Organic Market Explodes on the ASF Scene!

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 11.16.37 AM Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 11.16.45 AMASF’s Organic Market!

AdeCocoMx – Coconut milk is AMAZING  and it tastes GREAT!

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Ayudandoapapas.com    This is a great site for activities and gifts for children and is educational, MANY cool things to choose from and here is the Facebook to also see!

Coros - WOW!   Great designs of jewelry and great, GREAT gifts – you need to check

this out!  IMG_8205

El Buen Campo!

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El Buen Campo – A GREAT service that can deliver to your home a VARIETY of products organic in nature!

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Frutos de Vida

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This is an amazing beverage as we have seen this as many organize markets, and you get a chance to stop by – do so, you will never forget this!

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Holanda – Great waffles and the chance to tour an awesome area?  Yes!!  :)

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Mariela con sabor a beso

Nuci Gourmet

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Nuci Gourmet – If you think nuts are delicious, you haven’t tried these with cinnamon and a variety of other toppings – wow, and home grown from Chihuahua and available here in Mexico City.

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Porto Organica – YOU HAVE to try this honey – thick, sweet and totally organic.

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Querido Rincon – Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 12.14.34 PM

Very cool gifts that involved shaped, animals, complex creations that are creative ad eye catching!  Their virtual store makes this a GREAT chance to shop as well!

SE Gourmet baguettes – oh YES.  They literally melted in my mouth between the cheese, and the bread – DELICIOUS.  They cater to special events, as well as to homes, so this is a GREAT GREAT opportunity, and if you haven’t tried one – you NEED to.  I tried the Jamon de Pavo and never looked back after the first bite!

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Soy Y Tierra – Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 11.55.21 AM

WOW!  The dehydrated tomatoes AND the powered to make milkshakes – seriously,  could not resist these after the taste!

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“Clubbing” Past the Stereotype

The seen and the unseen. It is all about what makes us better people, lead better lives, and learn more about ourselves in the process. Alongside the unexpected turn of events that occur in our lives, I have said it once, and will say it again, you need to slow the pace of life sometimes to notice the small details that matter, they are often bigger than the experiences we think will matter.

Working alongside the staff of Repentino. for the last three events, just when you think there is a high bar for excellence, students will rise about that if you continue to think of ways to challenge them. No offense, but there is little recognition due to me as a leader when the students take an idea, an opportunity, or an idea and turn it into success. Yes, I am there ot motivate, initiate, and “prime” if you will, but to really see educational experiences be just that, become TRUE learning experiences individuals take with them, a sense of letting go needs to be initiated and students pushed towards using their own decisions and choices that will effect a successful culimnating result. The last three fundraisers for the Repentino. staff earned no less than $4500.00 pesos was earned, with at least two to three hours ahead of time put into the preparation, showing one thing – the individuals, that become a group, willing to put the effort, reaped major benefits compared to last year, increase all across the group are seen – then…

When you hear the comments, you realize what is happening, something you would not see from just hearing or seeing a group of students at work – you see individuals growing, pushing themselves to be better than anything previous – “I have never done this before!”, “I am unsure what to do as far as setting my own agenda and for others…” – “I never saw this aspect of an organization, this has become more than a CLUB, this is n the job and future preparation!” – you cannot help but realize there is a true sense of learning but looking ahead to the future, planning, predicting an audience and meeting a select audience’s needs, enhancing the needs of fiscal records, enhancing public relations skills, developing a mission statement and theme that meets a communication need?

Yet, if you only look on the surface, and see a club, you would see clumps of students running here and there, but without a closer look you miss the whole picture. It is easy to take fro granted the deep-seeded skills that students acquire, be it researching using tools they never thought of, connecting themes of topics to other key words that them them to new research, using the idea of a club or organization to grow as a group and individually in areas to prepare for college, taking advantage of every situation and ignoring the comments of outsiders – those that fail to look deeper and see what happens on a staff by staff basis. My biggest fear is to I will lose focus and not have tasks be connected to a higher purpose, one that benefits the individual involved in a task at the time, combines the skills of thinking outside of the box, that connects to researching personal inquiry and not relying on simply an assignment to do so, triggering creativity along the way, and combining a WIDE WIDE selection of skills and planning that involves what you would normally not receive from a typical library, from a typical organization, from a typical approach to education, and boom – students rocket off the charts with feeling confidence of what they can do with others AND on their own. I believe this year’s magazine has had a GREAT start to taking what an organization like Repentino. can do to add to what the library, research, investigation, literature, art, and communication with others outside of the school can do to shape the overall learner.

