Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mexico as it is

Yesterday I went to lunch at the house of the physical plant director of the university that I was doing some lectures at.  Our host is a soft spoken guy.  I have gotten to know him over the years as he has advanced from driver to plant director.  During that time he also completed a high school diploma.  This fall he is starting a college degree. He kids me a lot about the Governator.

His family includes four young children - three boys and a girl.  Each were delightful.  Great energy.   The youngest did not seem to like to have his picture taken.  His wife is soft spoken and very pleasant and as if frequently the case, extended family were present.

He lives in a modest house that is in construction.  A lot of Mexicans develop their houses piece by piece and his has some additions in the plans.   But the house is secondary to his family.   I played a lot of games with the kids asking them what a fork is called in Spanish or English or German.   They also knew high fives and lots of other kid games that you would find in any US home.

Our host spent a energy assuring that we were made welcome.  We had a white fish that had been seasoned with some local herbs including mint.  It was delightful.  Raspberries with creme fresh.   As guests we were treated royally.

After lunch we went for a walk down to the lagoon that is near his house.  When we got there there was a woman fishing with a rig that is common in Mexico - which is fishing line wound around a board.  Not very sophisticated but you see it often.

In the two decades I have been working in Mexico - this was one of the most memorable afternoons I have had.   I've been to a lot of fancy places in the country.  I've met a lot of important people.   But this simple afternoon of wonderful hospitality made the rest of those experiences pale.

The first picture is not one of the kids.  As we were walking back we saw a kid near the director's house that was trying to fly a kite.  On this temperate (Veracruz can be oppressively humid and yesterday was actually pleasant) afternoon the kid was more concerned about getting his kite into the air than in noticing the visitors.  Sounds about right.

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