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Saw you in the Ojo


Saw you in the Ojo





EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Victoria A Schmidt

EDITOR EMERITUS Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez Tel: (01376) 765 3676, 765 2877 Fax: (01376) 765 3528



Judy Dykstra Brown interviews Kristina Trejo, a native of Mexico City, who’s father was a renowned Mexican poet and translator and who’s Anglo mother inspired her love of music and batik art. Kristina lives in Ajijic and is available to show her work, and perform her music at private or public functions.




Graphic Design Roberto C. Rojas Reyes Diana Parra Morales Special Events Editor Carol D. Bradley Proofreader Sally Asante Theater Critic Michael Warren Book Review Panel Margaret Van Every Margaret Porter Clare Gearhart Roving Correspondent Dr. Lorin Swinehart

Sales Manager Bruce Fraser Carmene Berner ADVERTISING OFFICE Av. Hidalgo # 223, Chapala Mon. thru Fri. 9 am - 5 pm Sat. 9 am - 1 pm Tel. 01 (376) 765 2877, 765 3676 Fax 01 (376) 765 3528

8 FAULT LINES Tom Nussbaum lends his humorous views as to people’s propensity to assign fault when bad things happen. 18 A HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR CANADA Neil McKinnon gives a humorous, yet belated birthday greeting to Canada. 20 THE TIME PENDULUM In exploring the way time has affected her life, Blue shares her experiences how COVID brought time to a stand still, and wonders how the “new normal” will affect how she spends her time in the future.


Editor’s Page

10 If Our Pets Could Talk 12 Bridge by the Lake

24 TRUSTING YOUR INTUITION Barbara Hildt offers some sage advice about Intuition and its role in creativity.

14 Vexations and Conundrums

26 SURPRISING HEALTH BENEFITS OF VANILLA Sydney Gay shares useful information on uses of vanilla.

16 Mirror to the Universe

34 HOUSEKEEPING IN THE TIME OF COVID Cindy Paul shares her hope to de-clutter her home with all the free time, but is distressed about parting with bits and pieces of her past.

28 Lakeside Living

40 REMEMBERING THE RIDE Steve Parker shares his love of his first car. 44 LETTER TO THE EDITOR AND RESPONSE

Send all correspondence, subscriptions or advertising to: El Ojo del Lago http://www.chapala.com elojodellago@gmail.com ojodellago@prodigy.net.mx Ave. Hidalgo 223 (or Apartado 279), 45900 Chapala, Jalisco Tels.: (376) 765 3676, Fax 765 3528 PRINTING: El Debate El Ojo del Lago aparece los primeros cinco días de cada mes. (Distributed over the first five days of each month) Certificado de Licitud de Título 3693 Certificado de Licitud de Contenido 3117. Reserva al Título de Derechos de Autor 04-2011-103110024300-102 Control 14301. Permisos otorgados por la Secretaría de Gobernación (EXP. 1/432 “88”/5651 de 2 de junio de 1993) y SEP (Reserva 171.94 control 14301) del 15 de enero de 1994. Distribución: Hidalgo 223 Chapala, Jalisco, México. All contents are fully protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without the written consent of El Ojo del Lago. Opinions expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the views of the Publisher or the Editor, nor are we responsible for the claims made by our advertisers. We welcome letters, which should include name, address and telephone number.


Cover by Heidi Lane

El Ojo del Lago / August 2020

36 Mexican Grace 42 Profiling Tepehua

Saw you in the Ojo



Editor’s Page By Victoria A. Schmidt

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” –Abraham Lincoln


OVID has infected every country in the world. Every territory. Only Antarctica remains unaffected. I struggle daily reading about and listening to people justifying their refusal to wear a piece of cloth across their nose and mouth in order to protect other people from becoming infected with the virus. How does this violate civil rights? I must wear corrective lenses and a seatbelt in order to drive. Is that a violation of my rights? I don’t see it as that; I see it as safety for all of the drivers on the road. Due to constantly conflicting versions of “the truth,” the USA has infected the very fabric of our society.


And the heartbreaking truth is that people are paying for these inconsistencies with their lives. In one Texas county over 85 babies, two years of age and younger, have tested positive for COVID. The youngest died at just six weeks old. Not one single person can be blamed for this pandemic. Not one country can be blamed. Perhaps eventually we can blame a species of animal, but right now what is most important is developing a way to keep our citizens safe. The USA has utterly failed at that. Daily I am grateful that I live in a country, and a state, that takes this virus seriously. I truly believe that wearing a mask

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in public at this time is the greatest show of one’s patriotism, of one’s compassion. We make a big mistake by going to war against each other when the virus is the enemy. We make another big mistake when we politicize the virus and our actions to bring it under control. COVID is blind to our political views, the country we live in, or the color of our skin. Yet it is true that a disproportionate number of Blacks and Latinos have been infected in the USA. Their increased vulnerability may well be due to not only their economic status, which frequently forces them to live in overcrowded housing and neighborhoods, but also due to their lack of health care, which has resulted in untreated medical conditions. Like all viruses, COVID’s mission is to infect. And it is becoming better and better at its mission. The original strain was listed as a “D” strain. Now, it has mutated to a “G” strain, which makes it 10 times more infectious. While we prattle on about the efficacy of masks and social distancing, this virus continues to get more and more sophisticated at doing its job. No one asked to be doing battle with this virus. No country wanted

it. But the fact of the matter is, it is here. Now. People, please use common sense. Is there one among us who wouldn’t gladly wear a mask if it meant keeping a six-week-old baby alive? Does that lady next to me at Walmart rely on me to help keep her children safe? Does that gentleman at the farmacia have an elderly and vulnerable parent who needs protection? Might the fellow pumping my gas at Pemex be a carrier, meaning I could bring it home to my spouse? This is the lens through which we must look at our community today. Like it or not, we should stay home as much as possible. But when we must be out, wear your mask. Is it inconvenient? You bet. Is it safer? The statistics show it definitely is. Don’t tell me they are uncomfortable. So is a ventilator. So is intubation. All of it is uncomfortable. But comfort doesn’t get a vote in this battle. And don’t tell me it’s difficult to breathe. COVID can make it impossible to breathe. Learn to use your mask. I found a way not to fog up my glasses. You will too. Don’t make inane excuses. Working together, we can stop the spread of this infection here at Lakeside. Recently in Mexico Daily News it was reported that Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez issued a stern warning to the 8.25 million residents of Jalisco state: “Stay home, practice social distancing, and wear masks. Those who refuse will face consequences, including fines. Everyone’s lives are at stake,” he said. No, I don’t see donning a mask as infringing on anyone’s rights. I see it as not only obeying the law, but showing I truly care about my beloved Lakeside Victoria Schmidt community.

Saw you in the Ojo


Fault Lines By Tom Nussbaum tomnussbaum005@gmail.com


here are many people to blame. Many people. A lot of people. I’ve been told there are over one million people to blame. And there are groups and organizations to blame, too. Bad groups. Very bad groups. Really bad groups. It was their fault. I was the victim. None of it was my fault. The blame starts, of course, with Obama. And Mitch McConnell, too. There’s CNN and Fox News. Hollywood was involved. And, of course, the protesters in the US. Let’s not forget them. They all are responsible for the crap I had to go through to get a damn Mexican driver’s license. Like I said, none of it was my fault. Because I recently bought my first car in Mexico and I have permanente status, I was required to have a Mexican


driver’s license. This meant taking the driver’s test. Language problems and an unfamiliarity with the system would have made acquiring one challenging enough. But I had to do it just after COVID-19 swept over the world, like a coughing, wheezing tsunami. Since I had an active US license, I was only required to take the written test, which could be in English and would consist of ten multiple-choice questions identifying traffic signs. This, I thought, would be easy. It, however, became problematic. That is why I blame Obama and Mitch McConnell. They could have passed a law allowing decrepit expats living in Mexico, like me, to circumnavigate that law. But they didn’t. Because of their negligence, I had to take the test.

El Ojo del Lago / August 2020

During a pandemic. So, the process began. First, I acquired crib sheets, pictures of common Mexican traffic signs. What each meant, however, was written in Spanish. Common sense, of course, bridged the language barrier. But there were several that required translating and often netted questionable results. For example, the sign that, to me, resembled Burt Reynolds’s ‘70s mustache apparently means “Spaceship Ahead.” I then learned the location of the nearest testing site. It was on the outskirts of Guadalajara, about a forty-minute drive from home. I wouldn’t have to enter Guadalajara proper, which is a current phobia of mine. That metropolis has more cases of and deaths from COVID-19 than it has traffic signs. Therefore, I have avoided Guadalajara like the plague. That site, however, was closed. Googling other offices, I found one twenty minutes away, but frighteningly closer to town. Desperate, off I went. That office, too, was closed. That is when I learned most offices had been closed due to COVID-19. And this is why I blame CNN and Fox News for my difficulties. Why the hell didn’t they tell me this? I returned home frustrated. But that is when I got wise. I contacted a law office and arranged to have an employee well-versed in driver’s test details take me to Guadalajara to take the exam at one of the few testing sites open during the pandemic. As we pulled up to the building, I was startled to see hundreds and hundreds of people in a tangle of lines. Granted, they were wearing masks, but social distancing was not observed. How could it be? And I thought, What the hell have I gotten myself into? The guide led me past the crowd, to a checkpoint, and I was allowed in. The building was crowded and chaotic. The process was complicated, involving numerous stops and I believe I was served by seven different people. All were Mexican. All were busy and overworked. All wore masks. But, because I was preoccu-

pied navigating the process and trying to remember all those traffic signs, I’m not certain I saw them sanitizing their sites between clients. That is why I blame them for my having to inject disinfectant, which I bought at the Dollar Store, to fight off COVID-19. I’m pissed off at Hollywood, too, because, if they had made a movie about acquiring Mexican driver’s licenses, and included one scene with frontal nudity, I would have watched it and been better prepared for my ordeal. But no. They prefer producing movies that make money to ones that could help addled, aging gringos get their Mexican driver’s license. The test was much harder than I expected because the samples of traffic signs I had studied did not match those on the test. In fact, I had to rely on the cheat notes I had written on the small of my back. One of the signs on the test featured walking human forms, but they did not resemble the pedestrians in my study notes. Perhaps they were students, indicating a school zone. I wasn’t sure. So, I opted for the third choice, “Prostitutes Ahead.” In the end, I got my license. It only took an hour. It would have taken less, but I got a late start because I had become obsessed watching the protesters on CNN. That’s why they’re responsible for what I had to go through. If any of those thugs, especially those who speak Spanish—and you know as well as I do that all the Spanish-speaking ones, even those who learned the language in high school Spanish classes, came to the US illegally—if any of them had stopped holding a mirror up to America’s disfigured face and flown to Guadalajara to help me get my damn license, they would have helped “Make Driving Great Again.” Tom Nussbaum

Saw you in the Ojo


If Our Pets Could Talk By Jackie Kellum


any people have more than one pet—cats, dogs, or a combination. When you have many pets, you usually do not buy just one bag of food at a time, but rather you purchase several bags or cans. With this kind of purchasing, it is very important to store the pet food in the safest way possible. Air, light, moisture, and heat exposure to dry kibble is harmful. These elements increase the risk of loss of nutrition, food becoming rancid, and can even cause pet illness. The ideal location to store your pet food is in a cool and dry place. Metal or plastic containers, like a garbage pail, can serve kibble storage needs. Pet kibble is best stored in the original bag and then placed


inside the storage container. However, kibble stored loose in a plastic container may present problems. Plastic storage containers aren’t always made with the highest quality plastic. Over time, the plastic can collect oils from the food and make the food rancid. The plastic chemicals can also leach into the food itself. In particular, several studies of black plastic have confirmed that the recycling of plastic from electronic waste is introducing harmful chemicals into consumer products. One of these chemicals is bromine, which is often used as a flame retardant.

El Ojo del Lago / August 2020

Whether using a metal or plastic container, periodically wash it with soap and water and dry well before using again. When the previous bag is running low, do not top off with a new amount of fresh kibble because rancid oil from the old bag’s food may contaminate the fresh food. Keeping the kibble in the original manufacturer’s bag inside the storage container has several benefits: (1) the original packaging best preserves freshness and helps keep the food safe from rodents and insects; (2) the wrapping becomes a barrier between the food and the container; (3) the bag provides an added barrier that helps seal in fats and oils to prevent them from becoming rancid. The original bag will also allow access to the UPC code, lot number, “best by” date, and brand/manufacturer information, in case there’s a problem such as a defect or a recall. FYI: The “best by” date lets you know how long you can keep the food. However, this date becomes inaccurate once the bag is opened. After opening the bag and after each use, squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible and re-seal it tightly. Various resources say that

the kibble is safe to use for two to four weeks after opening, if stored properly. An unfinished can of wet food can be stored in a refrigerator for three to five days when covered. Look at the contents before use; if it’s watery, has changed in smell or texture, throw it out. When buying all your pet food, always check the label for the expiration date and the “best by” date. A date after this does not indicate the food is suddenly bad, just that the quality, nutritional value, and potency will fade, no longer giving your pet the nutrition as stated on the label. Read labels front, back, and side, as necessary. Know what is in your own food and your pet’s food, and know where this food comes from. Bar codes are on all food items. The first three numbers of the bar code tell you the country of origin. For Example: China=690, 691, or 692; Taiwan=471; USA and Canada=000 to 009, and Mexico=750. Be an educated consumer for yourself and your pet. Jackie Kellum

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ridge players learn early in their careers that the most desirable holdings in a trump suit are a minimum of eight cards between declarer and dummy. This gives them a degree of confidence in making contracts that lesser holdings would not. But like many things in life there are exceptions to that rule. This fascinating hand came up at a game in the Lake Chapala Dupli-


cate Bridge Club where one NorthSouth pair deliberately played a slam in a 4-3 heart trump fit after their exploratory bidding ruled out no trump as a possibility. In doing so, they shied away from the club suit in which they held the safer and more comfortable 5-3 club fit in favor of the higher scoring major suit. North opened the bidding 1 club; South responded 1 heart; and North rebid 1 spade, the likely start

