Showing posts from September, 2009

Snorkeling Garrafon Park, Isla Mujeres

Living here for the past six years, we've done a LOT of things, seen so much, but we had never been to Garrafon Park on Isla Mujeres and I have always been curious. We got some freebies to head over on the weekend and thought it was a great way to celebrate Hubby's birthday. It was a jam packed day, we started by swimming with the dolphins at Dolphin Discovery then made our way over to the absolutely gorgeous Garrafon to do a little snorkeling, graze on the buffet and hang out in the panoramic pool. We had a great time, not much more I can say than that, I think the pictures tell the story better than I do.

The view of the reef at Garrafon

The zip lines over the sea

School of pretty fishies

Fishies having a little nosh on the barrier rope

These little guys kept banging right up on my lens

I LOVE these blue guys, always sticking together

My super snorkeling guys

A rare peek at me, Canucka, hanging in a cave

The highlight of the snorkeling part of the day was chasing a HUGE, I mean g…


I must admit to being a bit scattered lately, big life changes have affected my focus and ability to concentrate. Everyday a million blog posts go through my mind and slip through the cracks, ending up as vapor in the humid air. One of the problems is that I can't yet write about what I really want to write about so nothing gets written! Soon, precious, soon. In the meantime, here's a few things that have been happening lately that I can actually share with you.

1. Another baby, another caesarean. A lovely friend of mine had her baby girl this week, congrats amiga, I can't wait to meet her! Throughout her pregnancy she was insistent on having a natural birth and I supported her fully. Unfortunately there is a huge problem here in Mexico, doctors almost always insist on c-sections. I don't know anyone who has had a natural birth, even the women who wanted one so badly get laid out on the operating table in the end (myself included). The c-section rate is one o…

Renee Wathelet- A Tragedy on Isla Mujeres

Last week a terrible tragedy occurred. A Canadian woman living on Isla Mujeres was brutally murdered in her home by a young Mexican man who had been her acquaintance. I did not know Renee personally, only peripherally through her blog and twitter. After reading some personal accounts from bloggers who knew her (Dentro del Jardin and IslaZina), it sounds as though she was a person I would have liked to have spent some time with.

Of course this event has stirred the media, leading to the inevitable "Mexico is dangerous!" comments that come from the masses who have no idea what they are talking about. People who have never been to Mexico form opinions based solely on headlines without taking the time to investigate what exactly happened. There have been a few, I mean very few instances in recent past where Canadians have been killed in Mexico by violent means. Compared with the millions of Canadians who have visited without incident, I think that is a pretty low number and …

Swine Flu, AH1N1 Cancun, September Update- What Flu?

I probably shouldn't be surprised, but I am. I continue to get emails and comments on old posts from people with concerns about AH1N1 influenza (swine flu) in Cancun and Quintana Roo. It's incredible how misinformation and fear are spread, months after the outbreak which barely even reached this area of Mexico. The only real effect the virus had on the region was the complete shut down of businesses and schools and the terrible toll on the local economy.

Here are some facts:

1. Since the beginning of the outbreak, the entire state of Quintana Roo has suffered only one fatality.
2. Since the beginning of the outbreak, the total number of confirmed cases in the state total 513. (As a comparison, September 6 news indicates that there are a suspected 2000 cases at Washington State University alone)
3. The AH1N1 virus does not survive well in humid environments like that of the tropical climate in Quintana Roo.
4. While the numbers are extremely low and the risk is minimal, auth…

Xpu Ha Solo Camping

Like all mommies and wives (well, everyone I guess) , occasionally we need a break from it all, a refresher for the soul, time alone to recharge. I had my chance this past weekend and snuck off for a solo camping trip in Xpu Ha. Saturday morning I hopped in the car and cruised south to the prettiest little spot in Quintana Roo. The drive is about 90 km, an hour and a half on the highway if you are lucky (driving through Playa del Carmen is a bit of pain, stop and go at all those lights and maneuvering around gaping tourists in the slow lane). I spent my time listening the the 80´s music station and belting out every song as loud as I could (one of the joys of alone time, no one to criticize my singing!).

I found the rough dirt road entrance and made my way to the chained off entrance. The ¨security¨guy seemed a little surprised that I was camping by myself, but it made him smile. I paid the bargain rate of 70 pesos for one night and spent five minutes trying to get dude to unders…

"Divine Revelation" Leads to Cancun Airplane Hijacking

We had a bit of excitement yesterday afternoon with the news that an airplane leaving Cancun en route to Mexico City had been hijacked. Twitter was abuzz with the happenings, the first reports indicating that three Bolivian men had hijacked an airplane out of Cancun and were demanding to speak to President Calderon. We watched live streaming coverage as the plane landed at the airport in DF (as Mexico City is commonly known). In a few short minutes we saw passengers exiting the plane while armed forces and federal police arrived on the scene. We observed the authorities entering the plane and coming out with several men being detained, including a "diputado" (kind of like a congressman) of Quintana Roo. Shortly thereafter it was reported that there was no bomb, no weapons of any kind and that everyone was safe and sound. The whole event took about an hour, a fun ride on the information super highway (only fun once we learned that everyone was ok).

After all was said and…

A Little Catch 22

In order to change jobs while on an FM3 or FM2, you need to get permission from immigration. In order to get permission, you need a letter from your previous company saying you don't work there anymore. So, I can't get a new job til I quit the old job but then there is no guarantee that I will receive permission to start the new job, thus, I could be left jobless and without a visa.

This is where I am right now and therefore I am feeling the stress. A couple of weeks ago I was approached by a company about coming to work for them. They had found me through the blog and through Twitter and were interested in having me join their team. I declined at first, I was very happy in my teaching position, but in the end they made me an offer that was difficult to turn down. It seems that all is a done deal, I've got an offer in writing, have had a few meetings at head office and ready to move ahead so I quit the teaching position I had held for five years. So, now I wait. I w…

Ruinas el Rey Cancun- Iguana Party!

Hidden away amidst the flashy resorts of Cancun's hotel zone is a little piece of history, the small Mayan ruins site called El Rey. While not as significant as Chichen Itza or Tulum, the ruins do offer a glimpse of the ancient Mayan life. Archaeologists estimate that the area was inhabited from roughly 900 AD to 1550 AD when the Spanish conquered Mexico. There are several structures on site, from the religious temple to the castle to simple living accommodations.

While the ruins may no longer be inhabited by people, they are home to hundreds of iguanas who know to come running when someone starts throwing tortillas. They appear out of nowhere with their bouncy little run and flicking tails, fighting each other for a little nibble. They're certainly not afraid of humans and humans should not be afraid of them, iguanas don't bite though they'll use their powerful tails to take a swipe at you if they feel threatened.

We paid a little visit to El Rey yesterday, stocke…

Am I in Kinder Dos Yet?

Big boys shave to go to school, right mommy?
(Sure son, just usually not their eyebrows.....)

Finally, FINALLY I can answer "yes" to Max's most persistent question of the summer, "Am I in Kinder Dos Yet?" My little guy (excuse me, big boy) officially started "kinder two" yesterday and he was so proud. This is the beginning of his fourth year at the same school, he started out as a wee bebe in Maternal Uno and learned quickly that the "big kids" in Kinder Dos had the power and respect of the lesser Kinder Unos and Maternal babies. He's all set to rule the school at four years old.

Getting ready for the school year was pretty painless, except on the pocketbook of course. How is it that a four year old can have $200 USD worth of books? Math books, Spanish books, English books, French books,computer books, books on values, books on creativity, CD's, art kits, the list was endless. Then we have to buy the notebooks. Now, I really don&…