Sunday, August 31, 2008

Central Cultural Cihuatlan

The plaque and paintings are on the entrance to the Cultural Center in Cihuatlan that's located on the corner near the central traffic light. I've seen a display of very old Cihuatlan fotos in one building but they were covered with thin plastic that gave off too many reflections to get good pictures. Usually after school classes are held there along with meetings.

Cihuatlan, Costalegre, Jalisco Mexico

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Primary school books

Here`s an assortment of Primary school books that are free from the Mexican governemnt. Usually different colors for each grade - and nice art work. The bindings of these paperbacks are the weak point so every year I drill holes in them so Mari can bind them together with string.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Primary School Stove Fund

Attention: We have reached our goal for the stove. The PayPal page is closed. If you are local to Melaque and would like to contribute to kitchen repairs and/or paint - please contact me. Gracias a todos

We are trying to buy a $300us, 6 burner stove for Primeria Juan Escutia here in Melaque. We've raised about $200 but could use a little more help. Would like to get this stove by next week so I will disable this 'ad' at the end of the weekend (24th). Promise to post pictures of delivery and installation. Any excess money will be used to re-balance previous contributions. - Thanks

Contribute to the Primeria Juan Escutia stove fund via PayPal
.... and see some fotos of the kids

Here's the story (from our Message Board)

There are actually two schools on the campus. Virginia Torres is the morning section and Juan Escutia is afternoon. Each section has a coopertiva of the parents and separate kitchens. Kind of strange but that's the way it is.

The Juan Escutia section does not have enough support to get a new (or good used) stove. Each kitchen is rented out by the school to someone but there is not enough money in it without a varied menu which requires a stove.

Friends and I bought a fridge and blenders for the school last year but this year we need wider support. Maybe the new Rotary can pick up on this or simply the larger population of full time gringos that now exists.

I went to Manzanillo with the woman that runs the kitchen (Mari's sister) shopping for stoves and found that you can buy a basic six burner cheaper in Melaque than the big box stores. Big box stores don't have the variety and very little BASIC.

We found a number of 6 burner stoves at the muebles (furniture/appliance) store about a block towards the plaza from the old Bigotes in the $3000 peso range ($300us).

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dealing with Telmex

I lost my wireless modem in an electrical storm about two months ago and never considered that Telmex would replace them for free. You just have to jump through the hoops that phone support wants you to and be patient.

In my case I had borrowed a non-wireless modem so I'd not be off line in the meantime. I called them up with the bad modem connected so I could report what the lights were doing and what color. The answer/diagnoses I got was "we have line/switch problems in your area and please wait 72 hours for it to be fixed". I say OK and immediately switch modems and plan to wait 72 hours and call them back. After 4 days I called them back to find that they monitored my line and saw I had Internet activity so the problem solved itself (they sure didn't). This time I had to explain I was using a second modem and that`s when they decided to send a technician. Very nice guy, hardly looked at my old modem and promptly swapped them for a newer model.

For the last few weeks I've also had intermittant or very slow connection speeds and it continued with this new modem. I decided to plug everything into my second phone jack in the living room .... and WA-LA, connected at full speed. I replaced the phone cable and the wall jack and now things are good.

A Dealing with Telmex story - Mexico

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Evening rains

I hear people up and down the coast tell stories of afternoon/evening rains almost like Hawaii. Maybe they are residents or maybe only short time visitors. Don't know but it sure is not that way here in Melaque or even Manzanillo. Proximity to mountains that would draw the rain out, ocean currents, Colima volcano ??

In this area it totally depends on the weather passing by in the Pacific and can rain any time of day or for days. This morning after about 5 days of sun I was awakened at 6am by the sound of thunder which soon turned into a downpour with lightening for about 3 hours. Time to unplug all the electrics

Waiting for the next weather front ...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Cell Phone Scams

So what are you going to do with a small town Mexican woman even at age 54

Mari won a cel fone in the local school lottery (Nokia no less) and it works fine. I don't know how universal these things are but it was originally Telcel. Soon after winning this thing she gets a message or call stating she has won a new Volkswagen and just needs to deposit $3100 pesos in an account at Elecktra. Supposedly this extra fee was because she didn't respond to the original message and caused a delay.

She asked for the $3100 and I told her they were just rateros on a scam. She called back and they said if she would buy $1000 pesos of MoviStar Cel time she could also qualify. We don't have MoviStar service here and no one sells it. Next it was Telcel so we bought the cards, she gave them the numbers .... and expects to have a new Volkswagen delivered tomorrow.

I figured a lesson of $1000 pesos is better than $3100. I expect no car and her cel cards are or soon will be useless. A shiny new Jetta tomorrow I doubt


P.S. -- No car as of yet but she is working on it so diligently that she almost has me convinced she may get one. Supposed to be talking with a lawyer in Guadalajara. There's lots of stories of this same scam on the Internet
P.S.S -- Mari had to admit finally that was only a lesson. A bit embarrased she was ;)

Return to Mexico

Back after 3 weeks in Seattle feeling that I had very little to say. Anymore stays in the US feel like the twilight zone or necessary business trip. It surely is not a vacation.

Flight costs are up about 20% over last year and connection options seemed fewer. Gas prices over $4 and general costs of everything except electronics well above Mexico levels. But it was good to see family, friends and get business out of the way.

Now just getting used to the heat and humidity in Melaque on the coast and have not used my air conditioning yet. Makes for a few nights of interrupted sleep but electric costs will be down.

So next will be about our Cell Phone scam that I could not talk Mari out of.
The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

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