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at every table in the room. It appears that some Souths now simply signed off in 3 no trump, a hopeless contract on paper but which actually made with overtricks a few times when they mysteriously managed to avoid a diamond lead! Our featured pair, however, continued with a more scientific exchange of information and had the satisfaction of reaching an unbeatable contract. South’s rebid of 2 diamonds was a convention called Fourth Suit Forcing which told his partner that they could not stop bidding until they reached the game level at least, or doubled the opponents on the way. It said absolutely nothing about South’s diamond holding. This allowed North to show her three-card heart support, which also hinted at a shortness in diamonds in light of the previous bidding. And, if she was short in diamonds, she was more likely to have honors in other suits. To be on the safe side, South now bid 3 clubs just in case his partner had a doubleton ace or king of diamonds and could still bid 3 no trump. But when North now bid 4 clubs, a 4-3-1-5 distribution became most likely. To ensure reaching a reasonably

safe contract, South now made the asking bid of 5 hearts which said: “Partner, please bid six hearts if you have second round control of diamonds.” Holding a singleton in that suit, North was only too happy to comply and the heart slam was reached. West led a diamond and when dummy came down, South saw they had reached a very sound contract, even holding a total of only 7 trumps. East won the diamond ace and continued with a low spade, but that was the end of the defense. South drew trumps in four rounds and claimed 12 tricks for a joint top board. In the early days of contract bridge, an expert and editor of The Bridge World by the name of Sonny Moyse was a strong advocate of “natural” bidding, including opening 4-card majors. As a result, he quite often found himself in 4-3 fits and of necessity became quite adroit at making contracts others declined to bid. To this day 4-3 trump holdings are known as Moysian fits. Questions or comments: email: masson.ken@gmail. com Ken Masson

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A Bad Moo


he coronavirus continues to rage on, the count increasing daily. We left our friend’s ranch weeks ago, but the last day was marred by an eerie omen. I had woken up at dawn, the sun not yet up. There was a thick haze over the pasture, and I couldn’t see clearly, but I could hear an occasional mooing cow. Suddenly, as I walked to the main house for coffee, I heard an unmistakable, plain-

tive cow noise, one I had not heard before. It was haunting, almost crying for help. I froze in place, listening for it to repeat, which it did. What did one do on a ranch, in the near darkness of an early hour, when faced with such a noise? I decided to call the ranch foreman. I heard he always rose early to check on the animals. “Wylie, it’s Katina. I hope I’m not disturbing you. I have heard a very bad moo.”

“You heard a what?” “It’s a bad moo, coming from the pasture. Maybe a cow or bull is hurt?” Several seconds of silence followed. Maybe he thought I was delusional. “No. I think probably a momma cow is just looking for her calf. Don’t worry about it.” I went on to get coffee, wondering how this cowboy could be so sure, yet calmed by his dismissal of the frightening call of the cow. We came back to the city, and things got stranger with each passing week. The weather was unusually hot, even for the Gulf Coast. Temperatures hovered in the 90s, just begging for a hurricane to come for a visit. A storm came, but headed for the Louisiana coast, missing us. We stayed isolated and watched way too much T.V. Then, there was a terrible incident of police brutality, filmed on an iPhone. No one should have to witness such cruelty, as one can’t erase it once it has imprinted in the brain. This murder was hideous, and over a very small alleged crime. The nation woke up to react to every brutal incident that was ever

perpetrated on the Black race since slavery hit our shores. Blacks and whites were enraged, their fever fed by the pent-up energy stored during the lockdown from the virus. Citizens decided, “Damn the virus! We are hitting the streets!” And they did, here and around the world. I had never seen such a thing, and all recorded in real time on the Internet. The anger was so overdue. The looters came next, and no one was sure where they came from or who they were, masked and hooded to conceal their identities. The economy is teetering. I watch as shops next door transform to empty shells, in some cases boarded up. Restaurants that have been around for decades decide to close their doors. I don’t know how salons stay in business, as many of my friends still will not go into establishments with no distancing between providers and patrons. Enter political tensions, as if we aren’t all on the razor’s edge already. A U.S. election is looming. Every message from candidates or media messengers seem to carry a political subtext. Some statements sound threatening. Ugly words are later dismissed as “jokes.” Truths are cloaked as humor, while lies are uttered without penalty. Troubles continue to tumble around us. We do our best to keep our spirits positive, but it is a huge challenge. I heard there is an asteroid headed this way, which will come dangerously close to Earth. I hope it misses us, and the tide of gloom forecasted by that sad-sounding cow turns us around to a time of positive change for humankind. I long to hear a mellow moo from the cow. Katina Pontikes


El Ojo del Lago / August 2020

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Mirror To The Universe – Spiritual Panorama By Rob Mohr

“. . . one of the most spiritual things you can do is embrace your humanity. Connect with those around you today - say, ‘I love you,’ ‘I’m sorry,’ ‘I appreciate you,’ ‘I’m proud of you’ . . . and give plenty of hugs.” —Steve Maraboli      Scientists are convinced a conscious universal mind predates the big bang and the creation of matter. This nonmaterial mind “intended” our expanding cosmos. Everything in creation, including humans, is connected with that universal mind. During the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods an animistic worldview enabled human interaction in both physical and spiritual dimensions. Unfortunately, the ancient animistic belief that humans, animals, plants, rivers, mountains, stars, moon, and sun are conscious and have souls, remained unnoticed in today’s world until nanophysics confirmed its validity. During the last fifty thousand years of the Paleolithic period, anthropologists have uncovered evidence that women facilitated tribal animistic rituals. The Venus of Hohle Fels (40,000 BCE), and later the Goddess of Laussel (25,000 BCE), with her bison-horn trumpet, nurtured humanity’s spiritual connection with the natural world. Architectural, nonresidential ritual sites like Göbekli Tepe in Turkey (12,000 BCE), Aguada Fenix in Mexico (Maya, 1,000 BCE), and Poverty Point in Louisiana (1,500 BCE), all reveal extensive ritual spaces designed to accommodate hundreds of participants. The Olmecs in La Viente and later in a transitional site, Takelik Abaj, in southern Guatemala (4,000 BCE until 400 CE), reveal ritual spaces for the community. The collapse of the Classical Maya, during the terminal classic period (850–1,000 CE), was the result of exclusion of the community from the rituals. Wide plazas and accessible temples had been replaced by architecture for the elite, which excluded the community from rituals.  Throughout Latin America, community ceremonies included numerous individuals who physically became manifestations of Neolithic animism. Many dressed and acted like anthropomorphic beings. This marriage of animal and human was formalized in unique ways. The


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Maya, for example, used a three-wheel cogged calendar where each unique day combination occurred only once in each 52-year cycle. Each child at birth is given the attributes of animals that correspond with their unique day in the cycle. For example, my friend Victor at birth was named and assigned the attributes of a Batz (monkey), his anthropomorphic brother. Contemporary thoughts on historic spirituality have focused on shamanism, a Middle Ages concept imported by the Spanish invaders, while actual pre-Columbian spiritual activities remain communal in nature. The natural world was, for participants, an inclusive community that linked all of creation. Science and our own instincts challenge us to re-evaluate animism as a foundation of our spiritual exploration of what life means in a world where everything is part of the same spiritual and physical structure.  But, supreme individualism, and the idea that spirituality is personal, undermines communal exploration and shared enlightenment within spiritual communities. Equally, dogma structured by organized religions severely limits the range of spiritual exploration and discovery. Also, the pseudo religious philosophy of Rene Descartes’s Cartesian Dualism—the functional separation of spirit and body— caused contemporary misunderstanding. We all, whether defined or not, have a spiritual existence. From our prehistoric beginnings, humans have bumped against a thin permeable membrane that separates us from the mystery of life. Sacred ground, thin places, and portals into parallel dimensions, places and times, have throughout history sparked our curiosity. Our integrated body/spirit seeks engagement with the nonmaterial dimensions that fill the earth and cosmos.  The question many of us face is where, and in what community, may we find safe, intellectual space to explore spiritual dimensions and the dimensions of life. Perhaps, as we search for answers, art, writing, and study groups, through intellectual stimulation, mutual support, and shared development, might seed and nurture spiritual exploration. Creative answers are needed. Rob Mohr

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A Birthday Present For Canada By Neil McKinnon


considerable number of candles have made their way onto birthday cakes since I abandoned previous tribal affiliations to become a senior citizen. I recently turned 79. To mark the occasion, I received an “old fart” Tshirt, a baseball cap, and three cards informing me that I was over the hill. I’m more than half as old as Canada. The country just celebrated its 153rd anniversary, a milestone that caused me to spend a lot of time choosing an appropriate gift. What, you may ask, is a suitable present for a country that has survived for more than a century and a half? We don’t have many needs. Canada ranks high in most areas: healthcare, education, standard of living. Our leadership is flagging in only one field—sorryetics. We have always been identified by our ability to attach an I’m sorry to every event. It’s a rare situation when a Canadian doesn’t apologize. If the elevator door closes on my arm, I say, “I’m sorry.” “I’m sorry for being so short that I can’t see the movie over your hat.” “I’m sorry I was in your way when you drove through the red light.” Unhappily, clouds are gathering. Many recent international apologies rival our best. Canada’s rightful place at the pinnacle of global apologists is


in jeopardy. Some examples: Olympic participants regularly confuse performanceenhancing concoctions with vitamins, elected representatives consider lunch-hour peccadillos to be grassroots constituency work, and religious leaders fail to distinguish backseat hanky-panky from saving souls. When exposed, all apologize lavishly to fans, wives, children, constituents, congregations, ancestors, and the Lord. Therein lies our dilemma. Canadian apologies are brief and unadorned. To cover this Achilles heel, I’ve concluded that an appropriate birthday gift to the nation is to set an example by publicly acknowledging and repenting some of my past misdeeds in a manner that will demonstrate to my fellow citizens how we might, once again, stand tall on the world stage. *** First, an apology to my parents. I’m the oldest and my birth caused considerable stress, not just for my mother who toiled an entire night on my behalf, but also for my father who was so distraught by the proceedings that he shouted, “My God, woman, you’ve given birth to a lizard!” My thoughtless arrival before the wedding is certainly due to an innate personality defect. At this time, it is only proper for me to say sorry and to proffer a heart-

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felt thank-you to my wife, Mildred, for supporting me during my recent embarrassment. Next, I must apologize to Mr. MacPherson, whose pet chicken, Angus, perished needlessly in 1952 while my brothers and I were researching the meaning of the term, deadweight. If it’s any consolation, sir, you should know that, although the results were indeterminate, Angus was delicious. Mildred, I must reiterate how grateful I am that you choose to accept my limitations as a husband and father. I’m overdue in expressing my distress at the irritation that I caused Carl and Courtney Hayward when I was in high school. They came home unexpectedly and discovered their daughter Becky and me naked on the kitchen floor. Carl, you were perceptive. We had not, as I claimed, undressed to prevent grease from splattering our clothes while we deep-fried a flounder. Becky, I regret not saying goodbye when you left for the convent. Also, I need say that all my present troubles would have overwhelmed me without Mildred’s understanding. One day, when I was still in my teens, a Cadillac Eldorado appeared in the driveway next door. Someone was moving in. I was home alone so I went over to introduce myself. Our new neighbor, Doug, expressed sympathy when I told him about my grandmother who was ill on the other side of town. As she only had a few hours to live, he let me borrow his Eldorado so that I could go and say goodbye. Next morning, the police discovered Doug’s car upside down between second and third on the local baseball field. I retract the statement I gave the newspaper. The car had not been hijacked by Al Capone to carry bootleg liquor. As far as I know, Mr. Capone never visited Saskatchewan. Sorry, Doug. If it provides solace, you should know that your Eldorado went faster around the diamond backwards than my friend’s car did going forward. Also, I must apologize to Grandma who lived to be 101 and who, contrary to what I told the reporter, never drove for Mr. Capone. It’s time to acknowledge my new sweetheart, Linda who, unlike Mildred, says that she will stay by my side. Once, in Vancouver, a young lady named Daphne sat in front of me at Super-Star Wrestling. Rest assured, Daphne, there is no evidence whatsoever that the shape of one’s earlobe can forecast a severe gynecological disorder. Despite my claim, I am not a member of the medical profession. I admit that using the wrestler’s locker room to perform a complete anatomi-

cal examination did not conform to accepted protocol. I am genuinely remorseful. As well, I must say sorry to Death Blow Krakowski. I had no idea that Daphne was your fiancée. You both should know that it didn’t take long to walk again once the body cast was removed. Linda has proven unshakeable. A belated thanks to Linda’s husband, David. I understand that it was your savings she borrowed to help me get back on my feet. I pledge full restitution once I find work and deal with the divorce settlement. Speaking of work, I must express my regret to Mr. Tom Moore, formerly of Moore Van Lines. I acknowledge that my proficiency as a driver was not quite what I stated on the application. My experience was actually confined to the time I was given a ride by a man named Antoine who asked me to sit behind the wheel and keep watch while he and his girlfriend tested a mattress in the back of his pickup. I am now aware that this event was not proper qualification to take the wheel of a semitrailer. I need also confess to the small fib I told the police that voided Mr. Moore’s policy. I regret that he became personally liable for the injuries that occurred during the pileup. Tom, I sincerely hope that your family is getting by okay. I didn’t know that you had been released or that you were living on the street. I must publicly give credit to my new wife, Alicia. It was her tenderness that boosted me out of the pit of despair that I tumbled into when Linda returned to her husband, David. Linda, I can never thank you and David enough for depleting your retirement fund on my behalf. I mustn’t close before I apologize to my son Warren who has always been frail. I now comprehend that likening your singing to the bawling of a hungry calf just when you were beginning your musical career may have something to do with your present situation. I trust they are treating you well in the home. And last, I need to ask your forbearance, Alicia. I thought that being named in a paternity suit by your Aunt Esther in 1968 was all water under the bridge. *** These are just a few samples from one Canadian. Now, if my fellow countrymen will apologize for their own missteps, our hearts should overflow with patriotic fervor as the country’s stature skyrockets. Happy Belated Birthday, Canada! The End Neil McKinnon

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The Time Pendulum By Blue


s young kids in the early ‘50s, we didn’t wear watches. We didn’t have cell phones. Our parents told us it was time to come home when the street lights came on. We walked or rode our bikes to our friends’ homes to see if they could play. Without computers and smartphones, we read, played hopscotch, jumped rope, played sports, and roller skated. Time wasn’t something we thought much about. We were happy with what we had. Then came black-and-white television and we knew what time our favorite shows were on and made sure our chores and schoolwork were done in time to see “Howdy Doody” or “The Lone Ranger.” After homework, we had time to spend baking cookies, going to the movies, or playing board and card games. 


