Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sayulita Scenes - Hula Hoop Group

Photo by Sophie.  Alex is front left.






















All girls, all Spanish, all Hula Hoop.  We found out about this great group organized by a local mom and Alex jumped at the chance to join in.  Armed with her own hoop and her previous experience from Circus class, she absolutely loved getting together with these girls and doing one of her favorite activities.  What a great back yard too!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sayulita JR. SUP Team

We are so stoked about the kid's new interest this season.  The Sayulita JR. SUP Team.  The team basically is a stand up paddle board "learn to race program" for 6-17 year olds.  The program was started last year by local residents and professional paddle board racers, Shelby Dela Rosa Taylor and Bicho Jimenez.  For five years we have wanted and waited patiently for the kids to take an interest in more ocean related activities like surfing.  Trace had begun to make the transition recently asking to go surfing occasionally and really feeling more comfortable in ocean.  Alex had other interests and the ocean just wasn't one of them.  Three weeks ago they went to their first practice along with a friend and they all had a great time.  Part of the reason is that it is new and exciting but also because they are part of a new social community of kids that they have never met or had an opportunity to hang out with for the most part.  All of our school and after school activities are centered in San Pancho.  To be part of a great program here in "home town" Sayulita is fantastic for them and fun for us too.  "Our" Mexico just got bigger in just a few weeks.


This past weekend they had their first inter-squad race after only a few practices to learn technique and the kids poured all they had into the technical course which included laps around several buoys and sprints up onto the beach and back out again to complete more laps.  It was awesome to watch and every kid gave all they had to the race in the September humidity and heat.  Wow!  

Trace paddles toward the finish line

Alex, second from the left, runs to hit the water
The kids learned a lot from this event and I can't wait for the next one sometime this winter.  Sports were always so important to me growing up and my coaches helped shape who I am today.  As I have said before, the coaching the kids have been able to get here has been amazing and it continues with their new community and team.  Such a bonus to the "Adventure" they don't even realize they are having.




Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bachelor In Paradise - Season 3

So I get this message from Ashley in the States saying that she was watching one of her guilty pleasures, Bachelor In Paradise.  The cast stays here close to Sayulita and we have seen them film on the beach and they use the immediate area quite a bit for shooting.  Ashley tells me that during one of the couple dates they met up with someone we know from the next town over in San Pancho.  Her name is Ocatoli we have known her, her partner and some of her kids since her family had gone to Escuela del Mundo for a while.  Nice person and our daughters are friends.  Anyway, the clip Ashley saw was of Ocatoli hosting a "naked painting" session with the couple and she does it topless! The guy's reaction is absolutely fantastic!  So funny, especially when you know the naked host.  Enjoy it!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Sayulita Scenes - The Iguana Tree

The town "Iguana Tree" is a favorite spot in town for spotting some rather large green "locals"... and for the unaware, possibly a place to get crapped on while walking under the tree while they hang out in the branches above.  Hint-never walk directly under the Iguana Tree.

Trace, Alex and some amigos take a closer look at the iguanas.

Friday, September 2, 2016

First Day of School 2016 - Escuela del Mundo


Back to school day at our school in the jungle, Escuela Del Mundo. It is going by so fast!  Yes, that's Easter Egg colored hair!



Saturday, July 2, 2016

'Tis The Season - Adios Sayulita! This Time For Good?

It's that time of year.  Time for "goodbyes". Sayulita has been emptying out for the last couple months ahead of the heat, humidity and rain.  One asks the standard questions about what are they doing for the summer, whether or not they are headed out to avoid the heat or attempt to take advantage of the short school break.  Very often it is time to say goodbye for good.  Early summer marks the end of "Adventures" for many people who come to Sayulita.  Sometimes it is because it is time to adventure somewhere else, sometimes the departure date was always part of the plan, sometimes Sayulita just wasn't a good fit.  People leave and don't return.  This town has a short memory.  It has to.  People who you said "adios" to last week will be total strangers to someone who will come in to begin their own Adventure or new lives here in just a few months.

