Showing posts from July, 2011

Swimming with Whale Sharks Cancun

"Go go go!" the captain yells and we throw our bodies off the side of the boat, landing in the sea and coming face to face with the gaping maw of an 8 meter long shark. "MMMMM" I yell through my snorkel (everything sounds like "mmmm" in a snorkel, the translation here is something along the lines of "Holy Cow!"). Though the enormous mouth coming at me is about 1 meter wide, I do know that this whale shark is really only interested in eating plankton. I manoeuvre myself out of her direct path and try to remember to breathe, it is an intimidating mouth regardless of whether I am considered lunch or not. We follow along with her, using our flippers like mad to race to stay alongside her rippled and dotted body. Her mouth opens and closes and the cleaner fish cling to her side and she finally outraces us and we pause for a breath.

This is whale shark season. Every year between May and September, whale sharks gather in large numbers off the northern…

OUT on Isla Mujeres on a Sunday

Sundays were made for getting the heck out of Dodge. Fresh air, maybe some ocean, maybe some jungle, just OUT. The Whale Shark Festival was in Isla Mujeres so that made Max's "Where we goin' this weekend?" question easy to answer. Tia Lisa had to go to Isla for an errand and another sweet friend was going with her so we all headed out together.

Sitting on the top of the Puerto Juarez ferry, the sun coming down hot and hard, a musician started playing his guitar. He even managed to get some of us singing along to "Guantanamera" and "Cancion de Mariachi". We girlies gossiped and caught up and Max hung over the railing looking for I don't know what in the water and the crossing seemed to go by quickly.

We docked on Isla, made our way through the "Snorkeling lady?" guys holding up their fish photos and onto the main (still under construction) street. We were on the hunt for the Whale Shark Fest. We headed over to the Malecon, expecting to…

Good Days, Bad Luck

Contenta. Herida, pero contenta. The last month has been filled with emotional and physical assaults, but I am somehow content. In the last month I have sprained my ankle, traveled to Oaxaca, spent five days in the hospital after a slip and fall, started work on exciting projects, returned to the hospital for a reaction to the medication, met fascinating new people, lost relationships, had great days with my kid and now I have shingles. Yes, I am a regular at the hospital, I need a danged preferred customer card. I walk in and they smile and call me by name. Sad really. But on the other hand somehow hysterically funny. And there are great things in the mix too.

Laying on the couch this morning, a bag of frozen peas on my back and mixed veggies on my chest, I play music for Max and he dances, doing his best Chayanne or Justin Bieber or Michael Jackson. We go to the hospital and Max says "Again??" but when we get there he knows people and tells the doctor how the blood pressur…

Cancun Beach Therapy

Twitchy. Itchy. Restless. Legs bouncing all around even while laid up in a neck brace. Being indoors, forced indoors, ugh. It has been raining in Cancun (following along? slip and fall on wet floor?) so indoors we have been. I woke up Sunday morning and saw grey skies and threw the pillow over my head and went back to sleep. The next time I came out of my cave I saw glorious sunshine and jumped out of bed. Midday, a bit late, but better late than never.

I did coffee like a tequila shot and ran out the door. First day with no pain and no rain in at least two weeks. I've got my pareo, a torta, a bottle of Coca Cola. The radio is always set to 93.1 Mix FM, 80's of course, and I was cruising through the hotel zone with the window open screaming along to Whitesnake. "Like a drifter I was born to walk alone" to be precise, one handed air guitaring and head banging at the stop lights. Well, very gentle head banging. The palms look green after all the rain and the…


So, if you've been following along, I had just had a happy happy joy joy weekend in Oaxaca and was feeling great. The Sunday night I returned home I was chatting with a good friend and mentioned that the universe wouldn't allow me to be this happy, that something bad was going to happen. (Duuuuuuuh, it might be true or what you think, but never, ever say this out loud, er, type it in chat). I went to bed content and looking forward to going to work the next day to share my tales.

It was a dark and stormy morning (I have always wanted to say that) and the streets of Cancun were flooded. I had on my pink flowery happy boots though, and was in a good mood. I walked into the little store at my office to get my coffee and suddenly both feet were in front of my eyes and I landed on my arm and back on the floor. I imagine it looked hysterical really, like the ole banana peel slip and fall without the banana. People surrounded me, told me not to move, called the ambulance. Whi…

Mexico Today: Oaxacan Surprise

Dancers in the Calenda

My whole body vibrates with the sounds of the brass band, my heart taking on the beat of the tuba that seems to be ever present in Oaxaca. A beautiful girl in a swirl of colourful skirts smiles and presses yet another cup of Mezcal in my hands as the fireworks POP in the air then sputter at the feet of the dancers. Giant puppets bob and weave in the light of the candles carried by the crowd and cameras flash and the man wearing the fireworks machine on his back spins down the street. This is "Calenda", the traditional way of announcing and inviting people to a party in Oaxaca. It's a parade of colour and music and spectacle that proceeds any good fiesta and this is my first.

The Mountains of Oaxaca

I really thought that I was going on a simple business trip to Oaxaca last weekend for the launch of the Mexico Today project. I figured I would meet some cool people, get the lay of the land of the job and see a little bit of Oaxaca. What I didn'…