• Katie Day Good, an MTV Fulbrighter with an easy-going personality and a great enthusiasm for a diverse range of music. She has been living in D.F. taking mariachi classes and studying pre-rock Mexican music and is about to move to Xalapa to diversify her studies. On her blog The Mex Tape she posts some terrific tracks of music, as well as witty writing.
• Colleen Kinder, a D.F.-er who is writing about ex-patriots living in Mexico, namely in Ajijic, a town located on Lake Chapala, which is 45 minutes from Guadalajara. She kindly let us take over her bed the last night we were in Mexico City.
• José Cabrerra, our friend the art therapist living in Queretaro. Part of his work includes the start-up of a men's group and dealing with violence within the home. His wife is Naomi and the pair have become fast friends of ours (see Day of the Dead post).
Aside from the few I mentioned, there were doctors, professors, performance artists, students, musicians, scientists... the whole spectrum. Much like orientation back in September, there was a summer camp-esque feeling to the reunion, yet instead of tents it was a comfortable hotel, and in place of camp food were delicious Mexican meals. Josh and I have made great friends who are all living in Mexico for similar reasons, yet have such different and interesting backgrounds and fields of knowledge. We are hoping to remain in contact with many for a long time to come.
On Saturday a group of 24 of us took a nearly two hour long taxi ride down to the southern edges of the city to a place called Xochimilco, which is a remaining glimpse of what Mexico City's landscape used to be. D.F. was built over the top of swamp land and is essentially sinking today because of the soft earth below. At Xochimilco the waterways have not been covered and intertwine between islands that have been built up for growing fruits and vegetables and decorative plants. This area is beautiful, yet has been "touristified" to accommodate the hoards of visitors who come to ride on man-powered boats and drink libations and eat good food amongst friends.
Intermingled with the boats occupied by merrymakers are smaller boats with vendors selling elote (corn on the cob), cerveza and micheladas (cerveza with a kick), flowers, candied apples and later when it became dark there were candle and blanket vendors floating by. Each boat offered something different to watch, whether it was a huge group celebrating with a mariachi band boat hitched up to their side, or a more intimate group sharing a meal and drinks.