As we graduated into high school and college, free time became less available. Between schoolwork, extra-curricular activities, and part-time work, less time often meant more stress. Then, we began our careers and our families, resulting in still less free time and even more stress. If you picture time as a pendulum, it would be swinging slightly back and forth as time sped up or slowed down, providing more or less unstructured time. For me, raising two children as a single parent and working up to 80 hours a week left almost no time for myself. I desperately needed more. At age 50, I retired to Mexico, where I developed a social life that filled up my empty hours and left me sufficient time for education, travel, volunteer work, physical exercise, cooking, art, and writing. The pendulum had returned once

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again to the center. I relaxed and wondered how I had ever fit work into my busy schedule. Today, at age 76, quarantined alone in my home because of COVID-19, I have more time than I could ever have hoped for. More time than I want. The time pendulum has now swung way away from the center. During this time, I’m grateful for computers, smartphones, and eBooks which fill so many empty hours. I also appreciate living in such a beautiful country with an excellent climate and having good friends. I’m thankful my family is safe. Although many are suffering through the pandemic, for us lucky ones who can stay safely in our homes, there’s enough creativity and technology today to provide us with almost unlimited resources to learn new skills, hobbies, and pastimes. We can catch up with friends and family from the past. I need to add YouTube, Zoom, Ted Talks, Skype, Meet, and social media to the list of things I am especially thankful for during these days of “too much time.” For most of us, physical distancing and having so many empty hours require that we modify the way we are living our lives. We are offered the opportunity to fill our time with structure, passion, productivity and opportunities to help others.

We’ve all had to deal with change during our lives; some positive, some negative, but deal with it, we did. Many of us have difficulty with fear, loneliness, and depression during this pandemic. We can learn new ways such as meditation to express gratitude and become mindful of the present moment rather than worrying about the future. One introverted friend said to me, “You know, if it weren’t for the suffering caused to so many people by COVID-19, I could get used to this new way of living.” With the continued advice to stay home, some researchers are forecasting more divorces and others expect more babies to be born. Many companies are adopting work-at-home models and predicting that these will continue long after the virus is controlled. We can already see changes being made in education, family roles, and working environments.  Eventually, the pendulum will ease back towards the middle, providing us with a new appreciation of time and possibly a new set of values and skills. It’s already become apparent that some things will never go back to the way they were before the pandemic. A myriad of articles, Ted Talks, and podcasts are predicting how life will be modified and calling this as-yet-undefined way of living “the new normal.” Only time will tell.

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Skinny-dipping in One’s Sixties While driving on a country lane, I spy a little lake and decide that I should skinny-dip, just for old time’s sake. Lack of a suit is not a problem, for this spot is so secluded that I jump into the water both nuded and deluded, for after just five minutes, although the night is dark, three cars pull up with lights full-on and proceed to park directly in my exit spot with windows all rolled down, music spilling out from them. Teenagers from the town out here for the thrill of it, to swill a little beer and have a wild party with no parents near. Like a deer in headlights, I am blinded by the glare. I quickly put my hands back to obscure my derriere. Then, desperate for cover, sprint for a nearby bush. But when I cover up my front, I have to bare my tush. Skinny-dipping simply doesn’t work with lookers-on, and I guess that I am trapped until these partiers are gone. With no hope on the horizon, I hunch and drip and cower, forgetful of the blanket I had slung over a bower just a few short yards away, but finally I sprint for it, and wrapping it around me, I am grateful that I went for it in spite of all the cheers and huzzahs and the blinding light of the headlights of the teenagers who view my frenzied flight. Once I reach my car, the far horizon is my goal. I gun the engine and I speed over dip and knoll. If I need to teach the lesson of this ill-advised adventure of senior citizen skinny-dipping, I’m the one to censure, for I was a solo-act swimming swimsuit-free, and the only one that I can implicate is me. I guess that skinny-dipping is best left in the past, for the skinny body necessary simply doesn’t last! * Judy Dykstra-Brown publishes new poems daily on her blog. Follow her at judydykstrabrown.com


El Ojo del Lago / August 2020

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Trusting Our Intuition By Barbara Hildt


ur minds have been programmed in many ways by past experiences. Our so-called rational pattern thinking is influenced by what we see, hear and read. Therefore, we should not always trust and follow the thoughts and impulses that arise quickly from our hardwired minds. Trusting our minds can cause our safety and the safety of others to be in jeopardy. If we have had experiences of feeling threatened by others, we may react defensively and suddenly “fly off the handle” with anger that causes us to lose control and say or do things we would not if we were in control of our impulses. By learning to tune in to our intuitions we can prevent ourselves from saying and doing things that are not in our best interest and could be harmful to ourselves or others. It can be like a security check that wakes us up to what’s really happening and what actions we should or should not take. Before we can trust our intuition, however, we need to get to know how it functions best. Intuition is rather like a receiver that is capable of getting messages from our wiser, higher consciousness which is attuned to receive messages that come from the spiritual realm. Whether we know it or not, we all have spirits or souls that existed before we were in our bodies and will survive when our bodies die. Much evidence of this has been presented in books such as Proof of Heaven


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by Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who had a near-death experience. To access guidance from our higher consciousness we must first become aware of where our thoughts and impulses are coming from. Before I am able to receive and begin to understand what I call “leadings of the spirit.” I must first quiet my busy mind and let go of preoccupations and concerns. I need to relax and concentrate on my breathing. Once I have let go of my thoughts, I feel peaceful and I am ready to receive the insights and guidance that I seek and need. I may enter this state free of concerns or I may come with a concern or a question. The answers to my questions may not come to me while I meditate. However, if I keep my mind and heart open, in time the answers always come. Often the answer begins with a feeling coming through my heart before it is a clearly formed thought. According to research by the HeartMath Institute, our hearts are almost like second brains capable of not only feeling emotions, but are also able to know things. (www.heartmath.org) As I have aged, I’ve increased my reliance on my intuition to give me the insights and guidance I need to make good choices. I am aware that parts of my brain don’t work as well as they did in the past. I have forgotten things I once knew. To stay safe and avoid making mistakes, I try to rely more on my intuition. Before I go out to drive or walk, I consciously “turn on” my intuition and ask for a loving spirit to make me aware of hazards. This doesn’t mean I become fearful or apprehensive. Instead I feel peaceful and confident that I will be guided and kept safe so that I can reach my destination. Learning to trust our intuitions can help us live more creatively. Instead of wasting our time thinking about all the problems of the world and the things we can’t change, we can let our intuitions inspire us with insights, revelations and new ways of seeing and acting. Barbara Hildt

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Surprising Health Benefits of Vanilla Researched by Sydney Gay googlesydney@yahoo


orldwide research shows vanilla can reduce cholesterol levels, important for those at high risk of heart attacks and strokes. Lower cholesterol prevents inflammation of the arteries and blood clots. Vanilla is rich in antioxidants, preventing the breakdown of cells, stimulating the body’s natural regrowth. Due to its antibacterial nature, vanilla also serves to boost the immune system, making it much easier to recover from injury or illness. It’s great for your hair. If you suffer with split-ends or hair loss, vanilla used as an essential oil can strengthen the hair and induce blood flow to the scalp, promoting hair growth. Vanilla helps with anxiety. The aroma of vanilla is known to have a direct impact on the nerves to relieve stress, particularly when used as part of an aromatherapy treatment. However, poured as syrup on ice cream has the same effect. (Note: vanilla-flavored ice cream does not contain real vanilla.) Vanilla reduces acne. The antibacterial properties fight skin outbreaks and, if used regularly, reduce scars and brighten the complexion. It promotes healthy diges-


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tion. Drinking vanilla tea is a centuries-old natural remedy that instantly soothes gut inflammation, and helps with other digestion problems like cramping, stomachache, and diarrhea. Best of all, vanilla eases respiratory condition. Try it and see! When you’re battling a cough, cold, or respiratory infection, vanilla extract mixed with a little warm water coats the throat and provides an anesthetic effect, reducing inflammation and irritation. Vanilla also assists your body and metabolism to run more efficiently with a significantly positive effect on overall health. Vanilla (the pure liquid form) is easily and affordably available in Mexico, where 1,250 species of orchids grow. The Moreno brand of vanilla, for example, began production in 1944 and can be purchased in most every local store. If you wish to Google resources, you will find more than 8 million references on the health benefits of vanilla. Call me at the office if you need more information 766-3202 . . . Sydney: Ajijic Research Assistant Since 2005 Sydney Gay

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Carol D. Bradley

Email: cdbradleymex@gmail.com Phone: 33-2506-7525 “Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits, and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” —Dead Poets Society Whatever our pursuit of the arts may be—acting, painting, writing, music, cooking—the pursuit of beauty in our work is appreciated by everyone who loves what we stay alive for. Here at Lakeside, those of us who can, with the proper safety precautions, are enjoying the music of our local musicians and the food and ambiance of our entertainment venues. They are pulling out all the stops to entice us out, safely of course, with live music and outstanding food experiences. They have been waiting for you. While our popular Open Circle presentations have been suspended, here is their usual inclusion in Lakeside Living for your information: “The Lake Chapala Society hosts Open Circle every Sunday at 10AM, a popular community gathering in Ajijic every Sunday morning to enjoy a diverse range of presentations.” On July 1, Open Circle began operating under the capable management of The Lake Chapala Society. They regret that they remain uncertain when they will be permitted by the State of Jalisco to reopen the LCS campus and resume some form of safe Sunday morning Open Circle gatherings. They are hoping that will occur sometime in September, but the course of the virus is unpredictable and so patience and flexibility are required of schedulers, presenters, and our faithful family of attendees. We all agree that safety is the prime consideration. In the meantime, in lieu of live presentations, the following reruns of favorite presenters is offered. In August there may also be some selfie videos that, if submitted, will take immediate precedence over reruns. Stay tuned. All videos are accessible through opencircleajijic.org. Olga Kaplounenko. Nine Romantic Songs in Two Romance Languages Plus Russian & English. Our favorite Russian chanteuse will enchant us with nine romantic songs from different countries. They will be sung in Russian, Italian, English, and Spanish. Olga is a Muscovite who earned a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering as well as a degree in music and jazz vocals from the Moscow Jazz College. She was a guest researcher in Denmark, Sweden, and later in Silicon Valley, where she worked for 16 years. While in the US, she sang Olga Kaplounenko solo and in different choirs. When her husband (recently deceased) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011, they moved to Lakeside where she’s been involved with Los Cantantes and has participated in the LLT productions Drowsy Chaperone and Tickle Your Fancy. She also plays piano and guitar, but singing is her passion. Ed Tasca.  Leonardo da Vinci: A Tribute. Arguably the most fascinating mind the known cosmos has ever produced, Leonardo da Vinci was a major figure of the Italian Renaissance. This year the world joins in celebrating him on the 500th anniversary of his death. Ed Tasca will attempt to capture da Vinci’s essence but will certainly fall short. As of yet no historian, no biographer, no researcher has been able to come close because of the vast array of his achievements and the complexity of his creative genius. Ed Tasca is a writer, novelist, playwright, and essayist. Among his books is a collection of Leo’s fables, The Fables of Leonardo da Vinci. Tasca’s works have been published in the US, Canada, England, Australia, Italy, and Mexico. He currently writes a weekly humor column for the Guadalajara Reporter and does some acting. Peter Steven Malakoff.   An Introduction to Ayurveda. Ayurveda is the oldest medical system in the world, and gave birth to Chinese, Tibetan, Greek, and Western medicine. Our present approach to healing has gone over to the “dark side of the force,” primarily treating symptoms with drugs and surgery instead of removing the cause. As

Not Ed Tasca


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a result, iatrogenic disease (a state of ill health or adverse effect resulting from medical treatment) is now the third leading cause of death in the Western world! Ayurveda is not idealistic and what may be good for one person may be poisonous for another. Ayurveda always takes into account dosha (elemental body type), season, time of day, and period of life (youth, middle age, and old age), and in those contexts prescribes diet, herbs, lifestyle changes, and other modalities to bring about health. Peter has a degree in Religious Studies (Hinduism-Buddhism) from UCSB and in 2004 received the Ayurvedic Sadhana Padavika Diploma from Kalidas Sanskrit University, Maharashtra, India. For the last 14 years he has taught courses on Ayurveda in the United States and India. Peter Steven Malakoff. Carlos Martinez, Bryan Clark, and John Pint. You Need to See to Believe Mexico. More than 1,000 years of Meso-American cultures define Mexico in so many ways, but the sudden influence of Spain transformed everything. New cultures emerged through a mishmash of religion and traditions. Life as it was known before changed for the inhabitants of the New Spain. Forty million people visit Mexico every year, but little do they fathom its secrets. This Sunday three experts will introduce you to what is only a stone’s throw away, untouched and barely on the map—natural, man-made, cultural, and culinary experiences unknown to most locals. They will reveal some of the fantastic secrets of Mexico. John Pint, writer, professor. Passionate speleologist and nature lover. A life of exploring. Bryan Clark, always a helping hand in more than a dozen countries. Carlos Martínez, writer, professor. Passionate speleologist. Curious about everything. Música Para Crecer. The San Juan Children’s Orchestra and Chorus Annual Holiday Concert. Five years ago a few community leaders in San Juan Cosalá began a music program intended to give disadvantaged, at-risk children a sure and safe path to young adulthood. The students studied hard, stayed off the streets, and devoted themselves to what they most loved—music. They have traveled to music festivals and camps, encountered children of other cultures, lived with them, and made music with them. The program has transformed not only individual lives but also the village itself. The San Juan Children’s Orchestra and Chorus (Música Para Crecer) now enriches the lives of 80 children from five to 18 years of age. It includes 20-year-old graduates of the program who assist as teachers. Their Open Circle concert features traditional Mexican, pop, classical, and Latin American music, with Daniel Medeles conducting.  As a nonprofit civic organization, Música Para Crecer is supported solely by governmental grants and private donations. Government support for the arts has been drastically reduced under the current administration, and the orchestra is looking for generous patrons and the backing of civic organizations and businesses to help guarantee their future. Open Circle has watched them from the very beginning and has adopted them into our hearts as though they were our own. Let us continue to relish their music and do our best to assure their future. During the month of July, Open Circle will remain closed for outdoor monthly gatherings, but will provide weekly videos of the past most highly rated presentations. These are accessible at opencircleajijic.org. On the docket are:

“We at Bare Stage have been praying that events will open soon, so that we can get on with the business of entertaining people. At our meeting this last Wednesday we had to scrap plans for an August production of The Savannah Sipping Society, a hilarious comedy. We had just chosen the cast before all closed down. We’re now hopeful about moving forward in September but that depends on how the fight against the virus progresses. Our theater space can be ‘open air’ and seats will be arranged for ‘social distancing.’ “We’re chomping at the bit to see you again, and hope all of you in the Lakeside Community (and beyond) are healthy and eager for a return to the ‘new’ normal, soon.” I will continue to keep tabs on our theater and arts organizations to find any news on reopening. Stay tuned, readers. Lakeside Living does not know what life will look like for our new normal . . . we wish you all good health and happy survival.