I've always lived in a place with that sort of life.  Starting in college, then a small Vermont resort town then Park City for close to two decades.  People come, people go.  That is just the way it was.  It might be dependent on the school year or seasons but the changing of faces was the constant.  Sayulita is no different.  I tend to notice and engage the people who are "here" more than those just passing through.  Those people who are more real to me.  Those who are making a difference, settling down, starting businesses, building homes, having children, building community.  Those who may see our family as similar to themselves in those respects.  Each year you can always pick out the fakers.  Those who say they are staying for the long haul, how they will "save Sayulita" or who try to be the "funnest"or "coolest" but who will always be burned out by spring break and be quickly forgotten.  The ones who try to reinvent themselves and be something they are not or can't live up to.  They always move on.  Though it isn't fair to those coming to Sayulita who are good people, I don't always have the emotional energy to build quality relationships and see those people off each year at this time.  I know it is a crappy attitude but it can be exhausting year after year.  If it happens, it happens.  If it doesn't then that is ok too.


It goes both ways sometimes.  I have been introduced to people who have recently arrived but have immediately not made their "social cut" just because of a group I may or may not be associated with.   They just don't have the time in their short adventure to venture outside a particular group they hope to be part of.  Kind of like speed dating I would guess.  That's ok.  I figure they will be gone soon anyway.  I remember being looked at that way when we first arrived too.  People thinking to themselves, "Short timer.  They'll be gone by the time it rains again."

In the last 5 years, I've seen some great people come and go in this town getting choked up to see many of them pack up and head out.  I am also happy to say that I have seen several great people/families stay, build businesses, homes and know that they will likely be around for the long term.  Creating some good community foundations and relationships for the future.  Everyone has their own way to try and make it work if they think this is for them.  Encouraging for sure.

This year has been different in a way too.  Yes, I've seen a lot of one or two year folks pick up and go but I've seen many of the people who were here before us pick up and go too.  People who I always considered "part" of this town.  No, not "best friends" but town is not necessarily better for them leaving either.  Life is like that though.  Opportunities elsewhere, change of plans, plans not working out etc.  Crazy to think that I counted about 20 people I know heading out this year for good.

Living in what some consider "Paradise" is not all that it is cracked up to be sometimes.  The "Paradise Paradox" as this article calls it.  It may be an article referring to ski towns but it could apply to places like Sayulita too.  To be here or anywhere like this long term you have to have a plan, thick skin, be able to roll with relationships coming and going, lots of failures and hopefully have some sort of support system(though not necessarily financial).  If not you can really get down on things and may be considering heading down the road earlier than you thought.  We are fortunate.  Ashely and I are accustomed to this sort of lifestyle and can roll with it easier than some.  The kid's social friends are stable and they hardly even notice the things that we do but understand the comings and goings all the same.

So, as we wrap up the school year we will sadly say "Adios" to more friends but in another few months there will be another influx of folks arriving and the return of those who are just away for the summer.  One constant for sure, Sayulita does attract some really good people.  As soon as you get down that friends have left, new people arrive.  Like I said, "Sayulita has a short memory".  It can attract some really freaky people too but that is what makes Sayulita continually interesting as well right?  "Keep Sayulita Strange" as they say.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Trace Turns 9.


