Anything you read here is my personal opinion and to the best of my knowledge true, but I could be wrong.


10/24/02 After the 2 month process of getting my Chinook ready for a 2000 mile trek and attempting to put the rest of my life in order, I'm finally ready to go. l'm planning to leave Occidental , October 28th. On the way to the border in Sonoita AZ. Ill be visiting my parents & my friend Mark and a special added bonus , I'll be hooking up with the one and only, Isabel Jordan and traveling in some sorts together to Yelapa. Its really not such a burly drive. Once you arrive at the border you're already half way there!

10/25/02 Well did I say it wasn't burly? I just heard that there is a Cat 5 Hurricane that hit ground a few hours north of Vallarta....wholly moly! It'll calm down down but will add a flavor to the trip. Lots of Destruction! Maybe I wont strap the ping pong table to the top of the Chinook. Thanks to the recent addition of phones to Yelapa, I was able to speak with Saul, our local restaurateur who told of the damage to the beach restaurants (lots of new added sand) and Silent Jim's Casa and Severinos Bodega getting washed away and my kayak bodega injured too! Huge Seas!!! The pier is completely covered with the sea all the way to Anna Rosa & Ronco's. Ill speak with my landlords son, Emilio tomorrow and see what condition my palapas are in. ...Let the Adventure Begin!

11/03/02 Greetings from PV... My chinook drove flawlessly, especially with the the help of Frank, my master mechanic and my good friend Glenn, who, hours before I left installed some heavy duty springs on the rear end that helped so much! We arrove in Vallarta last night late but safe....The trip was great , just enough adventure . Shame on those of you that doughted my 75 chinook. On the first leg I visited German, Lindsey and Lailanni in the bay area and realized my first twist to this trip...the headlines should read SLEEP APNEAC MAKES 2000 MILE TREK SOLO!!!! my bizarre disease comes over me at will! 2 + hours into the trip and I'm driving by Braille! so... I slept instead of driving the 5 all night. I got up at 5am and started from there. I learned that I needed to stop every 45 mins or so, even if it was just for a minute or two and that pretty much worked, except for the time I was driving though Buckeye,AZ. and woke to a Highway Patrol telling me to pull over and take a break, I had been a tich wobbly for about the 5 miles he was following me! I had good visits with my family, I was so blessed to visit with my totally conscious grandfather, who had come out of no communication for months and got a last time visit in. It's terrible to be old!!! I'm counting on having the ability to check out when your ready....his good health is really causing him so much pain in the end. On a lighter note, I had good visits with my mom and dad and with my friend Mark in Santa Monica. Leaving there was a trip....trying to maneuver the LA freeways , in full rush hour with the limited visibility of my camper and the broken tail and brake light and the 5 different freeways I need to join on to... I pulled a Zen act that actually worked.

On Halloween, I met up with my traveling partner, Isabel in the border town of Sonoita. She was great! An Amazing 75 year old shamanic healer from Booneville with a pair of new eyes . She was lead, with me trying to catch most of the day... we left early 4:30 am and drove into the night. The pace was too fast for me , I prefer a week long trip but you have to go with the flow. I wanted to try and keep up with her, so a portion of the driving was done by ? a few close calls , but I'm alive!!! At night we would pull into a neighborhood and sleep. Both my chinook and her van were perfect for that. Lots of stories in between and lots of barren deserts , as in cactus not ice cream. Being hours ahead of schedule and brave we decided to visit San Blas and Tepic and the center of the Hurricane Damage...WILD! AND SO SAD ...I had to cry...such loss to old growth and to so many families in upheaval. I'll send up some pictures soon. We had an amazing crisis/adventure that I'll tell later.... Isabel runs a B & B in Vallarta , Tortilla Flats and that's where I spent today packing up my camper getting ready for tomorrow where vlads wife, Jenny,s dad, Tulin will pick me up in the Rio of Boca. I got this plan to use the river for loading instead of the ocean , I'll let you know how it goes. So tomorrow to Yelapa and believe it or not relaxation , which I haven't had lately. Oh yeah the relaxation comes after getting a ton of my goods up my giant hill. By the way I forgot to mention that we had great luck again at the border crossing!!! No one even looked in the back of our vehicles, second year in a row. Heres a picture of the secret route that me and Isabel took. So here I go ... hoping the season will be good and full of many different things. Thanks for all your love and support ,truly. I'm totally aware of how blessed I am to have you all in my life. Ill write in a week or so ...

11/06/02....All is well in Yelapa.
My journey to Yelapa was easy with the help of friends. I met Jenny's brother and Dad in Boca dodging the upcoming rain storm. We had a perfect spot on the Rio to load my cargo to his boat and when arriving in yelapa my landlord and a friend were there to start the long trek of hand carrying my goods up to my casa, which has one one the steepest hills in town. I 'm always amazed at the locals endurance and strength. As a gringo we can lift alot but as a Mexican they can carry long distances. The sight of 2 guys carrying my ping pong table through the village and all the comments were too funny....pong ping...well close enough...will they learn to play ,that's the question ? My casa's were in great shape and survived the hurricane but left a few inches of mud throughout the floor ,my friends Alicia and Vero had cleaned up 90% but the latest storm and done another number on it. I spent the first day drinking almond tequila and sleeping and the last few days setting up. it will take a few weeks to accomplish.. Today I'm in Vallarta and Im still working on getting electricity and phone for internet...manana...is the typical response....I heard its raining there in Occidental.... More soon!!!!

11/14/02 Its been a good week. I ve spent most of the week setting up my property and casas. Due to basically a life change of my friend Debra , I was given the entire contents of her house in Yelapa. Its really great to have stuff here. ya, you can do that minimalist thing but comforts in the jungle bring alot of joy. A couple of nights ago I was lying in my hanging bed, sweating of course. I starting looking around my freshly setup loft. nice...comfortable.... mostly all natural materials ....palm and rope ect....I had to laugh at the small glass disco ball I had bought at the swapmeet. May be it was too much, really out of place. Then suddenly I noticed a number of reflections and a dozen fireflies had decided to stop by to visit and you will have to imagine the size of my smile to see them reflected in my disco ball!!!! I must say, a must have for Yelapa nights.The mosquitos have been nice this beginning of the season, usually I'm quite polkadotted by now. Im only slightly dotted. Last night I woke to me scratching my legs with an orgasmic fever. comprende? Its funny that will all my body mass they choose my ankles!!!! whats up with that? why not a thigh or butt? Im almost done with my main house and I'm getting ready to start construction next week in my other casa. I plan a new loft and a new hanging bed and the bark of the palm tree for siding. I set up the ping pong table in my casita...its too funny... crazy gringo with a casa for his ping pong table!!!! My friend Emilio figures he can play after I explained the game to him. He wanted to know if the ball hurt if you got hit with it. Is the ball hard? anyway Im glad to have an opponent. I'm a day away from Electricity and about a month and some serious praying from a phone but I'm on the path. So once a week I come to PV for adventure ,tacos and internet. Im off to catch my boat ...and hoping the sea's not too rough!

11/21/02 Amazing another great week! This was the week of Electricity. Yes it's true ...I have power now!!! It was an adventure to get it. You see it turns out that my landlord had some sort of dispute with someone and they did not turn in my contract to the vallarta power commission so...that was the first delay. My landlord, Chuy,actually Maria De Jesus Joya Santana went to the commission and fought and let me tell you you wouldn't like to be on her bad side. Power and Honor at the same time. Then we were told to meet the power guys at the 10:00am boat and we would get power that day. So like clockwork I'm there as soon as they step off the boat and I realize the next problem, the local head gives them a to do list and he has his own list and Im not on his list and believe me its obvious that this fat gringo isnt going to get power today. So I dashed up the hill to Emilio, my landlords son and asked for his help. Off he went with 100 pesos that I thought might help and to find the power guys.Two hours pass and it was a joyous moment when the power guys and Emilio arrive and after another discussion and the passing of the pesos....and then the head of local power comes running up to make sure all is ok as it turns out that Emilio had to use all his powers to get them to come to the house including numerous calls to the heffe. Well I had such a fun night....refrigeration ,stereo, lights, computer....it was so cool that Emilio and I had wired the property ,with no electrical service and then to finally flip the switch!!!!! I even have a light in my Casa de Pong. The Irony was the first night I was at a friends and was anxious to go home and then we realized that the power was out!!! A Few more conversations , more food and at long last power. On a sad note I am mourning the loss of my Iguana, Lemonita who was eaten by one of my neighbors. I had just spent a great morning filming her and then the next day she was gone! They don't hibernate and she has been there for years sooo....you know that old tastes like chicken line. Bummer....I have been threatened that someone might eat her before...they joke...Casa Nada Iguana... On the whole, life in Yelapa is great. This year tourism is lean and people are struggling with money . As technology and modern appliances cost a pretty penny... Yelapans need more than the usual money to live. Those extras cost. This is one of the first time there were really any monthly bills. Electric bills ,Phone bills ,Cable tv bills. Throw in a hurricane and things all the sudden things get tight!

I am excited about taking a road trip to visit Armando, my friend who works at our YMCA, in his home town of Emiliano Zapata, Michoacan. Can someone in Occidental tell him I'm coming? I've had this dream to buy a guitaron there for years. It's like a acoustic Bass. So....to end....if your enjoying this or have the time to drop me a hello, I'd love it...for now yelapan@hotmail.com works or lazy@palapainyelapa.com I've been told the phone guy is working in a nearby town so this week Ill pray to the phone/Internet Gods. Asta

11/26/02 Its been a fun few days and Im glad to end November on a good note. I got a chance to hang out with Pilar Law. One sharp woman. She has been living in Sebastopol and is currently in transit to another paradise, in alot of ways. Yelapa connections are always strong. I survived another fiesta thrown by the Juan Cruz Family. It was for the baptism of Chilo and Sondra's daughter. This time I was able to walk home fine. Of course my drunkenness was greatly exaggerated ! Many different people told a friend that I had to be carried home...small towns, don't you love them? That same night I had a great dinner/conversation with Michael and Susan Smith of Sonoma. They are real heart people. For 20 years they have brought groups of nurses here to study Spanish. Pegge works with them and got rave reviews as a teacher this year. Sidenotes... Michael is on the SRJC School Board and his wife is one of the classiest women around.