Yes, you could minimize what we do as a magazine, organization, and a club (Sounds the same at first, doesn’t it?) , but do not be fooled, Repentino. is simply a vehicle for which the library and valuable acquired skills can be realized – to travel on this highway of the 21st Century. My goal is to leave those not able to see the future on the side of the road while those that do catch a glimpse of what could be, make it a reality.

Wednesday night was an odd night, yet, another opportunity of learning that would be priceless. A colleague informed me there was a research opportunity through Lake Research Partners and people were needed in their opinions on absentee voting, the process, and a little bit of other information. I was excited because I needed to figure that out for myself. Yet, the last phrase I admit, also caught my attention. They will pay you $75.00 for the 90 minute opportunity. Um, yeeeaaaaH!   In in the course of one week, lost my garage ticket at Costco’s having to pay a 190 pesos fee (Trust me, I looked everywhere), on top of running around the past few weeks non stop and felt this would help me recover a few steps of the losses I experienced.  Yet what I would discover was something far more valuable than $75.00.

We did a webinar Wednesday on the latest and newest technology that simply is AMAZING for libraries, as well as the possibilities, and realized it was 4:55 on a required 3:45 day, and I had until 5:50 to be at the Hampton Inn, in Centro to be eligible for this survey. Amazingly, I made it home, I got to the dogs, in the cab, (hanging head) a cab through the mess of Centro traffic? Doubtful – and yet, the driver seemed to sense my nervousness and delivered me right to the door with 5 minutes to spare, the desk not knowing where I needed to be without a name, me attacking the hotel computer and opening my email, grabbing the name, rushing up to the 2nd floor, to the conference room, 2 minutes to spare, a breeze  :)

Settling in, we started and after meeting three ladies, one who had recruited for absentee voting and encouraging/teaching others to do this process as a right of being a citizen of the United Stated, another research recipient that was at least 85 years old and had been through so many countries, raised children on her own, been denied years of voting due to state regulations until recently, and actually being in tears with the thought of the right she could exercise, and the third woman who was a member of the Democrat party here in Mexico that was a staunch advocate of exercising the right of voting for her party – we over the course of 90 minutes learned how personal the right to vote is in the Unite States, how for granted this right can be in the United States, let alone overseas, and the challenges that remain in getting this information out to so many that can, and do not. We see countries that influence voters, fix votes, try to remove the right to vote to some parties, and we as citizens need to treasure how we can protect this privilege and right. After 90 minutes I was exhausted mentally from the deep considerations and discussions and yet walked away treasuring what I did not know I would be able to do days before. Again, the moments you might take for granted actually carry more weight than you would glance away in a quick moment.

Every year that passes, I realize more and more about myself, as well as dealing better and better with criticisms, and I do realize this. Yes, I get mad when people around me do not see how fast ahead I am thinking, or not seeing the bigger picture. I hate misunderstandings that are acted out without proper communication. Yet, over the last few years, actually since I came to Mexico, I have found ways to channel that frustration, anger, and disappointment and create new strategies never tried, as a holding area, if you will, for a way to turn it around. Sometimes it is an idea no one has tried that that energizes you, other times it is individuals themselves that hold this optimism, potential, and energy that just push you without saying a word. I am grateful to have staff members, students, and close friends that relay that kind of energy. Simply put, it is easier to eliminate those that do not hold that energy so you can led a much more optimistic life, something I continue to learn year after year.   Before you know it, an open road is on front of you with the sky as the limit, and what a landscape that turns out to be…

