Wednesday, April 11, 2007

New faces in town

It happens every spring about when the jacarandas burst forth in lavender bloom. I can count on making new friends along with seeing old friends walking in the center of town. This year Kate Burt from Connecticut was here for her second month-long stay in Guanajuato, this time after a rigorous month in Guadalajara taking a certification course for teaching English as a second language. Even going to language school five days a week in Guanajuato, Kate managed to practice her singing several times each week too and still find time to go to the Zilch Cafe from time to time in the evenings. Kate and I spent an afternoon in Santa Rosa where we walked down to the church, back up to La Sierra Restaurant for a cup of Cafe de Olla (coffee with sugar and cinnamon already in the brew) accompanied by an order of guacamole and tortilla chips, then walking on the street behind the restaurant to the pottery where Kate bought several small gifts for friends and to the cooperative to see the jams and little bottles of strong fruit wine.

Also in town were Del and Pat Lewis for a month to soak up Guanajuato and think about how much of their year they want to spend here in the future. In between studying Spanish and, among other activities, hearing the Mexicantes concert, the Lewises were doing serious thinking about the future. They plan to spend part of the year in Florida but keep coming back to Guanajuato on a regular basis. Meanwhile, they've met people they can email when they are planning their next trip.

What sets folks like these apart from many foreign visitors to Guanajuato is their interest in engaging with people outside their school program as well as within it. They were touching all the bases, to their benefit and ours.

I have seen many Americans or Canadians look right past me as they walk down the street. After all, they came down here to look at buildings and see Mexican life., right? That's definitely one way to travel but I for one am glad for visitors who consider me part of their Guanajuato.

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