The tuna are running here. Huge tunas! After eating tuna for weeks, I am working on my cooking skills and made the tastiest batch of refried beans with chorizo. Enough to eat all week. It's funny how something as simple as beans, really nourishes your soul. Next I'm going to learn to make sopes, sort of a thick , small tortilla. Also my lemon tree has been a great source of fresh Lemonada daily.

Interesting things happen here daily. While relaxing in a beach front casa, a gavilan flies in and lands on the railing near the hammock. They are a fierce hawklike , bird but large. My friend doesn't feel good about it. He attempts to shuw the bird away, but it stays. He takes out his rifle and shoots the bird, injuring it but not killing it. He puts it in a cage and decides what to do. Some people here, mostly the people who came from Chacala, feel that it is bad luck to have such an encounter. They feel that the bird is somehow watching them or is a person who has transformed into the bird.Some type of witch. This is especially true with owls. Well a day or two passes and in the night, a group of wild raccoons come in the casa, break open the cage and eat the gavilan live, all while the entire family sleeps. They wake to the empty cage and some feathers....end of interesting story...

The phone saga might be close to an end. I was walking down my stairs and ran into the TelMex men today. As a pro, based on my electricity experience, I offered cold beers and money for my already paid installation. They did decline, smiling that they had only 30 minutes before the last boat leaves and they would return on Thursday am...I told then I would meet them on the pier...based on my meter, I think I have an 80% chance of an installation. But I'm thinking positive. Does it seem crazy to you all that I spend this much time worrying about modern conveniences when I choose to live in such a remote village? Its because I don't want to go to Vallarta every week or so. Its a nice town but a huge contrast to Yelapa...hard on the mind and body and pocketbook. Why compute at all? because it fills my nights. Being solo...you can only play so much guitar ect....and your enjoying me writing, right?

I know Thanksgiving is close but I haven't figured out what day. I am going to do something special , I just don't know what.... Wavy Gravy and separately Howard Hessman of WKRP are here this week/month. Maybe Ill go visit them. Im sure there are more exciting things that I should share with you but my bed calls loudly as a light night drizzle begins .Tomorrow will be glorious weather! Any requests for pictures out there? want to see anything special? send me an Email.... yelapan@hotmail.com or lazy@palapainyelapa.com

11/27/02 Well I was sort of close with the weather...overcast and a little rain. But that was ok, I figure any rain is good rain. I sit overlooking the bay. It is so calm . I can feel it from my house. I will always remember a similar weather day years ago when me and Dianne went snorkeling. It blew our minds, so many schools of fish , so close to you, as if you were just another creature of the sea. It was different than most days somehow the weather had changed things. Make note, overcast /drizzly day, great for swimming.

I decided today to post this website out publicly. It feels a bit weird to be so out there but what the hell and I'm sure I will meet some interesting people, so if you enjoy it , please pass it on! Check out my December Journal for up to date, day by day, minute by minute, second by second, 100% pure yelapa stories and what I ate for dinner.

11/28/02 Today I'm told it's Thanksgiving, in general it's not really that important to keep track of days or hours here. I know when the first sound of a motor reving or a stereo blasting ranchero music, it's about 7:00 am. When the booze cruise hits Yelapa, it's roughly 2:30 pm. I like to remember Thursdays, so I can get to Ramona's early to get fish and shrimp tacos. Sundays are obvious too, because many of the locals aren't at work and are either at home or on the beach, Lots of people in the village share their bounty on Sundays. It's great to see families sharing beef , fish and stories. All this is invisible to most, as the majority of visitors don't really hang out in the town. But my casa is right in the outskirts of the neighborhood. Well todays adventure came early.... This am , I was straightening up for my supposed phone installation and picked up a pillow case that was stacked in a pile , on the floor. Was it clean? or mildewed from the staying here the last 6 months? As I smelled it, a 4 inch gold scorpion crawled off the back of it, lucky I saw it... when in the face of something that powerful you really get this funky gut feeling, My friend , Mary Beth once told me that being tuned into those feelings , would be your success in dealing with scorpions. I'm still practicing being aware, but when I get that funky gut feeling, I pay attention! The one mistake I made today was that I didn't kill it. I was too flustered! As I flung the pillow case on the floor it crawled back into it. I figured that it was going to stay there. When Emilio came by and I told him, he knew the scorpion was way too smart for that and would be gone. Right he was... So I go on sharing my palapa with it and probably others. They live in the palapa, that most houses use for roofs here. They like to live high, in the palapa where it is warm. Emilios theory is that they can tell when something isn't moved very often and they choose that as a safe spot to hang. Todays experience reminds me to take the simple precautions that I learned 10 years ago. Flashlight to check the floor before you walk around at night, don't leave any wet or dry clothes touching the floor and if so shake out before use, that means shoes too! And most importantly be intuitive!

I had a great afternoon feast of beans , onions, cabbage, salsa huichul, cheese from Tuito ( our municipal to the north) and a few real cold beers...Happy I am!!! I think I'll go to Alicia, Marcos and Vero's tonight to spend Thanksgiving with a family, even if they don't know that it's a holiday. ps...waited for an hour on the pier today for the phone guys...manana, sort of sums it up. So much for my predicted odds. I'm going for the make it not important and it will happen technique, now. Ojala ( if god wishes) I did have fun watching Pedro, with the cowboy hat, pull in at least 8 good size fish from right off the pier. He thought it was so funny that I would even think that the Telmex guys were coming!

I had a great time at Vero's. mostly not talking tonight . Just watching the entire family interact. Around 9pm, a meal somehow appears and with a little imagination it is as grand as a thanksgiving feast, fish, carne, rice and beans, a debut of tortillas from the new tortillaria in town, and a huge bowl of fried sweet bananas for dessert. It's really the spirit of Thanksgiving every day here in Yelapa. The evening ended with an English lesson , as most of my evenings tend to have an emphasis on learning and understanding Spanish, it was fun! So if you look like your going to visit the waterfall and someone comes up and says " Hi! are you going to the waterfall? can I take you there?" it's probably one of my students. I've never tried to teach English. It's real hard for the Mexicans to make there mouth into our sounds. We sat and laughed, as we both stumbled over our languages. The only thing missing on this Thanksgiving was a family fight over politics or old family baggage. Well maybe some Pumpkin pie too!

11/29/02 Today was a work day. Im still dialing in my property. Yesterday Emilio cleaned up one of the giant mangos trees and opened up my morning sunrise view. Quite a site to see someone climb so effortlessly and without fear. The tree must be at least sixty feet tall. The entire job was done with a machete. What a powerful tool, when you know how to use it. I never knew there were different levels of sharpness, specifically sharpened for each type of job. Emilio carves with it, uses it as a hammer, kills scorpions with it and much more.. In conversation , I learned that Emilio ,who lived for years on my property as a kid, was in charge of maintaining the entire terrain and this was at the age of 12! He worked 3 hours per day on it...for zero pay. Tough being the oldest of 15 brother and sisters! All from the same parents. Now you see why my landlord has a bit of experience under her belt. Norma, Emilios wife brought me some ceviche , that was soo tasty. Also today , Emilios son, Emanuel carried 30 large palm fronds (palapa) from the jungle to my house to use for privacy fences. I built some last year but the hurricane took them away. We made some benches and chairs out of palm trees from the yard and burned a bunch of old palapa... Then at 5;00 PM , I realized there was no water! it rarely happens at my property, but is very common in Yelapa. All water comes from high on the hill above the waterfall. There is a hose sitting in a pool that sucks water up and then it flies down the hill and goes to whoever is on your line. Most people cannot afford to run there own line , so you can imagine how many T's can be off a line and all the negotiations. Emilios dad, Santos put in Metal lines years ago. We are one the few that have them. My problem is that I'm close to the last casa on the line and my stretch is completely uphill. Not so fun for a gravity fed system. Emilio offered to go and climb 20 minutes above the town waterfall to see if some leaves were clogging the line and making it run slow. But my luck was with me and after a few valve adjustments , water began to flow. It is obvious to me that I must purchase a few large water tanks for reserve storage. Just the thought of being without water is enough for me to do something about it. I think do as the doctor orders and go to sleep early as tomorrow I have a scheduled ping pong game.

11/30/02 Ping Pong in Yelapa is a natural. Yesterdays so called match was with Vero and the kids and of course , Emilio. It was great! They were laughing from the bottom of their core. My giant Mango and Arbor Maria began its shedding cycle. I raked the yard and when finished , I basically could start all over. Oh Well.... I had tacos de asada at Emilios and Normas. She served some agua de guanabano too! Around 7:30 pm I decided to take a walk and visited with various people ,on the path. One of the joys of no cars is that at will, you can stop and visit someone. Most people if on the path will eventually come by. OK at one section, it splits into three paths,so an occasional missed connection occurs. It happened to me the other day, I needed to go visit Pilar and by coincidence, she was coming to visit me. Of course I took the upper path and she took the lower...such is life! Another heart warming evening at Veros. Marcos was gone at some type of political mtg. in Chacala, so I got the girls to myself , well...and the six kids. On tonight's menu was Mapachi, Raccoon. At this point , I could be honest and tell you all the different meats I have tried while visiting in Yelapa over the years but I wont because Im likely to have death threats from many Sonoma County residents. Raccoon tacos were a little hard to think about but tasted good. Sorta hard to get that black and white thing out of my head! Conversations about local history , life north and the usual laughter over the language barrier. It is just my luck that Alicia, Veros mom, naturally speaks slow and is very expressive and patient... Didn't get home until 1:30am... all that fun and not even a beer cracked! Some of tonight's conversations were very important and will not be forgotten!

