Monday, December 21, 2009

Mexico -- OCAMPO (continued)

The last of the Ocampo pictures!

Little kiddies make an impressive pyramid at the November 20th parade in Ocampo.

Big kiddies make an even more impressive pyramid.

Pompom-wielding schoolgirls in formation.

The marching band watches the parade from the presidency balcony. Jacob, whom I hold in very high regard (if I say that instead of "whom I love dearly", I won't get nostalgic and sappy -- nobody wants THAT), is fifth from the right, crouching.

These clouds, seen from our kitchen door, are actually a poorly-camouflaged UFO.

Setting up the large artificial Christmas tree in Ocampo's main plaza -- a merrier version of this.

Jacob (left) and Cesar, two of my favorite Ocampo residents. That's Jacob's default facial expression. Isn't it a great default facial expression?

On the day of the Virgen de Guadalupe, children wore capes and danced for an hour outside of the church.

El Salto de Agua, which Eduardo, Fierros and I reached via river.

Eduardo and Fierros stand beneath my favorite street sign in Ocampo. Fierros looks particularly sexy with my sweater (which was dry; his t-shirt was still soaked from our swim in the river).

Fierros, Eduardo and Oscar take a break after climbing up the Cerro Camacho -- two hours uphill through forest.

We climbed the tower at the summit.

And gazed upon Ocampo, so far away. Oooooh . . .

Aaaaah . . .

Eduardo is much friendlier than he looks in this picture.

For posterity. (Eduardo carves our names into the bar.)

Here's the tower from below -- it is a tall one, eh?

Fake Christmas tree and real palm tree. I wish that you could go to Ocampo during the holiday season at night. The main plaza is full of Christmas lights, each strand of which plays a different Christmas tune, and the overall effect is god-awful. It sounds like a bunch of dying chipmunks, and it can be heard more than a block away. I laughed hysterically every time I passed through Ocampo at night, but nobody else seemed to understand what was so funny. Story of my life.

Karina, my English student and friend, posing in front of a pretty part of the Rio Puerco (the dirty one). She is great, and can say things like, "I didn't do my homework." She never said that, though, because she always did her homework.

Well, I feel accomplished! Now I just have another 87409872423 photos to post and I'm done with the Mexico series. I think I'll do pretty touristy pictures next to keep your attention.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mexico -- OCAMPO (continued)

I realize that all of these "OCAMPO (continued)" posts are not as aesthetically appealing as one long post containing all of the photos would be, but . . . DEAL WITH IT. I have my reasons. The photos continue:

Nina and I relax on our broken, dirty sofa. If you look at all of the pictures I've posted so far, you can sort of put together a picture of our house.

Adriana climbs up La Roña, our old, creaky, homicidal ladder, to inspect the water tank. See, now you can see that the outside of the house is painted pink! Actually, it was mostly red.

The marching band passes by during the November 20 parade. The drummer closest to me is Jacob, whom you will see again in another photo (not today, though).

Notice the name of the store in the background. APPROPRIATE? Quite.

"You can stand under my umbrella, ella, ella, eh eh eh"
"Te puedes parar debajo de mi sombrilla, illa, illa, eh eh eh"
Adriana has been asked to translate this song and it sounds unbelievably stupid in Spanish. But I would stand under these little kiddies' umbrellas, ellas, ellas . . .

That's all for now. Coming soon: human pyramids, UFO clouds, a large artificial Christmas tree, and stunning views of Ocampo and the surrounding countryside. Then: photos of Angangueo! Photos of Morelia! Photos of pyramids at three different sites! Photos of churches and ex-haciendas! Photos of mountains and lakes! Lots of photos.

Mexico -- OCAMPO (continued)

Adriana stands proud by our indoor clothesline, where we hung clothes up to dry on rainy days.

From left to right: Adriana, Fierros, Eduardo, and Freddy. One of my goals in life is to look as gentle as Eduardo does.

A rainbow in Ocampo!

Anaisa in her kitchen.

Nina the Lopsided Kitten. Notice that her left leg sticks out -- it's "bionic" (says Adriana).

Nina stares down a bug from the windowsill. Adriana's red car, Baby Boy, does its best to make a snazzy background.

Ricardo and Gabriel came with Adriana and me to a bar and club in Zitacuaro, the closest city to Ocampo. Don't they look thrilled to be there?

Adriana and I sure are thrilled. (I'm glad I don't pick up on the more subtle social situations, like people running away from me in horror when I flash them an enthusiastic smile, because my self-esteem would probably plummet.)

This is Ocampo's Rio Puerco. It is one of two rivers that run through Ocampo. The other is just called the Rio. One of them is dirtier than the other. Can you guess which one?!

Nina's bionic leg sometimes made her look like a bunny.

Mexico -- OCAMPO (continued)

At Adriana's school's anniversary celebration, children make giant balloons out of crepe paper, fill them with gas, light a wick and let them fly (or burn, as the case may be)! Don't you wish children at U.S. public schools got to do this, too?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mexico -- OCAMPO

I'm cheating a bit -- technically, some of these photos weren't taken in Ocampo, but, since they feature Ocampo residents and the setting is not important, I'm including them in this category. In the same vein: Adriana and I didn't live in Ocampo. In fact, we lived much closer to Angangueo, in a neighborhood called La Junta. However, we consider ourselves Ocampenses, and so I'm putting the pictures taken in our house here, too.

Adriana shows off our homemade tamales.

Adriana attempts to teach me how to smear tamal filling in the corn husk. Instead, I break the corn husk. (You're looking at our dining room!)

The tree in Ocampo's plaza, dubbed "Ramon" by Adriana (because, you know, it has a big rama).

Ocampo from afar.

The September 16th parade! The very first thing I saw in Ocampo.

Okay, that's the teaser. I'm not going to post any more pictures tonight because I have ambitious plans for tomorrow (which include waking up at the ungodly hour of 8:00 am -- that's pre-dawn!) and need to sleep in order to carry them out. I'll try to post more pictures tomorrow.

If you're reading this, let me know and you'll get a special prize.

Mexico -- BUTTERFLIES (continued)

Here are more pictures of the butterflies. Pictures of human beings and places forthcoming.