Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tacos, Futbol y Helado- Summertime Sweetness

So the last week of summer has come to an end...bittersweet moments floated through our dinner conversation tonight...but the habits we have established these past 4+ weeks are almost too fun to let go. "Why do we have to go to bed so early tonight(9:30)?" "Let's go to Xote again!!"(Water park outside of town) "Let's go hang out in the Jardin tomorrow and listen to the Mariachi bands" "Can you take us to Parque Juarez to play futbol?" "What's wrong with having another helado? (ice cream)...They only cost a buck!" "Tacos from the puesto again??" "YES boys, they are healthy, yummy, easy and CHEAP...and NO MORE COKE!!"

So from our mouths to our feet, we have been enjoying San Miguel immensely and everyday there has been a different adventure or impression made. We play at the Deportiva- an outdoor sports center on the edge of town where they have tennis courts (I biffed on Sunday running for the ball while stepping in a divot- my ankle hurts today!). Outdoor weights made of cement filled coffee cans on a bowed bars; Bare yet well loved futbol fields; Covered basketball courts, Kids big and small running everywhere with puppies, babes in arms laughing...And the hormonal teenagers all entwined, giggling or whispering, its one or the other.

The freedom of leisure and people enjoying themselves here is amazing. The potholes and danger zones we skirt by everyday would not be tollerated in America- We would be so busy getting our panties in a wad filing complaints of what wasn't perfect that we would never actually enjoy the warm sun and the green hills adjacent the sports center. The stillness of just sitting, watching and feeling the cool breeze blow though our hair is easily done here. I am dropping the guilt of always having to do something productive. Its such a different way of being and I really enjoy it.

Nothing is fancy or posh on the edge of town. Mamas y Papas are snoozing on the benches while they listen to the tinny sounds of samba from their cell phones as the little ones play on the merry go round (the metal kind we used to have at our playgrounds in the 60's). And there is so much activity!! People are out and about LIVING. This is what hits me so clearly...They really spend lots of time socializing and just spending time together. It has such a different pulse than anywhere I have been in the US or places I have traveled in the world. It has such a warm, heart filled vibe. A "buenos dias" is always returned with a big smile and friendly statement back. People are easy going. Time has slowed down.

How and Why is Mexico so different from the US- yet so close in proximity? Why don't we understand each other better? We listened to Warren Hardy talk last week about the different values that Mexican culture has vs American culture. It was fascinating and touched upon the black and white differences of our histories. He quoted a famous philosopher; Jorge Castanava, "The relationship problem between US and Mexico is simple: USA refuses to acknowledge it's history and Mexico refuses to forget it." It opened our eyes more to how much Todd and I want to learn, read and understand. He talked about the challenges each country has faced, how history has shaped each culture and most interesting is what each country's values are as of today:
The top three values in Mexico:
1. Personal Dignity and Respect- Pride, social protocol
2. Family/Friends/Trust- The rule of law did not protect the people but family will.
3. Free time. Not a consumer oriented market (compared to US)- live from their hearts.
The top three values in America are:
1. Financial Opportunity and free enterprise. Material acquisition.
2. Time and it's control (time filled, time lost, wasted, used, spent, gained, given, made the most of, killed and the best- TIME is MONEY)
3. Individual Freedom- self made person, manifestation of dreams and we are all unique.

How did each country develop these values and why?
Where are we going from here and what can we learn from eachother?
What seemingly insurmountable problems does each country have?

This is why we moved here. To not only learn and educate ourselves but to hopefully give our children a broader perspective on world cultures and values. It becomes so clear that we are a product of our environment- the positive and the negative.  The people and powers around us greatly influence how we think, feel, act and react. There are so many different paths one can take. We need to think for ourselves and ask lots of questions. We are not looking for perfection, we are looking for truths....all of them. We will be lucky if we just find a few here.....
Goodnight to sweet summer- Welcome autumn.

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