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Moving Forward While Staying Put By Christy Wiseman


n this time of lockdown for most of the city, one gets desperate for a little fun. I am sheltering in place with my 43-year-old-son, Tom, who, while a blessing and great companion, is in a situation neither of us would voluntarily choose. He does special effects for movies and usually lives in Pasadena, but while the California governor  has said the studios could open, the unions have refused to do so until their workers, my son being one, could be insured. So he is with me for the duration and while we really do love one another, this lockdown would not have made our bucket


list. Some of you may feel that way about your spouses or partners. We humans are social animals, but sometimes 24/7 is just a bit daunting. I am fortunate to live on a golf course and to have a son who loves golf. The fees are high, so occasionally he treats himself, but ordinarily he goes out every day about twilight when other golfers have gone thru, and golfs. He counts on this daily venture and, frankly, so do I. Every so often he hears of another friend who has tested positive, usually those in the medical field and sometimes their spouses.  It keeps us in line. I’m in the

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“elderly, vulnerable” group, so he watches over me as I once did him. Having recently broken up with his fiancée made his coming home a good option. Truly for me it is the silver lining in all this since what 43-year-old wants to live with their mother?! A visit is nice, but 24/7? Not so much. Even so . . . Fun takes on a whole different meaning now since almost anything outside the house sounds good. The bar for achieving “fun”  has been lowered considerably for those of us trying to maintain safe distancing, wearing masks, and the like. I have begun to really understand why even a nice prison environment is still a prison and to empathize with criminals who must spend years in one. I can’t  even imagine Anne Frank’s situation. A class in “Vegetable Boot Camp” was offered at our local cooking school for $125 each. Expensive, yes, but something different. It offered to us stay-at-home cooks something to enhance and revive our food offerings to those sheltering with us. I do confess that  even cooking good-tasting food has its limits and occasionally I have succumbed to the lure of take-out or curbside pickup with mixed results. The Vegetable Boot Camp began by giving each participant (there were five of us, well separated and with masks) a packet of 27  pages the first 22 of which listed what should be in any wellequipped kitchen and definitions. This cooking school, after all, has a section devoted to sales of equipment for that “well-equipped kitchen.” After four hours of learning about and practicing BBQing, braising, grilling, frying, steaming, roasting, and sautéing, plus going through  and practicing the basic techniques of chopping, dic-

ing, chiffonading, and mincing, we were ready to eat any vegetable dish we had prepared! The hoisin veggie wraps were my favorite dish, which we did with an asparagus mix or, really, whatever your creative mind wants to wrap inside the wrappers (we used flour tortillas.) The inexpensive quick trick is to buy your hoisin sauce in the store, smear  it on a warm tortilla and wrap whatever you like inside, and it is delicious. As with many things, it is the freshness of the ingredients and the sauce that takes it from mundane to sublime. What did I like least? Deep fried radishes. They are supposed to take the place of potatoes, and deep frying, if done right, doesn’t cause them to be loaded with grease and can actually be a pretty healthy way of  preparing food. But while you can have the radishes prepared any way you like, they won’t see any use in my kitchen except sliced into a  taco. Some vegans might differ with my assessment and extol the virtues of the humble radish, but to carnivores like me, they are  wasting their breaths. Deepfried Brussels sprouts, on the other hand, were a new kind of delicious. The really good news in all of this was that I had enough leftovers, as did the others, to take some home so I didn’t have to cook for my son. A true gourmet, he was delighted, enjoying these dishes for the first and no doubt the last time. I found both the  class and the break from fixing dinner fitting perfectly into my new definition of “fun.”  Hope you’ve found a way to put “fun” into your lives at this challenging time as well! Lower the bar and enjoy the Christy Wiseman rewards.

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Aisle Be There For You By Tom Nussbaum


f you think Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock had an adventure riding a bus in Speed, you haven’t experienced a local Lakeside bus ride. Every trip is an adventure. Maybe not as fast or dangerous as in the action film, but an adventure nonetheless. Most émigrés or expats in or around Ajijic, however, haven’t allowed themselves this travel treat. They have cars or use taxis and Uber. I, on the other hand, ride the bus frequently, and as a result have become quite the expert regarding local public transportation. It is only fair, no pun intended, then, for me to share my wealth of knowledge. And, as is my style, every word I say is absolutely true and without exaggeration. Let’s start with the system’s alleged bus stops. Oh, some are obvious, visible, and identifiable; those few consist of a bench under a wrought-ironroofed frame. But most are unmarked; no signs, no curb markings. Therefore, the novice bus-rider may pass several stops searching for one. But they are in plain sight, on those corners where clusters of people appear to be loitering. These people are not prostitutes or hustlers working “their” corner. They are waiting for a bus. Riding buses here is inexpensive. From Ajijic to San Antonio, perhaps a mile and a half to the east, one pays


seven pesos, or about thirty-five cents. If one is going on to Chapala, it costs nine pesos. But if one is heading to Jocotepec, at the west end of Mexico’s largest lake, it involves some major financial planning because we are now talking two-digit fares. To finance a visit to Jocotepec, it is necessary for me, for example, to seek out lonely widows or widowers who will pay for my charming company and—absolutely true and without exaggeration—conversation. Does that make me a hustler, a gigolo? No. It makes me an entrepreneur. Buses run on a reliable, tight schedule. They come every whenever. But that is frequent. I have never had to wait for a bus longer than three Trump tweets. Once on the bus, do not expect payment systems like those found in metropolitan areas north of the border. There are no coin-slotted fareboxes for your pesos. There are no machines to scan your prepaid card that deduct the fare. Instead, the passenger tells the driver his destination, hands him the change, and the driver will drop it into an open wooden box teeming with a variety of coins. If change is required, it will come from said box. In the event one’s journey is complex, transfers are not issued. Paying for each leg of the trip is normal. Besides, if transfers were issued, judging from other Mexican paper products like napkins, tissues, and toilet paper, the transfer would disintegrate before a seat is found. Piped-in music fills many of the buses. Some play traditional Mexican music. Others offer Mexi-pop. But a surprising number play classic rock and pop hits from the US, Canada, and Great Britain. I have yet to hear, however, country, rap, classical, or John Philip Sousa marches on a Lakeside bus. When searching for a seat, one will note locals tend to sit on the aisle, leaving the window seat empty. This tradition, I believe, runs counter to gringo norms; we slide to the window, allowing the next passenger easier access to

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a seat. Natives here apparently don’t mind struggling to get past the aislesitter. Nor does the sitter appear inconvenienced. It is a cultural phenomenon; personal space is not sanctified here as it is in the US. So, passengers squeeze by, and squeeze is the appropriate word, because the space between the rows of seats is the width of an anorexic Q-Tip. It is possible that, as a passenger turns to slide past an aisle-sitter, he may discover three hidden toddlers. Or the window seat may host several shopping bags, suitcases, a backpack, or a partridge in a pear tree. Said passenger will continue his search for a seat, hoping he won’t have to stand in the aisle. Guitar-playing singers busk in the aisles. They range in skill from moderately talented to heartburn-inducing. The latter always stand next to me when I am aisle-exiled. Drab curtains cover bus windows here, protecting passengers from the hot, bright sun. Most of the curtains, however, have not been washed since Benito Juarez was president. But neither have I, so I shouldn’t complain. Buses seem to be Mexico’s answer to preschools. There always are numerous toddlers and babes-in-arms on a bus. One trip contained 3,762. They may be adorable, but smiling at them, making faces at them, waving, or sharing pictures of your recently remodeled Racquet Club home (as if a Racquet Club resident would ride the bus) will not elicit a smile, or any reaction for that matter. That precious tot will stare at playful passengers with eyes that scream, “Mama, that geezer gringo is bothering the bejeezus out of me.” Mama, or whoever is holding that child, will gaze straight ahead, ignoring the offending passenger, as if he were a perv or something. Which I am not! Rejected, I usually switch my attention to a nearby teenager. When one nears his destination, the passenger likely will search along the window for a cord to pull as is common north of Mexico. But, alas, there is none. Instead, he has to make his way to the rear door where he presses a red button to alert the driver of his approaching stop. When the aisle is crowded, however, reaching the back door before the bus pulls away from the stop can be challenging. So can finding a red button that actually works. When it does not, passengers repeatedly yell “¡BAJAN!” like an angry person with Tourette’s Syndrome. “Bajan” roughly translates to “Getting off, you impatient, incompetent poor-excuse-for-a-bus-driver!” But it is meant in a nice way. Aisles of local buses not only serve as a stage for busking musicians, but

they can be testing grounds for clowncar cramming. It has been documented that the goal of local bus drivers is to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the Number of Passengers Stuffed into a Bus Aisle Narrower Than a Guitar String Wearing a Corset. These packed conditions occur because drivers rarely refuse to pick up passengers, regardless of how crowded the bus may be. Again, this could be based on cultural personalspace standards. I have been jammed in bus aisles with more people than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, active members and alumni combined. I have been trapped at the bottom of the front door stairwell, facing the rear of the bus, and balancing on one stiletto-heeled foot. (Don’t ask!) I have stood in the aisle pressed back-to-back with a person larger than Jalisco. I have had such intimate relations with overstuffed backpacks, Michael Kors handbags, and the necks of guitars that visiting an STD clinic was necessary. And, while sitting in an aisle seat with my forearm on the armrest, I have had a teenage boy, pressed from the back, rest his crotch on my forearm. This was uncomfortable and embarrassing because my forearm sprung an erection. On my most recent bus ride, passengers were so jammed in the aisle that, as we held on to the overhead rail, my neighbor’s forearm pushed against mine. At first, I was annoyed, but then I realized it was a well-formed, muscular arm with a sexy amount of hair. Fuzzy, yet manly. I thought, I could be interested in that. I nudged back, but the woman did not respond. It is not uncommon for younger passengers to offer older ones a seat on crowded buses. Even healthy, stronger older riders will relinquish a seat for a more feeble peer. On one occasion—I swear this is absolutely true and without exaggeration—I witnessed the bus driver offer his seat to a hobbling octogenarian. We ended up in Fargo. Needless to say, riding the bus here is not for everyone. Adjustments and concessions have to be made. Gringo personal-space norms are violated. But, even though I, with my honest and unembellished style, may have painted the experience as an irritating ordeal, I enjoy riding the bus or I wouldn’t continue doing it. After all, every ride is an adventure. Tom Nussbaum has lived in Ajijic since 2015. He is from Seattle where he worked as a high school special education instructor. He has never been to Fargo. Tom Nussbaum

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Housekeeping in the Time of Corona By Cindy Paul


ack and forth I go, in my little rooms. Over there is the green suede ottoman, whose only reason for being is to hold my guitar upright, the one with an incipient hairline fracture that will one day be its doom. The hand-carved, chunky coffee table creates a handy ell by butting up to the hand-carved chunky sofa. I removed the orange backrest cushions the first day. My big Lab required the extra room and, after all, I bought the ugly couch for him. There are too many things in my rooms. This happens when you’re not looking. Inside the yellow-brushed closet behind the sofa, the wire hangers proliferate when you close the sliding doors. But only the wire ones, not the plastic ones. The plastic ones disappear instead of proliferating. I have this wraparound computer desk where I’ve spent the better part of the last 20 years with two monitors connected to a desktop PC. There’s also a printer, a small metal fan, all my cosmetics and a manual pencil sharpener, among other objects. When I started the choir a few years back, I realized a pencil sharpener was going to be a necessity, so I went to the papeleria and immediately experienced a painful and time-consuming dilemma: Spend a lot more money for one of those cool electric pencil sharpeners that you just put the pencil in from above and it gnaws away at it till it’s perfect? Or spend a lot less on a manual pencil sharpener with a small vise-grip-looking piece that clips onto the desk edge and then you have to read the instructions once you get it home? As usual, I made the frugal choice, but it wasn’t easy. My manual pencil sharpener demands more time to sharpen, but is infinitely more rewarding, because each pencil point is a work of art. Above my desk, there are way too many things. From left to right, there’s a cloth three-pocket hanging item where I keep batteries, plastic mics and various essential cables and cords. Then a large Klimt calendar from about 25 years ago, with a clock above it, the kind of clock that doesn’t click, but has delicate, un-


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imposing hands that run smoothly around its face without hitching up every second, as if a second were actually a real thing. A one-foot square wooden shelf juts out of the same butter-colored wall, within reach of the computer user. On it is a Realistic speaker and under it is a lantern-looking dark-brown contraption that catches and electrocutes mosquitoes. To the right side of the shelf is this wacky photo collection of some of my beloveds. The corners of these individual pictures are all curling and I mounted them crookedly for some reason. This produces a jaunty effect, as if the people in the photos weren’t really my beloveds, but only casual friends. A pedestal lamp with a graceful white cup at the top and some big white silk flowers bunching together at the switch, a stand fan next to that, and a gas heater I haven’t used in years for fear of unwittingly killing myself, and then a dozen sweaters and jackets hanging from the wall above the heater, all bunched together so I’ve forgotten what the hanging device looks like. I think it was a nice metal one featuring suns and moons, but that could be the hanging device in the bathroom. I would have to look. It’s exhausting just to gaze upon, let alone describe. A nautilus-style metal staircase in the corner, a Yamaha keyboard on its stand next to the guitar, and paintings covering every unoccupied square inch. Three dogs and a cat, and two Samurai swords, one long, one short, in the place of honor next to my Hotai statue. These round out the major components of my living room and studio. One gets attached. A white porcelain teacup or an old brass school bell, for example, can bring one to one’s knees. I don’t know how I’ve stood the angst all these years. But even during the days of coronavirus, I find other things to do than to pare down my collection. All these belongings are essential to me, and I’m better at taking them home than carrying them away. Cindy Paul

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Mexican Grace This is a new regular feature column inspired by the September 15, 2019 Open Circle presentation of stories that manifest “Mexican Grace.” El Ojo is looking for more anecdotes that relate the many encounters, initiated by expats or locals, that exemplify the special forms of mutual giving and receiving that define the Mexican Grace that brought us to this unique paradise--and that keep us here. Please email articles of up to 900 words with a Title and your name at the top to both victoriaAschmidt@gmail.com and loretta.downs@gmail.com. Photos are welcome.

