It is surprising how easy it is for us to make friends in San Miguel. Especially since we have our Instagram, Facebook and Blog. As we mentioned in a past post, we “met” several people through emails before we even left the States due to the notice we put on the San Miguel’s Renters Forum looking for a house. We have now met them all and then some, some have worked out beautifully and some we just didn’t fit with. But we have been having a wonderful time with get togethers.
The first week we were here we met a fabulous couple at the Zandunga concert, Merril Weber and Bob Bartelt. We only knew them for a couple of weeks before they had to head home to Pennsylvania but we are looking forward to their return later this year. She is a great artist and business woman and we love watching for her new pieces on Instagram. They have really good senses of humor and we would love to be able to figure out a way to have them travel with us one of these days.
We have also become really good friends with an amazingly young at heart couple, Stanley and Marcia Klein, that are our heroes. They live in San Miguel for part of the year housesitting and then spend the remaining months traveling, housesitting and volunteering Internationally.
Luckily they told us about the Spanish workshops with UNAM (part of the University) and we followed through and are now in class with Stanley. Marcia is in a more advanced class. But we are all trying hard to move ahead with our language skills. I am needing a lot of work however since I am starting from scratch. The classes are fun and our teacher, Gina is great. (Unfortunately we just found out that we will have another teacher for this next session. But we like her too.) We all had a lovely class breakfast at Gina’s home at the end of the last session. Her father and husband, John, are fabulous artists.
We run into Stanley and Marcia all the time as they are always out and about and a very active couple with a variety of interests. And it has kind of become a joke with our other friends when we tell them we just ran into them again. They are now curious to meet them too. Just proving how small San Miguel actually is.
Stanley and Marcia have worked with a project in Assam, India called the Alphonsa School for special needs children. There are 4 nuns at the school and about 50 children. The challenges are varied. Many are deaf and mute, some have cerebral palsy, a few are autistic and there are children with birth defects. All are taught in the same classrooms, treated respectfully as equals and all help each other to learn. Volunteer opportunity commitments are for at least 5 days and the cost is $25 per day per person to cover the schools expense. Accommodation and meals are provided. A maximum of 2 people can be accommodated at a given time. If you are interested in volunteering with the school you can contact Stanley and Marcia Klein directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
We found another good friend here with a connection to one of our old employers. Both Glenn and I used to work for Council travel, a student travel agency. They were part of CIEE which Catherine Skuggs worked with on the East Coast. She owns a house in San Miguel, left to her by her late mother, and although she was staying only a few weeks this time, a firm friendship was made. We look forward to seeing her when she returns with her family around the holidays.
Maida Aguillar (@rama1909) and her husband Ralph we met through Instagram and had a lovely evening with them. It is funny, we get together with new friends and usually end up talking for 4 hours. It is easy to talk to people with our same interests, and there are quite a few of them in San Miguel. Ralph is a self taught artist who is trying to pursue his art after retirement. San Miguel is the perfect place for inspiration.
Then there are Deborah and John-Mark Austin a very thought-provoking couple and escapees from the entertainment industry rat race.
A friend of ours, Chris Stone, that we met in 2005 lived in San Miguel till 2011 and has just returned to live here full time with her husband Matthew. A few weeks ago she gave a nice dinner party which we were invited to and again we met some interesting fun people.
We too have passed the milestone of hosting our first night of entertaining guests at the house. It was a great, lively evening and we look forward to hosting more of them.
We also enjoy seeing our talented artist friend Michael Tolleson Robles every time we go into La Connexion to get our mail. It is always a good conversation and fun to see what new work he is showing.
We have met some other people that we have enjoyed a meal with. We keep meaning to get a hold of them and have some more great times but the days sure fly by fast and we aren’t really doing that much beyond having fun living down here. Somehow not really having anything to do sure keeps us busy.
There are tons of people posting photos of San Miguel on Instagram. Some have been visiting off and on and some live here now. We are trying to get in touch with them and are hoping to have a meet up in the near future.
So, our circle of interesting friends is growing, which we love. We have high hopes for more meet ups, dinners, events and just all around good conversation and fun.