An Announcement

         


One of the Teca Once couples finish their mission and return home next week. I’m not mentioning their names because they really don’t want a fuss made and would prefer to just slip away quietly. However, the women couldn’t let that happen, so this week we all went to lunch together. We went to a restaurant about a block away. It is in an alley like area lined on one side with little restaurants and on the other with little shops. The seating for most of those restaurants, including the one we went to, is outside. We had just sat down and gotten settled when we heard an alarm going off in the distance. It sounded far away and we didn’t know what it meant, so we just ignored it. Then the waiter came and told us it was an earthquake alarm and we all had to “go outside,” which meant stepping out from under the awning over the tables. People came out from all the restaurants and shops, and there were too many of us to fit in the green square. (I told you about the green square gathering spots two weeks ago.) We looked around at all the tall buildings, and decided if they fell, standing in the green square wasn’t going to protect us anyway. None of us felt the earthquake, so it was more like a drill.  After a few minutes, people started returning to the shops and restaurants. We took time to take a picture of us standing in the green square, then went back as well and had a lovely lunch. We enjoyed it so much, we said we should do it more than just when someone is leaving.


The sweet ladies I get to call friends, minus Pat who was taking the pictures. We're all just standing around not feeling an earthquake.
                       


We told the other Teca Once couples about the artisanal market we went to in Coyoacan last weekend. Several of them wanted to go to it, so a large group of us went there again this Saturday. It is such a beautiful area, that I didn’t mind going back even though we’d been there just the week before. I think it’s one of my favorite places in Mexico City. We ate at a lovely open-air restaurant and enjoyed the ambiance, the food, the company, and some of the roving musicians. These musicians perform in front of the sidewalk cafes which are all along two sides of the plaza. They are careful to stand just outside the restaurant boundary, but patrons of the restaurant pay them tips for their performances. I say we enjoyed some of them because a few were so loud it was hard to have a conversation when they were performing. They’d do a couple of numbers and then move on to the next restaurant, only to be replaced a few minutes later by another performer.


Our groups checking out the menu at one of the restaurants
     
This was one of the performers we enjoyed. Ron and the Davises, who all served missions in Peru, thought he looked Peruvian and his music sounded Peruvian, so Ron went over to speak with him. He said, no, he's Mexican.
     
This is guacamole with cilantro, onion, and tomatoes on it in the colors of the Mexican flag.
     
The sauce on this salmon had shrimp in it and those are artichoke hearts on top of it. It was as delicious as it looks and sounds.

 


                   After we ate, we walked to the market, which was about half a block from the plaza. I had a few last-minute gifts I wanted to pick up to take home when we go for a visit. Since Ron and I had been there before, we went through it quickly. I found some items I wanted, but I kept remembering a man who’d been selling things in front of our restaurant. Between the musicians, salespeople would come along and stand in front of the sidewalk restaurants trying to make sales to the people in the restaurants. A few of them pull little carts, but many carry all their wares. They’ll have hats stacked on their heads, aprons hanging around their necks, bags running all up and down their arms, etc. After we finished at the market, the rest of our group decided to stop for ice cream, but Ron and I went straight back to the plaza to look for that particular salesman. When we got there, I realized what a daunting job that was going to be. Besides the plaza, there was a large open area in front of the cathedral and a large park beside it, and he could have been anywhere in all of that. We walked as quickly as we could around all those areas and didn’t see him, nor did I see anyone else selling the same things he had. (I’m not saying what they were because I don’t want to give away the surprise for the ones getting them.) Finally, just as I was giving up, I saw him sitting on a low wall in front of the cathedral. I’m sure he was glad we found him because we bought several things from him, and when Jessica Alsop saw what I’d purchased, she had me take her to him, and she bought something too.



I love these park benches which are all around the plaza in Coyoacan

While we were walking around in front of the cathedral, a wedding party arrived, and I couldn't resist getting a photo of the bride.



We've seen this building from different angles all over the city, but I was never been able to get a good shot of it until we were stopped at a stoplight on our way to Coyoacan. We've been told that the buildings are taxed based on the square footage of the ground level floor, and if that's true, it might explain the odd shape of it.

   
I love the colors in this photo of Bob and Ron ordering an Uber. Spring is here in Mexico!

               I have wanted to announce something since we first got here, but I had to wait until it was made public. This week it happened, so:


               Living Legends will be touring Mexico the end of April and into May. For those who don’t know, Living Legends is a group from BYU which performs traditional Native American, Latin American, and Polynesian dances. All the performers are of Native American, Latin American, or Polynesian descent, and so are performing the dances of their heritage and culture. (They used to be called the Lamanite Generation.) One of the first assignments Ron and I were given when we arrived here was to help coordinate this tour, in which they will visit seven cities in Mexico. We have worked with our local communications directors to find theaters, we have worked with the area production department to put together the publicity campaign, and we have worked with Justin at BYU to help plan the logistics. It has been a fun assignment which allowed us to visit theaters all over Mexico City and see a lot more of the city than we would have otherwise. It has also been quite stressful. We found theaters in the other six cities easily but getting one in Mexico City has not been so easy. Ironically, Mexico City has hundreds of theaters. However, we need one that holds a minimum of 1,000 people. Most of those are owned by the government, and they were all closed due to COVID. Since the theaters were closed, the people who manage them were working from home, so the phone numbers we found listed for the theaters rarely reached anyone. We showed up at theaters, spoke with security guards, sent messages to every email, WhatsApp number, Facebook page, and website we could find. Finally, when Alfredo joined our team, we enlisted his help. He has a lot of experience getting venues, and his help has been invaluable. A little over a month ago, he told us he had a verbal agreement with a theater in Mexico City, so we did a happy dance. Then came the next hurdle. New tax laws in Mexico make it complicated for the theaters to accept money from a foreign entity, so the theaters all wanted someone inside Mexico to sign the contracts and make the payments. These same tax laws made it difficult for the area office to be the one to do that. Again, Alfredo earned his pay as he worked with the theaters, the lawyers, and BYU to find a solution to this. They were able to do that, but in the meantime, the Mexico City theater backed out. So here is our situation as it stands now: We have announced that Living Legends will be performing in Mexico City on May 3, but we don’t have a theater yet. All of Mexico is in stage green, and things are starting to open back up, so we are hoping we find something. We have fasted and prayed and have felt a calmness as we’ve done so. We are sure the Lord is going to open a door for us somewhere, but we have yet to find that door, and we are getting right down to the wire—the performance is only six weeks away, and it's hard to publicize and sell tickets when we don’t have a venue. So if you wouldn’t mind adding your prayers to ours for a solution to this, we’d truly appreciate it.

               In the middle of that mess, we are heading to Idaho on Wednesday to visit our family and meet our new little grandson when he arrives. Because of that, I won’t be posting for a couple of weeks. I hope the next time I do, I’ll have happy news about a baby and a theater!

Comments

  1. I always feel like I'm with you in Mexico while looking at the photos and reading of your experiences. It's like a mini vacation! Thank you. 💗

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