Becoming a Man By Gabrielle Blair


e’s twelve years old. We’ve known him since he was four when occasionally he’d come to our place with his dad. His name is Gabriel, as is mine. Schools are closed because of the coronavirus lockdown and for the past month he’s been working with his dad.  


Gustavo has been our contractor for the past nine years and has done all the renovations on our casa  since we bought it ten years ago, in its rundown state, having chosen to live six months of the year in Aji-

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jic. He’s just finished building a little patio and a brick wall that surrounds it. He’s also cleaned the exterior brick walls of an ancient water tower that we own which we plan to convert into a casita one day. His current job is to waterproof the planters on our casita roof to be filled with Christ-thorns. Gustavo can do almost anything, and Gabriel has been on the job every day. Cris is twenty-six. He’s Gustavo’s nephew and Gabriel’s cousin. We’ve known Cris since he was seventeen, when he was Gustavo’s peon. He’d be given simple jobs and we grew to really like him with his ready smile and the way he was so helpful. We could tell he was smart, a quick learner and has become a good contractor in his own right. He had no English back then, but in nine years he’s now got quite a bit. He’s been doing Saturday classes to finish high school with the dream of going on to study to be a dentist. Like so many people from other countries who have chosen to make Lakeside their home and who have learned to love the Mexican people, we’ve done our bit to help Cris with his education.   Then there’s Rosendo, the eldest of Gustavo’s six children. He’s twentyseven and is married with two daughters aged nine and four. He’s lanky with a stunning smile and smokes a lot. He’s Gustavo’s backup person and can’t always be there when he gets other jobs. That’s the team of four who work in the blistering heat on our casita roof. This morning, to start the day there were only two of them: Gustavo and Gabriel. Gustavo was lining the second planter with tiles before the soil could be put back and the Christthorns replanted. Gabriel had nothing much to do, but was happy to have his father all to himself without the other two “big boys” around. He chattered away nonstop in his little-boy voice, while Gustavo, head down and focused on his work, never once got irritated. Occasionally he’d answer in

monosyllables. I got to thinking about this young boy’s upbringing. Gabriel comes from a big family which, as far as I can see, is a happy one. We’ve met Carmen, Gustavo’s wife, who generates an aura of kindness and calm. We’ve seen the way these men work together. Gustavo has never let us down. He learned his trade from his father, who belonged to the previous generation of village contractors. He proudly showed us an example of his father’s work, the roof of an historic building of what is now called the Hacienda del Lago, a boutique hotel, restaurant and spa in the west end of Ajijic Centro.   Ever since schools closed, about a month ago, Gabriel has been putting in a full day’s work. Granted he only has to fetch and carry tools and sweep up a bit, but he’s learning so much. Granted he does a lot of hanging around, looking a bit bored, but he never complains or whines, knowing that when he’s asked to do something, he must “jump to it.” Most of all, he’s learning his father’s trade from being around him. He’s learning that he is respected because he’s included in the team. He’s learning how the grown-up men communicate and work together. He’s watching and interacting with three mature and decent men. They joke together and he is not excluded. We hear his peeling laugh and even giggling as he gets a bit giddy towards the end of the day. I think this child can count himself fortunate. How many of our little boys up north know much about what their fathers do for a living? How many are learning to use their hands? How many are accepted and are able to be comfortable with the older generation of men? In a few years he will become one of them and he will have had good Gabrielle Blair teachers.

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Living Between Two Worlds —An Interview with Kristina Trejo By Judy Dykstra-Brown


n her 39 years, Kristina Trejo has worked in jobs from a receptionist at a sauna shop, to pretzel maker, but her soul work is as a pianist and batik artist. Her father, Ernesto Trejo, was a renowned Mexican poet and translator who earned his degree at California State University, Fresno, where he met her Anglo mother and began his long collaboration with Poet Laureate Philip Levine. After earning their degrees, her parents moved to Mexico City to facilitate his translation work. Here Kristina was born, moving back to the States with her parents at the age of two. Kristina lost both of her parents at an early age—her father when she was ten and her mother when she was 17. She had already skipped two years of high school by that time, received her GED, and entered Fresno City College at the age of 16. With her mother’s

Kristina Trejo death, she dropped out of college, taught piano for six months, and then travelled––ending up in San Francisco for one year, Fresno for one year, and Oregon for three years, then back to Fresno for a few months before travelling to Mexico City where she stayed for the next few years. I interviewed Kristina at Pasta Trenta, a local restaurant where at the time she was playing the piano on Friday nights, and after we had ordered our meals, she settled in to tell me the rest of her story. “When I got to Mexico City, I felt complete—as though I had lived there for many different lives and as though that was where I was supposed to be.” She bought a piano and it was also in Mexico City that she perfected her skills in doing batik. “My mother was a pianist and batik artist. At the age of four I started begging for piano lessons. My mother finally relented when

I was five, but although she herself was teaching piano, she insisted that I would probably learn more with a different teacher. It was at the age of ten that I found my mother’s batik tools in a box and asked her to show me how


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she created her pieces. Insisting it was too complicated and much too dangerous for a ten-year-old to work with hot wax, she promised to teach me when I was 18. But of course by that time, my mother had passed away and I had long ago forgotten about my desire to learn the technique of batik. “One night, when I was 18, I had a dream that I had my own batik studio. I didn’t know how to do it, but in my dream I could. After that dream I felt an urgency to do batik for the rest of my life. So the next day, when my cousin sent me a gift of 100 dollars, I took the money and went all over the city looking for a book on how to do batik. I bought dyes, fabric, wax—all the materials my mother had used to do her batik but which she had quit doing before I was born. I read the book and taught myself the process, obsessing over batik until six months later, when I went to Belize and stayed in a house in the

jungle where I was amazed to discover the friend we stayed with was a batik artist. It was there that my instruction began. When I moved to Mexico City, I found other artists to study with and thus began a lifelong compulsion.” When Kristina came to a distant relative’s funeral in Ajijic ten years ago, she had no idea that she would decide to stay. “I came at a time when I needed it. Lakeside is a perfect place to still your mind and create––a perfect place to heal. Because it is positioned between two monumental natural things—the lake and the mountains— it is like you are being held safe in the middle of a peaceful embrace. The city of Fresno is situated in a valley where the air seemed trapped and full of chemicals. This situation was not conducive to music and art. There were a million people there––that many people––but fewer who appreciated art. In Ajijic, almost everyone appreciates art, music, and poetry. You don’t have to fight to be an artist. You can do it calmly in your own time and not worry about what you’re supposed to be doing. In Fresno, people thought you should be doing something serious. Here, being an artist is viewed as a serious profession.”

I asked Kristina about her goals. “My future goals? To continue following my heart about creating music and art, no matter how difficult the path. I just produced a new CD, so for the past year I was mainly obsessing over that. I don’t know how to think very far in the future because I think I was born without that part of my brain. I keep things very short term. I try to live in the present moment. There is something about the States that makes them think they can control the future. There, everyone has a five-year plan. It is very much a culture that lives under the illusion that they can control the reality we live in, but we don’t really know what is going to happen! Last night I was going to buy two bars of soap and then I thought, ‘Wait a minute. Do I even know I’ll be alive to use the second bar? If I finish this bar of soap, I’ll buy another one then.’ I stay focused on my work. That’s what keeps me going.” At present, Kristina continues to show her batik in local galleries and restaurants. She plays piano at Casa Linda on Sundays from 11 to 1, and has collaborated with other musicians to produce her first album. “A beautiful recent spiritual experience that happened this year was to watch a huge flock of birds flying as one. The Spanish name for this is parvada, and that is the name of my CD. That flock of birds flying as one is the best answer I’ve ever gotten for why things have to be as they are. Why even question the timing of the universe? Have faith that everything is operating in a sacred design of how it needs to happen at the time.” “I live between two worlds,” Kristina answered when I asked how it was to be a person of mixed heritages living in Mexico. “It is almost impossible to explain to each group exactly what the other one is about. Too often, I am seen as the ‘other nationality.’ It has always been that way. It is a lesson in how people view things. It’s hard for people to see things from two sides, but I hope to be a bridge, translating when needed, explaining cultural differences, and continuing to love both sides.” At this point, the waitress brought our bill along with two mints in plastic wrappers, each of which contained a short quote. Kristina’s read, “A fish that fights the current dies electrocuted.” Mine read, “Money doesn’t make happiness. It buys it ready-made.” Somehow, they seemed completely appropriate in marking the difference between the two cultures that Kristina has been alternating between and living with her entire life. Judy DykstraBrown

Saw you in the Ojo 39

Remember the Ride By Steve Parker


hen you are a young boy, approaching 16 years of age, there are only two main concerns in life. One is related to hormones and the other is as strong and could be considered a lust…having a car of your own. As I approached that magic age, after hounding my father relentlessly, he would take me out on country roads and let me practice my driving skills. I do not recall any cars with automatic transmissions, so the bulk of my learning skills revolved around understanding how the clutch worked. Often I would rev the engine to the max, let out the clutch and we would rocket down the road spewing rocks and gravel, or I


would slightly rev the engine and kill the motor when releasing the clutch. Once I was in first gear, I often forgot to engage the clutch, grinding the gears unmercifically. I still remember the grimace on my dad’s face, but the frown was quickly replaced with a patient smile and a gentle reminder. We practiced frequently and when I was seventeen, my grandfather decided I needed a car of my own. I was so excited when the day came, and the car arrived at my house. The car was a green 1953 Mercury that was purchased for the incredible sum of $50. It had been wrecked three times and the finish was rippled since no one had taken the time to repair the

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outside, but it had a great motor and as I looked at it for the first time, a Rolls Royce could not have looked better. I remember the pride in the eyes of my father and grandfather. I was so excited...A CAR! MY CAR! I washed it, polished it, dusted the interior which did little good to remove the permanent old car smell, but to me it was like heaven. The ownership of a car helped with the other main concern in my young life...girls. There seems to be a sudden growth in stature in a man when a car is involved. Driving around one handed, with the window down, your elbow out the window, the wind blowing your ducktail gelled hair, your white t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up, jeans worn low on the hips and boots completing the picture...My Friends, James Dean had nothing on me. This addition put me on the level of my friend Monty Allgood who had a 1950 Ford...we had something to brag about speaking in car lingo about horsepower, loud pipes, squealing tires, and of course…..the girls who wore our class rings proudly around their neck. Ah, life was good. I drove my Merc for three years and she behaved well. Not being the least bit mechanically minded, I knew only to change the oil when the color was

so dark you could not see the markings on the dip stick, put water in the front thing when steam came whistling out of the grill. These minor annoyances began to occur with more frequency until one day I was out of our little town on the highway and ran into a Highway Patrol Safety check. The officer, his shiny badge, dark glasses, Smokey the Bear hat and shiny black boots parked behind me and I began to sweat as I observed his ominous presence in my cracked rear-view side mirror. I noticed a small smirk on his face as he sauntered up, observing the rippled siding on my prize mode of transportation. “Morning, son!”...Oh God! I was beginning to sweat. “Noticed you have a tail light out...did you know that?” I did, but decided to play innocent and just said, “No Sir! I will get that fixed today.” He smiled, knowing I was a liar and continued...this is a safety inspection. Could you turn on your windshield wipers please. I wanted to say, “I don’t drive this in the rain”...the wipers didn’t work... “How about the turn signals...I could say, “I only drive on straight roads”...but in truth, they hadn’t functioned since I had owned the car. The officer, by this time was having a difficult time keeping a straight face, walked around the front and said, “Put on your high beams”...you guessed it... they didn’t work either. Mercifully he did not write me a ticket, but listed the things needed before the end of the month and I drove away leaving a blue cloud of smoke and a laughing patrol officer. When I totaled up the charges to get my dream car fixed, I was astonished to find it was more than the car was worth. My Merc sat alone in the driveway for nearly a month until I had it hauled off. That day was almost like attending a funeral as I had to trade my chariot in for another car...I can’t even remember the make or model but it was nothing like my dream, my chariot, my chick magnet, 1953 Mercury.

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PROFILING TEPEHUA By Moonyeen King President of the Board for Tepehua



uring the late 1960’s and early 1970, John B. Calhoun made experiments with rats to understand human behavior through overpopulation. He built a rodent city which was called “Mouse Utopia Experiment”. The rodents were given everything they needed as in water, food, nesting boxes and could have lived the life of ole Riley rat, but instead slowly began to destroy and implode within the groups they made. The colony started with approximately five pregnant females and the population rapidly expanded, they formed separate groups in a pecking order and Calhoun watched as strange behavior began over time. Although there were four sections to rat city, they finally started to gravitate to only two and those sections became crowded to the extreme. The first comers were now in power and were the most aggressive rats who got most of the females and would rape anything they so chose regardless of gender, creating violence. The inferior rats were left to their own devices. They ate and slept alone, losing interest in sex. The young, having grown up in this non-family environment, not having any responsibility like foraging for food, or escaping predators of other species, accepted the violence from their own kind.


