Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring Visitors

March is my favorite month in Guanajuato because of the clouds of lavendar-mauve blossoms on the jacaranda trees along the streets and hills. After eight years here, I mentally change the tree name when I remember Housman's poem starting "Fifty years is little room to see the cherry trees in bloom."

I like March for another reason, too. With its balmy weather, it's a favorite time for language students to arrive. This year, Kate from Connecticut was back. I met Kate, a singer and ESL teacher last spring. We hit it off and spent an afternoon in Santa Rosa, a nearby hill town. This year we saw each other along the street, had time to catch up with each other and she'll be taking back mail from me to folks on The Other Side.

I've also made a new friend, Marjorie from Denver who introduced herself to me while we were standing in line at an ATM. She clearly knows how to make the most of her time here learning Spanish. She told me she's very pleased with her formal program but supplements it by talking with the children in her host family. "They speak simply and slowly." Marjorie saw me as a resource about Guanajuato. I've benefitted from her take on banking, networking, writing, and US life today. I was getting rusty after mainly depending on online news.

In March, a lot is happening in Guanajuato. Right now the four-day Medieval Fair is on, something like the Society for Creative Anachronism. The hippie-medieval garb definitely brightens up the streets. Today, I also happened to be in front of the San Diego Church near the Jardin when a newly married couple emerged with a bagpiper (gaitero in Spanish) on hand to mark the occasion. The bride was from Denver, the groom from Leon. After the many relatives from both sides streamed outside, I went into the church to see the elegant floral decorations. Having the symphony start up again next week after Easter Week will be almost an anticlimax.

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