Thursday, April 2, 2015

Leaving the countryside for town

Jonathan with Brewster, Rosie, and Lily
We moved from the country into the city on April 1, from Simple Choice Farm located about 12 miles outside of San Miguel de Allende, into a rental property close to the city center.

We are looking forward to the opportunity to explore and get to know San Miguel better, (and to celebrating Pesach with members of Shalom San Miguel, the Jewish community here), but there are also some things that we will miss when we move.

We will miss the quiet of the countryside, where the loudest noises (except for the occasional bus or car on the road) are not human-made: the wind in the trees, the braying of donkeys and barking of dogs, the crow of the roosters, the twittering of birds. 

We will miss the way that animal life is inextricably blended with human life – the goats and sheep that scamper across the road, the cows that gaze at us placidly from their pastures, the pig that lifts its head and grunts a greeting when we walk by, the donkeys and horses that live alongside the campesinos

Brand-new church in El Membrillo
We will miss the friendliness of the people who live in the many ranchos accessible by footpaths or cobblestone streets from the main road, who smile and exchange greetings even with us foreigners. One of our favorite walks was into the comunidad of El Membrillo, where the residents were building a new stone church. We saw both the end of its construction, and the decorations celebrating the first Mass in the new building for the fiesta of their patron saint San Jose.

Decorated for the mass and fiesta of dedication
Almost finished interior
Our new street - our house is the bright yellow on the right
And while we may not miss the forty minute bus commute between the farm and the town center, we will miss the local color of the ride itself, and the way the people on the bus look out for one another. On the rural road, there aren’t any official bus stops; folks just flag the bus down, and the bus driver waits when he sees people hurrying down the footpaths. We are the only gringos on the bus, and the first time we road it was a market day. The bus was packed with people, like ourselves, carting bags of fresh fruits and vegetables, and students just out of school. We weren’t sure we would get on the bus, but the driver urged everyone to squeeze, and then proceeded to the next stop, where another dozen schoolkids miraculously squeezed in after us. A grandma with a baby on her lap urged us to put our bags of vegetables on the floor by her feet, even though it cramped her leg room, rather than standing with them in the aisle.

Interior courtyard of our apartment
This past weekend, we did a Bread and Torah program at Shalom San Miguel (click here for pictures) and we look forward to attending their community Seder. 

There is much to do and experience in town, and though we will miss the countryside, we are excited about beginning the next phase of this journey.

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