Did I mention enjoying Saturday movie night with colleagues, getting tulle dover and checked for papers fro driving and thanks to the help of a colleague being let go and okay (first time for everything), running to Costco’s 3 times in a one week period to stock and replenish for student events, visiting Zacatlan, ending a Week of previewing banned books, visiting a few new restaurants to add to the blog, just to name a few things?   Boring time?  Not here.  :)

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Lucy…in the sky…in the air…everywhere…

Many connect Lucy in the Sky to the Beatles, yet, when you see the film Lucy with one of my favorite, talented, intelligent, and sexiest actresses,  Scarlett Johansson, you take away a piece of wonderment with you as well regarding, and contemplating,  your role in the world we take a place in, or not in some cases.

Not knowing any information going into the theatre, Lucy bit into me from the first 10 minutes, and never let go.  One has to wonder once you depart how you can become more in tune with the world around us while we are surrounded by evolving technology that serves to transforms the intimate to the impersonal with so much activity and fanfare over technology making our live “easier.”  Yet, is easier, better?  I have to say, the connections to stories such as The LawnMower Man, The Matrix, and others yet, a simple truth is available.

We can get caught upon going going going, having the newest technology, being in the know with the latest fashion, being on top of the world in our own little sphere, pushing limits faster, faster, faster, being here, being there, being everywhere, and when it comes down to it, it is possible to have nothing at all.  Those moments where you push away the world a little each day, and enable a solitude of thought, memory, and thought to break into a world now dominated by superficial “things”, to experience more than to want and buy buy buy, these are experiences that are priceless and will stick with individuals longer than any IPhone, Iwatch, and the element of “I” or self as well.  When you let the element of life come to you in sometimes the smallest forms, from a laugh with friends, family and close acquaintances, and realize the world of technology and advances will never slow, but you as an individual CAN slow things down to appreciate them more, then I think the true meanings of life do become a part of you more so than always being connected.  The eery implications of what could happen if we tap into our full bran capacity, as well as the amazing presence of Morgan Freeman, all winds up into being action-packed, provocative, and compelling.

Let’s take a sec.  I am being a critic but also the first one to admit how much I rely on technology to reach others, and I do.  I find myself often wrapped into several different technologies at one time, and realize that someones I need to pull back as well to find myself again curled up on a couch, reading, connecting with a good friend though it has been years, and often just the simplest of experiences that help root me back to the very things I treasure most.

So many connections are available and difficult to resist the urge or feeling of a need to always be competitive, always be in the know to be popular, and I took away from Lucy, that once realized, life is a totally different gallery than the one I thought I was strolling through, one made up of close relationships that cannot be priced or valued by the number of Tweets, IM’s, or friends, but by the individual memories that will remain with you beyond the newest gadget coming out on the market.   Lucy?  If you let it, it can become a life-changing experience of what you want life to be, now and in the future.

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Erasing to a daily Tabula Rasa…

They hit you sometimes when you least expect it causing you tone off balance.

I find that these epiphany moments exist that hit me when I am waking up, sitting down to a morning moment, and just the oddest moments, waves of emotion that just come from, from…and I realize where.  Over the years I have been given the amazing amazing gift, every day, of individuals that make me feel alive amid the roller coasters of stress we all encounter.  Hence the eraser – I hear all the time people say they will not erase anything that has happened in their lives.  I wish I could be one of them.  Yet, I have to say, I would gladly take an eraser and fill a tabletop full of shavings to erase those moments where I fill my cup is full to the max, stressed beyond the word “S”, and I am unable to take in the very moments I feel on top of the world, thanks to the very people that make me feel on top of the world.

Tabula rasa was the concept provided by a group of teachers at the beginning of the school year as a way to head into the 2014-2015 year, and I could not agree more, yet a larger challenge makes it even better.  Since the first day of school, I have been surprised on a daily basis – I will remove the word students and say their names, because each of these individuals has moved past the role of student, even though they still serve in that capacity, are are coming into their own as someone you adds so much to those around them.

