Sunday, February 12, 2012

HUBBS CLASS: Hello and Happy Valentine's Day!

Hello, students! How are you all this Tuesday evening? Will you all be my valentines? Are you doing anything special to celebrate this special day of love and friendship?

I'm writing from here in the beautiful town of Zihuatanejo. It's located in the Mexican state of Guerrero, on the country's west coast. We're right on the Pacific Ocean. The villa we rent is about two blocks from the beach, perched high on a hillside overlooking the bay.

Here's the view from where I'm sitting in a photo taken during the day.

The view from our villa overlooking Zihuatanejo Bay.

As I write tonight from my open-sided living room, the sound of the waves crashing on the beach sounds like it's right next to me. Cool breezes flow in, cooling the room and me after another hot, sunny day. Now and then a butterfly or a couple of bats will fly in, right over my head. The bats want to perch in the corner of the kitchen ceiling, but they see me and that it's too bright, so they leave. I worry about the butterflies, because several small lizards (geckos) always run toward them looking very hungry. So far, the butterflies have always escaped.

Tonight, my wife and I went to a friend's house for a drink, and then walked across town to have dinner together. My wife had a huge baked potato with butter and sour cream. Our friend and I had tacos, made with soft flour and corn tortillas wrapped around different kinds of meat and cheese. There are several kinds of sauces to put on the tacos too. Some of them are very spicy hot, so I only use a little bit.

Walking back, we saw people putting up many little tables and stands along the streets where they will sell all sorts of Valentines (Día del Valentín) things, like candy, greeting cards and decorations -- much of it colored red or pink and in the shape of hearts. Has anyone given you a Valentines Day card or gift?

This afternoon we walked across town about two-and-a-half miles to a big grocery store where we stocked up on groceries for the week. Then we walked home, carrying the heavy cloth bags full of food, milk, juices and other things. They were really heavy and we were glad to get home.

In just one more week, my daughter, her husband and my two grandchildren will be flying down here from Boston for a week. We're very excited about their visit, and hope very much that they'll like it here as much as we do.

If you have any questions you'd like to ask me about this place, about how it feels for me trying to speak a second language in a new country, or about anything else, please leave a comment and I'll try to answer in time for your next class.

I have to end this because it's late and I'm pretty tired. I hope you're all having a good class, learning a lot, and LISTENING to your teacher!  ;-)   I'll see you all again in a few weeks.

Your volunteer teacher, Jeff
P.S. Here are a few more photos:

Sailfish on their way to the public fish market.

Me talking with some young students about fishing.

One of the geckos on the wall of our room.

A seed pod and flower of the African tulip tree.

One of the many street musicians in Zihuatanejo.

A man casting his net for bait fish.

A roseate spoonbill

One of many kinds of fish for sale at the fishing pier every morning.

The end of another perfect day!


sue in mexico mo said...

Thanks! I enjoy reading your blog and the photos today (and always) are wonderful. I will be there next week and I am very excited! We are having snow today and the thought of being in nice warm Zihuatanejo next week will get me through this week.

Jeffrey Willius said...

Hi Sue -- Glad I could give you a little preview of what awaits you next week! We've been having an unusual spell of overcast days, but it's still great -- and we still get a lot of sun filtering through.
Have a safe and happy trip!

Hubbs Center said...

Hi, Jeff. Greetings from the Hubbs Center. The group loved your blog. The pictures are beautiful. We talked about what it means to be someone's Valentine. There were lots of ideas. We can give chocolate or flowers, fix a special dinner or call a friend who is far away. We hope you had a good Valentine's Day. We also hope you have a good time with your daughter and grandchildren. It's great they can visit you.
Best wishes,
Cris and the Hubbs Center conversation class.

Jeffrey Willius said...

Hey, my Hubbs learners -- I'm so glad you liked my blog post from here in Mexico! Next time you're in the computer lab, I hope some of you will say something on the blog (a comment). I'd love to hear about what you all had to say about Valentine's Day, or about any questions you might have about Mexico.

Hubbs Center said...

Hi, Jeff. The Hubbs class has some questions for you. Jose wants to know how your Spanish is doing. Are you practicing a lot? Mohamed says he misses you. Anab wishes she could go to Zihuatenejo, too. Has your family arrived yet? We all hope you have been well, and never sick.

From your Hubbs Center class.

Jeffrey Willius said...

Hi class -- I'm so glad some of you had comments and questions! Thank you.

Jose, my Spanish is getting better. I've had many opportunities to talk with people who speak little or no English, so it's good practice. My wife love it, because I can help her when she goes shopping.
Mohamud, I miss you too -- it's been way to long away from the class, so I'm looking forward to coming back home in another nine or ten days.
Anab, it would be very interesting for you to be here in Mexico. The colors and sounds and smells are so different from those in Minnesota. And of course the food is quite different -- is there a lot of spicy-hot food in Somalia?
Yes, my family has arrived. They seem to be having fun, especially at the swimming pool and the beach. But they're having a hard time getting used to the heat and the power of the sun down here. Fortunately, we've all been well.
Thanks again, everyone!