Wednesday, May 6, 2020

19 Things I'm Grateful for in Mexico During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Sayulita Beach was All But Empty During Semana Santa
Life is changing throughout the world, even here in Sayulita, Nayarit, México. Families carry out their daily activities as usual, or at least as normal as they can under the circumstances. Most of the international tourists have returned to their home countries or canceled their vacations to this beach town. Many Americans and Canadians who would typically be here until May have flown away early. Sayulita is eerily quiet, some say this is how it was twenty or thirty years ago.
When the visitors disappeared, many local people’s income all but evaporated. Many restaurants and bars have closed, but a few are still open for deliveries and pick up only. Food banks have sprung up to help families who have lost jobs.
We will stay. This is our home. We love living in Sayulita. We will help where we can, we will enjoy the peacefulness of this unusual time, and we will be thankful for at least one thing every day.
Gratitude eases the sadness. Gratitude helps minimize the stress of this scary time. Gratitude gives us hope.
We are thankful that…
1. we have daily sunshine, providing us with warmth and vitamin D to help keep us healthy.
Our View from Home of Sunshine and Wild Parrots
2.  we retired in Sayulita, a Mexican village with a beautiful beach and so much to offer, even when it is not currently a tourist town.
Sayulita "Selfie Street" is Deserted, but Beautiful
3. we live outdoors, our home open to the garden and sunshine. Thankfully, we aren’t cooped up inside a house in a cold climate.
View of Bougainvillea and Jungle from Our Terrace
4. the traffic is almost non-existent. It’s fun to watch the cowboys ride their horses along streets in town without meeting cars and construction trucks.
Cowboys Riding through Sayulita with Little Vehicle Traffic
5. we participate in online Zumba classes with Debora P and other Zumba teachers through Zoom two or three days each week to help keep us physically and mentally healthy.
Virtual Zumba Class at Home through Zoom

6. we attend yoga classes online through YouTube with Audra Rose Stanley and Zoom with Jim Gallas, helping to keep us strong physically and maintain inner calm during this stressful time. Bella enjoys yoga class too.
Bella--Always First to do Down Dog During Home Yoga Class
7. we shopped at Costco five weeks ago, stocking up on food and wine. Now that alcohol sales are prohibited in our town and much of México, we're especially glad we bought extra wine and still have a little left.
Rationing Our Wine After Mexico Stopped Alcohol Sales
8. we shopped at Home Depot in Puerto Vallarta four weeks ago to buy two additional air conditioners to keep our house cool this summer as we may not be able to travel this year.
Purchasing 2 High-Quality Inverter/ACs at Home Depot
9. Jon, my husband, is skilled at installing the air conditioners, including running the electrical and drain lines, only needing a local company to charge the units with refrigerant. Jon has Parkinson's disease, so this ladder work makes me nervous, but I can't keep him from his fun.
Jon Installing the New Air Conditioner Interior Unit
10. it’s inexpensive to live here, partly because the U.S. dollar to peso exchange rate is high, 24.99 at the time of this writing. This means that, as an example, the air conditioner we bought when the exchange rate was about 20 pesos per dollar would have cost about $650 US dollars. Today it would have cost $520 US dollars at an exchange rate of 24.99. Other factors that make it inexpensive to live in México are our low utility costs, extremely low property taxes, lower grocery costs, and lower prices when dining out.

Current Exchange Rate Makes Our U.S. Dollars Stretch Further
11. Bella, our dachshund, keeps us laughing with her football-retrieving antics.
Bella Loves to Play Fetch with her Football
12. we have water! The city water had been turned off in our neighborhood for over two weeks in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic—not a trickle coming from our hose. Our tinacos didn’t run dry but we were conserving and I was becoming concerned about washing hands, dishes, and cleaning the house. Neighbors were having to purchase truckloads of water to fill their cisterns and tinacos. After daily calls failed to get action, Jon finally walked to Sayulita’s new water department and showed them on the city map the streets at our end of town that were without city water. Within two days, the problem had been solved and we have more water pressure than we’ve ever had since we moved here. Sayulita still uses water-conserving measures, but we know we will receive water to our house at 4:00 PM every day, allowing for garden irrigation and filling of our cistern.
We Finally Have City Water Flowing After 2 Weeks Without!

13. some restaurants in town are open for carryout orders and most of those will deliver meals, as well. Some days walking to town to pick up lunch or dinner is the only exercise we get, but it feels so wonderful to get out!
For Reuben Sandwiches & Chinese Chicken Salads To Go

14. meat markets and small grocery stores are open in our village so we can stock our freezer and fridge.
Crock-pot Pot Roast with Beef & Veges Purchased in Sayulita 

15. Our children and grandchildren in Oregon are safe and financially secure. We’ve enjoyed video-calls with all of them in the last two weeks. 
Grandkids Playing--From the Swing to the Trampoline!

16. I’ve had plenty of time to write my books and blogs.
At My Desk in Sayulita

17. my new novel, "Pickle Jar Test: In Sickness and In Health #2", will be released this month! Look for this eBook on Amazon worldwide.

18. so many readers have recently downloaded my novel, Just Another Manic Moment: In Sickness and In Health #1.


19. we live four blocks from the beach. Last night we stood on the beach and ate a frozen juice popsicle, enjoying the view of the ocean while we waited for La Rustica to prepare our take-out order of pizza and salad. Life is good in Sayulita!
Sayulita Beach on Cinco de Mayo

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3 comments:

  1. You do have much to be thankful for! I am glad to see how well you are weathering this current "storm". It is so good for us to feel gratitude, no matter our circumstances. I know I do too. I am grateful that we left the Yucatan when we did, as without a car, the current restrictions would be difficult, because who wants to take public transportation when we're supposed to be social distancing? And I would have run out of wine weeks ago - egads! ;-)

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Emily. I'm very glad we are here in Sayulita during this "storm". I can't think of a better place to be "stuck". I'll be especially grateful when they reopen the beaches, possibly the first of June. I hope you are doing well.
      Terry

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