12/01/02 Welcome December! Had a great karmic experience last night. An hour or more after going to bed, I was awoken by an animal in my kitchen. Even though my casa is completely open, this very rare because I don't leave any food out or garbage, Another hour and once again, the clanging of my pots and pans... so this time I wait with the lights out for the culprit to return. Ten minutes and I flick on my flashlight and there's a raccoon!!! Never have I seen one on my terrain! Strange tales...Emilio, Norma , Emmy , Nora and Omar are coming by this am to teach me how to make sopes and play a little pong,f Norma also taught me many different foods and fruits I had right here under my nose and never knew about. I'm heading out today to the beach for a swim and walk, not necessarily in that order.

10:00pm... just returned from the beach and friends. A simple day of swimming in the warm water. Slept in the hammock for an hour and mostly hung out with Veros son, Danny. Marcos made it back from Chacala around 8:00pm, He walked the Jungle/Mountains for 2 1/2 hours. Burly! Finally saw Vero dead tired... I went to say goodnight and she was sound asleep... I am so lazy compared to these people! It turns out that the entire family stayed up till 3:00am, last night.

12/02/02 Bright Sunny Day! Slept in this morning. It's funny that I get the deepest sleep ,when I wake up and go back to sleep. Strong, Vivid Dreams. Doe's that happen to other people or is that a symptom of my sleep apnea? any sleep experts out there? Alicias bean lesson turned out to be a special type of beans... basically it was a vegetarian beans with a wide variety of vegetable and herbs, making them so flavorable , but too much prep time, It was great to learn and eat. Im going downstairs from my little sunny office overlooking the bay and whip up some sopes con frijoles right now! Relaxation is on the menu , also today. again.....well, Ill take back the sunny day comment...another sort of, overcast day and it turned out to be a work day too! Its still good... Built some more privacy fences with the vein of palm. Privacy and security go hand in hand here. My breakfast was great, take a look....Something that I've realized for years is that food consumed in the outdoors or close to it , somehow tastes better. More air , Better taste? I'm ready for a siesta and then some wood collecting /furniture making with Emilio. Attempted to carry Palm rounds/stumps from up the path. I barely pulled it off! I am strong but I can't handle putting that much weight on my shoulder bone . Its really like using a muscle you don't ever use . So I muscled them to the house. A bit of pain. But I have two new cool office palm chairs.

12/03/02 My Dad's Birthday.... Happy Birthday .... Im sure you had a great day filled with tennis and friends. I hope your party went well. My Dad lives the good life in Desert Hot Springs. He can be found daily at Hardy Park playing tennis,where he is also the unofficial mayor. Let me also state for the record that he isn't a match for me in table tennis. My Dad was a semi pro for years, Some of my fondest memories of fun with him was going to Max's in Pasadena and getting a chance to watch and play serious players. Of course over the years I was no match for my Dad. He would crush me. But time is a funny thing. About 5 years ago I finally took a match from him and never played him again. I continue to remind him of that match. I wish for you Dad, to continue to live life ,at the fullest.

High tides brings rough water and a dirty sea . Hazy Day, where was the wind when we needed it ? Did I tell you one of the Amapa trees in the yard was struck by lighting and basically fried the roots and more. I now with the help of the man, Emilio , have a new gate. Today he spent the entire day milling the tree with a chainsaw, Another amazing feat! Fact.... Amapa smells of red wine when split open. Tomorrow the gate goes up while I'm running around Vallarta, trying to buy supplies. Let me tell you that can be trying. Definitely a test in patience. Hinges, screws, potati mats for the floors, almond tequila, and linseed oil are just a few things on the list. Try to pantomime linseed! Im thinking of driving my car in tomorrow instead of taking the bus from Boca ( A town 20 minutes by boat to the east of Yelapa). I might even spend the night and come back the next day, that way I could update this site and write a few emails.

12/04/02 Wild seas! It was one of those boat trips that you wanted to end fast. High tides , a full boat...Lots of tense moments of watching people trying to jump aboard the boat , at exactly the right moment. I got off in Boca and drove my car to Vallarta...Im glad to be here and I'm sitting in the Net House Cafe with a big grin, reading my emails you all have sent. Thanks... The day here went fast, I found most everything I remembered on my list. I just couldnt handle staying in Vallarta , overnight. I love my tranquility . But getting home was another story! I knew it was going to be rough , primarily because I ran into Tambur Don, who shared the most hair raising boat adventure of my life. Back about 8 years ago we took off from Yelapa and got hit head on by a storm. Even though we were in the biggest boat , at that time, we had to steer the boat the proper direction over waves , so not to flip the boat. When I saw that Don, a lifelong sailor and the locals were scared, I knew at that moment, I was going to have to swim ashore. I was happy to have my guitar with me as a floating device. But once again luck pulled us through and we were able to guide our way through the storm but having to dock in the marina, which I have still never heard a storm that caused that . I'll never forget the look on my fellow SunTrip travelers as I walked to board the plane, wet from head to toe, in levis. Today was only a reminder of that day. The waves were very big and we had to go very slow and power our way through them. After our hour adventure, we were all soaking wet and happy to be back in Yelapa , . I drank almond tequila with friends and toasted life, on land of course. Im going to attempt to go to sleep early ,over the pounding music of the Wednesday Night Disco. which I'll have to tell you about sometime. I also am at the point that I'm going to have work on the computer under a net. You see, when you turn a light on at night ,you'd better duck. Instant insect beacon! I can only write a paragraph or so before I hit my limit of getting hit and crawled on ! Tomorrow's plans are to go and visit the point and help unload a boat of supplies coming in from Vallarta and a 3pm dinner for the birthday of Vero .

12/05/02 A fun day filled with family. I visited Isabel, queen of the point. I want to harness some of her energy! wait , maybe I don't. It is great to watch and learn from someone who has spent 25+years here. The boat of Marcos and Pedro came in on schedule and I helped unload but really wasn't needed. The birthday get together was great. The Rodriguez/Joya clan are too cool! There's just enough kid/adult ratio to make me feel comfortable. A real sweet family. Today's adventurous food was Lapas. Very tasty! Pounded and then pan fried. top with lemon, salt and salsa huichol. They are similar to an abalone in CA. or similar to Gorro here. They live in a hand sized shell, on the rocks. They are a favorite food for the raccoons. The problem is that when the water comes in and the shell opens an inch or so , the raccoon tries to pry the shell from the rock, if the lapa wins the raccoon gets its hands pinned downunder the shell. The tide gets high and death occurs. Life's funny little cycle. The party had lots of other great treats like ceviche, fish, rice and Jimica. Vero is now 30 years old. Thats 10,950 days of experience. I wish for her and her kids, happiness, health and a good life with a bearded , slightly overweight gringo. You must read between the lines!

As I told you, Emilio has been working on a gate for the path up to Casa Iguana. When I got home tonight , it was done. I need to take a break from house repairs and enjoy for a while... I took lots of nice pictures today and hope for more tomorrow. Buenos Noches.

12/06/02 Last night was breezy and today is sunny and perfect.
I thought Id take this opportunity to introduce Vero's family. The oldest is Danny at 10. He is quiet, yet passionate. LuzClarita is 6 and is just like her name, pure light, Vivian is 4 and sweet and Jael , the youngest at 2 1/2, is very animated. There Dad lived in Tuito but is now in the US. They haven't had any contact with him for a long time for a variety of reasons .

Veronica is the oldest of her family. Arron is right behind at 29, Sergio at 28, Dolly at 14, Joyita at 13 and the youngest Kevin at 3! Vero and her Mom where pregnant at the same time. Id like to tell you more about my connection with Vero and the kids but I'll save it for an upcoming article.

Arron, his wife Angeles and there son, Raymundo came by and we had lots of fun playing pong. There really is something to this ping pong diplomacy. Arron and his wife work at an all inclusive nearby called Majuahitas. Its about 10 minutes, by boat, to the east. It's currently owned by the best friend of Mario's of Mexico Lindo in Graton. His name is Livio and his ex wife, Margo's parents are from Bodega Bay, Small World stuff! Back to Arron, He's a good player ,especially based on his experience of having a table at work.

12/07/02 Off to Punta De Mita on an adventure with Vero and the kids , her Mom, brother and sister and her little brother, Nothing like adventures that have no real crisis's . Having very little car experience, managing motion sickness was key. It was great to have a new vista. Blue water to float in and the view of the horizon in the opposite direction of Yelapa. You see Punta is located directly across the bay from Yelapa. Another treat was big waves! Fresh Watermelon, giant Calabasa, Sugar Cane and Coco were locally grown and readily available. On the return trip through Vallarta, we stopped at a swap meet type street scene. It was very unusual to be the only gringo there. I saw a man selling watches and essential oils. Se said to me in Spanish," look at my magic beans! "I new exactly at that moment I was on to something.... Somewhere in my life I remember seeing a magic ,mexican ,jumping bean, but I forgot what the secret was. Does anyone remember? I called over Alicia and asked her to check it out , I said, have you ever seen these? and she answered yes. I asked her about the magic, huh? she thought I was talking about the essential oils. It was great to see her face when the bean jumped... I got to witness a master herbalist seeing her first Mexican jumping bean! Luck is with me. We made it back to Boca by 5:00pm and plenty of time to catch our full boat. As we slowly cruised home to Yelapa, I took turns sitting with different kids on my lap. All the sudden and I looked at Vivians face and knew she was about to erupt. I could see it in her mouth. I quickly passed her back to her mom, as I dont have any puking experience, well at least with kids. And then we realized she was just chewing sugar cane...oops..Luz did show us the real thing, but it was worth the wonderful days trip!

