Counting her loot. 21 pieces of candy!
The whole clan, including a tiny goldfish!
Just another pic of me and my mushroom.
Zizi wasn't that into wearing my wimple.
Z ended the evening by winning at Uno!
Today some of the kids from NPH Nicaragua came and performed, bringing lots of color and interest to what is normally not a very scintillating gathering at coffee hour.
They look amazing.
At the end they pulled people from the audience in. They tried to get M to do it but she held out. Fortunately they found some other victims who can actually dance.
The stories of the bells are simply amazing. The shiny bell is the newest one, named Juan Diego. It hangs next to the biggest bell, named Our Lady of Guadalupe, of course.
Only a few of the bells swing--most are struck like ours. The bell below with the cross is called the "campana castigata." Sometime in the 1940s, the bell ringer did not get out the way in time and was struck by the bell and killed. The bell was "punished" and remained silent for more than fifty years. In the Great Jubilee Year 2000 the bell was "forgiven" and rung again for the first time in more than fifty years.
This is the strepitus which is sounded during the Triduum. There is also a bell which is rung only at the Easter Vigil to announce the Resurrection. SO AMAZING. And actually quite a bit easier to get to than our bells.
This afternoon we went on the best bell tour ever at the Catedral Metropolitana. Our guide led us straight over the roof of the cathedral.
Our group included a beautiful young Mexican woman who used to live in Seattle and a priest from Spain who thinks the National Shrine is soooooo beautiful. Whatever.
The tops of the towers are shaped like bells.
Frida had an amazing collection of exvotos which were a major source of inspiration. People had them painted to remember a miraculous rescue or other event in their lives attributed to the intercession of Mary or a saint.
Frida was absurdly creative. In addition to painting, she made an amazing puppet theater, for no particular reason. She also had an affair with Trotsky for no particular reason.
Part of Frida and Diego's library.
Frida's fake leg. She had polio as a child and later survived a horrific tram accident. When she walked around town people would think she was the queen of something or ask her where the circus was. In both instances she would smile serenely and move on. When she had to have a foot amputated, she said, "who needs feet? I have wings."
We had a fascinating visit to Frida Kahlo's house. It's called the Blue House and she was both born and died here. It has a gorgeous courtyard full of beautiful plantings. Also a great cafe where we had pan de muerto and cappuccinos.
View from Frida's room.
This kitty lives at Frida's house.
Scattered throughout the ruins are people selling silver, flutes, cloths, whistles, obsidian letter openers shaped like sacrificial knives, and much more. "Señorita, one peso," they say. "Almost free."
After the pyramids we went to a touristy buffet lunch with not-the-best mariachi and danzantes we have ever seen.
We had lunch with a handsome young Englishman and a handsome young Indian. The Englishman works in China and flew all the way here to be in a wedding. He bragged that he and the groom's father had to carry the groom home after he drank a tequila with each one of his relatives. Ian is from Yorkshire and went to high school in Keighley! He has cousins who live in Haworth!!! He and his siblings grew up running on the moors before breakfast!!!! He couldn't imagine why we would spend three days in Haworth on vacation.
The young Indian is here getting his visa renewed. He is a huge soccer fan and one of the main things he wanted to see in Mexico was the soccer stadium. He lives in San Francisco and works in Cincinnati. (!) He is a devout Muslim and a socialist.
Here's Ian about to sample the free tequila.
As we returned to Meixco City, we passed the slums which stretch for miles over the hills. A couple of years ago the government offered free paint to the residents to improve the appearance of these neighborhoods. The people here just recently got water and electricity. They still don't have good access to transportation. The guide said many of the people who work in the city spend three hours commuting each way.