Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Who's who in the zoo

A few people have asked for an update on all my pets. Everyone in the pack are doing great and adjusting really well to the latest addition - Chikita, a cute kitten that I agreed to foster until we can find her a home. Ironically, I have become a little attached and may end up keeping her!

Chikita - definitely the Alpha of the group. She is super feisty and will not allow my two cats to eat until she is finished her meal. Que cabrona!

This was Chikita's 2nd day in the house. She put Jade in her place immediately!

Leo - the male

Jade, being her usual rambunctious self with Kenya, Leo's sister.

This was a surprise to find Jackson sleeping with Leo. He normally does not interact with the cats at all.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer has arrived

Since our first rain of the summer last week, the humidity and heat level have been astronomical. The days of constant sweating and multiple showers have arrived.

Even our canine friends need some relief from the heat. Check out this little dog buried to his head in the sand on the beach. How cute is that!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Crazy crocs

And no, this is not a blog post on those plasticky/rubbery looking colored shoes that many people wear.

As you all know, I used to live in La Manzanilla when I took the Spanish immersion program and it is one of my favorite places to visit. The beaches are beautiful and you can walk for miles.

Recently, I went on my first Mexico camping experience and we camped right on the La Manzanilla beach in this spot. What an amazing place to camp!

The dogs were in heaven. Jade is keeping a close eye on Jackson

When my friends were here in May visiting from Seattle, we rented a car and did a day trip to La Manzanilla. While we were there,they wanted to check out the local crocodiles. I have to say that when I lived there, I never went to see the crocs. The main reason, of course, was my dogs. I think we have all heard many a story about a crocodile killing and eating a dog that got too close.

For safety reasons, they now have a chain link fence separating the crocs from the rest of the population. I stood up on a bench to get a better look at the terrifying creatures. Right away, I noticed a large white cat inside the area alongside the crocodiles. No sooner had I said, "Look, there is a cat inside with the crocodiles", the cat decided to make it's move and get out of dodge. Sadly, it jumped right in front of the VERY still crocodile's mouth. In a blur of white fur, blood and a VERY loud yelp from the cat, the crocodile devoured the cat in a matter of seconds.

I am not sure if I can adequately describe how I felt in that moment and afterwards............disbelief, revulsion,disturbed, nauseous, terrified and traumatized. It is one thing to hear about the crocodiles seeing pets/animals that get too close. It is entirely another to see it happen in front of your very eyes and just a few feet in front of you.

The croc in question, just a few moments after devouring the cat

My visitors and I were all in agreement....we would rather NOT have witnessed the crocodile eat his lunch.

Now, what I want to know is this....What on earth was that cat doing INSIDE the fenced area with the crocodiles????????????????

Friday, June 4, 2010

Another VW and getting a drivers license

I finally purchased another car! I have only ever owned Volkswagen cars so I thought I would continue with that trend. I bought a used 2006 VW from my neighbor the other day and have been busy getting all the paper work done.

It is a great little car and it was owned by a VW mechanic and is in excellent condition. It is so nice to have wheels again!

A while ago, I had rented a car to take some of my visitors from Canada to La Manzanilla. When we were completing the paperwork, the rental car agent pointed out that my Canadian drivers license was expired. Oops, I had no idea but he still went ahead and rented the car to me! After that, I figured, I better go to the transport offices and get my Mexican drivers license. On the advice of friends, I went super early when the offices open. They gave me the list of everything I needed to get a driver´s license: photocopies of my identification (FM 3 visa), copies of a bill in my name where I live, CURP card, lap report with my blood type, and a photo. I had everything on the list with the exception of my CURP card and blood type. Luckily, I was able to get my CURP card in the same offices with copies of my identification and copies of my telephone bill. Apparently, a CURP card is a form of identification here under the National Population Registry (from what I understand, kind of like a census). After obtaining my CURP card, I went to a nearby lab to find out my blood type. They were able to do the test right then and there while I waited. It only took about 10 minutes and they had to test me twice as the lab tech explained that I had a rare blood type so he had to take more blood to confirm. I had no idea I had a rare blood type and when I talked to my father, he was just as surprised as me! At any rate, they put your blood type right on the front of your driver´s license in the event you are in an accident.

With my blood test results in hand, I returned to the transport offices with all the required paperwork. It had been explained to me by several friends here that practically no one writes/performs their drivers test. You are given the option but if you do not wish to, you can hand over a little "extra" and the gentleman takes care of it. So, that is what I did and of course, I passed with flying colors! Then they sent me to the doctor on staff where I thought I would have to do an eye exam. I was wrong - he just asked me if I needed glasses to drive and what my blood type was, and off I went! They then took my photo and issued me my drivers license. The drivers license is digital like the ones we had in Alberta. From start to finish, the process was approx 2 1/2 hours and was approx $700 pesos ($55 dollars).

Once I had purchased the car, I had to go back to the same Transport Offices and get the car changed over in my name and get new plates. Again, you are required to bring copius amounts of paperwork....copies of ID, copies of telephone bills, copies of the original invoice for the car, the old plates, etc. They also have someone inspect the car and take down the VIN and engine numbers to ensure it is not stolen. After a few hours and $4,600 pesos for various taxes, new plates, etc, I was officially the owner of a car.

In other news, my computer is officially dead and cannot be repaired so I have been using an internet cafe in the meantime. I have since purchased a new laptop and a friend of mine is bringing it back from the US for me. In a week or so, I will have a computer again and can get back to posting photos and blogging on a regular basis.