And Now, Back to Mexico

We had a wonderful trip home to visit our family, despite getting mild head colds that delayed how soon we got to see our new grandson and shortened the number of days we got to spend with him. Still, we were able to see all of our children and grandchildren. We had a great time playing with them and of course, holding our newest little guy. It was hard saying good-bye and getting on an airplane back to Mexico. I felt a little melancholy the whole flight. Then we came out of the airport and saw the beautiful sunny sky, the green grass, and the flowers blooming. After being in frigid Utah and Idaho, it looked like paradise, and I thought, “We can handle three more months here.”

Our sweet little Asher

     


A new couple arrived at Teca Once last Monday, the same day we got back. That evening the missionaries all got together for dinner at the Davises’ to welcome the Comejos. They are Mexican and don’t speak English, but I was able to understand quite a bit of the conversation and even participated a little. I’m still struggling with Spanish, and it’s frustrating. I expected to be better at it by now than I am, but I guess I’m struggling at a little higher level.

One thing I enjoy here is that Ron and I are able to walk outside for exercise any morning we choose—it’s never too cold. I took this photo one morning on our walk to show your where we live. I don’t know if I’ve ever before posted a really good shot of Teca Once. It is the white building on the right. If you look on the right side of that building, you will see a section of solid white (vs rest of the sections where there are large windows.) In that section you will see small windows. The topmost one of those is our bathroom window. I took this photo from in front of the building where the Church’s offices are located, so that’s how close we live to where we work. The building that is partly shown on the right edge of photo is where the bowling alley is. For now, this is home.

Saturday we, the Davises, and the Deavers went to the Museo Nacional de Arte (the National Museum of Art.) It is located in the old historical district of the city. We dropped by it looking for a restroom a few weeks ago with the Davises and the Wrights. We didn’t have time to actually go into the displays that day, but saw enough that we wanted to be sure to return. We’ve always had Jerry Wright’s knowledge of the bus lines and the metro to get us around the city. This time Pauline Davis and Ron had to step up and figure out how to get us there and from there to the Ciudadella, which we went to afterwards. After spending time back in the United States, riding the bus down Avenida de la Reforma and then walking through the historic district reminded me of why I love this city. The Jacarandas are in full bloom and are everywhere to be seen. These photos don’t do them justice, but they are the best way I have to share the beauty of these trees with you.

     


The Museo Nacional de Arte building itself was as fascinating as the art it held, if not more so. It had grand curved marble staircases, murals on the ceiling, and ornately carved pillars. As with most old edifices in Mexico City, the building surrounds an open courtyard. The main part of the building had large windows which looked into the courtyard, while the other three sides had open walkways that looked down into it. I would have gone there just to see the building! The art was just frosting on the cake.

This is the front of the Museo Nacional de Arte
     
This is the road and buildings in front of the museum. It gives you a feel for the style of the buildings in the historic section of the city.
     
We asked a man to take a photo of our group in front of the statue. He agreed, though not enthusiastically. This is what we got--a good shot of our group, but only the horse's hooves of the statue.

     

     
        
    
This is the ceiling above the stairways.

  
  

     

     

     
You might think this beautiful stained glass depiction of the Mexican symbol is a piece of art, but no, it's just one of the windows in the building. In fact, I had to walk behind a sculpture to take this photo.

Not all of the rooms with exhibits were open, so we weren’t able to go into some of them. We were told that it was because the museum was understaffed. I was disappointed by that, but we still did get to see a lot of art. Some of it blew me away, and some of it made me think if that was considered art, I could be an artist too! One exhibit was called "Baja el Misma Falda" (Under the Same Skirt), and it kept using “faldas” (skirts) and “sillas” (chairs.) I wanted to understand what the symbolism was, so I stood in front of a block of words on the wall for several minutes working to decipher it. This is what I came up with: the skirts are the way women portray themselves to the world, while the chairs, which are hidden under the skirts, are what the women really are inside. I’m not sure that’s exactly right--I was dealing with both Spanish and the artsy way the idea was being expressed—but I think it’s close enough.

This painting was displayed at the entrance to the exhibit "Baja el Misma Falda." It was painted in the 1800s and is of an actual Mexican nobleman's daughters. (He might have been Spanish, I'm not sure.) It amazed me to look at it and think those girls were real people! The detail on the painting was amazing, especially on the lace.
     
This painting was done in 1657.

     
This is one of several paintings by Maria Sada, a modern artist who beautifully captures the landscapes of Mexico.
     
This painting was titled, "Alameda." A park near the museum is called Parque Alameda and has multiple fountains in it. We're pretty sure this painting and the following photo I took on Saturday are of roughly the same location.

     
If you look closely at this photo, through the trees you can see the stone benches and fountain that we think is the same one (or at least in the same spot) as the one in the painting above.

     
This sculpture depicts the feelings of a crew of Spaniards when they finally reached land in Mexico. I especially loved the guy kissing the ground. (I got a close up of that in the next photo.)

     

     
This was my favorite piece in the museum. It shows Jesus's friends taking his body down from the cross. The sorrowful expressions on the faces in the carving were rendered beautifully by the sculptor. It made me stop and ponder about what that moment must have been like.

I don’t know how many of you are tracking March Madness, but our family always put together a bracket. We also set up a separate text group for trash talking each other—we’re close that way. I am the only one in our group to correctly chose one of the teams that would be in the final four, so as of today, our bracket is complete. And the winner is ME! I think that’s probably frustrating to some of my family members who actually follow college basketball. I looked at the rankings when I made my bracket, but some of my choices boiled down to things like, “Gonzaga is in Spokane and we always used to go by there on our way to see Dallin and Jackie, so I’ll pick them,” or “My sister lives in San Diego, so I’ll pick them.” A few years ago I picked Villa Nova to win the whole thing just because I thought it was a cool name. I won that year too. So, yay for me and my highly scientific way of picking th

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