If you have ever seen Sarah Herrera’s smile, you know what I am talking about, it is just ear to ear and perhaps one of the most amazing aspects to brighten a day, and when I saw her walk through the doors of ASF after her seemingly forever trip in Israel, I just realized how lucky I was to have met someone who can shine a light on all things, whether good or bad, life is so fun if you just allow it to come to you in those waves.  Add to that a procession of amazing young “movers and shakers” like Monse Ibanez, Lucia Ocejo, Sofia Sanchez, David Hubp, Natalia Clark, Camila de la Parra, David Favila, this SMALL PERCENTAGE of amazing people that have changed a whole day just with there smile that brings back a wave of how much I miss them – well if that wasn’t enough…

…we look at a young Repentino. staff for 2014-2015 – young in the sense that yes we have a mixture of seniors, freshmen, juniors and sophomores, but their energy cannot be contained to a single organization or club ; how amazingly lucky are we to have all of them together?  That is beyond a price tag – THEN take the amazing individuals that changed, influenced, and shaped my life as it is now from Seafod, DE, from Coach Doakes and an amazing amazing spirited XC team, to the amazing individuals like Mrs Wheatley, Mrs Cox-Cannon, and so so many more that allowed every day’s challenge to turn into a smile of some sort -

..to the amazing individuals that shaped my life in Butler, PA and being lucky enough to reactivate the connections with them and knowing they still are rising to accomplishments unseen as of yet, but still rising.  It is maybe cliche, but without a doubt, I feel like Matt in the outtakes of this video where these are simply outtakes, yet, I always feel I am in a different place and a different time thanks to the uplifting memories everyone has been involved with me in – I always feel surrounded and not having to be with those individuals every day and STILL feeling that ?  I am not sure there is any amount of trips, price tag, or experience that can cause that realization – and I would not trade it for the world.

Looking over the past weeks since school has started, it is astounding what has occurred in honestly a short amount of time – seeing my first luche libre in Mexico since being here four years (it was AMAZING and SO FUN!), meeting talented authors and sharing them with students and seeing their strengths come out as a result, Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 7.55.47 AMcombining the past and present Repentino. to completely new challenges and accomplishments in the 2014-2015 year, revisiting the past with so many individuals that have defines what a good life really is, an AMAZING freshmen Advocacy group at school that defines the idea of optimism and to be honest, is just amazingly fun to be around in the morning, taking in all that Mexico has to offer over the summer and accenting it with the graduates that grew with me, and never losing touch with them -

I have said it once and will say it again – I am blessed thanks to the magical possibilities of those around me and get very motivated when I see this tight knit family of achievers rise to so many occasions – 2014-2015 will be an amazing year due to each of them – so yes, erasing the moments where I succumb to the stress that still floats in the air is a definite, erasing the past bad moments? – I would say no, it helps me realize how good I have it when I came to a bright spot in the form of each of the smiles I see playing back in my mind.  These unseen magical moments that occur everyday, from meeting the perfect German stand in Mexico making the perfect Bratwurst, and not knowing this would happen, to feeling the success of those around you, when they see these events as just tiny, little insignificant tasks, (yet you know it is just one step towards them becoming something even greater!), to the peace you soak in of an early boring or late night – it becomes each to create tabula rasa with the right people around you to move you in the direction.

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Subtle and Often Missed…but Never Too Late to Celebrate!

As I was walking through Parque Rio last night, it was impossible to hear the sounds of opera emanating as we wound our way through the park for our nightly jaunt.  As I neared, truly, a man and a woman were exchanging parts of some of the most famous operas, and people walking their dogs, with their children, with the significant other, everything came to a halt.

It was perfectly wonderful for a weekend.

Truly, nothing else could stop crowds on the sudden, unless their voices had not been completely mesmerizing.  It was also something you had to reach for, but the usual party, Friday night sounds of acting out and celebrating the end of a week had all but stopped too, it was as if the whole area was celebrating their talent and putting everything else on hold.  It takes much for Kinah, Wriggley, and Amaya to stop in their tracks, yet they were completely content to stop and the in what these sounds were that they were so unused to.  I thought, I could not have spent a Friday any better – and without having to make a reservation and appointment, without a ticket :)

As we would our way back home out of the park, we passed four men, their faces lit up by the back licking fire out of a wheelbarrow, mixing tar, and to fill in the street, it was a perfect picture had I had my camera with me, the black of dark pushed away from the lively dance of the fire they were feeding. Moments that pass you so quickly often are subtle, yet can touch you so deeply.  As I passed a couple she questioned where I was from and remarked, “You picked a great place, visiting Mexico!” mistaking me for a week or two visitor, and I smiled thinking, I surely did.

