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Published: April 27th 2010
The plan for today was to head back into Santana so that I could do a little more shopping and sightseeing before we head back to Mexico City. We had juggled the idea around of staying for one more night but when I talked to Jose about it, he had a valid point. While my flight doesn't leave until 5:25pm on Friday, a midnight arrival in Portland means that I won't be getting home until close to 4am and that means I shouldn't put myself in a situation where I'll need to be waking up extra early just to make it back to Mexico City in time. So we planned a 4pm departure for Puebla which left the morning and afternoon for exploring.
Before we could leave, Sara insisted on cleaning up the kitchen and making sure that everything was in its place. The majority of the families have a large concrete basin with a washboard texture on the bottom. This is utilized for washing dishes as well as doing all of the laundry. There is either a faucet that fills it or a barrel is filled up beside it with a hose and they dip water out of the
barrel to fill the basin or wash/rinse the dishes. I don't think that my mother-in-law could even imagine the ease of my life with a washer, dryer, and dishwasher. Her son definitely takes after her in the clean sense. He can't stand to have any dirty dishes in the sink, etc.
Jose had requested we get some camotes which are candies made out of dried fruit. My experience with camotes is that they are sweet potatoes or yams that you bake in the oven with butter and sugar cones called piloncillo. I'm still learning their food and cultures because his next request was for borrachos which mean "drunks". This time they are little wrapped candies as well. Good thing his family was there to translate because while I'm sure I could fit a sack of yams in my suitcases, I'm not so sure I'd be bringing any drunk men home with me. The first place we explored in Santana, after I stopped and bought Mia a short sleeve shirt, was the Mercado. Right when you walk in the door, you're swamped with the smell of fresh fish, yuck! It is composed of row after row of vendors selling everything
from fresh fish/meat/cheese to flowers to meals to trinkets, you name it. I stopped to smell the flowers and asked a vendor if she minded if I took some pictures. She pulled out some irises and invited me to step into her shop so Isabel could take some pictures of me. I absolutely adore the masses of flowers and varieties that grow in this environment. If my dream comes true and we buy property down here, I will definitely hire someone to help me plant some gorgeous flower beds. I'd love to have fresh cut flowers on my breakfast table each morning. The price for a bouquet of flowers goes for a few pesos, nothing compared to home!
Jose is a huge fan of the Mexican soccer team Cruz Azul, the reason that my daughter's name is Mia Azul. I found a thick fuzzy blanket for him of Cruz Azul for $270 pesos, a small kids backpack for another $90 pesos, a little leather keychain with the Cruz Azul emblem on the front and she burned his last name on the back of it, two woven bracelets, two more bracelets with a big Cruz Azul bead in the center
of it (one for Jose and the other one I put on Azul), some Cruz Azul socks (3 pairs for $25 pesos), and some soccer magazines and newspapers. For AshLee, I bought a short dress that she can layer with leggings and/or leg warmers, whatever the style happens to be. There are lots of stores that feature vestidos para novia or formal dresses for weddings and quinceañeras. Erika would absolutely love one of the pretty princess dresses but I hestitate to buy one without her here to try it on. I finally found a couple of cute dresses in a halter style that tie around the neck with an elastic gathering at the back. I got a dark pink one for Erika and a small white one for Mia. Their birthdays are coming up in a few days and I want to take them to get their pictures taken professionally.
After I had exhausted every possible resource, or my spending allowance, we caught a combis back to Acuamanala so I could finish packing up to head out. The getting there turned out to be the easy part, it was the leaving that turned into the real adventure. In order
to catch a bus to Puebla, it is necessary to walk across town to the main highway and hail one there. After taking the group family pictures, we loaded everything up into our backpacks, etc and started slowly walking up the street into town with Grandma following along at her pace. And then it started to sprinkle, and then the sprinkle turned into rain as we scurried like rats for the eaves of the shops on the sides of the road.
(Note: I am publishing this 6 months after the fact as I review my TravelBlog as I prepare for our next trip to Mexico in a few days, sorry for the delay. I accidentally saved it instead of publishing it)
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