E is for Español

One of the first things people always ask me when they find out I live here is if I spoke Spanish when I arrived and the answer is a big fat NO.. I mean i spoke the basics, Hola..Adios..Tequila but having a conversation or even understanding when someone spoke to me was out of the question.

It probably took me a good two years or so to finally get a good enough grasp on the language to be able to have a conversation without worrying. People always say that the best way to learn is to speak and have people correct you, to me that was the worst idea in the world as I hate making mistakes but now, even i have to say, that it is the best way to perfect the language.

D is for Dreams

I had two main dreams growing up, both of which seemed pretty unrealistic to the rest of the world.

  • To have a house full of dogs
  • To live in Mexico

Pretty random dreams for a kid but that was what I wanted and I was lucky enough to have parents that always told me to follow my dreams regardless of how absurd they may be. I think deep down, never in a million years did they think I would be able to pull them off.

As I sit here in my house, in Mexico surrounded by my 7 dogs, I can only say that you should always follow your dreams because one day they might come true!

“It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

C is for Cenote

A Cenote is a sinkhole which are characteristic of this area of Mexico. There are thousands of them, each and every one unique in its size and appearance. Some of the larger ones are tens of meters wide where as others you are only able to access via a small whole in the ground’s surface. As you make your way down into the sink hole it is impossible not to make a reference to a movie such as Journey to the Center of the Earth as that is really what it feels like.

One of the largest and most amazing cenotes that I have ever had the chance to experience is the cenote Ik kil located just outside the mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. The sheer width and depth of the cenote add to its charm and one of its unique features are the roots of the trees that you can see right in the middle that have grown towards the water. It really does have that WOW factor!

Cenote Ik Kil

Another awesome cenote experience is actually a tour called Rio Secreto however the difference here is that you actually travel underground through the caverns with a guide. I have never experienced anything like it, there are some parts completely dry and others where you have to swim through to continue on the journey. It is so quiet and tranquil that it really is like being in a different world!

The underground caverns of Rio Secreto

A is for Animal Rescue

t’s April 1st and Day One of my A-Z blogging challenge. There are a million things that I could have written about my life starting with the letter A and then it dawned on me.. the one thing that matters most to me and that has affected my life here in Mexico in more ways than one, Animal Rescue.

Dogs were always my favourite animals, every birthday and christmas the first thing on my wishlist was a puppy however living in an apartment in the center of London wasn’t the ideal surrounding. Fast forward 20 years and I arrived in Mexico, living alone there was nobody to tell me that I couldn’t have as many dogs as I wanted. Just for the record, I now share my house with 7 rescued furbabies and whilst they make my life hell, I love them to bits and wouldn’t change them for the world.

The closest I’ve ever gotten to an actual ‘family’ photo

The reason I ended up with so many dogs is in part because I love them and would have more if I could but more so because they are all, with the exception of my golden lab, rescue dogs. Street dogs here in Mexico are a common site and whilst there are several refuges in this area alone they can’t cope with the amount of dogs (and cats) that are abandoned on a daily basis. One of the refuges that does an amazing job in this part of Mexico is ‘Tierra de Animales’ (Land of the Animales) They have over 200 dogs there and each and every one of them was rescued from the street. Most of them were picked up in horrific conditions due to malnutrition, abuse or disease. The team at Tierra de Animales, lead by Ricardo Pimentel, do an amazing job nursing the dogs back to health and finding them new homes either here in Mexico or even in the US and Canada. Cross border adoptions are so easy now days that personally I think every home should have their own Mexican Street Dog.

Ricardo and some of the dogs available for adoption at Tierra De Animales

One of the cases that I will never forget is Xolo, a dog that was practically dead when they rescued him. After a few months at TDA he slowly but surely started to recuperate.. He is now absolutely gorgeous and living in the US with his adopted family. He is the perfect case study to demonstrate that you never really know what a dog can become with the right care and attention.

The amazing recovery of Xolo

Tierra de Animales has only been open for 2 years and they have already rehomed hundreds of dogs that would never have had a chance in life and the most amazing part of all is that they operate purely on donations. They receive absolutely no government funding at all.

So if you’re thinking about getting a dog, why not consider a cross border adoption or even just donating to the cause.. you’ll be making 200 mexican doggies very happy! You can find out more about Tierra De Animales via their webpage:

www.tierradeanimales.org

or you can follow them on facebook and twitter:

www.facebook.com/tierradeanimales

www.twitter.com/tierradanimales

Blogging from A-Z – My personal Challenge for April

So, as I wrote in my first post. I am determined that this is going to be the blog that works, the blog that I remember I have and remember to post in. Whilst randomly looking for an image on google I came across a blogging challenge..

Can you post every day except Sundays during this month?  And to up the bar, can you blog thematically from A to Z?

Could I? Can I? who knows.. but I’ve never been known to back down from a challenge! So, starting from this coming Monday (April 1st) I’ll be blogging on a daily basis and the themes will be in alphabetical order and of course all related to me and my Mexican Life…. Watch This Space!!! My blog is officially #1468 in the blog challenge!!