We think these thoughts as our staff sifts through and celebrates the many artists that come in and out of Repentino.’s eyes, and realize many artists are chosen by the staff to represent a particular theme, yet, so many more submissions that escape the pages of Repentino. have this subtle whisper to let you not miss the amazing details that surround us every day, and bring back a memory of something long ago that touched us deeply.  We are blessed to have a forum for celebrate the beauty they bring to our doorstep, and we hope you agree. There could be no better gift, and we hope you also sense the subtle beauty that many bright out through so many mediums, priceless in the gifts they provide for our soul and mind!

 

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Mexican Life from a Scooter…

Say, 15 years ago, if someone would have said, “You will be sliding through the streets of Coyoacan, with a friend from Argentina, on your way to the BEST pizza joint in Mexico, and yeah, it will be on a scooter…”  I would have said, “Um, what are you smoking?” Yet, there I was.

You just happen to catch the before rain scent of the air and you know anywhere you go will be magic. “This is the BEST pizza in Mexico!” and of course, just like that, between a challenge and a brag, I knew what was going to happen.  Yet, whisking through the spaces that seemed only large enough for a small piece of paper (VERY SMALL), we were bumping, rolling, and sliding past traffic with ease and taking in the way Mexico looked from the back of my friend Andre’s scooter.  I realized how efficient his company, Walking Dog, was with the transportation and getting around Mexico so quickly with the scooters his company has.  Traveling by foot is completely different than by vehicle and seeing and feeling Mexico from a scooter is even more different and completely exhilarating.

I instantly was brought back to my seven year old self, being on the back of a motorcycle, (be it a Triumph, a Harley, Indian), my Dad was quite a collector!, and that freedom of air, catching your breath over small jumps, and just feeling Alive, it was great to have a good recollection of those days and here a lifetime later, reliving them.

Before I realized it, (used to how long it takes via car) – we were HERE! Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 9.08.18 AM  Mama’s Pizza, and I was sucked in before I even realized it.

Was it the fact that Pink Floyd’s The Wall

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was all over literally, one wall?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or the fact that a huge pinup of Marilyn Monroe was exhibited on the second floor?

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Or maybe that the drawings by the customers had been posted on the walls for customers to see?  Or that the restaurants provided crayons and paper for you to create your own?  It might have been the 80’s music and videos

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 9.21.09 AMplaying constantly, but honestly….when you see the at least four inch pizza,

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Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 9.12.30 AMWhere am I?  Chicago?  Literally, I can’t say I can refute this being the best pizza in Mexico , Hola Mama Rumba and Mama Mia combined, this was ABSOLUTE a ecstasy in eating!

Looking over the balcony (ironically, looking at California Pizza),

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 9.09.40 AM while the nightly rain began and taking in the buzz of a weekend crowd, the meal, the music, the things to laugh about, the FOOD, everything, made you realize how lucky you were to be in Mexico.  For a restaurant to be able to do that for an evening, you will remember it hands down.  Finding out this establishment has been around for 30 years is no surprise, you will know this from just the tasting of the food. Having a garage for the public is needed because as we left,it was PACKED, and it seemed these lucky individuals knew the secret as well of where to get one of the best pizza’s, next to Chicago, here in Mexico.

