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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

San Miguel de Allende-11-15

Took Tuesday off from regular schedule and headed to San Miguel to check out some new stores & sights.
Had the Portells from Illinois, and recently Chile, where they are serving with us. As strange as it seems, Mike Portell knew my brother Tim well, and his wife Tabitha & daughter Eva are very close to some great friends in S. Illinois, Blumenstocks, and Frakes families. They arrived from Chile to visit here in Dolores
the same weekend we did! We are hoping maybe we can tempt them into making their visit a long...........
one! So they joined us for our 1/2 day trip to San Miguel, about 45 kilometers away. Had another gorgeous day, picked them up at 9AM, after making a quick stop prior for our morning Torta- breakfast sandwich,
and drove over the mesa to San Miguel.


There is much to like about San Miguel, not sure of population but it is much larger than Dolores or San Luis de La Paz. There is many ex-pats here and the prices at some of the stores reflect that. Store called Liverpool in large outdoor modern shopping mall that price stuff like a Nordstroms, Macys, or higher. We got our queen mattress there, and left before swallowing the cost. But the quality was excellent & they delivered to Dolores, but there was no bargaining with them. There price or forget it.
The Portells had been here before with sister Buentello, and knew where there was a health food dtore we wanted to see. We were getting low on some of our favorite stuff, Quinoa, brown rice, and could not find apple cider vinegar, with the mother in it(the fiberous starter). So we wound our way thru the streets, with a hand written map, that was very good.

Saw this smart car parked into a wee bit of a spot, and saw the multiple advantages of them down here. And they are so ugly there cute, says Elaine!
But they can't hold many for FS, but would be nice to have 1 for negotiating the streets and finding those elusive parking spots. If you hope to find one close to the centro/park/jardin/garden where the shops are, you have to arrive early, or walk. Today Mike knew of a parking lot that wasn't too far so we opted for that. As we hiked up the streets to store, we saw water coming down from some of the roofs of the homes. As the houses all are right on the street, and 2-3 stories, The waterfall from the drain pipe had the effect of a waterfall splashing down on the sidewalk, so you had to be careful of where you walked. Then as you dodge around the waterfall, you had to step into street since the sidewalks are about 3 ft wide, off into street with traffic! So again you eyes are moving in many directions. Thats why parking and walking is preferred. too many distractions when you drive.
We found the narrow long store that had almost everything we wanted. exception Stevia. They have a combination Stevia with sugar they call natural, but not what we wanted. They stores here stock there shelves with so much sugar products, can't believe diabetes isn't a huge issue with children especially, or adult onset diabetes. Probably is. I mean 1/2 the shelves in any given store is sugar oroducts. from cereal, to soda by the aisles, to candy by the aisles. just incredible waste of space, if you try to eat a healthier diet. but I'll avoid a rant. But you can see the 'merchants" are killing the poor people.
After detouring to car by Mike & I, to unload the bags we had. Told girls we would meet them up the street at- STARBUCKS-

So of course we had a coffee, at least Mike & I did
and a cheese cake delight to pacify Elaine, of which she only had 1 bite!
She was still feeling effects of Montezuma'a issue,
so didn't take a chance. But it was very enjoyable. Some of the friends come over to San Miguel if they need a little break from regular routine/day to day schedule, to give them a slice of home. Mike is from Granite City. Il. and has a son in Tom & Jane's congregation in Alton, Il. Many connections with them.

 So after relaxing there,
we headed over the the park, they call the "jardin"(garden) which occupies usually the center of town. A peaceful parklike garden with trees, benches, for rest, people watching, and just soaking in the local flavor & sites around the historical center of almost all towns here in Mexico. I haven't had the time to do that in Delores, but will, after getting settled in our house.

The church has the most prominent space in most of the centers. Architecturally the most accomplished buildings in the town, they are a work of art from that standpoint. So we looked at, and appreciated all the poor workers who devoted there efforts to build these monoliths.

The influence & power that the chucrch holds tho not what it used to be, is still significant in the town & peoples lives. From the early(5am) bells ringing to call to worship, to the effect on the individual who wants to study, and finding a 1000 years or more of resistance to joining our ranks as fellow worshippers of Jehovah. They have a multi-faceted wall of resistance from family, community, and cultural history that is very difficult to break free of. We have a man in congregation who is going thru that now. He is attending mtgs, and makes the most heartfelt comments I have ever heard. Last night on a part I had, with his comment, it brought about 18 seasoned hearts of us "needgreaters" to tears.  The people here are the reason we stay, leave family and home to try to reach them, It isn't the many responses we get, because it is so hard for these people to break free from Babylon, but when you hear a comment like his from the humble heart, even tho its isn't your study you rejoice and know why your here!
People sitting across from the jardin, enjoying the morning! Paper reading, conversation etc. We  really enjoy taking these type of scenes in. So much slower pace than St. Louis hustle/bustle. 1 of the comments last night during Bible Highlights was, Eccl. 4:6-"Better is a handful of rest than a double handful of hard work and striving after the wind". That is so true here in Mexico. I'm glad Chip made the comment, I wanted to, but he said it best.

In park/jardin enjoying the beauty &  people.
 After our visit there we moseyed down the street to explore a few shops. My fear was Elaine finding any jeweltry stores. Alas that is exactly what we found!
And Elaine was happy to look at the display. I walked around the stores/vendors who had small displays of stuff around the inner courtyard, and saw a bracelet I thought she would like. And she did!
Coper with hand painted design. Very reasonable. So I preempted her from getting other items. maybe.
But couldn't resist, it looked really good on her.
Then we drove thru town to find the other store I wanted to see, Office Max! Now I can spend time there, as much as she can in jewelry shops, well not really but trying to be fair. Also explored the "super soriana" grocery store, where she found a toaster. Then we went to eat a late lunch at "Chinos" chinese restaurant a brother & sister operate in San Miguel. Also a health food store next to it.
 Enjoying the ambiance!
Tabitha, and Mike Portell deiding on menu.
 Well that was our day there. Had a call from Elder here to substitute for Service mtg part, and got home & worked on that.
Nice day, finished off with a late meal after meeting of Potato Dinner, restaurant.
Love to all.
Tom & Elaine

1 comment:

  1. Childhood diabetes is a huge issue with the Hispanic population in St. Louis, according to our school outreach department, so it would not surprise me if it is there as well. Love hearing about your adventures - keep it up! Miss you guys!!!