December 29, 2008
Cruising with the Rents is proving to be quite the experience. Day 12 of being in closed quarters with family.. and I must say, overall, we are really doing wonderful. But of course, as usual, today I learned lots of things about my family . 1) We are especially non-functional in the morning. Group activities before 10 am should be scheduled with precaution. 2) Don’t pick meeting times or places the night before. 3) The universal language is spoken with smiles, music, and food –Mom. (I’ve heard her say it before but it bears repeating). 4) Life is the greatest teacher. Last night I was thinking I don’t want to do a cruise gig ever again, and today I was really moved and decided I have to keep traveling (however, I don’t know if it will be via cruise ship.) We started our day off with an excursion, which was a cruise to see the Acapulco cliff divers. They are one of the cities claims to fame, along with being the home of many American celebrities. We took a triple decker boat to the home of the divers. We saw about 5 jumpers, each at different levels. The last jumped off the highest point and did 2 flips. Three of the divers swam to the boat at the end and came on board for pictures and a ride back to the main town. The youngest in the particular group was 15, however they said the youngest diver ever was 11. They all belong to and are paid by a union of divers. At the end of the trip we were served chips, pico de gallo, guac, and other Mexican snacks, at 9 am (!). We took the boat back to a shopping area, and ended up going to the flea market. There was a lot of hassling and the same odd items repeatedly lined along the streets. It was overwhelmingly intimidating. I didn’t enjoy it. We returned back to the ship. Shortly after coming back, Michelle was going out to the beach, so I decided to give Mexico another go in her Spanish speaking company. We didn’t need to walk too far to find a breezy, open restaurant serving cold beers and pico de gallo. We sat on the backside of the restaurant which was right in the sandy beach. While chatting and catching up, merchants would walk up to us every other second. Finally, one was much different from the others – a very small and skinny 6 year old boy. He was selling magnets. Michelle asked him to sit down, and talked to him in Spanish. We got him apple juice and he ate the rest of our chips, which he smothered in mounds of salt. He was so afraid to eat or drink because he didn’t believe that we would pay for it. He was missing some education, and was obviously very poor, but had a bright smile and a fun heart. He said his mother was coming over (I was scared she would be upset he was hanging out with us) who selling hanging glass mobiles, and ended up being very friendly and lovely. She had a baby hanging from tied blankets around her waste. She had one other son at home. She was genuinely interested in us, and the two of them looked at Michelle’s pictures from her camera in awe. The woman looked young and was very warm… I will never forget her smile. Weather she was or not, she seemed content with herself and her life. She was open and so friendly to us. I can’t explain the ways I was moved by this interaction, but it showed me that joy and is everywhere, and life can teach you anytime, anywhere, if you are willing to learn.
at 10:58 AM