With our son and his family so far away, and the absence of my sister-in-law, who passed away last June, we had a “different” Christmas this year. Nonetheless, we shared many happy times with the rest of the family and our good friends.

The Christmas tree came down today and I have definite “goals” for the New Year.

A … is for Annual January Diet – I aim to make it less of a “flash in the pan” and more of permanent part of my life

B … is for Book. Yes, I have finished, and it will be released in just a few months

C … is for Canada. Jorge and I had such a great time last fall that I fully intend to go back this year

D … is for Driving. I vow to not let the buses and motorcycles spike my blood pressure every time I get behind the wheel

E … is for Exercise – same aim as for the letter A

F … is for Family and Friends. Where would I be without them? I want to see more of those I love and less of my computer

G … is for Grocery Shopping. I need to be a more conscientious food shopper

H … is for Head-in-the-Sand. I need to make each day count, not make excuses

I … is for Information. I am joining a discussion group where I will learn more about current events, literature and other topics I should know more about

J … is for Joy. I need to keep in mind that this is my main pursuit – and pass it on.

Writing down these ten goals helps me to reconfirm their importance in my life. How about you?

I love Mexico

Saturday night, Jorge and I went to Merida’s Noche Blanca. This amazing bi-annual street party, sponsored by the city administration, gives locals and tourists the opportunity to enjoy downtown restaurants, art galleries, shops, live music, theater presentations and even a fashion show – until 2 o’clock in the morning.

While Jorge and I dined at an outside table, I overheard comments like:

“If this party was going on in ­­my home town, there would be metal detectors and tension.” “There are lots of little kids still up, and it’s late.” “Look how well-mannered everyone is.” “What a perfect temperature.” “I didn’t know Mexico is like this.”

At 11 pm, we joined thousands of people crowded together in the Plaza Grande to hear Lila Downs, and when she urged them to sing along, they belted out the Mexican cantina songs and social protest ballads she is known for.

The next morning, I opened the newspaper to read about La Noche Blanca

But I could find very little about the fiesta. All the media had to report were killings, kidnapping, corruption and cartels. And it is true – sadly we have all that in Mexico – and abuse of power, inequality, grave economic issues, unemployment, and worse. Other countries have these problems too, and yet, it is ‘lawless Mexico’ that is always in the spotlight.

Don’t get me wrong. I am the first to say that changes must come, and I agree that the stories of unrest need to be covered. I want the world to know what’s going on in Mexico, and I want the international press and politicians to put pressure on this country’s powers that be.


People living in other countries also need to know that the good far outweighs bad in Mexico. We have a young, dynamic, hard-working population. People in Mexico care about one another. They are generous in countless small ways. Mexicans have imagination and creativity. They love color and food and music and dancing. They deserve to be portrayed fairly.

I do not have my head in the sand. Yucatan is an oasis, with less social unrest than is seen in some other parts of the country. And even here, not everyone I meet is pleasant. The drivers are aggressive and the bureaucracy is a curse. I work with young people, and I know about their concerns and frustration with the archaic, unfair system.

Nonetheless, when I travel throughout the country, I observe that despite the serious confrontations, manifestations, and political power wars in places like Mexico City, Michoacán, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Chiapas, people still find joy. They use humor, family time and friendship to offset their pain.


I love Mexico — ¿y que?

I am happy living in Mexico and so sick of explaining why.

I am fed up seeing the country and its people kicked around.

I just had to write it

When I started this blog four years ago, I hoped that Writing From Merida would help me connect with those –

  • who enjoy my stories – about family and friendships
  • who love Mexico – warts and all
  • who try new experiences – and don’t judge them
  • who are excited by traveling – anywhere – any time
  • who have a commitment to helping Merida’s community thrive
  • who strive to keep their sense of humor – no matter what
  • who like trying interesting and new food – even when it is “different”
  • who listen to all kinds of music – sometimes really loud
  • who dream up cool ideas – and crazy ones too
  • who dance like no one is watching – and don’t care if they are

This indeed happened, and my personal bit of blogspace became popular with those I wanted to reach. But daily blogging (or even weekly blogging) is a huge commitment. And definitely NOT possible for me to do well when I am writing a book.

And those who read Writing From Merida – even occasionally – know that I have been fully immersed in “the book of my life” – for the past several months.

The project has consumed me. I have neglected the blog, my email, my kitchen duties, housework, my friends, my family, my lovely husband – and on some days – even my personal hygiene!

If you are among my slighted followers, I thank you for your loyalty and I hope that in the new year, when my book is released, you will get a copy – and you will understand why –I just HAD TO write it.

More to come!

Writing and Intercultural Living…


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