Monday, August 23, 2010

Demasiado tiempo.....

Wow, more than two months without posting. It's been too long...

Lots of things have happened, but mostly my time has been taken up by my changing of workplace. I had been working at my old school for eleven years, and I thought a change would be good. Little did I know that this change would be so time consuming.

Among other things, I had to renew my working visa. Since the old one had expired, I had to leave the country and come back in with a new tourist visa to start the whole process again. Having no money for a plane trip, a friend and I decided to go by bus to Laredo, Texas, a 12 hour bus ride. I'll talk about that adventure in another post. Then getting all the papers ready for the visa, and taking them to León, a city about a hour from here, I had to go two times.

I also had to attend a course at my new school. So much information! I thought my head would explode, but everything went well. Then I had to take out all the things I had accumulated in 11 years from my old school and prepare my new classroom. That was very time consuming!

Also I had to prepare all my son's school things. Here notebooks have to be covered with colored paper chosen for each grade (his is yellow), afretwards they have to be covered with plastic (I use contact paper). And the books have to be covered with plastic also. In total, I covered 11 notebooks with yellow paper and plastic, and 10 books with plastic (whew!).

Now, don't think I'm complaning. Summer was good. I planted some pumpkin seeds and they are looking pretty goo. Hopefully we'll have pumpkins for Día de Muertos. We also attended weddings, Quince Años, and a whole bunch of good-bye parties.

I'm posting photos of the mini pizzas my ex-students made the last days of school, and some of co-worker Montserrat and Beto's wedding...

As always, my girls went overboard with this project.
The pizzas are made with flour tortillas, tomato sauce,
and lots of different toppings.
This one has pepperonni, tuna fish, green and black
olives, and mozarella cheese.
Yes, they ate this strange combination!!

They HAD to make faces. Love the cat!

Here some have pinapple with ham (it's called Hawaiian pizza).

And here is Montserrat's wedding.
She looked beautiful, these photos don't do her justice.

At the church with the "lazo" tied around them.

At the reception. Love the new fashion of having
a vegetable and fruit bar. Jicama, carrots, and cucumber
with lots of lime juice and different hot sauces.
Watermelon, canteloupe, honeydew..
In the back you can see the "chamoy" sauce

And a photo of a few of the teachers that went to the wedding.
We had a great time.

Still have a lot to post about the summer...

In the mean time, have a great week and wish me luck at my new job!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ceviche (de soya).

Ceviche is a dish made with raw fish which is "cooked" with lime juice. Ceviche exists in most Latin American countries, each with is own variations. Most Mexicans LOVE ceviche, and it is very popular during lent, and also during the hot summer months.

Mexican ceviche is prepared using finely chopped fish fillets, and marinated overnight in the lime juice, in the refrigerator. Afterwards the the fish is put in a strainer so the excess juice drains from the fish.

Although fish is Mexico is relatively cheap (at least compared to other countries) making ceviche for a large family can be a bit expensive. So Mexicans, who are very adaptable people, came up with a variant for the fish ceviche: SOY PROTEIN CEVICHE.

Yes, my neighbor taught me how to make soy protein ceviche. I love it, my husband loves it, my kids love it. It is very cheap, and if you are vegetarian, there is no need to worry-no animal was harmed in the process!

-Dry soy protein-I use the small piece protein
and the amount depends on how many people
Here I used 750 gms. which is about 2 1/2 pounds.
Remember it will almost double its size when hydrated.
-Limes- a lot of them, I used about 15 here.
-White onions
-Salt to taste
-Chopped serrano chiles
-Salsa Valentina or San Luis

The first thing I do is re-hydrate the soy protein.
I put it in a pot full of water, heat it just
till it starts to boil, turn the heat off, and let it cool.

Here is a close-up of the hydrated protein.

Then I put it in a large strainer, and "wash" it.
I let the water run through it while squeezing and "scrubbing" it.
It has to be very well rinsed, till the water runs almost clear.
Then it has to be drained of all the excess water,
I usually squeeze it, and then leave it in the strainer a while.

In the meantime I squeeze the limes, and chop
everything that is going to be added.

After the protein is drained, I add the lime juice, chopped onions...

Chopped cilantro and serrano chiles (optional) .....

Chopped tomatoes....

Mix everything very well adding salt to taste...

And this is what the finished stuff looks like.
You can put it in the fridge a few minutes,
and it will taste even better.

Mmmm, I love this dish.

The tostadas, and salsa San Luis.

At this point the avocado is sliced and put on top.
There is no avocado here because I forgot to buy some.

Great summer dish. Very cheap and tasty.
If you get to make some, let me know how it came out.

Hope you have a great weekend, and just in case I can't post tomorrow, have a Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The official Mexican sport is the Charreada. It is the original rodeo, though there are some major differences between both.