I got back home at 9:00pm and to my surprise... I have a phone!!! Thank you , the powers that be! I plugged in my cordless phone and called my mom and a few friends, right from my palapa and hanging bed. What a trip! I'll get an internet account ASAP and cut back my visits to Vallarta in half.

12/08/02 Visited with Pedro and Anna today at their colorful casa in the jungle, high on the hill. The nicest point people around.... then as if you hadn't guessed to Veros for lunch/dinner. On the menu was Tejon. Which is also called a kutamonde ( I dont know about the spelling). I know all this sounds bad, but you got to remember this is the jungle . After a few hours, Arron arrived from the week at work. I asked about the other day when we were picking up his brother in a near by town and I heard gun shots. They all laughed and made some comment about my stomach? Too funny ...it turns out it was his friend shooting the meal I had just eaten! I had a great conversation about ghosts and demons with the family. Life here is so simple and yet so rich. We spent from 3:30 till 10:00 pm laughing, eating and telling stories.

I'm getting ready to take a spanish class with Pegge this week from 9 to 1 ... It should help me along the long path of learning spanish. Im doing so much better this year but I still hack this language to pieces.

12/09/02 I borrowed a friends web account and Im wired here in my palapa finally after months of work. Now I can relax.... beautiful weather right now...sunny and breezy days...If your coming bring a sweatshirt, it can get a tich cold in the mornings.

12/11/02 Spanish class is hard. The hard part is the responsibility. The commitment of showing up for four hours per day. I'm picking up alot though. Pegge is a great instructor with a fresh style. I really enjoy being a 5 year old. It's true ,actually me and Luz, who is 6 are studying the same material. Im going to ask Vero to help us both with the alphabet.

I have great news ! Vero and the kids are going to come on my road trip to Michoacan. I am so happy! I dont know if you can read between the lines or not? I am 100% in love with them and I think the feeling about me is 75% and growing daily. I knew Vero years ago , only in passing. One year I came here solo and played with her little sister Dolly. At this time Vero was Pregnant with Vivian. I never thought of the possibility of a relationship with her. About a year or more ago Vero moved back to Yelapa from Tuito and a change in her ten year relationship occurred. So after connecting , I found myself attracted to her. But four kids were not really in my movie. Last season I found myself still thinking of her and the kids. So I spent time playing with Vero and the kids on the beach, close to their casa. Most days they would come to the beach around 4:00 and stay till dark. After about six weeks of that I had to go back north. I decided to state my intentions to her in a variety of ways, I wrote a cheat sheet and asked permission for private time to talk to her, I had several Spanish speaking friends come visit as character witnesses. Thanks Jenny and Jesse Rose! But At that time , she wasn't ready to restart a relationship. I don't know if I really was either? Five months pass and when I returned this year , my feelings were still strong. She was still unclear of her path. I spent many tough conversations talking about life ,my intentions and the possibility of our lives joining both with her and her parents. About a week ago, I finally asked for clarification . I got more than I could have hoped for. I got permission to call her my Novia, You see even though Vero is 30 years old and with four kids, this whole dating thing has a protocol. This week things have been moving fast. I moved into the Novia, Formal mode. She has been so comfortable with me. I 've gotten to see so much more of her personality and I love her even more! I' ve gotten total approval from her parents, brothers and sisters, and most importantly the kids . Our future trip is going to really bond us. More on our future later. In general, most of Yelapa understands the importance of a good life over the importance of money. I can tell you this , I have to get back to work and make money. So much for the simple life. After a few years of hard work Ill sit back and enjoy again. This change in life for me was just supposed to be a couple years break, sort of a retirement in the middle of life , instead at the end.... and with four kids , the breaks end is in sight! But Im happy, so I don't care...

12/13/02 At this same time it only seems right to talk about my past life with Dianne , Paul and Tara. I love them too! Me and Dianne had a passionate relationship that has lasted close to 13 years! Paul ,23 and Tara, 21 are always going to be my kids. I've spent a small lifetime with them! Over that time I grew tremendously and figured out many of life's lessons. I followed Dianne and the kids here to Yelapa. I feel a sadness to lose what we have had and happiness to bring to my next family, the love and knowledge I have to offer.

As I write this, way to late at night, Chaos in the barrio comes on suddenly. The barking of dogs, In some sort of communication to each other, from all over the neighborhood. Voices from the back of my property. I know these sounds too well! a gunshot....a yelp, a scream, a scuffle, another gunshot ...Its my neighbor killing an animal that is going after his roosters and hens. Tonight was a Mapachi, Raccoon. Other nights a Badger...It gets real hard to understand which animals are which..clacwathci, locwatchi...the language translations are tough. My main concern is that he aims his gun away from my casa.

10 minutes later... I can hear the heavy surf of the ocean, the crickets and the rustle of the palms blowing ...
Goodnight Dianne, Tara , Paul, Vero, Danny, Luz, Vivian and Jael .

12/15/02 A clear warm day, a huge contrast to Sonoma County and the storm that is visiting. So sorry for the Occidental Community Craft Faire... next year will be better. I need to Thank Mark Wiley for taking on the adventure. This is the first year I haven't been there....changes....

The high season in Yelapa is here. People are smiling. The weather is getting nicer. Casa's are getting booked up. I hung out this morning with Lynn Rich, Artist from Austin and Mexico. One of the treasures here is to meet great people. Actually Yelapa is supposed to mean the meeting/gathering place. Lynn is currently in the cast of characters here. I met her at my Spanish class, She has a calm feel to her. She came by to visit and by surprise my small iguana showed back up! Just in time to be a model for a famous artist. So my neighbors didn't eat my iguana! I am spending the day at Casa Iguana doing chores such as burning the trash ,watering, sweeping and sleeping, Getting ready for the big road trip inland on Tuesday.

12/16/02 Spent the day hanging waiting for a couple from Ireland to arrive. It is important to find out exactly which boat someone is coming on and where they are going to get off. You can get off at the beach or the pier and the boats arrive at 11:00, 11:30,12:00, 12:30, 1:30 2:30 ,4:30 AND 6:00... what fun! Today I got lucky they got here at 1:30, so it only took a few hours of sitting, which was actually very fun. One of the best pieces of advice I can give a visitor here is to sit in a spot and watch the movie pass by, another day, another spot....some of my best knowledge of Yelapa comes from those times.

12/17/02 Off on a paseo with a cooler of fish, 4 kids and my amiga. Planned stops are to visit Lake Chapala and the rancho of Hugo and Antonia, the aunt of Vero. Then to visit my Occidental Friend, Armando in his home town of Emilano Zapata, Michoacan. I've always heard great things of San Sebastian, so it too is a stop... thats all that is planned.... many little towns and adventures are guaranteed. We will see if the kids can travel with out puking too much! Talk to you all around Christmas.

12/26/02 Feliz Navidad!!! Happy Holidays!!!! We're back from our paseo!!! Our adventure was really great. The kid's quickly adapted to the chinook and traveling. It was their first vacation away from Cabo Corriantes. Very little car sickness, which was amazing seeing that we traveled over some real burly roads for hours. Actually they never asked "ARE WE THERE YET ? " but I don't think I understand that it spanish, so... Our first stop was the Rancho of Antonia and Hugo, Veros moms sister and husband. Its located out of Chapala near San Nicolas. A wonderful terrain adjacent to a dam. They live a rancho lifestyle. Producing most of the food from the property. Very quiet and peaceful but alot of work...for them. Antonia is another of the clan that is so wise. Hugo is classic. A former Texan who is now sober and leads a life far from his past. Other family were sokind and gracious .Patty and Amy, Ricardo and Claudia, Gus and Linda. We celebrated the bithdays of Diana and Vivian, who both turned 4 years old. We felt so good here that we returned for another day or so after our trip to Zapata and to bring home to Yelapa a gift of a borrego for Christmas.

We finally made it to the small pueblito of Emiliano Zapata. It is located 2 hours from Lake Chapala. As we pulled into town and passed through the military drug check we were happy, Viva Zapata!!! we cried! Veronica asked me the address and I responded with confidence that one wasnt necessary as they would be known. The first person I asked was not from Zapata but the second ,said vamonose! and off we went to the house of Armando and Family. The best part of this story was the second man was actually from Santa Rosa, Ca. but a good family friend...small world magic... As we arrived , it turned out that Armando was away on a day trip with his tio and son, so his dad and brother, who were recovering from the last nights fiesta played host to us for many hours. We ate. walked around the town and centro, went to a few simultaneous fiestas with giant bandas from Michoacan and relaxed. In the town centro at night their was a posada, a sort of parade for the virgin. Very sweet with kids dressed in costume, singing with love, As I watched, directly in front of me was a familial face. It was a girl I knew from Harmony School years ago as a kid. She had moved away years ago but I had a strong connection with her. Claudia Manzo now 15 years old... I called to her softly . When she turned around and saw me there 5 feet from the virgin , she was stunned!!! "what are you doing here?" A truly amazing feeling for the both of us. It was great to visit the town with Armando's Dad. As the Director of the school in Zapata, His communities respect of him was obvious. At some point we were told that Armando was home. We rushed home to find him Passed out. Not from lack of sleep, or the last weeks ongoing fiesta but full on drunk from the days adventures. On his way to visit a town with a powerful virgin, the road is closed because of some type of drug trip... sad, he and the family try to find a way around the road blockage. With no success they decide to get plastered. Well in the am, we wake him up and we sober him up enough to play tour guide to nearby cities of Sawyaho and Jicutlan. We spent the day walking through fantastic market scenes of fruit, carne and everything that you can imagine plus more... by 3:00, Armando and his Brother were feeling real Bad...a six pack was the appropriate cure....and there was a soccer final with Michoacan in it and another fiesta that night! I want to be clear here... I ve always known Mexico to be just one big fiesta but this small town truly parties nonstop for weeks near Christmas. Many local residents are living in the USA and return with their hard earned dollars not only to show how well they are doing but because they love their town, friends and family so much! Armando and his wife work two jobs and he definitely deserves to party till he drops. The entire family made us a part of their lives for a few days and really for a lifetime. There is no bullshit when someone here says my casa is your casa....can we say the same in the states?

