To qualify for the program, students have to have and maintain an overall grade average of 85%. All of them want to go on to university. They're very focused on learning and are fully engaged. No students are bored or inattentive. Because of course, if their grades fall or they don't participate, there are dozens more students waiting to take their places. Anyway, initially they were fairly shy and reserved, but after about two months of our class, they've completely loosened up, and we have such a great time. I think it's like being on stage and feeling the audience is completely with you. For me, it's exhilarating.
So Friday I wore all black and explained to the students that I was in mourning because of the inauguration. They were totally on board with that and contributed their thoughts about the impact of his presidency on Mexico, the US, and the rest of the world. They're quite well informed and were right on the mark as far as trade, tariffs, the wall, of course, and world economy in general. (One student called him "evil." About halfway through the class, I saw and heard dozens of children racing down the street, a real stampede. My first startled thought was, Are they running from the bulls?!! But we walked out onto the sidewalk, and behind the children was a parade coming down the street. Friday was El Dia de Santo Sebastien, the patron saint of the neighborhood where our class is and where we live. The parade consisted of lots and lots of men with face paint, dressed as women with gigantic boobs. They were throwing confetti and candy to everybody alongside. Then came the saint himself, carried on a palanquin. He was being paraded throughout the barrio so everybody could see him. Normally, he stays locked up in a case in the Ajijic Centro Cultural. After St. S, came a straggly brass band of sorts, then Indios in costume. Most of them were pretty impressive except for one fat guy who should NOT have been wearing the skimpy loincloth thingy he was wearing. I had left my phone inside on the desk, but I asked some students to take some pics with their phones. I hope to get a couple to share.
So, after the parade, we even managed to get back to class. They were writing dialogues based on their everyday lives, and they were hilarious. Such a funny sense of humor. One boy's dialogue with another boy was complaining about how he couldn't get a girl to like him. They're learning English and I'm learning even more Spanish, I think.
Anyway, after class, I started walking home--two blocks, five minutes. As I was walking on the sidewalk along the carretera, a man was coming toward me--gringo, long hair braided in back, with guitar slung over his shoulder. As he got even with me, he said, "Good choice of outfit for today!" Completely surprised me that anyone else noticed my mourning clothes.
But the day wasn't over yet. We had met a couple the week before at the Friday service and potluck at the synagogue and arranged to go out to dinner with them. So Sandy and Linda came here, we had a glass of wine, showed them the house (always the same reaction--OMG!), then walked over to Pedro's, a couple of blocks away. Pedro/Peter is Canadian but he's cooked and opened restaurants all over the world--a traveling man. His latest place here is particularly convenient for us, but we also like the consistency of the food quality, and the ambience. So many restaurants here have NO ambience. Inside the restaurant, there are booklined walls and fireplaces. And that area leads out to an enclosed garden courtyard--very pretty,even romantic! So we had a good dinner, good conversation, but the evening wasn't over yet.
Our neighborhood saint had made his way to the same street Pedro's is on, one street over from ours. So, walking back to the house, we stopped at the corner that had been blocked off for the mariachi band, decorations, and lights--brilliant blue lights that sort of got in the way of good pictures. Nevertheless, we took a couple of videos and some photos. Then continued walking home.
This is a terrible video. The bright blue lights strung up above the street blurs everything, and the sound is even worse. Believe it or not, they sounded pretty good and they weren't at all drunk, like they sound. :0
So what had turned out to be such a dark day ended with bright lights, music, and happy, happy faces.