Taking food home was a no brainer, and believe it or not no way no how room for dessert, BUT, Andres plodded on with dessert.  Note, if you like cheesecake, get the Flan, because it tastes like cheesecakeScreen Shot 2014-08-03 at 9.18.22 AM, which I prefer, so I was good, Andres, was NOT.  Literally, the next day, I had a full meal with the leftover potato (King Kong size) and “flan” cheesecake, so it was amazing!  But the also in the freshness of the air, the coolness of an after rain evening, Walking Dog’s Andres that was accommodating to show some of the best Mexico had to offer life is good.  Andres by the way, is meticulous about the care of your canines when you are around and when you are not.  Aside from leading me through the prices of replacing a lost debit card, walking your dogs and treating them like family, to replacing items in my apartment, to a host of other items, you can tell how reliable someone is from their friendship, and you can tell this right away in his genuine nature.  Add to that he is an artist  Aside from this hysterical photo he whipped up Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 9.09.24 AMwith mediocre crayons!

…that will be exhibiting his work soon (stay tuned for details!) – you have an all around eclectic individual that is simply talented and amazing.  We are lucky to have him as part of our Mexican experience, adding Argentina as a huge fact of what makes experiences so rewarding.

Is it possible to top the perfectness and enjoyment with friends, weather, scenery, and atmosphere after a night at Mama’s?  I am sure it is possible, but it will be a hard choice to be able to forget the experience you will have thanks to the food.

P.S.  My picture was desperate at best so good thing Andres’ and the food was KILLER!

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National Geographic hits Alvaro Obregon!

Check out the new National Geographic’s

informational/educational/photographic displays

on Alvaro Obregon, in Roma Norte,

from Cordoba to Merida, they are great!

 

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Cooling into summer…

…as I realize, my mentality and almost everyone else’s has been summer is coming to an end, yet, I have a new inspiration to keep the feeling of summer going all year long!  So to begin, I added some books just delivered:

The Border by David J. Danelo

Enrique’s Journey Sonia Nazario

Just Like Us  Helen Thorpe

Mexican Enough  My Life Between the Boundaries – Stephanie Elizondo Griest

 

Narcoland   Anabel Hernandez

Open Veins of Latin America  Eduardo Galeano

Taco USA  Gustavo Arellano

Then I realized, every day, I need to look forward to seeing people that can remind me what I love about being a librarian, which is ALOT!

I also want to never sacrifice or lose my time outside of school to lose reading,  walking, and being able to take in sites around me after school, period.

It’s so important to carve out time for yourself throughout the day and eke in front of you all the time the positive atmosphere you need to not “just get through a day” but to go into the day jumping and excited and being infectious in the positive to those all around you.  If those around you engage in the very things that begin to make you sink (and I have to work on this) you need to leave IMMEDIATELY, make an excuse to go to the bathroom, to the nurse, to the outside to just take a walk, just to break that negative momentum, and gather yourself into something even more invigorating, as well as create your own space of positivity wherever you are, that will maintain a whole new look around you and make a difference in the long run!

I realized I made a parallel today.  I walk my three afghans with pride all around the Roma Norte, Condesa, and further sometimes and literally, everyone stops me every 3rd person and asks and pets and croons, etc and this is the symbol, usually people with alot of money have Afghans, breed them, etc.  Here I am, in plain jeans, t-shirt, the exact opposite and I think most of the time people thing I am hired to walk them 24 hours :)

However, this is funny, I thought by taking in Kinah from the street, and having unexpected puppies, the unbelievable luck that I had that was ANYTHING BUT being wealthy to flaunt what most symbolize as wealth, just the opposite happened.  By giving myself to being a rescuer, a helper, the image of wealth came about.  I think that is the key, people fare much wealthier, MUCH MUCH wealthier, having friendships and doing things that are actually selfless, and it comes back to you.  It makes you look like you are wealthy even when you are not.  Not right away I have learned, gosh no.  It seemed for awhile sometimes bad thing after bad thing happened, and the more I was upset about it, the worse it became of course.  It takes me a long time to realize my wealth was in the friendships I had that were positive, and the deeds that I should do that are selfless, and not self-serving such as accumulating as much wealth to live of money alone, thinking of myself only , focusing on me me me to the point where others could be helped and are not, that is not what happiness and a positive life are about AT ALL.  On top of that, depression, isolation, and loneliness result from those areas that often cannot be climbed back out of.