The drive to Talpa , has similar scenery to Sonoma County or Tahoe...pristine ... We got lost but real lucky to find a even better route than we had planned. Talpa is home to one of the most powerful virgin's of Guadeloupe. It like many other towns have a story about how he virgin over many years moves from one town to the nearby town... magic or thievery? Lots of hotels here to put up large families that come to be healed. We all fell asleep in the late afternoon, after a long driving day...nothing like James bond zero zero siete on the tv, to knock you out. I went to the centro alone that night to get us some food. As in most of Mexico the entire town comes out at night to the center of town to eat great simple food, listen to political speakers and enjoy music. There were at least 400 people! I quickly noticed I was the only person in shorts. Hey I was the only person I could see with a beard. Im the only Gringo! Actually I was the only gringo I saw in Zapata too! Many come through, but few stay. I had fun visiting , eating and staying up till close to 5am with the fiesta mariahi music blasting the town and our hotel. In the morning we visited the church. It has a definite feel to it. People arrive to the church crawling on their knees!!! All this to show there devotion and ask for healing. I centered myself and prayed a good 15 minutes. So if any of you have good luck, health and happiness you can thank me later. As the row of crawling people shinned by, I took a few pictures....Funny thing is that afterward all of the photos were fuzzy and out of focus. Operator error? nope...low light? nope...I cant figure it out...Ill post them .... We headed toward Moscota with its beautiful ruins of an old church and past residence of the virgin that now lives in Talpa. On to San Sebastian. I had always heard about this little rustic town located high in the hills with a bounty of produce, organic coffee and a great climate. I learned what a debrecha is. I heard reference to it when asking directions... It means that your road is a dirt path... In this case, one that goes for hours snaking its way through the mountains. After an hour of this type of travel, I start to ask when are we going to get there? The kids cruise through this days travel like pros. Me? pretty good ... stomach problems from the centro food carts last night... After a small lifetime we pull into San Sebastian. Sweet! We get a recommendation for a Hotel and on the way as we cruise through the tiny little one lane streets...I misjudge and rip my spare tire right off the side of my car! Leaving a huge hole but not damaging the truck I caught it on. A little excitement! Small town life ... Remote small town life... We got there for the first night of real cold weather...cold, high mountain fog /drizzle. All the kids ended up coughing and sick. In the morning I suggest we make a dash for home. Of course we have another debrecha that lasts hours of windy dirt roads. This time with huge heights. Had a close call with a huge double size Pepsi truck. Only inches for us to pass each other. The payoff finally hit and we arrive at a real road! I jam to high speeds for the first time in days. Just as I get to 60 mph...I hit a pothole the size of Occidental! Amazing that my car is alive and running strong! We stop grab a few cooked chickens in Vallarta and drive our last leg back to Boca. The whole way laughing with my car horn that has animal sounds,police sirens and a PA. Back on the boat and back to Yelapa....Sweet Yelapa..... We wave to our family and they run to the beach to meet our boat and help us carry our bounty of kids and treasures from other lands. We arrive just in time for Christmas. That night at 11:00pm We have a great feast with the family minus Sergio and his wife. At the strike of midnight, we hug each person and exchange a short moment of love. After the laughter of family experiences and the 85 year old grandfather dancing with his granddaughter we decide to go to see the local dance. The who;e town is there , in rare form. 2:00am A case of beer arrives at our table from a family friend. So much for a short visit as it is a custom to stay until the beer is drunk. 5:00am we arrive back at the casa. 6:00 am sleep for two or three hours and another day begins. My Christmas treat was to see an amazing site of the power of Raicilla. A family friend stops by the families casa in passing from the beach already pretty well on his way to being drunk. His In-laws are there visiting. He and another female friend proceeed to cause havoc. Funny havoc! Well another Yelapa custom...if you have to deal with a real drunk try to offer them Raicilla in hopes to finish them off. Raicilla comes from a town to the north of Yelapa , Chacala. It is a natural alcohol made from cactus but EXTREMELY STRONG! One shot...he , using the slingshot he purchased on the beach starts to shoot lemons into the sea. The second, he attempts a chair ....The third , his wife's asks clearly does your body need this shot? YES! He shoots a beer can but looses all control over his lower half and does a face plant on the cement. With a room of laughter and kids running left and right he's shown to the guest bed ... hours later we hear a huge scream and he is awake not knowing where he was! The next second more laughter and his wife appears, telepathically to come and carry him home.... I sit and enjoy tortillas and turkey and spongecake.

Ill finish this tale by telling you that I am madly in love with Veronica and the kids ! I am so impressed by her. She is very intuitive and completely present. I know that our immediate future is going to take alot of work. Getting my brain to learn Spanish is only the beginning. I look forward to the day they can visit Occidental. So our first vacation ends a big success for all. Viva Veronica...Viva Danny...Viva LuzClarita...Viva Vivian...Viva Jael... Viva Mexico... Viva Yelapa oh ......Viva me too!

12/25/02 -12/31/02 Family ... a big family. Im not really from a big family. Veronica's family is huge! I mean really really big. Sabel ,Veronicas Dad's brother, his wife Lulu, and daughter Nelly during a recent visit spent days filling pages of paper with names of family. All this is only one side of the family. The Rodriguez clan is also gigante! Here in Yelapa guests are very common. During Holidays it is very likely that Family is going to visit. Some announced others will show up at your doorstep. These past days Alicia and Marcos have been hosting about 15 family members. Aside from he laughter and overall family feeling it has been amazing to watch the level of hospitality offered to guests. Their happiness and the feeling of being completely satisfied is numero uno. The food just doesn't stop. It really is like a restaurant where you dont need to order , the chef just keeps offering different items till you get up and run from the table. It goes on till its time to sleep and then begins first thing in the morning . What makes this so amazing is that it goes on for days! I was so lucky to be the token gringo. It was real tough at times, not really understanding the language and the jokes and after days, I had to sit off in private just to reduce the pain of my headache. Highlights were the English lesson I gave and the various one on one conversations with my new family. I was there when the last of family was leaving. It was great! Alicia looked around the kitchen, as to find something else to offer, and find's a couple of packages of cookies for the boat/car ride home to Guadalajara. Alicia , Marcos and family truly feel they were lucky to have the visit from family. The more family the more luck, I am 100% positive if we showed up in Guadalajara we would get the same treatment. I think of how I hardly take care of my friends and family , in the states. Ive got alot to learn here.


1/1/2003 Happy new year! Another great feast at the casa of Alicia and Marcos. We all went to the baille at about 2:00am and the whole town was there! A wild night of dancing and beer and back home around time for the sun to come up. It was great to see Jenny and Vladimir of Graton there!

1/2/03 Crudo! Hungover...actually the whole town is. Even the tortilliaria is closed today . Family is still here from Guadalajara. More food and stories. A good beach day lots of locals not working and relaxing on the beach with their families.

1/3/03 Death... Delores, father of Sammy and Arelia and many more, past away in the night of a heart attack. He was a young 62. I remember the many days I passed his candy stand / tienda by the basketball court and exchanged a greeting. The whole town is mourning. His kids had just left for the states after a holiday visit and were called in Tepic to return. The custom here is to visit the house and bring some type of offering to the family. A pound of sugar, cookies, ect. Yelapense sat quietly for 3 days reflecting on Delores. At times the whole neighborhood was filled. He definitely had a good voyage with all this help. For the next 9 days people gather at the house to pray .

1/7/03 Well I dont know about the theory of three.. But last night Liberato died. Liberato was a powerful man in Yelapa. He started the first water taxi and his daughter runs the first store Hortentia's. He owns the baille hall and numerous properties. He was one of the original families here in Yelapa .He was sick for some time so It might have been a good thing. I find it amazing that today his headstone was made by a group of volunteers and tommorrow he will be buried, no wasting time. Yelapa is doing some reflecting this new year.

I am doing some reflecting too! Me and Vero have had a hard week of cultural differences and family miscommunications. We are going to use our first interpretor since we began dating, tomorrow. It is a little sad but it is necessary. Mexican forms of protocol are very hard especially if you do not know the rules. I know the hard work will pay off. Tonight a little tequila and some sleep are what the doctor ordered.

1/8/03 A sleepless night caused by heavy thought or because it was a warm night, who knows? I spent the day on the beach today. Swimming and awesome people watching. A 85 year old woman crosses the river sola, a wild intense dog fight, two luscious young girls in skimpy suits,from Sonoma County, Swimming dogs, a kayaker that I helped to launch back into the semi rough sea, a man swallowing a bee in a coke can wearing a pink speedo, dark skinned tourists from Columbia in even skimpier suits , just to name a few of the sights.

