Happy New Year 2010
10 January 2010 | La Paz, Mexico
Happy New Year to all!
We had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's Eve in La Paz. We missed family and friends but were able to enjoy the holidays with new friends. On Christmas Eve we went to Club Cruceros at Marina de La Paz. This is a cruisers club that supports the cruising world in helping others find services and products in La Paz. The club had a pot-luck appetizer and dessert get together at 3 pm. There were carols sung and a good time for all. After the Club Cruceros party Dave and I helped set up for the Christmas Eve service that was put on by the English speaking Christian Church in front of the offices of Marina de La Paz. The regular keyboard player was home for the holidays so I filled in. (This involved a 5 hour rehearsal on Wed.) It was fun to play again. There were 60 - 70 people who came. It was a coolish night (around 60) and most of the audience was in their warm coats with hats, scarves and gloves. They then placed quilts over themselves to keep warm. Dave and I were fine in a light jacket. They sang several carols and had the Christmas story and a short sermonette. It was a good evening. I had wanted to go to the Christmas Eve mass at the Cathedral but decided against it as the taxis would not be running when the service was over. I really didn't want to walk the 2 miles back to the boat after midnight.
Christmas morning was bright and sunny and warm. Hard to believe it really was Christmas. I found it easier this year to keep my focus on the true holiday, Christ's birth. There were not as many distractions as there have been other years. I put on songs from the Messiah and we had a quiet breakfast. At 4 we gathered together with others who were staying at Marina Palmira for a Christmas dinner. It was planned pot luck. Some of the boaters cooked turkey and ham and the rest did the remainder of the meal. A lot of new recipes for me to try. Someone brought sweet potatoes with bananas in them. It was yummy. There was so much food that we were asked to take seconds and thirds. Then all got to take some left-overs home. It was a fun time for all.
A lot of the businesses were closed between Christmas and New Years. (Opening on the 4th) It was a quiet week in town as people were with their families. It was fun to see the kids learning to ride new bikes and roller blades on the Malecon. By the end of the week there was definite improvement.
New Year's Eve began at Club Cruceros with appetizer pot luck. We celebrated the New Year at midnight Greenwich mean time (5 pm). After that we went with some friends to see what was going on in the city and have dinner. We had heard that there would be lots of people at the center of the Malecon and there would be fireworks. The streets were pretty much empty. Even the clubs that had live music didn't have a lot of people. We had a wonderful dinner at a French restaurant. We were back to the boat about 11. I stayed up to watch the fireworks. They didn't have a big display like the commercial ones we have around the 4th of July. They did have a lot of aerial fireworks that were launched from back yards and were nice. There were a lot of them that I could see on the other end of the city. Around the marina there were mostly pop bottle rockets. A nice way to usher in the New Year.
Sunday the third found us at the Cathedral for services at 10 am. They were celebrating the visit of the wise men. My Spanish is getting better as I could understand about 80% of the service. (It was all in Spanish) They began with "Jingle Bells" only it was Joyous bells, happy bells, Jesus Christ is born . . . They also did other traditional Mexican carols. The Church still had their decorations up. The people singing were such a sweet sound. You could tell they were really praising God and worshiping Him. The sermon was about what the wise men brought gold because He was a King, "Savor" for the Holy Spirit and the sweet fragrance of prayer, and Myrrh for His burial. The question was asked "What are you bringing to Christ?" Although many want to give things and money, God already has all of those. They were to bring their hearts in love and service to Christ for that is what He desires most. Then they were to go and share His love with all around them. There truly was a Sweet Spirit there that morning.
On the 6th of January the people celebrate the day of the kings. They give presents to the children (in addition to the ones they received on Christmas). They also serve a bread that has a small doll of Christ baked into it. The person who receives the doll has to serve tamales to all on Feb 2. The people have a way of making a celebration last a long time. They really enjoy their festivals. The next big one is Carnival in Feb. There are parades and parties. This is right before lent. I think from the pictures it's similar to Mardegra.
After a good time in La Paz we left on Tues morning and went to Isla Espiritu Santo. We had a wonderful sail. The wind was just right. We sailed the whole way to Bahia San Gabriel. It is pretty here. There are no people living on the island. There use to be a pearl farm here. The sunset last night was gorgeous. It's good to be on the "hook" again. Last night we had less noise, wind and motion than we did at the marina. We plan to tour around here until the end of the week and then go back to La Paz to meet up with friends and then leave together to explore the north Sea of Cortez. Right now it looks like there will be 3 boats traveling together with us.
I hope and pray that 2010 will be a year of wonderful blessings for you and your family. I pray that you will be able to meet with Christ Jesus in even more intimate ways this year. May His Grace and Peace be yours.