Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cervantes and Quixote

Guanajuato has lots of things related to Cervantes and Quixote.  Today I visited the Museo Iconografico Del Quijote.  There is an entire museum devoted to paintings and art about Don Quixote.   Though I am not a huge art fan and have never read Don Quixote, I enjoyed seeing the many different types of art based on the novel by Cervantes.  Every October there is an event several weeks long devoted to the work by Miguel de Cervantes as well, with people coming from all over the world.  I should read Don Quixote while I am here, but have not come across an English copy.  The book is over 900 pages, which I do not plan to read on my iPod's small screen.

Friday, March 27, 2015


Last night was Day of the Flowers, and today is Friday of Sorrows.  The city was full of people, making it difficult to walk in the center.  There were lots of people selling flowers and cascarones (egg shells filled with confetti) both last evening and today.  Last night there were dances at lots of places, and the young people stay out really late.  The guys are supposed to give flowers to a girl that they like.  Starting sometime this morning, if you saw an altar to the Virgin, it meant the business was giving away free ice cream or a special juice.  The picture above shows one of the most elaborate in front of a church.  How everthing fits together, I am not quite clear, but I was happy about the free ice cream.

Monday, March 23, 2015

more views of Guanajuato

Here are a few things I see frequently when I am walking around Guanajuato.  Above is La Plaza de Paz. 
Every day on my way to the language school, I go past Teatro Principal.  The orchestra plays here most Friday nights.
There are lots of levels of streets and houses...here is a street near my house.
This is a callejon.  There are plenty of them here, and it is the only way to get to many homes.  There are plenty of these, and walking up one is a good workout.  I am glad that I do not live all the way up one of these, or I might only leave the house once a day.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Stones for Ibarra

My Uncle recommended reading Harriet Doerr as she writes about Mexico and lived in the country for some time.  When I saw Stones for Ibarra by Doerr I thought it would be worth reading.  This book is about a couple, Richard and Sara, who moves to a small Mexican town from the San Francisco area.  They are there to spend time working the mine Richard´s grandfather once ran. Though that is the overall story, each chapter is a short story about a person in the village there.  The story was okay, the strength of this novel was not in the story but in Doerr´s ability to use words.  She is clear and concise with her words and does a great job of allowing readers to visualize the people and their lives.

Monday, March 9, 2015

three things

La Basilica
Three things I discovered this last week or so about Guanajuato have made me glad about the choice to spend my time here.
1.  There are many things to see...I think over 30 different sites for tourists, which includes a variety of museums, churches, and plazas.

La Presa de la Olla
Events and music are everywhere.  Many Friday nights there are symphony orchestra concerts at a theatre downtown.  I went to one the first Friday I was here.  The museums have free events, too. There is a classic book club on Tuesdays at one museum.  I took part in a free art class on Wednesday,  Friday I went to a talk about textiles.  My plan is to visit one or two museums each week.  Last week I visited the Museo Casa Diego Rivera.
2.  As an extension of the university, there is a place called CAADI.  It is a type of language school affiliated with the university.  For a small cost ($60), I can attend conversation groups for the rest of my time here.  There are Spanish groups, mostly focused on conversation, but at times are about reading or culture.  There are also groups for other languages, including English, French, German, Chinese and Italian.  I have met a lot of new people in the last week from different parts of the world and have a place to practice speaking Spanish.  It is open twelve hours a day, five days a week.  There are also resources there to use for study.
3.  I will have enough books to read.  There is a central library that is part of the university with both Spanish and English books which I can read there.  There are also Spanish and English books available for checkout from CAADI.  Today I went to the English Language Library which has over two thousand English books available for checkout.  I brought six books with me, but they will only last through the beginning or middle of April.