Our translator forgot about our need today and went to Chacala to buy Riacilla. I ran into Veronica in town sola, which is extremely rare and got to talk for a while, being constantly interrupted by the dozens of locals that needed to make a joke or a huge smile to see us sitting in public together. All is going to be ok. My upcoming trip home for a week will let things calm down, hopefully. We rescheduled our translator till tomorrow. Tortillas and cheese and salsa for dinner. A far cry from the past few months at Vero's casa. I heard today that Christian, an old yelapan friend is returning for a few weeks visit. That should be fun. Last week, boat loads of incoming people on every boat. Currently ,Yelapa is a bit calmer. A great time to visit. This weekend is the celebration for the Virgin of Guadeloupe in Tuito,our municipal. I went last year and had a great time and hopefully will get it together to go again. Tuito is filled with all the villagers of Cabo Corriantes. Tons of household goods for sale . Lots of unusual foods and a hot chocolate and hard alcohol drink served at night. Amazing death defying fireworks and dancing horses. Brass bands and each town does a procession to the church with explosives that bring up the rear. I hope to go Sunday and spend the night and then go directly to the airport for a week of the USA.

1/9/03 A day of playing with the kids on the beach in the sand and water. Such fun... I am past my three day funk over my communication problems. The translator went well. We were able to communicate some new things. Step by step , down the path. Catching up on lost sleep over the past month. Im still looking for someone to rent my property while Im away , so I guess I'll go to the pier tommorow and find someone . I like it that I dont have to rent my casa to survive this year. Next year is a different story.

1/11/03 The joys of hearing little... with all the swimming I have been doing, I have water in my ears. Its been about a week that I cant really hear that well. One ear is open but the other doesnt work. It has been sort of nice to tune things out and at the same time scary to think what if it was permanent. My doctor in Occidental should take care of it.

So it turned out that Tuito and the Virgin were not in the cards for the weekend or a renter for my casa...next year. Im getting mentally ready for my upcoming trip home. Sort of scary! Im glad at the same time to see my friends.

1/12/03 Alright, Im offline and out of Yelapa for a week and will return on the 20th of January. Ill send some hometown pics up when I return, ADIOS....

1/13/03 As I finish my cobb salad on the plane , I chuckle thinking that today I was sitting on the dock in Yelapa and tonight I'll be back in Occidental. Life really is amazing! Today's travel includes walking to the pier, taking a boat to Boca, a bus to Vallarta , a taxi to the airport, an airplane to the USA, a bus to Sonoma County and a car to Occidental/Graton. All this in about 10 hours.

I was so happy to see Veronica and her Mom today with a collection of the kids to send me off on my voyage. Today's goodbye wasn't that hard , as I know that I'll be back in a week. Other years goodbye's have been tough. One year I left and when we arrived in Vallarta, I didn't even have the nerve to get off the boat. That same trip I left four times, each time getting to Vallarta and calling my boss with a different excuse of why I couldn't return, which by the way , there are a million good excuses to stay here. I think that record still holds in Yelapa. I remember one leaving where my girlfriend sat and waved goodbye as the boat slowly left Yelapa, something right out of a romance novel, actually in reality the boat never leaves Yelapa slowly. I also remember another where my girlfriend came to the pier to say goodbye and I tried to suppress my tears , especially since I was on a boat with all men. As I turned around in the boat with tears in my eyes, laughter broke out and they made the crying motion to me. Yelapanese are so familiar with goodbyes , they happen daily. There is rarely any sadness. They say goodbye knowing that you'll return and when you do with all of your excitement and energy, they give you a casual hola, as if they saw you yesterday. I came up with a saying last season... Yelapa...Leave if you can! and the other variation is Yelapa...sleep if you can! both are true....

The other interesting thing to note about Yelapa goodbyes is how things get communicated. If you are seen walking down the path with a bag, you are asked ..."going to Vallarta?" a larger bag, 'are you going norte ?" some don't even ask but tell other people where they think your going, or what your doing. Today I snuck through town and got only a few , going to Vallarta? comments which I answered,"a bit further" and told them of my week trip. One person asked and I lied and said I was going to Vallarta, I felt bad. Another point that I can make is that all that you do will be found out in Yelapa, there is no privacy. Secrets are hard to keep. One little leak and its all over town. If you are successful at keeping your privacy, stories will be told anyway. It seems that Yelapense aren't watching the gringos but that isn't true. They watch everything. They know you and talk about you just as we know and talk about them. I always remember that they are close to indians, who are completely in touch with a different part of their minds, strongly telepathic but here in Yelapa alot of the time they are completely wrong! If you walk down the path not happy then it must have been a fight with your wife or girlfriend, if you were seen drinking, then the stories of your drunkenness will be made up the next day.So I give the advice of playing poker in Yelapa. Don't show all your cards at once. At the same time Yelapanese are awesome communicators. A good example is to watch on the boat when you arrive. Usually there will be a boat driver and a mariner. Its too noisy to talk between them. Watch as they are in complete communication just using hand signs and sounds. The same happens in the local neighborhood, from prephone experience, If you needed to talk to someone you just called out from your house. Each person used there unique call to family and friends to be recognized. Even today I use this method as I pass friends walking on the path.

Back in the USA! I had a great flight with the luck of having an open seat between myself and Emmett, a nice man from Berkeley. The bus ride was smooth and enjoyed a cell phone conversation of a famous winemaker who talked the entire 2 hour ride, The moment I got off the bus , my buddy Evan was there to pick me up and offer his nice guest accommodations in upper Graton. Me and Evan used to play Tennis together 10 years ago, I offered him to visit me and a girlfriend in Yelapa. Out of the blue he and his family showed up and had a wonderful 2 week vacation, one that etched a lifetime friendship for us. Yelapa connections are that way alot, strong and passionate.

1/14/03 Visited my house and Nikki and my Doctor today. Great news, my ears are open and even better I have lost 15 lbs and have completely normal blood pressure , all this in 12 weeks. Sounds like an infomercial! The secret is exercise. Walking is a constant in Yelapa. Went to visit Matt and Pam and the birthday of Ann. Funny stories...and a good time with good friends .

1/20/03 Here I am, sitting in the SF airport after a whirlwind visit. I'm sure you all know about the theory of work in different houses. If you have your money trip down and your relationship thang down too, then your health house pops up and when you fix that another area needs your attention. Right now I'm thinking of how full and cool my friends/ relationship house is! I have so many quality friends! This week was another view of that. The hospitality of the David Family. Evan, Angeles, Paloma, Sonja and Arlo. I had my own house to live in all week and even better I got to really be a part of their family. I do want to point out that they are another friendship bound for life, due to our joint time spent in Yelapa. The Penn's are my family. They head up my support team in the states. This week they offered me a car, a party in my honor, even though they were celebrating their 30th anniversary together and much more. The Carpenters. Matt, Pam, Jessica ,Jasmin and Riley,their new puppy. More Family. 100% love and support. The Ayers. Cal, Cher , Sammie and the one and only, Faith. Cal is my life adviser. Cher is the cutest friend I have. Bob Lee and Mary. Artist Guru and all around good guy with a wife who has a huge heart. A totally original family. The Wiley /Farrer Clan. My property mates and ground support for my team. Both Mark and Nikki are unbelievably caring and present. I could go on for pages and that's the truth!

I accomplished a ton this week. I'm caring back 250lbs of clothes and toys for my new family. I met with another of my mentor's, Chris and he consulted me on a new business venture that I have been dreaming of. Manifested a washing machine that Michael and Jen are going to drive to Mexico for me, a free mini Microwave for tortilla warming, a tv/vcr with sega genesis, set up another business plan for me and Veronica, and had quality visits with alot of people. I did get overwhelmed a couple of times. Stress, my old friend who rarely visits these days. Mostly due to trying to do too much, in a short time.

I want to make to make Yelapa my home and visit Occidental. As of now I will begin to make that happen. How long will it take?

1/23/03 It's been great to be back. Today as I was visiting the family, Marcos yelled Sismo! Sismo! He held the table with his palms down, An earthquake! We watched as the 5 gallon water bottle swished around. That pretty much was it.... I did hear some great earthquake stories from past years but I'm still trying to translate them from my memory and mind. Ill follow up on them soon. The past few days were luscious here. Bright and Sunny, Beach days. Here's a true tale that happened this last week. Sunday morning, January 19th, Polonco, a lifetime Yelapense died. He lived in a palapa hut that is located at the center of town, where many paths cross. As I already explained, the custom in Yelapa is to visit the house of the departed and bring a offering of some kind. The entire town crowded around his very rustic shack. Many locals brought their own chairs and drank hot chocolate as they reflected on Polanco. All directions of the path were very tight, due to the amount of people. Almost on the stroke of midnight chaos began. Horses tied up started freaking. Something was up , Emilio looked toward the path to the cascada. A figure appeared in the dark. It was a large Toro! Toro !!! Baca !!! he yelled...People were slow to react. Many thought the chaos was a fight. Older locals started to run but younger ones wanted to look at the action. Emilio and others tried to shoo the toro away from the crowd,but it ran up by the liquor store. It suddenly made a dash for the lower path , luckily choosing an open lot for 20 seconds. Locals jumped in trees, up rocks, through thorn bushes and basically ran for their lives. Numerous people were injured fleeing. The Toro angrily thrust towards the crowd. It headed directly toward the casa of Polanco, as if on a mission. It ran exactly to the door of the casa where Veronica's mother was standing. She actually had to jump in the casa with Polonco, muerto inside. It paused for a moment and then ran off down the path. Emilio looked at his watch and realized it the stroke of midnight! People instantly started talking. "Who's Toro was that?" "was it Alphonso's?" "Conejo's?" after a bit of prying, Conejo announced it was his Toro. The strange thing was that the Toro was kept up river and had a reputation of not liking to travel down the path, to this area and to do so solo would be amazing. More chatter began, "The Toro was white with a black hump",others saw it as a black bull with a white hump, some recalled that all types of animals were going crazy right prior to the moment, the Toro arrived. It was then that the entire crowd knew it wasn't a Toro , it was a Diablo! You see Polonco had a dislike for the church. An opinion he spoke outwardly about. His nickname actually was Polonco , lets go to mass! in spanish, it rhymes. This Diablo obviously was coming to get Polonco on the stroke of midnight, on the night of his death.The amazing thing was that the whole town was there to watch.

