Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tíos in Tuxtla

What do crocodiles, bulls and princesses have in common? Why Tuxtla, of course!

Upon arriving in Tuxtla Gutiérrez Friday afternoon, we were warmly welcomed by our new friends, Mario (Ben's new boss), his wife Kim and daughters Lilian & Megan. They invited us to their home, an oasis in the city, where we soon became known as Tíos (uncle & aunt) Ben & Krista! We had the best weekend, visiting Chiapa de Corzo, taking in a soccer game, eating delicious food, playing princesses, boating down an amazing canyon and even attending our very first bullfight! Thanks guys

Friday night after relaxing in Mario & Kim’s fabulous new home we all headed over to Chiapa de Corzo, a colonial town right on the outskirts of Tuxtla. We watched a bit of traditional Chiapas dancing, walked the plaza and then ate dinner at a very authentic Italian restaurant.

Chiapa de Corzo

Saturday Ben & I took a boat ride down the Río Sumidero to take in the breathtaking canyon, which also happens to be nominated for being one of new 7 wonders of the world! Vote here. Along with the huge canyon walls (that are over ft in some areas) we also saw several crocodiles and a spider monkey.

It was a hazy weekend in Tuxtla, as rainy season is just about to begin.

Basking in the sun

A Cristmas tree! During rainy season it's a waterfall too!

Later that day while the girls visited with their aunt, cousins, and grandparents, we stole away to attend a soccer match between the Tuxtla Juguares and the Moralia Monarchs.

We had great seats at the game!

Mario & Kim sporting their team colors

Having the time of their lives! (Sorry Kim, it was too good to leave out!)

Sunday proved to be a bit of a lazy day for us. While the family headed off to a birthday piñata (party) at Pizza Hut, we spent the morning catching up on emails and cleaning and repairing the Ecamper. Later that afternoon the girls once again went to spend some quality time with family, while we took in a bullfight! It was a first for Ben & I (and Kim too) and proved to be much more enjoyable than I would have ever thought. The interesting thing about this bullfight that may have eased my nerves a bit was that the bullfighters were kids. The star, Michelito, a Tuxtla native, was only 10 years old. He and his brother both fought as well as a teenage girl from Columbia.

the fighters - would you let your 10 year old fight a bull?

they hide behind the red box when they aren't taunting the bull

Kim made a good point when she said that because there were kids involved her sympathy went more toward them than the bull, but if the bullfighters had been adults, it probably would have been the other way around. Strange rationalization, but I agree. For those of you who don’t know the ins and outs of bullfighting, yes the bull does die. However, there’s quite a show, before it happens. After a bit of showmanship (waving the red cloth around) the bull is stuck with 2 shorter probes (I suppose to really make it angry), all the while a band plays traditional music. A bit more “dancing” around by the fighter, and soon a giant sword comes out. Before you know it, like a dagger to the heart, the bull is running around making crazy, wailing sounds, and eventually falls to the ground – dead. All in all we saw 4 bulls meet their maker. (But if it makes you feel any better, none of them looked very healthy to begin with). Olé!

Inhumane maybe, but an old Mexican tradition, for sure.

FYI: This video spares you the tragic ending.

While Ben spend much of Monday meeting with the Aguas de Unidad staff and touring water systems in Tuxtla, I hung out with the girls and did girl stuff like decorating our nails and singing and dancing to Beyonce!

Lilian & Megan showing off their freshly decorated nails

Single ladies dancing


aaron said...

awesome post!!! i was hoping there would be a post on your time in Tuxtla. Seems like mario and kim really rolled out the red carpet for you guys. they are so great. thanks so much for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

Vamos Vamos Mis Juguares!! Now Horacio, Aaron and I can sing that with more friends! It seems like any time we use the word Vamos, we break out into that song!! -Nicole