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Lethargy crept in. They slept and ate and groomed all day, having no conception of mating or marking territory. Thus the colony never met the 5,000 number required to finish the test. The population started to decline after 200, and finally died off from old age. Calhoun later noted that all species seem to thrive on a sense of identity and purpose and experiencing such things as tension, mating, marking territory, foraging and fending off foes. In Calhoun’s view “....a life without work or conflict, and all sense of necessity is taken from life, it no longer has a purpose”. Another test was done with rodents, this time putting the pregnant rats in a cage with limited water and food. As the population exploded, the food and water did not and they still shared the same space. These rats began turning on each other, killing, cannibalizing, trampling the pups to death, raping everything in sight, killing for the food and water, pure murder and mayhem. Others stayed alone, self mutilated and exiled themselves as best they could. There will always be class distinction and racism in all countries in the world, as all countries are now very diverse due to migration patterns, the wisdom is using diversity as a powerful tool, instead of inbreeding like the rat experiments. In every overcrowded shack in the Mexican barrios, where whole families share a bed and all the privacies in life are non-existent, families turn in on themselves in the form of family abuse and violence. When children do not have the experience of an average family shelter, like the experiment of over-crowded rats, the family units will disappear. A world without poverty will change that, but is that the impossible dream? In Tepehua we are not aiming for the impossible, we are aiming for a level playing field where the choice is up to the individual and the chance is there to make that choice.

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Why do contributors to your monthly periodical, including of course Swinehart, insist on spinning left wing socialist propaganda, while insulting others who do not believe in your drivel. I am a hard right Republican Conservative. This is my third country, having lived in Canada, the US, and now Mexico. Literally every able bodied American could find a job prior to the Chinese pandemic. Yes Lorin, it was the Chinese fault!  Not President Trumps. It’s great the El Oyó [sic] Del Lago is free.  At least I can enjoy the classifieds. Of course, I’ll assume this won’t qualify for letters to the editor. Scott Rothwell [Ed. Note: It is my policy to make sure the author has the opportunity to respond to any critique should they choose. The Letter to the Editor (really more of a tweet) is printed in it’s entirety without editing or correction, except for pointing out the error of the publication.] Mr. Rothwell Left-wing socialist? Really. Socialism is defined as a system whereby the means of production and distribution are controlled by the government, Despite your penchant for labeling and name-calling, I have never advocated that. I don’t believe that even Senator Sanders, a professed socialist, has. I never implied that Mr. Trump caused the current pandemic, but, rather, that his response to it has been characterized by ineptitude, denial, platitudes, evasion, and buffoonery. Since


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you choose to denounce what I have not said, as opposed to what I have said, I can only conclude that ineptitude, denial, platitudes, evasion, and buffoonery are attitudes and behaviors that you value and may even possess yourself. I indeed did take Mr. Trump to task for his lack of leadership with regard to acts of discrimination and even violence being meted out to Asian-Americans. I provided as an example the recent stabbing of an Asian-American family of four, including a two-year-old and a six-year-old. Since you not only fail to join other civilized people in denouncing such behaviors or even recognizing them in my column, I assume that you approve of that sort of thing. If that is the case, surely you should be denied access to sharp objects, and local law enforcement should be apprised of your location so that they can begin monitoring your activities. You identify yourself as a “hard core Conservative Republican.” I know many conservative Republicans who are actually nice people. I cannot believe, though, that any of them would approve of Mr. Trump’s antics or of the tone and choice of words in your letter. You are free to call yourself whatever you choose. But, again, like Mr. Trump and his leftover coterie of acolytes, labeling and name-calling are about all you are capable of, and it would be unfair of me to tax your abilities by any further dialogue. Taking unfair advantage of the mentally challenged would be akin to the sort of bullying that Mr. Trump habitually exhibits.” Dr. Lorin Swinehart

Tales Of A Covid-19 Traveler By Karl Homann

Karl Homann at the “Friendship of Nations Arch” in Kyiv


am writing this from my apartment near the Independence Square (Maidan) of Kiev (Kyiv) in Ukraine, notorious for its Revolution of Dignity 2014. I have been in Kiev for just over two weeks now, taking a daily, two-hour, private course in Russian. Originally, I planned the trip late May, early June, but when the coronavirus spread across the world and closed many borders, I cancelled and delayed the trip. As the days passed being locked down in my Mexican home, however, it became abundantly clear that the situation we were in would not end soon, nor could experts declare if and when it might. In fact, I expected things to get worse. So, I rebooked my flights. Despite the dire warnings of the medical and political communities not to travel, my trip turned out to be rather anticlimactic and uneventful. From Guadalajara to Mexico City on Aeromexico—business class was offered at a cheaper fare than economy class—with my temperature normal, a mandatory mask, and a slight effort at social distancing, I arrived safely at my airport hotel. After the routine temperature check at the hotel entrance and hand and luggage disinfection, I was in my room. The 300-room hotel was as empty as a ghost town, with food served only in one´s room. The following evening, I boarded an 11-hour Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt, with more temperature check, again, my face mask, with every seat of the Boeing 747 taken. Social distancing? Only in the form of boarding and deplaning by row number. Then followed the one unpleasant event of being stuck in the Frankfurt airport transit lounge for 15 hours because I was not allowed to enter the Schengen zone, even if only for a night in the Hilton right in front of the airport exit. There was an option to stay in sort of a chicken coop ¨hotel¨ facility in the airport for 400 Euros per night, or 50 Euros per hour: capitalism at its finest, taking advantage of the situation! No,

I stayed in a reclining seat in the spacious and well-serviced airport transit lounge, fell asleep for a few short hours, and boarded my morning flight to Kiev the following morning. Lufthansa even upgraded me to business class on a small Embraer plane, following the bynow-routine sanitation measures and, this time, also by social distancing: the seat beside me was empty. On to the last hurdle, which preoccupied me the most: Boryspil International Airport in Kiev. Both Canada (as per my passport) and Mexico (my permanent residence and origin of my travel) were on the Ukrainian red list of countries that have a higher infection rate per 100,000 than Ukraine, and travelers from either country were officially not allowed to enter Ukraine without a 14-day self-quarantine. I need not have feared. After the routine fever measurement, the immigration officer looked at my passport, then looked at me, never asked a question, stamped my passport, and I was free to enter Ukraine, no quarantine requirement. At the exit, with a placard that had my name on it, stood the driver who drove me to my apartment in Kiev. So, here I am. Studying two hours of Russian every morning in my apartment, with my tutor, face to face and masked. In the afternoons, colleagues from the English Department of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, a small, but highly selective and historical university of this city, take me to museums, to orthodox monasteries with their golden domes, and to other significant heritage sites, of which Kiev is full. Unfortunately, all theaters, the symphony, and the opera are still closed. I would have loved to attend a performance of one of Tchaikovsky’s works, of which he wrote many here at his sister’s place, three hours southwest of Kiev. Right now, I am waiting for a Mohyla friend to take me to a Sunday church service. Churches are open and so are most restaurants and stores; entry is allowed only with face masks, though many young people have their face mask dangling from their elbow.

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The Ojo Crossword

1977 By Sydney Gay




1 6 10 13 15 16 17 18 19 20 22 24 26 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 37 41 42 43 44 47 48 49 50 51 52 54 56 57 59 63 64 65 66 67 68

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 21 23 24 25 27 29 30 31 33 34 36 37 38 39 40 42 44 45 46 47 48 50 51 53 55 58 60 61 62

Make larger Little pigment Possessive pronoun Type of watch Discharge Eccentric Plan South American nation Lingerie Large Kenya capital Old Cincinnati baseball team Flatten Black Smooch Letter styles Carpet Breaking sound Suitable Alcohol Worldly, not spiritually Today Musical treble __ French “yes” Root beer brand (3 wds.) Capital of Western Samoa Camel’s bump Turn tail Become less distinct Buckle Civil court case Ripped Away Skewer Far Eastern religion’s diety Hoopla Presentation Set in, like wood Convert into leather Eve’s husband Gentlemen


Been Business abbr. Morse code “T” A number between 1 and 20 Wanderer High-school club Redress Italian “dollars” Decorative needle case Present from birth Flatfish Spots Radon Experiment What a mob does Connect Artist Van __ Clairvoyance Before, poetically Have knowledge Territory held in fee Frozen rain Animal insect Chilean mountain range Playfully romantic 60 minutes Chunk Shrill bark Central processing unit Awash Type genus Sir Isaac A Nissan car Lever Two-footed Twisted U.S. Department of Agriculture Kimono sash Male cat Newsman Rather Bashed Advertisements

El Ojo del Lago / August 2020

ath scientists like Albert Einstein say there is a relationship between number combinations and events. In a book called The Ancient Science of Number’s, the combination of 1-9-7-7 is an angel number representing abrupt or extreme change in life accompanied by a shift in the understanding of money; 1977 was a profound year for me. What I learned I brought to Ajijic. In 1977, I am a single New York mother living in a house I bought for thirteen thousand dollars. I worked part time as a yoga teacher and had a seven-year-old daughter whom I adored. There was a graveyard a few feet from our house; the former owners were buried there. At night (not every night, but often enough) ghostly vapors whooshed through the kitchen and down the basement stairs. 1977 is also the year I met Ibis. The ibis is Africa’s most sacred bird; my Ibis was an Afro-American man who walked with a hand-carved walking stick made from a tree. We met at “Lost Person’s Paradise,” a way-stop for the homeless, where saints like Ibis came to live. A hundred years ago “Paradise” was a hotel surrounded by flowering trees and a private forest. Franklin Roosevelt’s estate adjoined “Paradise” on the right, Nelson Rockefeller lived on the left. Very beautiful, as you can imagine. After World War Two, the hotel closed and became an orphanage. When the orphanage was abandoned and left to nearly complete ruin, the collapsed property was purchased by Dorothy Day and used to house destitute men; rent and food free. Who is Dorothy Day? I didn’t know, but soon learned she inspired people, including me, to believe the poor among us deserve to live in dignity. Twenty derelicts, wounded souls who had lost their homes, enjoyed private rooms on the upper floor of “Paradise.” No one preached to them; the men were graciously welcomed to do whatever, be whatever, they wished. Because of Dorothy’s outlook on life, we had very few behavior problems. The entrance to “Paradise” was the kind one finds in grand hotels, except

here and there the lobby floor was broken enough to see the ground below; walls were cracked, the ceilings peeling. The dining hall had enough tables to feed fifty. To the left of the lobby was a prayer room with 12 chairs, rarely used, the men upstairs did not bother to go there; however, scattered through the forest were handmade meditation benches. There was only one bathroom on the main floor; the plumbing worked sometimes and sometimes not. When the toilet flooded, it was always Ibis who cleaned the mess. He kept the mop locked in his room, for if he did not, it would either be stolen or used for target practice by a man upstairs. The old-fashioned kitchen had a huge iron stove, which I volunteered to clean. When I opened the oven, a million roaches flew at my face. Well, maybe not a million, but a mass of them sailed across my chin, dropped to the floor, and ran out the door. Ibis lived in a closet-sized room behind the kitchen, sparkling clean it was, no roaches, none at all. In what Christ-conscious people might call a spiritual agreement, he asked the roaches to stay away. And they did. Ibis didn’t have a bed to speak of, only a platform covered with discarded blankets which he washed by hand. The moment he and I met we knew we were meant for one another, but destiny would only give us one year. We worked in partnership six days a week. Our office was a collapsed porch surrounded by climbing vines and a view of the river, all of which resembled Africa. No two people could have been happier. Since childhood, life in Africa was the dream I held dear in my heart. We were not lovers, but were intuitively intimate; completely harmonious, like sister and brother born of the same seed. There was no romantic pressure in this relationship. Where Dorothy is concerned, Ibis honored her as a saint. A church suggesting I volunteer to help people in Paradise, provided the opportunity for me to experience what this meant. Physically Dorothy seemed insignificant, nearly invisible, yet she had the strength of a lion and accom-

plished what government was unable to achieve. Today 30 self-sustaining ecological environments for the homeless exist across America, England, and Canada. People, both men and women, arrive by word of mouth as if the hand of God had invited them, and those who arrive are welcome to live without rules, without fear of government or forced medications. Dorothy never talked about herself, only talked about what needed to be done. As 1977 continued, I learned Ibis was born in Harlem and his mother was still alive, but since age 13 he feared returning home. This gentle young boy had been brutally beaten by a neighborhood gang—not white people, his own people; the bones in his spine and chest had been crushed. Dorothy Day offered him protection and it was in “Paradise” this gentle, gentle boy become Christcentered, spending most of his time quietly healing or helping Dorothy take care of the property. She gifted him a vibraharp; thereafter, every afternoon angelic music floated through the hotel, out onto the lawn, and into the forest. In “Paradise,” Ibis and I were a duo giving concerts on the lawn, which, after Ibis passed away, gave me the courage to bring a different kind of music to Ajijic. It’s worth mentioning that Dorothy began her career in 1920, as a news writ-

er and social activist protesting for the poor; she went to prison many times. Her worst incarceration came after picketing the White House. The police were brutal; they slammed her over an iron bench, beat her, and threw her into a cell like a caged animal. After many years of ineffective protests she claimed, “I am convinced all people, every one of us, are called by God to be saintly; only saintly people have the power to heal the ills in a sorrow-filled world, and those who cannot see Christ in the poor among us are atheists indeed.” The realization of what Dorothy accomplished followed me to my next volunteer job with USA Thinking Team, which eventually led me to Ajijic. Today in Ajijic low income families can no longer meet the rising rents. Currently we are helping one family at a time. This year it is the Romero family. Permits are in place, walls and roof are up, electric and plumbing materials will be delivered on Friday. If you have land or space to put to good use, we have families who need your help and I have the builders. Let’s talk. googlesydney@ yahoo.com – 7663202 Sydney Gay

Saw you in the Ojo 47

The Blacksmith of Vulcan By Mel Goldberg


eorge Fierro watched a tumbleweed roll across dusty Main Street, wiped his forehead with a bandanna, and walked across. At nine o’clock in the morning he could taste the rising heat. He questioned why he ever came to the town of Vulcan in the Arizona desert a few miles from the Mexican border. Six months earlier, he had been a blacksmith at a riding stable in upstate New York. When that closed and he had been unable to find work, he had come in answer to mayor Rosita Gonzalez’s ad. People here still rode horses and needed his services. He pushed through the swinging doors of Rosita’s Place, Vulcan’s casino,


designed to look like an old western saloon, and walked to the bar. A military camp a few miles away brought soldiers to the town to gamble and visit the upstairs rooms occupied by women who were paid by the hour for service. The clanking of the slot machines vied with the canned music that every couple of minutes slowed to a whine as if it were about to die before it surged back to life. Texas Willie, a professional gambler, came here every Friday to beat the soldiers out of their weekly pay. He had a way with cards and two of the soldiers at his table were nearly out of money.

