Puerto Vallarta

Wayne, Mike and Rod

Wayne, Mike and Rod

On Sunday morning, I flew to Puerto Vallarta to work at our consular agency there. A consular agency is sort of a satellite office that offers limited services to American citizens; they’re normally in places where there are a lot of Americans living or in tourist spots, like Puerto Vallarta. It’s actually in Nuevo Vallarta, which is very different from Vallarta proper; it’s more residential (lots of condos and time share salesmen). The agency is located in a little mall that never really seemed to have “made it”; lots of empty storefronts – but it’s a good spot for the agency since there are so many Amcits and tourists there.

This week, those tourists included Mike, Wayne, and Rod, so I got to hang out with them on Sunday right after I arrived – what a treat!

The work there is interesting; it’s a small office so it seems a lot more personal. We saw a variety of clients, from routine passport renewals to helping stranded tourists when they got to the airport and realized they had lost their passports. The two local staff who work there, Hector and Isabel, are delightful (I was filling in for the American who runs the agency while she was on vacation). Each day, we got our lunch from Fatima, a nice lady who makes pots and pots of delicious food at her house, then brings it to sell at a shady spot where the taxi drivers hang out. Lots of fresh fish, homemade tortillas, etc. – really a treat!

Since it’s in such a residential part of the beach, there wasn’t a lot to do at night other than relax. My routine was to walk an hour on the beach, finishing up at sunset, then talking with John on Skype before hitting the hay.

I flew back on Thursday afternoon, and went back to the office on Friday. It was an admin day for us – everyone was in good spirits for Halloween. In the morning, I walked with Ana and Adriana down to a little market not far from work to buy flowers; I took John back there for lunch at noon. In the afternoon, we decorated the office, then entertained employees’ kids who came to trick-or-treat. John made balloon animals for them and they all had a big time – not sure who had more fun, the grown-ups or the kids!

Our after-work trip to the Day of the Dead market was canceled due to some civil unrest in the area. I’m sure it probably blew over quickly (the street vendors mixed it up with the police) but it was too close for comfort to where we were going, so we just came home instead.

Saturday we spent the whole day across the street at the outdoor mall. We started with massages (and a manicure for me), then coffee, explored the neighborhood, had a bite to eat, went to the VIP theatre to see “The Judge” (very good), had an early dinner and came home – very enjoyable day!

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