posada, with Vero

Ana Rosa’s Posada, with Vero

There were several holiday parties this week, starting on Sunday with an open house at Jeff’s house. A friend/ACS co-worker flew in from Merida to observe our operations, so we picked him up at his hotel and took him with us. It was a nice get-together – we ducked out before the kids started the piƱata fun.

Friday night was the annual posada at my co-worker Ana Rosa’s house. It’s a ritual that re-enacts the Bible story of Mary and Joseph looking for an inn for the night. Half the group is inside the house and the other half is outside, asking to come in. There’s a script to follow – narrated by another co-worker and lots of readings and songs that I can never decipher the tune to! At the end, we’re rewarded with tamales – the best part!

Friday afternoon there was a party for our local guards and I stopped by to say hello as I was leaving work. Since I’m helping with their English classes on Wednesdays, I’ve gotten to know some of them a little better. The Consulate pitches in for the party, and they each get a gift basket with food. Our guards make about $5/day – I’m not sure how they manage to make ends meet. They’re all very sweet, and now I’m greeted with “Hi, Teacher” as I go in and out each day.

Yesterday John and I hit another hipster arts and crafts fair, and stopped by the tents with Oaxacan products that are out each Saturday. I bought some chocolate to make their delicious hot chocolate – I hope mine is as good as what we had when we visited Oaxaca years ago!


Sunday, December 13th, 2015

We were a little surprised by an overcast sky and drizzle yesterday (eventually turning to rain in the evening). Before the precipitation started, John and I walked up to a small holiday fair where a lot of local vendors were selling their wares – mostly young hipsters selling clothes they designed, artisan soaps and candles, jewelry, and baked goods. The local adoption shelter also had a pen of dogs for adoption – so cute! (John and I are determined to get a dog at our next post!)

This week has been fairly routine, but we had a lot of interesting cases at work to keep us on our toes. John is on duty this week, and yesterday we worked on a death case and did the death notification to the next of kin.

For the past two weeks I’ve been on a “Downton Abbey” kick and finished Season Five on Friday. We’ve also been watching “Borgen” on DVD, a political drama set in Denmark – very good. Last night we watched a German movie that’s been getting a lot of publicity, “Goodnight Mommy.” We expected to be terrified, but were a bit disappointed – although it was a very interesting movie visually.

I had ordered Mom’s tombstone when I was home in September, and it was set this past week. I was very pleased with it, although it does make me sad since it’s such a final reminder that she is gone.



December already?

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

It’s so hard to believe it’s December already – especially being in Mexico where the weather is lovely. John and I went to a driving range this morning and hit a bucket of golf balls and it was 74 degrees at noon – perfect weather. We had a lot of fun and moseyed through a little crafts market we stumbled upon on the way home.

I really enjoyed having our friend Cathy here. I took Monday off from work and we went to Tlaquepaque for lunch and a little shopping. She left at the crack of dawn to head home, so it was back to work as usual on Tuesday.

I’m training a new officer in ACS work, and stayed late Wednesday night to help with the English class for the local guards. Thursday John took me to a nice dinner out at Alcalde where they serve good Mexican fusion dishes – really good.

I worked Saturday trying to get caught up on desk work, then John and I went to play board games with the English-speaking group. We were at a new venue called “El Gato Cafe” – right up my alley, and there were even two darling kittens wandering around as well.