El Ojo del Lago / August 2020

“Hello, Sheriff,” Miss Rosita called from behind the bar. George grimaced. “I wish you wouldn’t call me sheriff.” “Why not? It’s Friday and the annual Sheriff’s Day.” “It may be Sheriff’s Day, but I’m really just the town blacksmith.” Miss Rosita handed him a beer. “True. I run this casino but I’m also the mayor. So you’re a blacksmith and also the sheriff. It’s in the lease you signed for the forge. On the back. In small print.” “I know.” “You’re still new here, Sheriff.” She emphasized the title. “For many years this town has been in thrall to some stranger.” “A big investor from Wall Street?” “Well, he could be, that’s for sure. He calls himself Mr. Ankow. Every Sheriff’s Day he comes to collect his due.” “His due? What does he collect?” “Souls. They say he’s been coming here for well over a hundred years.” “Over a hundred years? What do you mean by souls?” “Have you noticed the people who seem to look lost and walk around staring vacantly into space?” “Yeah. What’s with them?” “He took their souls. “What the hell is he? Some kind of evil spirit? A monster?” “That’s what the last sheriff said before he died. Mr. Ankow didn’t like it.” “How many souls does this Ankow get?” “We never know from year to year. Sometimes one or two. Sometimes five.” She pointed to the prostitutes and gamblers. “They think they’re immune.” “Probably not.” Miss Rosita folded her arms across her ample bosom. “Anyway, today he’s coming to collect. And as the sheriff, it’s your job to make a list of prospects.” “But I’m really a blacksmith.” “Right. Anyway, you best be ready. I’m afraid he’ll expect you to have the list prepared. It’s eleven. Mr. Ankow will be here at noon.” “What if I refuse?” “Good luck with that, Sheriff.” “What did the last sheriff do?” “Refused. Met him on Main Street at high noon and engaged Mr. Ankow in a gunfight and shot him to no effect. He expects you’ll probably do the same.” “Wait! Gunfight? This is the twentyfirst century. I don’t even own a gun!” “We put the last sheriff’s gun in the office after his funeral.” George went home, did some Internet research, and then went to his forge. People walking by heard the blowers and the hammering. An hour later, he went to the sheriff’s office. In a drawer he found the sheriff’s badge, a

gun belt, and the Colt .45. He strapped the belt on, holstered the pistol, pinned the badge to his shirt, and stepped out onto Main Street. A crowd had gathered along both sides of the street. And George Fierro saw Mr. Ankow walking toward him, his face dark under a wide-brim black Stetson. He wore a black knee-length jacket over a waistcoat that had not been in fashion for a hundred years. And he cast no shadow. Mr. Ankow asked, “You the new sheriff?” “Blacksmith, actually.” “Doesn’t matter. You have my list ready?” “Nope.” “What?” “No list this year.” “Are you calling me out, Sheriff?” The crowd gasped. “I believe I am. I’m calling you a monster.” The crowd gasped louder. “That’s what the last sheriff called me. Are you of the same mind?” “I am.” “You know what happened to him.” “I do. I heard you been coming to collect souls for over a hundred years. Not this year.” “Them’s fighting words. I want my souls!” George thought he was going to die as Mr. Ankow pushed back his jacket to reveal a gleaming pistol with black onyx grips. George pulled his Colt as fast as he could but Mr. Ankow was so fast no one actually saw him pull his pistol. It just appeared in his hand. He looked at the crowd and smiled. George got off one shot and it hit the Mr. Ankow square in the chest. Mr. Ankow took a step back, a shocked look on his gaunt face. He grabbed his chest and fell to his knees. “Who . . . are . . . you?” “A blacksmith.” George walked toward him and snapped the cylinder open to knock its contents into his hand. George held out his hand so Mr. Ankow could see the bullets. “I didn’t use store-bought bullets like the last sheriff. I’m a very good blacksmith who can forge .45-caliber bullets out of a silver ingot.” The body of Mr. Ankow shriveled and turned to a pile of dust. George wiped his forehead with his bandanna and realized he liked it here in Vulcan, a town with an appropriate name for a blacksmith/ sheriff. Mel Goldberg

Saw you in the Ojo 49





- TRANSITIONAL DIRECTIONS - Life Coaching Tel: 766-2928, +52 331-435-7080 Pag: 11

- EL OJO DEL LAGO Tel. 765-3676





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* BANK INVESTMENT - INTERCAM Tel: 766-5978 - MULTIVA Tel: 766-2499

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* BUTCHER SHOP - LOS 3 - BUTCHER SHOP Tel: 376-688-4142

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- CATI- Home and Business Cell: 33-2041-2915 Pag: 43 - COMFORT SOLUTIONS Pag: 16 Tel: 33-1228-5377 - GENERAL HOME SERVICES - Amancio Ramos Jr. Cell: (045) 331-520-3054 Pag: 26 - LETSA - Roofing Coverings 33-3400-0838, 33-1146-2020 Pag: 29 - MARBLE & GRANITE Tel: 766-1306 Pag: 39 - PISOS Y AZULEJOS DE LA RIBERA Cell: 331-250-6486 Pag: 40 - SIKA Pag: 40 Tel: 766-5959 - WARWICK CONSTRUCTION Tel: 765-2224, Cell. 331-135-0763 Pag: 44

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* INVESTMENT - INVESTMENT Tel: (387) 763-0782

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* LEGAL SERVICES - SOLBES & SOLBES Tel: 331-520-5529, Cell: 333-676-6245

- L&D CENTER Tel: 766-1064

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* MARKET - SPICE MARKET Cell: 333-662-2521, 331-294-5271


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* MEDICAL SERVICES - STEREN Tels. 766-0599, 766-0630

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* FUMIGATION - FUMIGA Tel: 688-2826, Cell: 331-464-6705 - MOSQUITO CONTROL Cell: 331-498-7699

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- ALTA RETINA - Dr. Rigoberto Rios León Ophthalmic Surgeon Tel: 688-1122, 688-1343 Pag: 20 - DERMIKA Tel: 766-2500 Pag: 09 - DR. BEN - CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON Tel: 766-4871, Cell: 333-105-0402 Pag: 10 - DR. HECTOR G. MIRAMONTES - SPECIALIST IN COSMETIC SURGERY Tel: (332) 203-6398 Pag: 12 - DRA. CLAUDIA LILIA CAMACHO CHOZA Tel: 33-3403-3857 Pag: 27

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* MOVERS - AUTOMATIC GARAGE DOOR OPENERS Tel: 766-4973, Cell: 332-213-8933 Pag: 12


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- HEALTH INSURANCE Tel: 766-0395, 1-888-449-7799 Pag: 13 - LAKESIDE INSURANCE - EDGAR CEDEÑO Cell: 33-3106-6982, Tel: 33-1594-7897 Pag: 22 - PARKER INSURANCE SERVICES Tel: 765-5287, 765-4070 Pag: 09 - PROTEXPLAN U.S. Toll Free 1-800-608-5743 Mexico Toll Free 01-800-681-6730 Pag: 22 - TIOCORP Tel: 766-4828, 766-3978 Pag: 14



* CHIROPRACTOR - DR. LOWELL BIRCH, Chiropractor Cell: 331-319-1799

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- AJIJIC DENTAL Tel: 766-3682, Cell: 33-1411-6622 - C.D. SANDRA ANAYA MORA Cell: 331-218-6241 - DRA. ANGELICA ALDANA LEMA DDS Tel. 765-5364, Cell: 33-1351-7797 - CHAPALA DENTAL CARE Tel: 765-5584, 766-3847 - MOJO DENTAL Tel: (376) 688-2731

- M.D. CARLOS ALONSO FLORES VALDOVINOS Tel: 766-5126, 766-4435 Pag: 11


* CANOPIES - LONAS MEXICO Tel: 766-0045, Cell: 33-3956-4852


- CASA INARG Tel: 766-5397 Pag: 45 - FERRETERIA Y TLAPALERIA GALVEZ Tel: 766-0880, Fax: 766-2440 Pag: 54


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* BEER & LIQUOR STORES - BETO’S WINE & LIQUOR Cell: (045) 333-507-3024

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* BEAUTY - CHRISTINE’S Tel: 106-0864, 766-6140 - EDITH’S SALON Cell: 33-1310-9372 - HILDA WORLWIDE Cell: 33-1717-2784 - NEW LOOK STUDIO Tel: 766-6000, 33-3950-9990

- LAKESIDE - CompuShop + Repair Tel: 33-2340-7501 / 668-1354

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* COMPUTERS - BIO MAXCOTA Tel: (376) 762-1486, Cell: 332-115-0076 Pag: 14 - CLINICA VETERINARIA SAN ANTONIO Tel: 766-0808 Pag: 06 - LAKESIDE FRIENDS OF THE ANIMALS AC Tel: 765-5544 Pag: 13 - MASKOTA’S LAKE Tel: 766-0287, 33-3448-2507 Pag: 32 - PET PLACE Cell: 333-1964-150 Pag: 40 - PET FOOD AND GROOMING Tel: 766-3062 Pag: 36

- GARDEN CENTER Tel: 765-5973 - RAINFOREST Cell: 331-241-9773, Tel: (376) 766-4534

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- BEST MEXICO MOVERS US/CANADA: (915) 235-1951 US Cell: (520) 940-0481 - LAKE CHAPALA MOVING Tel: 766-5008 - STROM-WHITE MOVERS Tel: 766-6153

766-1760 765-4444 766-5555

- MAQUINARIA Y HERRAMIENTAS PROFESIONALES Tel: 387-763-1232, Cell: 33-1892-2142

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* PAINT - QUIROZ-Impermeabilizantes Tel: 766-2311 - QUIROZ-Pinturas Tel: 766-2311

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* PHARMACIES - FARMACIA EXPRESS II Tel: 766-0656 - FARMACIA MASKARAS Tel: 766-3539 - FARMEX Tel: 765-5004

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* PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT - JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ RUBALCAVA Tel: (376) 688-2683, Cell: 332-255-2040 - DESPACHO CONTABLE Cell: 33-1237-3370

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* REAL ESTATE - AJIJIC HOME INSPECTIONS Tel: 33-3904-9573 Pag: 36 - AJIJIC REAL ESTATE Tel: 37 6766-2077 Pag: 19 - BAUERHOUSE PROPERTIES Tel: 33-3038-1803 Pag: 35 - BETTINA BERING Cell. 33-1210-7723 Pag: 15 - BEV COFELL Cell: 33-1193-1673 Pag: 24 - CIELOVISTA Tel: 33-2002-2400 Pag: 05 - COLDWELL BANKER CHAPALA REALTY Tel: 765-3676, 765-2877 Fax: 765-3528 Tel: 766-1152, 766-3369 Fax: 766-2124 Pag: 56 - CONTINENTAL REALTY Tel: 766-1994 Pag: 31 - CUMBRES Tel: 33-2002-2400 Pag: 05 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Tel: 766-3157, Cell: 331-833-5771 Pag: 43 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Cell: 332-339-7230, 664-375-8393 Pag: 41 - FOR SALE BY OWNER Cell: 331-433-3599 Pag: 47 - JUDIT RAJHATHY Cell: 331-395-9849 Pag: 17 - LAKE CHAPALA REAL ESTATE Tel: (376) 766-4530/40 Pag: 55 - LORI FIELSTED REALTY Cell: 331-365-0558, 33-1845-1523 Pag: 21 - MARGARITA AVILA Cell: 331-268-3927 Pag: 30 - PLAZA MONTAÑA - FOR SALE BY OWNER Tel: 766-5513, 766-0866 Pag: 39 - RADISSON BLU Ajijic Resort, Spa & Residences

Tel: 766-4525, Cell: 332-255-5972 - RAUL GONZALEZ Cell: 33-1437-0925 - VISTA ALEGRE Tel: 33-2002-2400

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- AJIJIC HOMES 4 RENT – Property Management Tel: 33-1520-1980 Pag: 48 - COLDWELLBANKER CHAPALA REALTY Tel: 766-1152, Cell:(045) 331-386-7597 Pag: 47 - FOR RENT Cell: 333-667-6554 Pag: 40 - FOR RENT Cell: 33-3196-9679 Pag: 38

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* MUSIC / THEATRE / EVENTS - D.J. HOWARD Tel: 766-3044

066 765-2308, 765-2553 766-3615




- NAPOLEON Tel: 766-6153


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- FOR RENT Cell: 33-1308-4050 - FOR RENT Cell: 331-520-1980 - FOR RENT Cell: 331-604-5758 - FOR RENT Cell: 33-1194-4519 - VILLAS DEL SOL Tel: 766-1152

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* RESTAURANTS / CAFES /BAR - AJIJIC TANGO Tel: 766-2458 - GO BISTRO Cell: 33-3502-6555 - MOM’S DELI & RESTAURANT Tel: 765-5719 - YVES Tel: 766-3565

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* RETIREMENT/REST/NURSING HOMES - ALICIA’S CONVALESCENT Tel: 766-1194, 766-2999 - CASA ANASTASIA - Care Home Tel: 765-5680 - CASA NOSTRA-Hursing Home Tel: 765-3824 - LA PUEBLITA Tel: (376) 688-1705 - NURSING HOME LAKE CHAPALA S.C. Tel: 766-0404 - SUNNY TOWN - Tulum

* SOLAR ENERGY - SUN QUEST ENERGY Tel: 766-6156, Cell: 333-117-9126

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* STREAMING TV - 7000 WIFI TV Tel: 387-761-1101

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* TREE SERVICE - CHAPALA TREE SERVICE Tel: 762-0602, Cell: 33-1411-0242

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* WATER - TECNO AQUA Tel: 766-3731, 688-1038

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* SATELLITES/ T.V. - AJIJIC ELECTRONICS S.A. DE C.V. Tel/Fax: 766-1117, 766-3371 - SHAW SATELLITE SERVICES Tel: 33-1402-4223

