February 9, 2010

* Santa Rosa

Are you ready???  Brace yourselves.  Remember this is not Canada.  This is not America.  This is Mexico.  I have purchased property in a very Mexican neighbourhood.  Wrap your head around it.  This is a developing country.  Ready?  Remember to breath.  Here are some visuals ....
See the 'sold' sign?  This is the view of my property from the street.  The left hand side of the photo are the double doors.  I can drive my car through and park inside the wall.  On the right, the door into the actual building.  This door will be bricked up and a window in it's place.  This will be the bath laundry area.
Eventually, I will plaster the outside walls and paint them.  Inside first.
This is inside the wall, looking to the right.  You can see about half the building
This is the outside of the building.  It will be transformed.
The lot looking toward the back.  Where the Senor (the gentlement I purchased the property from) is standing you can see it is terraced.  There are about 5 steps down.  The tree is the back of my lot.  There will be an 8 ft. tall wall built across the back of the property there.
This is looking to the left as you come in the double doors.  The wall will need painting.  It actually is not my wall, it is the neighbours.  In time, I will build my own.
This view looks straight ahead.  Again, behind the tree is the end of my property.  A tall eight foot wall along the back will complete the 'walling' of the property.
This is the rest of the family I purchased the house from.  The money from the purchase will allow them to build a complete house for themselves on the other half of the property.  They were using this structure as a kitchen and two bedrooms.  You can see, they live very simply, but well.  This family is well fed, they have shelter and good food.  Everytime I have been to the property the place has been spotless, the grounds swept and neat.  The father is a builder.  He will be building my wall.
I would like you to meet my architect, on the left, Juan Carlos.  The foreman for the job on the right, Carlos.  They both speak wonderful English.  One of my requirements for this first renovation was that I be able to communicate in my own language without struggle. Juan Carlos speaks 5 languages!  We had a great meeting this morning.  We are off to a wonderful beginning.  Work will commence on February 18, 2010, the day after closing the real estate transaction.

I have a vision for this place.  A garden, with cactus's and tropical plants, fruit trees (fig, lemon, orange) a fountain, colourful vines climbing the walls.  In a couple of years, if I am still in love with San Miguel, I may consider building on.   Little by little, over time it will become my own creation.  I am thrilled.

I deliberately purchased property in a very Mexican neighbourhood (not many gringos, but some). I will experience the culture at a level I could not if there were more expats surrounding me.  I will never be totally accepted.  If I am lucky, with time, I will make some friends there.  I will, however, always be a gringo.  I want to experience what it feels like to be an immigrant.  Coming to Canada as an immigrant is not easy.  We are very flippant about it at times.  I say it is one of the hardest things to do, leave your homeland, go to a foreign land in order to better yourself without the benefit on knowing the language and then try and 'fit in'.  It takes generations.

I am in San Miguel for different reasons than an immigrant would come to Canada.  I'm here because I want to immerse myself in a different way of life, enjoy and learn about the culture, learn a new language, and like other expats, enjoy the Mexican sun. Supporting the community in which I live is important to me.  I will be shopping at the general store (has everything) about 3 doors down, the baker around the corner, the hairdresser down the street and the butcher not too far away. If in some way I can give back to this community I will.  There is an orphanage in the area for example.   I want more than the gringo community. Many people come here and never leave the expat circle.  I'd like a balance.  I don't yet know if that is possible.  It will indeed be a very interesting exercise. 

Grumpy Marshall Weather Report for San Miguel de Allende for Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Feb 10

Cloudy / PM SunCloudy / PM Sun
Hi: 69° 
Lo: 48°
Day: Partly cloudy skies. High 69F, humidity 50%. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph. Air Quality: NA, UV Index: 10
Night: Mostly clear skies. Low 48F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.

First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.   ~ Napoleon Hill

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