Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chanukah 7th & 8th Nights – Butterflies, Pyramid & the Gifts

Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary
Wednesday we headed up to the El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary. The hike to the Monarch Butterflies was a good 1.5 to 2 miles each way with some pretty steep inclines on well groomed trails. We enjoy hiking so the pine trees and views across the valley and mountains created a peaceful feeling. There were signs posted along the way to educate visitors about the environment, the reserve and of course the butterflies.

We really did not know what to expect. At first you just saw trees. Then you see the “clumps” of butterflies all up and down the trees – millions of them. As the afternoon warmed up they began to fly out of these groups. It never warmed up enough for us to see all of them fly but there was enough to create absolute awe.

Humorous moment: Husband reached in to bring out the two water bottles for us to drink during the long hike. The first was – you guessed it --- the Rubbing Alcohol from yesterday's poisoning incident!

On the way back, we were dropped off in Centro where we had Chicken w/ Verde Mole Sauce - so good. We visited the churches and bought some produce where the Mexican clerk gave both boys a jicama at no charge - they were thrilled. On the walk back to Hotel, we spotted the shingle hanging for the Doctor who had made the "Hotel Call" Tuesday. We stopped in to show him how well Oldest Son had recovered. The Doctor was SO sweet, hugging and kissing both kids.

Los Alzate
Today we drove into the valley to the archaeological area of San Felipe los Alzate-Zirahuato. There is an impressive pyramid built by the Matiatzinca culture abandoned in 1250 A.D. As we have found at most places on this Road Trip, we were the only gringos there. Many Mexican families gathered there to picnic and enjoy their Christmas Day.
Ruins are always great places for little boys. They climbed, jumped, ran and played ball. Youngest Son befriended some Mexican children with whom the boys played with for over an hour communicating in Spanish! The sun shown bright and we relaxed completely.

Chanukah Comes to an End
Last night, in front of the flickering lights of the fireplace and the Hanakiah, the boys acted out the story of the Macabees and The Miracle of Chanukah. They do this every year and really enjoy picking the parts and obviously they like the big battle scene.
Tonight is the 8th and Final Night of Chanukah. Our true gifts this year are the many acts of kindness shown to us by Mexican individuals during this trip. I have to say it has been a joyful surprise.

A Mexican family literally shared their lunch today at the pyramids - they brought us 3 cups of jicama & hot sauce, 3 tangerines and candies. Another family gave the boys some sugar cane – the raw kind you peel and chew. These were clearly not families that had an abundance. We have been overwhelmed with the generous spirits of the Mexicans we have encountered.

Miracles take many forms ... Amen


Steve Roll said...

I've been reading your blog over the past few months and have enjoyed all of the interesting insights about living with kids in Mexico.

Today, I've started my own blog about traveling in Latin America. It's called Travelojos. Here is the link:

Of course, I've included your blog on my blog roll. I was wondering if you would reciprocate.


Steve Roll

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Thanks! I will visit your new blog!