Everytime I see Kinah, Wriggley, and Amaya together, I think of how a rough start everything was, and how grateful I am when they nuzzle up to me and almost seem to smile on most days, and realize, wealth is not measured in money, position, getting in with the right clique, or being #1, it is about waking up each morning and trying to make a difference in others lives, as a result of how you live your life.  Sometimes that comes in for form of a favorite pet, an experience, a spouse and best friend, and sometimes, even n the form of a day whee you get time to reflect on the things that can;t be counted that make your life better.

I look forward to a year, a total year in 2014-2015 of doing this and so much more thanks to the amazing people around me, and sifting out the negativity slowly to leave only the best experiences to relish in.

 

 

 

 

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Every turn, every corner…

…I look back over the last few weeks and realize how amazing they have been, AMAZING – from the simplest discoveries to the more complex that are right under your nose.  Dido’s Life for Rent says it best when she says,

“..but if my life is for rent and I don’t learn to buy

well I deserve nothing more than I get

cos nothing I have is truly mine…”

I am finding there is so much that is available, that is valuable, that is precious that does NOT cost anything, and slowly discovering these one by one is one of the most amazing things that makes life well, priceless.  from the simplest aspects of being able to get up when you want, to sunshine, to a breakfast of any making you choose, to hear the patter of rain, to read, walk, to do anything you want when you want to, that freedom is priceless, and valuable, and often taken for granted in countries where many try to take that away from the individual.

I recall looking back over the last few days and seeing and walking through parts of Chapultepec Park that unfolded like a painting, never seen before, to the murals of Diego Rivera in the Museo Jardin de Agua, to taking in amazing blues and Honky Tonk at the USA Food Truck Festival to many, many more things that s summer usually does not allow you to appreciate.

It’s funny how something as simple as reading a book that reaches out and make you disappointed, angry, upset, relieved etc, and I walked away from a section of a book I am reading and seeing the amazingness around us, I am so glad I do not tend to sit inside and not take advantage of the amazing things around us each day, sometimes just being able to relax at home and take all the advantages in and realize, life can be simplified, can be amazing, and can be special if you devote each day to making it that way, your life becomes more positive, uplifting, and much more motivated.  Being able to say that more of your life was given to help others along the way, leading a selfless life and not acquiring THINGS, has become even more beneficial and only one of the many realizations that has come with being a visitor of a country outside of the United States, priceless…

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Enlightenment, Educational, and Noooo, interesting? YES!

I have noticed lately there is so much right in our own backyard, that we are unaware of, and exploring and finding those items makes a new outlook on how you see your own area.

Such was the case when a friend Deb and I stumbled on the Tamayo Museum.  I remember mixing is up with the Soumaya Museum when I was in the taxi once and yes, the drive was correct the Tamayo was NOT in Polanco, lol.  As we worked our way through part soy Chapultepec I had never been before, I realized what a perfect place it was was for Tamayo, surrounded by people all day, shaded areas and a beautiful cafe outside, all around very impressive.

As you walk in you are amazed at the huge expanse of space on front of you, light coming in and just like a breath of fresh air, all the save you need to take in the beauty of this building and allowing the neighboring green of the park to enter in, it was welcoming to say the least. I also found that by giving our credentialed id, we got in for free as teachers. WOW!

I first walked to my right where there was a lounge-type area, and very cool – all the explanations and a majority of books on the artists, as well as the exhibits and detailed explanations were provided in a whole area constructed of fresh-looking wood, and neatly organized by exhibits.  Underneath the collection of materials for each exhibit that was currently on display, inquiry logs were available for you to describe your reactions and responses to each of the exhibits.  I loved the look and the comfortable space created by this area.

I then turned around and began to make my way into the first exhibit, pictures not allowed to be taken in this one specific area.  Yet, Brazilian artist Jac Leirner, was well represented with many difference exhibits.  His exhibit titled Functions of a Variable, I felt did lengths to show fads, social acceptances through companies, and a spirit of Andy Warhol.  A description below entails an introduction:

“Closely related to the formal and spatial expressions of Brazilian Neo-Concretism, as well as with the conceptual strategies of the decades of 1960 and 1970, in Brazil as well as abroad, Jac Lernier’s practice is focused in the daily accumulation of everyday objects and its reconfiguration in sculptural forms, giving a new meaning to the objects, but also conferring them a new value and use.”

