Friday, October 31, 2014

This and That -- for October

We stopped in the bakery to get some Pan de Muerto and it wasn't ready yet.
We didn't just leave with empty hands.
We learned the bakery also has baguettes.  We bought one with mushrooms
and one with pastoral meat.  They were both really good.
Miguel Briones putting the hymn numbers in place on Sunday 
before the Primary Program began
The Acosta twins Merisa on the left and Mireya on the right.  
Mireya sang the verses of "I Am Trying to Be Like Jesus" in the Primary program
the rest of the Primary joined her on the chorus.
Workmen changing the light bulbs in the grocery story parking lot.
"King of Toys" warehouse opens up for Christmas shopping.

While walking, we saw this "Mary Kay" sign.
This is the view from the front door of the temple and they are constructing a new psychiatric hospital in the distance.  The photo was to show the many workers lining the wall just watching.  
This potted flower is in our yard and this is an unusually large number of flowers
blossoming at the same time.
We doubt anyone has played basketball here for quite some time.
Sherryl's desk.

A government sign encouraging folks to
keep Tampico clean.

Chicken nuggets on the left are 1 peso each [7 cents].
We assumed the fresh meat isn't covered because it will be
taken home and cooked.
Dia de Muertos flowers being sold on the street corner.


Berenice's Birthday Celebration

Berenice's birthday was actually on October 22 and we decided to celebrate--though a little later in the week.
Iliana brought the cake, we brought the long loaf of "pan de muertos" behind the cake
Berenice and Iliana  - Friday night shift
Berenice made and brought these cute Halloween cookies.
QEPD [Que En Paz Descansa] or
R.I.P [Rest In Peace]

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halloween vs Day of the Dead

From the Crockett Chronicles - 26 October 2014
On Thursday, the sun decided to shine for the first time this week, so we decided to do a few errands before the missionaries would be coming for lunch.   Our errands were simple things but needed done and we had limited time.  We took the local bus to Chedraui, our local grocery store, to pay our phone and electricity bills.  While there, we noticed a table stacked high with boxes.  We noticed “Pan de Muerto” was printed on these boxes and that means “bread of the dead.” Next to that table was another table filled with different sized candles and little statues.  So we just took pictures and decided to ask the sister missionaries about the bread when they came over for lunch.

 We then flagged down a “colectivo” and paid our 8 pesos each to have the driver drop us off at H.E.B. ... Since we had our camera with us and while at H.E.B. we took photos of their seasonal aisle that was the same as we would see in the USA and definitely had a Halloween theme including inflatable displays.  They had an entire aisle of costumes and bags of candy with “dulce o truko” printed on the bag or...“trick or treat.”

Our next stop was to walk to Soriana, another store where we find a particular brand of wheat crackers we like that aren't found in the other stores but they weren't to be found this week—maybe next week.  Our real reason to come was to have some photos printed and Soriana is the best place to do that.  Our circuit from store to store to store to home took us about two hours and we arrived in time to set the table before the missionaries arrived.

We learned from the missionaries and since then from asking others and checking the internet, that Halloween isn't a big holiday in Mexico and we realized it was the American based H.E.B. that had the big Halloween display.  It was the local Mexican stores that had the “Pan de Muerto” for sale.   The missionaries said they love to eat the sweet “Pan de Muerto” and said it tastes really good especially with hot chocolate.  Apparently there is symbolism involved in the “Pan de Muerto” and the round loaves are topped with strips of rolled dough in the form of a cross that represents bones of the deceased.  The crossed bones have small mounds on them which is symbolic of tears for the living. We asked the missionaries if this holiday had a Catholic Church base to it and they said they think it is just Mexican and not especially Catholic....

In Mexico, November 1 and 2 are the traditional days to celebrate what they call the “Dia de Muertos” or “Day of the Dead” and it is not connected with Halloween at all.  During this very special two day holiday, families gather together and people remember those in their family who have passed away.  Apparently November 1 is dedicated to the souls of children and November 2 is dedicated to adults who have passed away.  People display photos of their loved ones in their homes and some build small altars in remembrance of the loved ones.  The living share their memories and experiences they had with those who have passed on.  They prepare the food that their loved ones used to enjoy. Cemeteries are cleaned and flowers are put on the graves. The families place the lighted candles on the graves “as a way to illuminate the path of the souls” in behalf of those who have died.

Below are the photos of the altar the students at the Saldivar school built. 

Hna. Saldivar is in the black blouse.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Welcome Home Elder Acosta!

Gabriel Acosta flew home from his mission in Paraguary
about noon on October 24.  His friends and family gathered
later that evening to greet him.  
We only took photos when the party was just starting.
 Left to right is: Hna. Briones, Hna. Perez and her two daughters.

There is a built in kitchen area under the covered patio.
From left to right:  Marisa Acosta [Gabriel's mother,]
Hna. Ponce and Elise Acosta [Gabriel's sister.]
This is the covered patio of the Saldivar school
which can accommodate quite a crowd.  We calculated
that from 80 to 100 people came to greet Gabriel.

The Acostas shared their family photo of meeting Gabriel at the airport earlier in the day.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Path -- Before and After

We take a short cut through a vacant lot and were amazed at how tall the weeds grew in July.

This month, a work crew came through and cut down the weeds.  
It is hard to believe that it is the same path!

We had no way of knowing that we would then be stopped altogether from using that path!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rainy Monday Activities

The rain actually began early Sunday morning and continued through Monday with only occasional breaks.  So on this rainy Monday we each stayed at the computer doing Family History and were able to go for a short walk to get out of the house.  Then we decided to cook.  Paul made his famous yams and apples.  Whenever we get together with Pte. and Hna. Jordan, they request we bring this dish but we just decided to make it today because we had the ingredients.

Sherryl decided to try making some whole wheat rolls.  We finally had located some yeast last week and only lacked molasses--but we figured we could work around that.  We have yet to see a cookie sheet down here but we did inherit a cake pan that worked.  The rolls turned out to be really yummy!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Small World Story

This fine young man is Eduardo Lopez Osario who returned home to Tampico after faithfully serving two years in the Osorno Chile Mission under the leadership of President and Sister John and Nancy Rappleye.  He is now serving in the Tampico Temple on Saturday with us.

"It's a small world after all...."

Friday, October 17, 2014

How to Build a House - part 1

First you have to find the perfect lot and this might take some imagination.  Cut down any huge trees and remove vegetation that isn't needed in your house plans.

Hire a backhoe driver to clear away all of the excess matter that will be hauled away in big dump trucks.  Make sure the driver knows to clear the lot all the way down to the soil. be continued............actually...they have since added a shed to the lot.......