A walk in the park


Last Sunday after our weekly shopping in El Paso (with milk and yogurt in the ice chest), John and I went to Rio Bosque Wetlands Park in El Paso. It surrounds the old Rio Grande river bed – now dry – but they are trying to recreate the wetlands by diverting some water from the nearby water treatment plant. Each month, a guide from UTEP takes people on a two-hour introductory walk, and it was so fun just to get outside and see some birds, including the cutest burrowing owls, coots, mallards, and lots of hawks. It was an odd juxtaposition, though, to be walking through this park and to our left, see the border fence being erected – cutting off any hope of wildlife migration.

Monday was a holiday and we just hung out at the house, reading and smoking more meat in the new smoker – and cheese, too, which is really delicious.

We were on the visa line during the inauguration on Tuesday – darn it! – but we watched his speech when we got home.

Friday was a crazy day – a key system was down during the week that kept us from printing visas, but it started working again on Friday. John and I stayed late to help the admin teams get caught up. Afterwards, we met our friends Mike and Rebecca at Los Bichis for dinner.

Because we are so overloaded with work, we have several TDYers in to help over the next few months. We try to get them out and about as much as possible, so they aren’t stuck in their hotel room. Saturday, we dropped two of the girls from Mexico City off at the outlet mall in El Paso while we went on to the Las Cruces farmers’ market and bookstore. I think they bought out the mall, and then later, Wal-Mart! They were so cute and so happy to find bargains!

We made it back to Juarez just in time to meet our neighborhood group (pictured below) for a wine-tasting dinner at a little restaurant nearby. It was lots of fun – good food and good (Mexican) wine. We all ended up on our back patio until almost 2 AM, so yes, I think it was a good night!


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