It’s October 28, 2013. While sitting here looking out at the rain we’re having here on the island of Cozumel, I realize that I haven’t written anything in a while. And, that realization explains a lot. No wonder I have all these random thoughts flying around inside my head. I’m a writer, I need to put them down somewhere. So, with that in mind, I think I’ll share a few events from the past couple of weeks. However, before I get started, let me bring to your attention the fact that my blogs are, typically, rather organized, comparatively speaking. In the past I’ve focused on my personal experiences at restaurants, beach clubs, and coffee houses. I’ve written a short series of blogs about neighborhood places to stay for those adventurous travelers who’d rather avoid the busy beach resorts. I’ve also addressed safety issues, art gallery openings, home improvements, relocation, immigration, and volunteer activities. So, if this is your first time, and you’d rather read about something specific, you are welcome to search through the archives. If you have a particular location, or activity, in mind, you can just type the name in the search bar. If I’ve been there, and had a good experience, I’ve written about it. But, if you’d like to know how life is as an expat on Cozumel, well, this piece might help illustrate that very concept.
First, let me mention one of the main reasons I haven’t written. I’ve been busy because my family has expanded. Through a series of events I now live in a rather cozy, second floor apartment with four dogs. One of my pups is a rescue from the Humane Society, one was once, sad to say, a puppy mill dog here on the island, and two used to belong to my landlord, but now live full-time with me. They aren’t matching, or stylish in any way, and I look both ridiculous and crazed when I walk them in the park. Picture a woman approaching sixty sweating from the effort of holding back the two who haven’t been trained yet, while reassuring the ones who have been. And, between you and me, I never knew pugs could be considered sled dogs until recently, they’re strong little suckers. I digress. We’re walking, they’re barking, I’ll have leashes wrapping around my ankles while picking up poop that may, or may not, belong to my pack and all the while I’m stomping my feet at the strays that attempt to follow. Let’s just say, I provide entertainment for the locals. Yes, it’s a bit more than I ever expected to take on, but worth every moment, especially when I am brought to life early in the morning by very happy critters who are just plain excited that it’s a new day. And, like a proud new mother, I’ve noticed that I keep my camera close. These guys prove to be a lot of entertainment and, I’m happy to say, are quite photogenic.
Oh, and speaking of photogenic, there’s another reason I haven’t been writing. I’ve taken on a personal project. I swim with a group of gals who like to start their days in the ocean. We call ourselves “The Mermaids” and, at least three to four days a week, we meet at the Blue Angel at 7:30, put on our snorkel masks, or goggles, and hit the water. Not a bad way to start any day and it’s been a lot of fun getting to know them and quite the physical challenge too. But, then, after taking some pics of our first anniversary, I decided that I wanted to photograph these gals individually. This is a group of a dozen, or so, smart, capable, strong women in the prime of their lives and I thought it would be nice to capture some of these moments. So, about two weeks ago, I asked one of the ladies, Citlali, if she’d be my first volunteer and she graciously said, “yes.” It went well and she then volunteered (thanks, Citlali) to do the makeup for the other gals before each of their photo shoots. So, after her, I went on to get some pics of Myrna next. Oh, and you can see Citlali on the left, and Myrna on the right. I have about ten more to go, but, meanwhile, you can see more of them in the two group shots above. Weather permitting, I hope to have some individual pics of everyone by the end of the year. It’s been a great experience and I’ll be sure to post when I’m finished. Most of these women are expats, like myself, and these pics should help to illustrate how well life on the island is going. So, hope you’ll take a peek when I’m done.
Now, let me talk about yesterday. But, like most of my posts do, it will need a back story. My landlord’s daughter, Lesli, was in a moped accident about two months ago. While she and her mom were riding to the store another driver, who’d parked, decided to open his door without looking and, as a result, the moped went down. Lesli broke her knee and was covered in road rash. Her mom didn’t break anything, thankfully, but, with all the cuts and bruises she’d suffered, I’m thinking she won’t be riding a moped again any time soon. Back to yesterday. It was one of those days where Lesli was in a lot of pain and she hollered up to my place and asked me if I knew the name of a chiropractor on the island. I didn’t, but I have met three different massage therapists and an acupuncturist since moving here. I asked if any of them would be an option and she decided to try acupuncture. So, I got in touch with Jen Pobiak, who came highly recommended and has years of experience, (she can be found on Facebook under Blue Dahlia Wellness) and Jen said she’d be happy to come to the house and work with Lesli. It became quite an experience for all concerned.
First there was the time spent being on the lookout for Jen. She’d never been to the house so it was thought to be a good idea for me to keep an eye out. So, there I stood, out on the street corner, getting smiles and greetings from folks as they went by. But, soon Jen arrived without any problems, grabbed her stuff, got hugs and kisses all around from me, and then Lesli, and then her sister, brother-in-law, dad, and son. This is a family that is close and they tend to gather together in times of need. While Jen was getting to know everyone a bit, and yes, it was hectic, she discovered that Don Pedro Mari, Lesli’s dad, was a famous singer here on the island a while back. Excited to meet a potential new fan, Don Pedro put on a CD for Jen to hear and then proceeded to sing along. As it turned out, Jen is a singer as well. So there we all were listening to two people who’d just met singing a duet. How fun!
But, then Jen got down to business. She specializes in Chinese medicine and talks quite a bit with new clients/patients about their histories. She spent time asking lots of questions, then checked out the injury, and all while explaining that what she will do will be just part of the healing process for Lesli. She addressed lifestyle, health history and nutrition along with what Lesli could expect from the acupuncture process itself. Then it was time for the actual needles. Lesli got comfortable on the couch, Don Pedro set up a stool for Jen, and then she proceeded to work the needles into Lesli’s skin while coaxing Lesli to help her through her breathing. I actually lost count of the amount of needles used, but it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 28-30 once she was finished. Meanwhile, Lesli, who’s actually quite afraid of needles, remained comfortable while Jen continued to adjust and all while explaining what she was doing in a soothing voice. Lesli remained calm, Jen was quite the professional, and the family got excited about how well it was all going. Altogether, between greetings, singing, talking, and adjusting, Jen was in their home for about two hours. But, from what I heard this morning, it was worth it. Lesli woke up with no pain for the first time in months. Jen will be doing a follow-up visit either today, or tomorrow, and Don Pedro told me that his daughter is actually looking forward to it. It’s good to know we have an acupuncturist that does house calls. Who knew?
So, there you have it, a few weeks in the life of this expat while living on the island of Cozumel, Mexico. No two days are ever quite the same, and, as a result, I’m never bored. Truth be told, I find myself amused way more often than any other emotion I can think of, and that’s just how I like it. Now, I’m going to stop writing this so that I can get my camera back out. I hear my dogs playing tug of war and that’s always good for a pic. Salud!