Some weeks ago, our school was host to an academic event to which more that 80 high schools, that belong to our system, perticipated. As part of the cultural entertainment, a Charreada was organized. Click on the link above for more information on this sport. I do not attend frequently, but when I do I enjoy it pretty much. You see, there is a lot more going on besides the horse thing. There is usually live music and lots of typical food. The Charreada begins with somehing that is similiar to a parade. And sometime in between, there is the women's event called the escaramuza. In this event, the women ride side-saddle in a full skirted costume that includes a few frilly petticoats. They perform a choreography while riding thier horses. It is really pretty.

Some of my male students are charros and participated in this even. Some girl students participated in the parade. This sport is very expensive since the charros have to own a horse (same with the girls, Adelitas). And unlike the American rodeo, the Charrería does not give money prizes to the winners, thus making this an amateur sport. At the end of the competition the winners usually recieve a trophy.

The photos...I love the girl's costumes.

Pretty girls in colorful costumes.

This costume is beautifully embroidered!

One of my favorite ex-students. Straight A's,
kind, thoughtful, and beautiful.
I also love this costume...

Part of the escaramuza.

Many times the escaramuza is performed to music.

Visitors from other states posing for the camera.

This was the "banda" playing at the Charreada.
One of the best bands in the area of the Bajío.

Tried to upload a video of this band playing, but each time I try, it shows some kind of error, and tells me to try again later. Guess I will try, later!

Feels good to be posting a bit more often again!
So I hope I can show you some more things from around here tomorrow.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


About a month ago artist-friend, Estela, had her exposition at the local "Casa de la Cultura". I like her work very much. Besides painting on canvas, she goes around small towns looking for old, broken, and termite ridden doors. She treats the wood to rid them from the termites, then makes these beautiful paintings on them.

She also does some incredible alebrijes (check out the link, some interiesting things, those alebrijes). Her alebrijes are made from papier mache.

Here are a few photos of her art. Not the greatest pictures, but I'm sure you appreciate her work.

I photographed the door panels in three shots
getting closer to show the detail.

The photographs that follow are the alebrijes.

I love the doors most.
You should see all the things she has in her house. Lots of linoleum prints. She does acid on metal prints also. Next time I go to her house, I'll take my camera and show you the neat things she has made.
Art always makes me happy. Hope Estela's art made you happy also.
Have a great week!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

¡El Mundial de Fútbol!

One month since I last posted!! Exams, public class preparation, and heat made this last month crazy. Yesterday my students answered their last exam, and it finally rained! So today everybody is feeling better (especially me!)

So, what's new? Well, the most important thing that is happening in the country right now is the FIFA World Cup being held in South Africa!

Fútbol is so very important in Mexico. An example: one commercial on T.V. shows some couples in which the guy tells the girl this classic line "It's not you, it's me." Then he goes on to say "Let's take a break, give us some time." And ends with "Just a few weeks, from June 11 to July 11." Which is the time the World cup lasts!

Yesterday was the innauguration at 7:00 a.m. local time, and Mexico got to play the innaugural game with host country, South Africa. Such an important game! And on a school and work day! Prediction: schools and workplaces would be empty, thousands of students and workers absent from their activities. So the president makes a decision, all schools and government agencies were to be allowed to stop acivities from 9:00a.m to 11:00a.m. to watch the game! He was critisized, but I personally believe it was a correct measure. Do you know how many of my students were absent yeaterday? Not one!!!

So here are the images of my students watching the game in our classroom.

One student loaned his T.V. It was put up
in the classroom and everybody got ready to watch the game.
Same thing was happening in the other 21 classrooms
in our school.

Most brought their Tri shirts.
Tri stands for tricolor, green, white,
and red, the flag's colors.

This is the traditional Tri shirt.

In this world cup, the team will also be using a
black shirt. Yesterday they played with this one.

This is also a typical shirt, but I think
it will not be used during this World Cup.

The line-up...
The kids were very excited.

The team minutes before the game....
The kids were going crazy!!
And when the starting whistle blew,
a loud roar emerged from every clasroom!!
And, I would guess, from every school,
office, and home in the Mexican Republic!

My students are very organized. The all brought
something to eat during the game (potato chips,
doritos, peanuts, and soda at 9:00 a.m.!)

Oh, and lots of hot sauces for the "botana".

So for the record, Mexico and South Africa tied 1-1. Not good, but not bad. South Africa scored first, but when Mexico scored, wow, the school went crazy! At 11:00 everything was over, the kids went to recess, and came back to answer their exam. Everybody was happy for the permission to see the game.

And this will go on for 1 month. By the way, a while ago England and U.S.A. tied 1-1.

Hopefully I'll post tomorrow...
Have a nice weekend, everybody!