Besides visiting churches and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we took time to visit Mexico’s grandest archaeological site known as Teotihuacan or the City of the Gods. Skulls of children have been found buried in the pyramids, presumably as human sacrifice to their gods. I didn’t think I could climb to the top, but after seeing the other people in our group who are in their 60s doing the climb, I was encouraged and managed to reach the top with much huffing and puffing. Another reminder that I need to start on a regular exercise program.
|Ancient city of pyramids|
|Such adorably pruned trees|
We couldn’t believe our eyes to see this kid carousel which uses real life horses. Poor animals.
On our trip, we chanced upon 2 church weddings. The Mexican people go all out to dress up for such occasions and even the little boys are in tuxedoes. Several people from our group started inching closer and closer to take pictures of them, and instead of finding us a nuisance, they warmly invited everyone to get into the photos with the bride and groom and their families.
|Beautiful flowers for a church wedding|
We also witnessed a girl and her chaperons on her way to church to celebrate her coming of age. This is celebrated when she turns 15, with Mass and a reception for hundreds of guests thereafter. Again, our mob surrounded them and started whipping out phones to take pictures. They must have been in a rush to head off to their celebration, and the guys were feeling really hot in their suits, but they patiently posed for us. I’m sure if the reverse were the case, we would find the tourists bothersome and intrusive and would probably give them dagger looks to make them feel uncomfortable. It was a simple but powerful lesson to me, that we have to learn to be more gracious and to embrace life and unexpected things that come our way, instead of always being in a rush and being ‘kan cheong’ about everything.
Someone in our group ordered this plate of worms and ants eggs which was a first for most of us ignorant ones. Have to say the worms were nice and crunchy.
|Fried worms, anyone?|
Some of us commented how sad it must be for the locals to live like this. However, we came to an even sadder conclusion that our children of this generation, despite all the material things they have, may well experience less happiness in our stressful society than these children who are free to run and roam.
I left Mexico with a sense of how fortunate the people are to have warmth, community and faith imbued in their culture. And how their children seemed so well loved by parents and grandparents. Their passion for life and love also touched me deeply. Isn’t it sad that we are lacking in such important aspects, without even knowing we are lacking in it?
Francisco Gonzalez: firstname.lastname@example.org