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CARS FOR SALE: 2017 FORD FIGO 40K WITH FACTORY WARRANTY, Still under warranty until Dec 2020. Only has 39,500 kms. We will be doing the 40,000kms service for you at Ford. Car is in 8/10 condition. Has a few minor scratches on the body. Looking for 120,000 pesos or CAD equivalent. FOR SALE: Mercedes Perfect Mexican $89 mil, Jalisco, Plated. All paid (pls read moving back  to calgary ) cold, Ac, leather’s roof, 97 kms, powerfull 6 cilynder, smoth transmision, 2000 looks, drives, beautiful, factura with my name only $ 89. Thousands pesos or $4300 us. Here in Ajijic 333 034 6557, calls only. FOR SALE: 2011 all white Suzuki sx4 most all options,69000 kls. Nice shae book price $5000 U.S. will sell for $4500. U.S, E-mail artandgail@yahoo.com Phone 766-0792 FOR SALE: Pontiac G6 Hardtop Convertible 54,000 Km 158,000, Hardtop folds into the trunk. 3.5 liter V6 with automatic transmission. Cruise control. Keyless entry. Leather upholstery. Entertainment system controls on steering wheel. Electric seats. Accident-free. Perfect paint.  E-mail me at bisita@gmail.com or call me at 55 64 26 37 20 FOR SALE: 2016 Mazda CX-3, Original Owner, Well-Maintained, 80,000 km, all records, great car! $230,000 MXN pesos (PRICE REDUCED!) You will love this car! It’s agile, sporty, the perfect size, and it’s been serviced at Mazda every 10K. The car was purchased by me, in Mexico. The plates are from the state of Mexico. (estado de Mexico) I live in Ajijic, and can show the car anywhere in Lakeside, or in Guadalajara.  It’s the highest trim, so it has a sunroof and a backup camera. I have all of the records, and I am the original owner. You can send me a whatsapp if you’d like a test drive: +15136028835

FOR SALE: 1995 Ford Aerostar. The Good, the bad and the ugly. The Good: Mechanically very dependable. V6 engine, automatic tranny of course, good tires, good brakes, no leaks, no body damage, Jalisco plated, Raised top, 4K watt built in inverter, Rear seats removed and tile “floor” put in. LP Colman type stove, sink, cabinet for storage, front “overhang for storage. I will pay for the transfer and current license fees.The Bad: A/C needs recharging; electric sliding door doesn’t work, but it opens ok by hand. Not currently registered for 2020. No insurance. The ugly: The hood and right side need repainting to match. The rest of the paint is good and polishes up well. I’m asking $25,000.00 (That’s Pesos). That is $1,250.00 US or  $1,529.00 Canadian, $1,000.00 Euros. E-mail: 1988jeopardychampion@gmail.com FOR SALE: Classic 1987 Mercedes Benz 300 SDL Turbo. Champagne Beige, 154,200 miles. Great condition. $5000 USD Can have US plates. e-mail mexpat2002@yahoo.com FOR SALE: Do you want to go back to Canada but don’t want to fly? We have an Alberta plated car for sale. We are looking for a buyer who wants to drive back to Alberta or anywhere in Canada. $72,000 pesos (negotiable) 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe SE 3.3 liter V6 drivetrain AWD, 5 passenger with lots of room to pack items, 200K kilometer, Leather interior, Heated seats, Sunroof, A/C, Cruise Control, Antilock brakes, Electronic Stability Control, Excellent Condition. FOR SALE: Honda CR-V I-style 2WD 2016 (Moyoyo).One owner, 69.000 kms, Honda maintenance, 4 cylinders 2.4L, backup camera, Bluetooth, $295.000 pesos. Call me, Rafael 331-269-2696. FOR SALE: Honda CR-V EX 2014 (Moyoyo). Another excellent CR-V EX 2WD 2014, one owner , with 81.000 kms,

The Ojo Crossword


El Ojo del Lago / August 2020

Honda Maintenances, 4 cylinders 2.4L, backup camera, cruise control, Bluetooth, new brakes. $245.000 pesos. Call me, Rafael 331-269-2696 FOR SALE: CONVERTIBLE Peugeot 207 CC for sale , year 2008. Black leather chairs Color : crema  1600 CC, turbo, tires in perfect shape, 109,000 km, very economic motor consumes about 8l/100km. Phone 331-143-2361 callbackmx@yahoo. com must sell... going back to Europe. Price: 120,000 pesos or 5420 USD.  FOR SALE: Phantastic VW Tiguan 2.0 TSI, from late 2015, car is totally complete, BIG sun roof. Metallic paint. Other protecting sun screen roof. GPS working perfectly. Has only 41,500 km (25,000 miles). Never an accident. Going back to Europe for health reasons. Call me at 331143-2361 callbackmx@yahoo.com selling for 14,000 USD.  Excellent buy. WANTED: I can buy it under $50,000 pesos. Call: 333-955-8594 tony WANTED: Upgraded from mercedes to kia  2106 ex v6 white low miles  found kia had  everything i needed, with great safety, found the car we  wanted, looked on my own, finally went through S&S auto., when i visited the KIA dealer they treated us real special., much different then when we visited other dealers on our own, they threw  new tires, free an extra two year on bumper to bumper warranty. Prefer white in color, 2019 or 2018 if low mileage will consider 2017 or 16, must mechanics inspection, will pay cash for it, looked at honda rdx does not meet our needs.

COMPUTERS FOR SALE: Acer 14” Touch Screen Laptop for Sale!!! Acer Aspire R R5-471T51UN Ultrabook, Intel Core i5 6200U (2.30 GHz); 256 GB SSD (instant boot); Intel HD Graphics 520 Shared Memory; 14” Touchscreen Windows 10 Home 64-Bit. (Backlit keyboard, camera, microphone, sd card reader, etc) See https://www.cnet. com/products/acer-aspire-r14-r5-471t51un/ for complete specs, Folds completely flat to work as a tablet, Perfect condition EXCEPT for a one single line of the screen is bad (reflected in asking price), $150 USD or $3,350 MXN  with charger and case, Respond by email or phone 33 2637 9332 WANTED: Apple computer, I would like to buy a not too old apple computer. PM me if you have one. WANTED: Need used laptops and desktops for have Hammer School, need used working Windows older laptop and desktops computers for have hammer will travel woodworking school.cad school drop off at see Luis Algarin lakeside compushop next to panchos deli, just 40 feet west of it help support have hammer will travel a c.. Cad program, need computers for fall semester. Luis used to work at Benno’s he moved 376 699 1354. FOR SALE: Printer Cartridges for a US HP Office Jet Pro 8710. Only for US HP Printer a 2 pack of black cartridges, Paid $60.00 US make offer. Tel: 376-7635664. FOR SALE: Logitech X-230 Multi-media computer speakers with gaming subwoofer. Excellent condition. 1500 pesos or best offer. contact Dan 376-766-2722, leave message.


WANTED: House and pet sitter available, Long time resident available for short term house and pet sitting, Jan-March 2021 WANTED: I need a donation of home flea spray, if any can donate this to me, I live in Ajijic, 332 219 3667. Does anyone know where I can get Cedar Oil which is supposed to be non-toxic to pets? I have a 700 peso cat flea collar, but the cat didn’t like it, best for indoors cats. If anyone needs one I can exchange that for some house flea spray.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE FOR SALE: Stowmaster Tow hitch for sale. Used to tow my Jeep Liberty. Hitch, safety cables and cover. Asking $3,000 pesos.  Or make offer.  Email peteredwards052@gmail.com WANTED: ISO small hotel size refrig, Husband is going into Assisted Living and would love to have small frig for his room. FOR SALE: Shaw Motorola model 605 HDD for Shaw Direct. Includes cables.  Never used.  $50 USD or $1100 pesos. FOR SALE: 2” Smart t.v. many features, free streaming movies y tube, haystack plex and many more. $2600 pesos, (paid over $4000). Like new end tables (3 drawers) $800 pesos ea. Electric air purifier, add a little tee tree oil you will receive great fragrance $400 pesos. 2 kopokely chairs,black seats $500 pesos ea. kopokely wall figurines $400 PESOS. Dvd player,recorder,many features, including karaoke,$500 pesos. Translator Spanish to English, plus 40 other languages $100 pesos. LG smart microwave, many features, only 4 months old. $2500 pesos. (available when we leave). Gateway computer (windows 7) English keyboard induced $2500 pesos. Samsung laser printer $800 pesos. (computer and printer available when we leave). 3 mixing large bowls with lids $300 pesos. Vacuum cleaner, brought down from Canada $2500 pesos. Vita mix blender $3000. Insta pot pressure cooker, (from Canada) $700 pesos (vacuum, vitamix, insta pot available when we leave). Mexican clothes baskets (2) $150 pesos ea. Assortment of scatter rugs (5) $200 pesos, All wire clothes rack needs repair $50 pesos.  FOR SALE: Whirlpool compact refrigerator. Barely used, like new. $2000 pesos. Also Daewoo microwave oven barely used. $700 pesos. Call 332.257.4889 or email, felipemx33@outlook.com WANTED:  We are in need of patio furniture, anything for sale? FOR SALE: Round Oak 42 inch Table. The base has a small split in the middle of it but fixable. Asking 1200 Pesos for it. The Table moves up and down if you want to use it for a coffee table or a regular dining room table. Call 376-766-4971. WANTED: Still looking for a basic DVD player with working remote. Please send PM. FOR SALE: Pair of beautiful bookcases. Freestanding, architectural and very substantial. Can be configured in several creative ways. Cost $7000 pesos. Sell for $4500. Call 332.257.4889 for photos. FOR SALE: Beautiful 5 piece bar set. Classic Mexican equipal construction. Top quality with burnt red leather. ‘L’ shaped

bar, 3 high chairs with footrests and a barman’s stool. Cost $12,000 pesos. Sell for $7000. Call 332.257.4889 for photos. WANTED: Would like to find a reasonably priced Cast Iron love seat for the garden. Small chairside table would be nice too. Please Call Molly at 766-0688 -orCarrol at 766-4338 FOR SALE: 2008 bmw 700 gs motorcycle. Excellent condition, well cared for, many extras, jalisco plated 79000. Km 88000.p. In Chapala. Cell. 3331195494 WANTED: Todo Bueno needs large consignment items, store has had good traffic last week, need more furniture items, if you just moved and want to sell furniture you do not need and get money for it, quickly. Try putting it on consignment. Cell. 331 016 0619. See Todo Bueno resale and consignment store latest items for sale. Due to store location and good following, store has been better than expected last week. items are moving quickly. Open Tues to sat 10 am to 2 pm. Only 2 pm 2:30 ish you can bring items for consignment, all items are stored for three days, than put on consignment as safety procedure. FOR SALE: Dumb TV. 32”. Works perfectly (eight) camera system.  New in box. Everything you need other than a monitor. Price: $3,256.00 pesos. That’s 146.53 USD or $146.53 Can. Price firm (Really). Pick up in Chapala Haciendas 2. Email:

1988jeopardychampion@gmail.com FOR SALE: Buy it now, thank me later. CCTV Security system NIB, (eight) camera system. New in box. Everything you need other than a monitor. Easy install.  Being realistic, you need this now more than ever. $5,000.00 (that’s pesos).  That’s slightly under US $250 or Can. $308.00 Pick up in Chapala Haciendas 2. Email: 1988jeopardychampion@gmail.com WANTED: Need IATA approved dog crates, I ask looking used, a large and smallish (7 lb) dog crates plus one for an 18lb cat. WANTED: Open back 5 string banjo Price I’m willing to pay will vary depending on what you have to offer. Will consider anything from entry level to upper end. FOR SALE: Honda Fit 2017 floor mats, I have a set of black carpet style floor mats for a 2017 fit. These should fit most years. Like new, hardly used. I bought allweather mats shortly after we bought the car. No longer have the Fit. Asking 300p. I can deliver. FOR SALE: CPAP Supplies, Brand New, CPAP Masks Prices for the Full masks are $2500p and $2300p, both include new hoses. Contact 333-953-7583 FOR SALE: Very nice big round table of granite, for 6-8 persons, diameter 1,50 m or 59”, height 76 cm or 30”, thickness 4,5 cm or 1,8”, black table base of metal, very nice and as good as new, price:

20,990 $MX. WANTED: (ISO) Firestick 4K FOR SALE: Small Chest Freezer, Whirlpool 5.3 cubic ft. capacity, 28” wide X 25” deep X 35” high, Locking lid, color: white, In good shape and runs well, $1,800 pesos. Simplysaid7@gmail.com FOR SALE: I am looking for a Mexican equipale chaise lounge and it CAN BE USED! It is for outside but under a Brick roofed patio. They say the leather ones should not be outside-- don’t know. DO YOU? If used and ugly worn fabric, I will recover it. I would buy a new one if I knew where and if they delivered. 766-1708, Ajijic landline (sorry- I have trouble getting messages so call again if not home which I usually am these days!) Also- do not have a car. FOR SALE: Nordic Trac for sale...excellent condition except timer. $1000 pesos firm., contact jmm46@gmx.com FOR SALE: Custom mesquite dining set, Custom made mesquite 274 cm X 107 cm dining set, 6 leather chairs-2 with arms- , paid  $2900.00 U.S., 2 years old moving best offer for pictures email: whr2now@gmail.com FOR SALE: Travatan .004% 2.5ml Drops - Exp 12/20, No longer needed after cataract surgery. $600 pesos. Unopened in the original box. WANTED: I’m looking to buy a professional grade Stairmaster machine in good

condition. Please respond to this posting or call 376-766-6124. Ask for Cleve. WANTED: I’m looking to buy an electric pottery wheel and electric kiln. I’m interested in other ceramic tools and equipment too as I’m hoping to create a small potter studio here lakeside. You can email me at docgilmore@yahoo.com FOR SALE: CCTV Security set-up. NIB. 8 cameras. IMO, you need this today more than ever. All you need is your monitor, everything else is included. Works great outdoors. Simple installation. $6,000, pick up in Chapala. Email: 1988jeopardychampion@gmail.com WANTED: Looking for an Airdye Bike. Contact Michael at  jmm46@gmx.com WANTED: Small chest freezer. Email: sunnyvogler@yahoo.com. FOR SALE: Original Prada Shoes, size 24.5 Mexican, Only 1 time was used, price $3,000 pesos. Call to Alma 331-0053109 FOR SALE: Individual Brass Headboard, Price $2,200.00 pesos. Call to Alma 331-005-3109.

Saw you in the Ojo 53


El Ojo del Lago / August 2020

Profile for El Ojo del Lago

El Ojo del Lago - August 2020  

Ajijic and Chapala magazine devoted to news, interviews, history, culture and art.

El Ojo del Lago - August 2020  

Ajijic and Chapala magazine devoted to news, interviews, history, culture and art.


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