I was amazed at everyday items, common at one time, such as devalued bank notes, airline tickets, packages for cigarettes, and especially shopping bags made such a statement.

What impressed me was the differences of perspectives that were also realized in looking at some of the artists’ work.  I like when you are brought to the realization that art or anything, can make you see things differently, that reaches out to me.  So it did here with several exhibits.  This is the excerpt, from the series of architecture pieces titled Theatre of the World, that were on display that represented culture as well as architecture hand in hand:

“The Theater of the World looks into the work of different artists interested in architecture as a place for political and social representation. Although, more than revealing the failed utopias from the past, this exhibition reflects on the world as stage, where the monuments, palaces, ruins and social housing projects coexist and renovate under the same façade of nation and apparent development.”

Participating Artists: Alexánder Apostol, Yto Barrada, Marcelo Cidade, Nathan Coley, Livia Corona, José Dávila, Marjolijn Dijkman, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Angela Ferreira, Andreas Fogarasi, Meschac Gaba, Carlos Garaicoa, Terence Gower – Pedro Reyes, Pablo Hare, Heidrun Holzfeind – Christoph Draeger, David Maljkovic, Olivia Plender, Anri Sala, Kostis Velonis”

It was haunting to see buildings, shells of the buildings left untouched for years due to the funding that disappeared, building made out of paper that were cut out and stood out, all red in color, and rows and rows of these.  the illusion you see when you first look at these housing “units” is the message of mundaneness, and similarity even though each one is different yet the common quality still exists.  There were also the pictures where the architecture had been cut out, and you looked at the picture so differently wondering, what was there and what is there now that fills this space, or the space around it?

One of my favorites was a exhibition of a movie made where it is an illusioned city, meaning that when people come to visit, fake trees are pulled up from a mechanical device in the group, clean buildings side swivel outward, and bushes and other pleasant scenery appears making it appear these enhancements are always a part of the city, and then when the visitors/dignitaries leave, everything disappears.  This made me wonder if the future will be like this, a fascade due to the way we treat our environment.

Yet another film depicted an actual neighborhood that was drab and dreary after economic support from a democratic-based movement ran out, and instead of leaving this drab and unfinished look to the buildings due to lack of fundings, an artist came in and painted all the exterior buildings in very loud and bright colors on the sides of the buildings/ bringing the neighborhood from a depression-looking one to one of life and brightness.  What a difference it made!

In coming to the exhibit where Rufino Tamayo himself worked on the set and costumes for the Shakespeare play, Antigone, I was struck with how the various layers were hung, overall depictions of Antigone that ran into each other.  I found as I walked once in this exhibit area, and once out, I spied books in English that I could better understand Rufino Tamyao’s life.  What a life.  I mean, WOW.  I realized how much heart, soul, and contributions he made and wanted to leave for Mexico’s future to enjoy and relish.  I easily say there and poured through page after page of his convictions and accomplishments and felt that much more fulfilled after seeing this collection of diverse cultures represented.

On my way out fittingly enough, was a piece that covered the way with four canvases, by Rufino Tamayo.  As I made my way into the museum store, I saw the text I had purchased last year, titled, Los tamayo, un cuadro de familia, of Rufino Tamayo and his history in Spanish.  When someone came and suggested I purchase it I thought, yet, knowing there were a limited number published and something told me to go ahead and get it (it was a little pricey, but seeing the museum I feel much more knowledgeable in knowing this was an important purchase).

The cafe was a perfect ending to an amazing experience, beautiful outside, individuals enjoying the park, a delicious omelette, great Chai tea, the atmosphere, the service, the food – everything, reasonable and DELICIOUS.  I walked away realizing what an amazing and generous individual Rufino Tamayo was, and what an honor it was to tour his museum.

 

 

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