We walked up to their house on the hill above Bucerias--where few gringos set foot, because it is the residential area for local Mexicans. When you go there, people are not hostile. You're not really intruding. They're curious just what brings you there.
What brought us there was our old friends The Lopez Family. Tonight they were holding the traditional February 2nd feast early--for us. We had excellent chicken and pork tamales and had the traditional drink atola, made with milk, coconut, and spices. And we talked about how their life has changed over the last few years, and how the growth in Bucerias has affected them.
Mostly, they're doing OK. Their daughter Erica had a baby four years ago, not long after we last saw them and he is the apple of everyone's eye. Ishmael is now a contractor, and they are planning to build a couple of apartments to rent out on their property. Mostly what Trini wanted to know is when we are coming back. We watched a video of a party they had, and talked about Alfredo. And after three hours, we left, promising we would try to come back in two years. We stopped in at Karen's Place--a bar owned by an expatriate Aussie, and had a nightcap and trudged home along Lazaro Cardenas.
As we were walking to Trini and Ishmael's, we encountered some children, and Maureen, as she always does, wanted to take their picture:
After Mo took the picture, one of the girls walked up to her and said she wanted her picture taken by herself "Solamente me."
And in the middle of all this, some of the kids started jostling Keelin's purse. Keelin is the last person who would ever cast aspersions, but she said they were absolutely trying to get to her money. At that very moment, Trini walked up and shooshed them all away. Nothing like this has ever happened to us in Bucerias; it was a little bit of an anomaly. It did nothing to harden our hearts or change our minds about this paradise we keep returning to visit.
I hope we do return in two years. If I could figure out a way to survive here, or make my savings stretch, I'd return in a month, after wrapping up my affairs in the states.