During the week and many versions of the story, I heard various rumors of the Toro to be killed on the following Sat. I also heard they were going to serve it as tacos in town. Yesterday as I walked with a huge fever and my ear infection to the clinic, I passed as the Diablo was being moved up to Conejos casa, my next door neighbor. I asked,"is that the Diablo?" "SI". So I recommend that if your in town this next week and you pass a taco stand selling tacos at a discounted price, Id turn and safely walk away from the Taco's de Diablo.

1/26/03 My Moms birthday and I celebrated it with about as much pain as I could take! To clarify that , I came on with a huge ear infection. As the night went on I wished I could cut my ear right off! No chance of sleeping. I had to totally use my mind to control the pain. I made it to the clinic the next day after an adventurous walk with a high fever to find the doctor. After various drops and pills, I calmed down a bit. Alisha and Veronica have helped heal me the most. That is after I was lectured up and down for not properly treating my past water in the ears. Alisha treated me with her products and was truly the only relief of pain I've had for days.Ill be ok , someday! right now Its hard to imagine and I dream of it often.

1/27/03 A long story, I had to go to Vallarta today for construction supplies. It was a bit sketchy of a trip due to my current health but I survived, returning to my casa to find my friend who I was getting the crucial supplies for , hung over and unable to work! Rested for hours at Veronica's, healing my ear. I think I have to pain managed, but I'm not sure!

I have other great news !!!

After 5 months.... Three whole cooked chickens with peppers and potatoes somehow helped win me the approval to spend my life with Veronica and the Kid's. Returning from Vallarta with my bounty, we sat and consumed the tasty chickens. Afterwards I fell asleep on the couch and Marcos, Veronica's Dad fell asleep in his quarter. We both awoke after a short time. He had a huge smile on his face. He said something about having a great dream and made some joke that to this day, I don't completely understand. Actually, at this point with the condition of my ears, I could barely hear. The whole family laughed. I finally vibed the situation, as it got more serious. This was my moment! I blurted out..."I want the responsibility of Veronica and the Kid's!" He asked Veronica of her intentions and she told him of her intention to move to my house and start a life with me. Momentarily we were toasting tequila flavored soda as Marcos doesn't drink alcohol. We sat and laughed together. I thought wisely that maybe we should ask permission now for us to take a solo trip to Mazatlan. When I did...he looked at me seriously and said "why ask me? you have to ask no more permissions!"

So I consider the first chapter closed with a happy ending....

This week I have been doing the construction that I have thought about for a long time. My extra casa, on the top of the property is going to be our bedroom. Emilio has been working with me to transform it. We are using the old style of Yelapa construction. Raja's...the bark of palm trees for walls and pine for the new beds...I am about ten days away or so from completing. Veronica and the Kid's have been visiting more and doing small dry runs at the casa. So far , so good! Casa Iguana is going to be perfect for us...

So January ends... on a great note! except for my ears...which are getting better ! The jungle sure will sober up your self image though ! The other day while working on the casita , the inflammation had gone way down and due to my various daily injections of antibiotics, my ears began to drain the fluid from them. The only problem was that the flies were attracted to it. Are you picturing this? Not A pretty sight ! oh yeah my ass is black and blue too from the shots. other than that... life is good ... real good!


2/28/03

We had a tiny bit of rain and some lightning the other night. I loved it . I miss the rain. With my current lifestyle , living here, I see very little rain as it begins in June and in Occidental, I return to sunny days there too! The last three days have been unbelievable ! Sunny and the Ocean has been like glass with the water as clear as I've ever seen it here. It's been torturous, not to be able to swim, due to my ear ! Here's a picture I took yesterday from Casa Del Sol.

I have a few days off from the construction. Emilio is in short supply here. We will continue on Monday or so, when he finishes his other job. The casa is really transforming. A funny coincidence. Emilio and his family lived in the same casa for a year. At that time they had 10 kids ! Makes my 4 seem like nothing ! Emilio is the oldest of 15 kids. The other coincidence is that we are building with the old yelapa style and so in a way we are restoring the casa, not just adding on.

I went to the doctor again and even though my ears are better, I still have the remainder of an infection. One more week till I can swim ! For the first time this season I have friends coming down to visit... I'm excited... Evan and Angeles and Kids and Patric and Bridget and kids... they are both staying right off the beach so it should be a quick and fun February. Vero and the Kids will move in here close to Valentines day. I cant wait ! I'm getting ready to update my Yelapa photos, so stay tuned...

Yelapa is real slow right now...sure I am happy to keep it all to myself but I worry for the locals.

2/9/03 What did I do this week? It's sort of hard to remember... I met up with a couple from Napa who read my page and had a nice visit... I never got to say goodbye..Adios Pam and Joe... Vivian , our 4yr. old had to go to the hospital in Vallarta. She had a bronchial problem and needed a nebulizer. Pretty sad scene.. a pediatric hospital...full of sick crying kids. After a full day there, Vivian is much better...

Well if the scorpions in Yelapa don't freak you then the Arlomo will. The bite of the Arlomo is bad. You may ask what is an Arlomo? Believe it or not ....no one really knows... Its sort of a fabled animal/insect. One type is as small as a nat and flies and another is like a glow worm with a little light on the tail. The other theory is that an Arlomo is a spider. Here in Yelapa, various bug bites occur daily. This one feels normal and then after a few hours and some itching/pain , it begins with a red ring around the bite. Then pain and swelling. Then it becomes cankerous. Very similar to the bite of a brown recluse spider. Next it turns black...More pain ect... The types of bite vary . One is very topical and the other is thought to burrow into the skin and go to the bone another type spreads to different parts of the body... Here's the tricky part...Modern Medicine cant treat it ! Last year a friend got bit and returned to Canada to treat it with no luck. This isn't the first time this has happened. Luckily in Yelapa there are three Curanderas "Medicine Women" who can treat it .They use various local herbs specifically for the Arlomo. A number of poultice's are made and applied over a period of weeks. I tell you all about this for knowledge and because someone close to me is dealing with a bad bite right now... I've researched a lot on the internet and I'm sending a picture to a doctor I respect in the states. If you have any pertinent information let me know... prevention of the Arlomo is to pray you don't get bit...

On to a sunnier note.. Yelapa is having great weather right now...jump on the plane and have a magical week...

I've been hanging with the Ryser Brothers lately. Christian , John and Morgan. It's hard to describe these guys. They are very special ,each in a different way. Very smart and present. I enjoy being around three brothers who enjoy and respect each other. They reside at the Casa Xipe Totec formally Ruby's, across from the beach and the lagoon. The site for a natural medicine clinic for many years. The terrain is one the coolest in Yelapa. It really is a mature, 2 acre Jungle Garden with a massive palapa and some smaller casita's. It is in the process of transferring ownership to some lucky sole...you can even find it on EBAY! I have fond memories of the property as Dianne and her Kids lived there for my first year in Yelapa. So if you got $100.000 + and want an amazing dream...here's your chance....

Casa Iguana is transforming once again !...I should be done with my current project by this weekend. Rafa, one of the masters of the Machete, worked for a few days this week and totally cleared my terrain and cut back growth around the new casa that had been there for years. I have such respect for a machete....what a tool, in the right hands. Tomorrow Emilio returns ! As I write this a big wind from the south is blowing through my palapa and strong enough to shake it ! I wonder what tomorrow has to offer?

I almost forgot, today as I was walking down my hill, I ran into Jacob Rich from Sebastopol. He is currently studying in Guadalajara and was visiting Yelapa for a day. We had just enough time to eat a meal at Veronica's and off he went to catch his boat. Tiny World Connection !

2/14/03 I'm not stupid... but my memory fails me occasionally. Chances are I wont forget my anniversary of Valentines day. Yes... I announce my marriage to Veronica and the Kids. I had arranged with my mom to send down a family ring with my friends who recently visited. I could hardly wait to give it to her and to formally propose to her. Valentines Day arrived and in the night I got a rare chance to take a walk with her on the beach. I started to speak words of love to her. For some unknown reason it was hard to get down on my knee. But I did, as I continued to try to think of my words in spanish. As I did she listened but asked me to get up, as she didn't like talking to me from that angle. I explained of our custom and a tear rolled off her eye. So at the the mouth of the Rio Tuito, pretty darn close to a full moon on Valentines day, We formally began our live together. In three days the family moves into my casa, Even if we hadn't gotten married a custom in Yelapa is that when you live together, you are married, in the communities big eye's. We have to take care of some papers and then we will have a small wedding in the local church. I am Happy!!!!!

2/20/03 My simple little life has been busy. I have actually been working long full days with just a few breaks. I haven't done that in a long time! Even worse is that my friends are here visiting and I've had very little time to visit with them. Tonight is the first night Veronica and the Kid's are here living at the casa. The transition was real smooth. Veronica is a pro mom. It was great to do the final touches with her and make the beds in the new casita. I was lucky enough to have enough sheets and blankets for all three beds. The casita looks great and I'm so glad to have the project basically completed. Casa Iguana is full of life ! I have a bunch of stories I'm writing now to finish off this quick month of February.

