Our Travel Blog
 
 
We stayed in Veracruz for 5 full days, visiting with new friends and exploring the town. We ended up staying 2 days longer than anticipated because we had to get a letter of permission from the Mexican government to allow us to stay in the country for 20 more days. This had to be done because they did not stamp our passports when entering Mexico.
 
Veracruz is a medium size city off the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. It is very humid and for the first days that we were there, also very windy. The water is very warm, almost too warm for Karen's liking since she is used the the Lake Huron temperatures in Canada!
 
Ciudad del Carmen was the next stop arriving on the island by 20:00. We made it there in 3 rides, 2 of which were working for Pemex, the oil company in that part of Mexico. For this reason there are also many foreigners living in Carmen. Manuel, a geologist, was our hospitalityclub.org host for our two nights of stay in the city. He built his house himself very recently and had more plans for future additions. At his home we met 2 other travelers, Alex from England and Karolina from Finland, who had been there for a few days already and also planned on heading to South America in the upcoming months. We went swimming, played cards, talked and made supper for Manuel who was working all day. During the day, Manuel's rooster, Chimpoco, escaped his front yard and made it into the fenced-in area two properties away. With well coordinated and skilled teamwork, we managed to get him back.
 
We left Carmen on Friday morning to head out to Merida. At this moment, Karen discovered many ants in her side pouch of her backpack where the food was kept. Ahhhh!!! After some time and determination, we managed to clean them out, donating the infested food to the stray dogs.
 
An elderly Catholic missionary couple, in a red ford pickup truck, just happened to be going all the way to Merida and took us with them. In Merida we stayed with Daniel, our next hospitalityclub.org host, who lived with his family –parents and 3 siblings. There we met 2 other travelers, Gonzalo from Chile and Valerie from Italy, who were also traveling together to South America. We also met many Bahá'í friends in Merida. On Saturday, Nov. 11, we were invited to a traditional Mayan village to celebrate the recent Mexican holiday " day of the dead". There we ate traditional food which looked like a black bean loaf and was baked in the ground. On Sunday, Nov. 12, we celebrated the Bahá'í Holy day –the Birth of Bahá'u'lláh, the prophet founder of the Bahá'í Faith– at the Merida Bahá'í Centre. It started with prayers and Bahá'í writings followed by a DVD presentation on the Bahá'í Gardens in Haifa, Israel, then a choir singing spanish songs and at last, a delicious potluck lunch !!
 
On Monday, Nov. 13, we visited the Tahireh private school in San Pedro just outside of Merida which was started 3 years ago as an individual initiative of a local retired Bahá'í couple. The school is open to all children and youth, at no charge, who come in the afternoons after the public school in the mornings.
Working on the virtues and proposing art and cultural workshops to the children and youths, this school allows them to have an alternative to the street when so often both parents have to work.
 
Today and tomorrow are our days of preparation and rest before heading off to Cancun on Thursday morning. Till next time!
 
 
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Karen and Ivan in Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Veracruz, Ciudad del Carmen, Merida, MEXICO
 

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