Trace turned 9 this week so we thought we would hit El Itacate for some tacos and a few Pacificos.  We won't introduce him to Don Julio until he's at least 12.  Trace has spent more time on Mexican soil than in the USA and he tends to roll a bit more like a local than Alex does.  His buddies are mostly Spanish speaking nationals where Alex' best friends are predominately English speaking.  Because of this he is a just a bit more comfortable with using Spanish generally than his sister but both still rock the second language.  He is starting to develop an interest in surfing not that surfing is necessarily "Mexican"...finally!!!!  No soccer yet.  Still loves his Circus and Capoeira and next year he will be joining Alex upstairs with the big kids in Taller 2 at Escuela de Mundo.  He is a Gemini, his favorite color is red, his lucky number is eleven and he likes quiet nights at home playing Clash of Clans and Minecraft.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Celebrate The Beat 2016

It was that time of year again, Celebrate The Beat time!  Earlier in the year we didn't think Alex was going to have a group to dance with like she has the last two years.  She always danced with a group in San Pancho since she went to school there.  This year, there were no groups funded in San Pancho.  Bummer!  Costa Verde School and the Sayulita Public Elementary School were funded and set to be on stage this year.  Then, an email came from local program coordinator, dance instructor, choreographer and force of nature, Colleen Macomber.  Colleen knew that Alex was the only dancer from the previous year's San Pancho group who lived in Sayulita.  Not to mention our girl has SKILLS!  By special invitation, Alex was asked to join what was called the "Grupo de Excellencia".  This was a mix of kids from different schools and ages.  She was absolutely thrilled to be dancing with Colleen again and even better two of her best friends were also in the group.

Each color T-shirt represented a different performing group.  Usually by age group and school.

Not in the photo are the hundreds of parents and friends in attendance watching.

Grupo de Excellencia.  Can you find the blonde pony tail?



I've said it before but this is one of my favorite events and Sayulita seems to have the biggest and most vocal crowd to applaud the kid's efforts.  Alex just loves it and I really wish there was more dance available for her.  One of the unexpected things that happened was that during dress rehearsals where all the groups were present for practice Alex crossed paths with several of the kids who she went to the public kindergarten with her first year in Mexico.  She has grown so much since then but it was good to hear that the kids recognized each other still.  Such a great program for the kids I just wish it could last all year.

Celebrate the Beat is a non-profit and are always looking for help to bring the program to the kids each year.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Regalos Para La Familia.


It there was something in town that resembled UBER services I think it would be our family.  We go to San Pancho everyday several times and we have been giving rides to kids and parents to and from school or Entre Amigos activities for years.  The texts and calls start about 7:30am when people find that their car won't start, their transportation arrangement for that day fell through or they literally just don't have their shit together to get to where they need to be on time.  Contact Ozzy.  The text and calls start up again around 1:30pm just before school lets out.  We are the "go to" solution for transportation.  Even as I am sitting in Entre Amigos in San Pancho waiting for our kids people I don't even really know will come to me and ask me for a ride back to Sayulita.  It appears my reputation has grown over the years.  Yes, UBER at your service.  We don't ask for anything in return, sometimes it really isn't convenient but as long as people make it mostly easy to open the door, hop in and go we try to help whenever we are asked.



For about a year I gave rides to school to a family here in Sayulita.  The mom, Laura, is one of the many jewelry makers you will see set up on the street with her creations set out on a small table under an umbrella.  Almost always smiling, Laura never asked me for a ride but I would see them on the road each morning hoping to grab a ride with anyone who may be headed to school that day.  So, with no commitment or even communication, each morning I would pick up her two kids and along with Alex and Trace I would deliver them to Escuela del Mundo.  This went on for about one school year until around the middle of this year she was able to purchase a van from a local teacher and was able to give her kids and a few others a ride to school each day.

One day she came up to me and presented me with a gift for helping her out for so long.  I opened it and there were four matching necklaces decorated with a twisted metal wire tree, possibly a Higuera Blanca.  They were beautiful and I was blown away by the gesture.  Absolutely stunning!  I wear mine constantly and proudly show it to Laura when I see her to be sure she knows that it was very appreciated.  Laura and some other artisans have set up shop and have an actual store front on the north end of town just across the bridge.  Right across from Z Galeria.  I knew I was going to do this post so I got her email just in case someone out there would like Laura to create something similar for them.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lauraedith.ortegazopena?fref=ts
Email:  yaretziehecatl@gmail.com