2/23/03 Kindness in the world. As I already told you I was lucky enough to receive the wonderful gift of a washing machine delivered to an hour or so from Puerto Vallarta. Let me explain for you all why a washing machine is important. When you think of Yelapa, many are attracted to it's old world charm. But the recent coming of electricity has done wonders for saving time. Huge amounts of time can be saved, not to mention the level of energy and endurance that is needed to wash clothes for a family of six. I once attempted to do my wash by myself. It's hard to imagine how hard it is, not to mention how bad it smelled after I finished. It is an art. The other point is that the washing machines here in mexico are shit. They don't have the cogs to move the clothes , just a vibrating base on the bottom of the machine. With that info out of the way... Jen and Michael leave Sebastopol on a 2000 mile trek with vacation on their minds and my new but used machine in the back of their car. About four days later they safely arrive in San Pancho. The big day comes. Myself , Veronica, Yael and Vivian head off to recover our treasure. The seas are calm so our boat ride to Boca was smooth. About an hour north of Vallarta , we arrive in San Pancho. It was quite a contrast to Yelapa. What really stood out were the huge white casa's. Lots of them. Our mission was to find Casa Melissa. We followed the directions given to us by Ann. Close but no tortilla... We almost got stuck as my clutch is about to go out and my chinook wouldn't make it up steep hills. I headed out on foot searching the white community. Jim, Ann's Boyfriend vibed us out and found the car and set us in the right direction. Casa Melissa was quite a sight ! A grand casa with an infinity pool, tennis court and a massive view of the Pacific Ocean. As we attempted the hill to the casa, which was successful, there sat the washer. It was at that moment that I figured out that I had forgotten which appliance was the heavy one. Was the washer or dryer the heavy one? How was I going to get this beast back to Yelapa ? Well I showed all the confidence I could muster. We'll throw it on the top of the chinook, strap it down and cruise. We got it up there and realized the first problem. The fiberglass roof was very close to caving in. I really had no other choice. We would have to make due. I figured if the roof caved in, the washer would land on the bed and would be fine and I would build a new roof for the camper, priorities must be made. We visited only a ratatito and headed for Yelapa. We made it down the driveway and to the main road. The roof began creaking , muttering its last words. Veronica suggested that we get some wood for supports. Great idea, but where ? She pointed to two manual laborers on the side of the road. We stopped she got out and explained we needed help. Without a second of hesitance, they were ready! The problem was no one had a machete. Using the leverage of a post they broke off some tree limbs and hoped up on the top of the car and lifted the machine and put in our new support system. After many thanks and offers for paying for their help, which they declined, we headed down the road with a new confidence ! All was good till we hit Vallarta. The washer had shifted and the roof was whimpering again. You see at my weight climbing onto the roof would be real bad... for the roof... so once again Veronica to the rescue. She asks this man for help. Once again , instantly ready. the funny thing was this man was dressed in all white and my car hasn't been washed in four months. Not fazing him, he climbed carefully onto the roof and adjusted the supports and went on his way. I sat wondering of the same situation in the states. Would we be ready to help someone at the drop of a hat ? I don't think so. Amazing Mexico! We stopped and enjoyed a round of tacos and decided to spend the night at Tortilla Flats. Mostly because the next leg of the trip was real hard and because I would have my first chance to spend the night with Veronica sola, well with only two kids but to us it still was a honeymoon. The next morning we headed for a few errands and to the Los Muertos Dock. The other grand task of getting sponge/foam for the beds turned out to take a lot longer than expected as the tienda owner had a bad leg and so the task of measuring the sponge and cutting it took over an hour which made the rush to the boat even more intense. It was then that luck smacked me up side my head. I found a dolly at a hotel and borrowed it and with assistance of another passerby I wheeled the washer to our awaiting water taxi. Within minutes the boat ,washer and the three sponges headed with my family to Yelapa. I had to park my car and take another boat from Boca... When I arrived back at home ... all had gone smoothly and our cargodor, Ceasar had met the washer and supplies at the pier and with another friend they performed the amazing and death defying feat of hand carrying it all up the hill to our casa for a little cash. The washer has been running for days. We are washing so much right now. So much has been waiting to be cleaned. So ends the tale of the voyage of the washing machine and the kindness of many who helped us have the cleanest clothes in town.

2/28/03 Most nights in the past , when leaving the casa of Vero's Family, I have to walk pass by a casa fiercely guarded by dogs. In my past , I have been a bit tripped out by dogs but with my Yelapa experience under my belt , it is much easier. Usually they just bark and growl. Occasionally with the multi levels of the property they will somewhat surround me. I deal with it by using the old trick of bending over as to pick up a rock ... it usually works ... well this night I was a bit timid since the night prior was a bit tricky to pass. I quietly crept pass the casa. Great ! No dogs tonight ! I happily walked to the first tienda where I saw a pile of cardboard. Cool , as I need a bunch for a project. I took the first piece and then the second. All the sudden the leader of the pack jumped out from under the pile, fast asleep! To say the least, we were both startled ! I looked him in the eyes and ran ! My new plan has been to make friends with the dogs during the day. It seems that they are fine during the day, when they aren't on duty. A little gift of food goes a long way... ojala...

Family life is hard but rewarding. Its new knowledge for me. I've had some family living experience but not with four multi-aged kids. Even my fifteen years of working with kids hasn't helped that much! All in all , we are doing great for the first week of living together. I am so happy to spend the days with Veronica and the kids at the casa. We are all getting accustomed to each other. The biggest problem so far is the kids falling out of bed. LuzClarita fell the first two nights and hard. I am getting grayer by the night as I wake to the sound of a thud and a child's cry. I am trying to get more wood to construct stronger barriers. The other problem are the scorpions. Even though we fumigated and cleaned the palapa roof thoroughly, we have found three large scorpions in the new casita. The casita hasn't been lived in for years, so there is a process you go through to eliminate your chances of face to face visits. We continue in that process by fumigating again and burning any palapa nearby the casa. Last night Yael, asleep in our bed fell out and landed on the floor.This morning when making the bed, we discovered a scorpion crushed on the floor by his fall ! He is ok. Tomorrow will be a busy day ! Life in Yelapa can definitely be a challenge, but well worth it.

Arlomo update ... my friend has finally started getting better from her bite of the mysterious bug. This came after much experimentation. As I told you there are seven different types of herbs that are used to cure it, along with seven types of bites. She tried many different combinations of herbs and applications both hot and cold. Daily injections of antibiotics were also needed. She finally narrowed it down to one herb . That was the ticket. The worst had to be the day they needed to clean the sore out by scraping it clean to remove the eggs that lay in the sore/bite. A towel was wrapped around her head and twisted from behind to help her manage the pain. It hurt me to watch. So now a month into this , she is finally starting to walk and the redness is going away. The bite is still bigger than a quarter but cleaner than before, showing signs of wanting to heal. The curandera that visited the other day says she still has two weeks to go.

A certain friend visiting from the states/canada made me think this last week. He made a joke/comment that I had too much stuff at my casa. Was it my ping pong table? the small microwave that I asked him to deliver to me from the states for warming tortillas ,all at once? My computer? Anyway ... I'm a sensitive guy at times ... I really feel that you can rough it here in Yelapa, if you choose. This is my first year with electricity. I truly enjoyed not having it but I also really enjoy having it now! and of course you can never go backwards. I'm so lucky to have the things I have here. Especially now with my family. Actually, I can think of a bunch of things I still want. A kiddie pool for the kids during summer, a blender, a DSL line, just kidding on that one. I look forward to the next chinook- load of stuff I bring to my little paradise. Plus I thoroughly enjoy and miss going to the swap meet in Sebastopol every sunday morning to find my treasures.

I tell this next story in the name of knowledge. I go to buy propane the other day. I endure the task of carrying, even the empty canister. I pay and during the transaction I put the change into my pocket and concentrate on getting the now amazingly heavy canister back to my casa. Later that night, I notice that I was given the wrong change for the gas, I'm owed another 100 pesos = $10.00. I sheepishly tell Veronica. I know that I should immediately go back and settle this . But it's 9:00pm ! I just couldn't muster up enough energy to do it . Manana .... well early the next morning , just after sunrise, the 80 yr. old husband of the proprietress shows up at my casa. He has never visited before, so I ask him what's up? He tells me he has little money and is old and needs work and is ready now... all at once my chance to ask him for my 100 pesos had collapsed. I just couldn't do it or have him work. So on his way he went. It was a cheap lesson. Count your change... I was amazed at the skill of this con though. Overcharging me was only one half and the second half delivered the next morning. Actually I'm honored to have been taken by this master. As they say here in Yelapa ...Buen Negotio! I think my total now is about $2100.00 for loss here... and I'm sure there will be more.

What an unbelievably fast February ! Only two months to go, this season! I hate the thought of being away from my family for months ! But the big picture is more important ... And what about the current state of the USA? I definitely don't want to get stuck there ! Here in Yelapa, I feel safe ! Who wants to bother us here?

I am going to try and concentrate more on Yelapa and less on my life, here on my site, the next months. My level of privacy and my family isn't the same. Remember a guarded secret in Yelapa is worth Gold !

I still haven't found the time to work on the new batch of photos but I will soon ... stay tuned !

It is really great when friends come to visit in Yelapa, and it's even better when they have a great time. Evan , Angeles , Poloma, Sonja and Arlo made the best of their vacation. Heres a bunch of pictures of their trip, including fiestas in Chacala and Ixtlahuahuey.


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