Tuesday night we hosted 7 missionaries who have honorably finished their missions, plus the assistants and our family. I did burgers and watermelon, chips and brownies for dessert. I actually made the burgers by hand so they would be better. It was a very simple meal but all of the elders loved it. They couldn't believe I had even found pickle relish for their burgers, some of the north american elders said they hadn't seen that in two years. We had three Latin Elders, one going home to Peru, and two to other places in Mexico and they loved it as well. Hamburgers are evidently hard to find here. We had a great evening, they had their testimony meeting in the morning at the office and their interviews, so we had a ping pong tournament and had lots of socializing before saying goodbye. For the record, I am never going to be good at this goodbye thing. So, since we're talking about food I will tell you that we had some firsts this week. Jerry ate rabbit for lunch with some elders near the office...yep, I missed that one, but I think I'm gonna get another chance. He said it was ok, that from the man who was such a picky eater when we got married. Then on our pday we took the twins to Taxco (kudos to Luis Perez for the tip) and it is an amazing town to visit. I didn't know that it was settled by a French man named Borda, not the Spanish, and his son was a Catholic Priest so he built him a huge Cathedral (pic to follow) Knowing we didn't have a lot of time we found a native to show us around and Carlos was great. We told him we wanted to eat something that was a specialty in Taxco. So, he led us down into the town market place that is a warren of aisles filled with everything from cups of pomegranate seeds to rough gemstones to gorgeous flowers. He said pozole is a specialty, but you can't get it until after 1pm. Well, we're Crickmores and we were hungry at noon and we couldn't wait, so he told us another specialty was barbacoa...or barbeque. Ok, that sounded great and he took us to this little stall in the market place named Barbacoa de Chivo. We loaded our plates up and ate great tacos ( I even had a jalepeno in mine). Well I had no idea until we instagrammed it that Chivo is the name for goat in spanish (well my dictionary says kid, as in baby goat). Maren asked us if we had eaten goat tacos, and evidently we did, and they were really good. Sometimes its best to not know ahead of time. My mom was a great believer in that...making something with secret ingredients she knew we would never eat if she told us. So another first, and I would return to Barbacoa de Chivo again.
We had a great consejo de liderazgo (leadership counsel) this week also. There were a lot of changes in companionships the week before and so about half of the council was different than last months. I can't really talk about what was discussed their, yet, but I can say that it was clear that those zone leaders and sister missionary leaders were inspired by revelation as to what they should teach to each other. The message that Jerry had for them was also something that had taken much thought and prayer and all of the teaching blended beautifully so that all of the leaders were completely on the same page at the end of the meeting. We have some amazing young people to work with and watching and listening to them teach each other reaffirms that to me.
So, I'm still not a big fan of driving here, but I feel pretty good about it during the day. My real test came last night. Jerry was coming home late from a meeting an hour and a half away, part way home he realized that because of the traffic (there was a really bad accident) he was going to run out of gas. He would have been ok if the traffic had been normal. Well, he discovered that he had left his wallet at home in the other car and he had no money and no credit card. So the girls and I got in the other car and drove a half hour away to where he was sitting in the Pemex station. Yes I got lost, but only once and for only a few minutes. We found him, handed him his wallet and turned around and drove home, all of us arriving safely about 10:30. For me a small miracle, because the road that we had to travel is under construction and they are always changing which lanes are open and which aren't and there are no lights on the road (four lane toll road) and I really, really, don't like driving it after dark. (lots of big tour buses on the road that late also) But the twins are fearless and with them telling me it's no big deal, I could do it, I did. Now this sounds really wimpy, but you just have to take my word for it that driving at night down here is not a good idea or a fun idea. I was so grateful that we all got home safely and am always happier to leave the driving to Jerry.
One other observation. Before we came, I had no idea that this part of Mexico was so incredibly green and lush. I mean I new that it was that way far to the south but not here. It is absolutely beautiful, they grow lots of corn close to where we live, but on the way to Taxco near Cuernavaca, they had fields of sugar cane and roses, which were for sale by the side of the road...50 to a bunch, for four dollars. Yep, you read that right. The road to Taxco was really beautiful and the city itself is very cool, we still haven't seen old Cuernavaca (only the Costco) that's for another day. It reminds me a lot of Costa Rica or Central America, but without the high humidity. The state of Morelos is especially beautiful. It's fun getting to see parts of Mexico that we had never visited, and to see what a beautiful country this is. Viva Mexico!
Lunchtime fun at the consejo liderazgo
Catedral de Taxco
Eating goat meat...yummm
pomegranate eating without the muss or fuss
one more week left^ going home v