Ciaran’s Birthday

Friday, January 20th

Estas son las mañanitas, que cantaba el Rey David,

Hoy por ser día de tu santo, te las cantamos a ti,

Despierta, mi bien*, despierta, mira que ya amaneció,
Ya los pajarillos cantan, la luna ya se metió.

Que linda está la mañana en que vengo a saludarte,
Venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte,
Ya viene amaneciendo, ya la luz del día nos dio,
Levántate de mañana, mira que ya amaneció.

I can hear the rooster crowing out my window. Most probably he belongs to “those filthy Mexicano aboriginal squatters that live in the shack near the beach that no-one can do anything to get rid of ‘cause they have all the rights in the world” But I love the squatters and I love the snowbirds too, and I think it is this whole untidy mess that makes up Puerto Vallarta that you have to enjoy. It is much more third world here in PV than perhaps I was expecting. The first and third worlds overlap very much as I expect they do in India. There are giant grocery stores that sell everything, and three Walmart stores that will sell you anything. But there are also whole extended families living in cardboard and tarpaulin shacks, with mothers out there picking fruit to sell on the beach. And, by the way, Aodhan didn’t get sick from his beachside Margarita with no alcohol served out of one of the little shacks. I have met a couple of the children, and hope that Aodhan and Ciaran will make friends with some of them.

We decided on a zip-lining tour for Ciaran’s birthday. We were going to go ATVing, but apparently, he can ARV in Utah at 13, but not until 16 in Mexico. We’ll look around to see if we can find a place that will let Ciaran drive an ATV.

We went to talk to the guy about the kids learning scuba, and then we went over to the zip lining office. They drove us up to the zip-line and the kids had a blast. On the way, the driver sang the Mexican birthday song to Ciaran “Estas son las mañanitas...” It has nothing to do with birthdays

One of the guys that was zip-lining with us took some lovely photos for us.

The man that drove us there, and the man that drove us back, spoke very little English, so I had very good conversations and learned more Spanish.

When we got back to our apartment, I spoke to the building manager Patricia, and she said the girlfriend of the guy that owns my unit is her friend. She spoke to her about the internet situation. She also gave me her password so that I could use her internet nearby her office.

I sat in the pool area using the internet and a man asked me some questions about internet access. Turns out, Don is from Winnipeg and owns a hotel there. It looks like a cool place if anyone happens to be traveling to Winnipeg.

He is considering buying a condo unit in this building. I got to see the unit he is looking at and it is beautiful. I think it is much nicer than mine.

Some of the other people I have met, Lorenzo and Debbie, invited me up to their unit. They had two other friends over, who were - from Winnipeg! I think everyone from Winnipeg is down here. I have so far met more than a dozen people from Winnipeg

When I went back downstairs to get the kids to go to dinner for Ciaran’s birthday, they came and got me to tell me that wi-fi was being hooked up in my apartment! YEA!!! Ciaran got internet for his birthday. He also got tea towels, garbage cans, and a whole bunch of other stuff from our condo broker.

We went out to Cheeky Monkey for breakfast. Someone mistook the word “Cheeky” for “chi chi” which is apparently slang for titties! So again, a new word. We were a little late because we were waiting for them to finish with the internet, so we will have to go back there to watch the sunset.

We had mojitos for $2 and lots of food and fun. The kids were so tired after we didn’t even get to stay and see the fireworks, which started while we were walking down the Malecon (the Puerto Vallarta Boardwalk).