HAPPY HOLIDAYS FAR FROM THE NORTH POLE
CAFE OLE CHRISTMAS EVE TURKEY- 200 PESOS –Click food/dining
THREE-DAY FORECAST – See weather station in right column
SMILE IN THE NEW YEAR – Click on service providers
SPECIAL PARTY FOR SPECIAL KIDS – See story below
NEW FOREIGN CAR RULES – See story below
Yule party lifts curtain on special PA people
For them, giving of self is a dedicated event
The Pelican was invited to a party for “special” people. It was held Wednesday evening (Dec. 21,2011) in a tiny, older but neat and charming rented 4-room school house with an ample gated courtyard with one working light on 90th St., in old Playa del Carmen’s teeming North End. The guest list of celebs was impressive: St. Joseph, Mary the Blessed Virgin, angels and Santa being among them.
The “special” people are mostly children, 13 of them, with brain damage from various congenital or accidental causes. They acted the part of St. Joseph, Mary, and the angels for their own special “posada” that depicts the Holy Family’s search for lodgings as the birth of Christ nears, all of this done by candle light and the spirited singing of Joseph’s request for a room, and the innkeepers’ rejections.
There were also extra-special people there representing Puerto Aventuras, among them Gaylita Dunaway, owner of Cafe Ole; Hal Harper, man about town and PA ice-fishing guru; and snowbirds Rob and Sharalee Solosth, Tim and Jacki Berreth and Anne Silver (there in spirit), who generously give of their time and assets to provide these children with extra love and hope via the the school’s equine therapy program conducted in nearby PA horse stables. The Berreths also volunteer for the same program in their state of Washington when they are not in PA.
“The first time I got on a horse and a mother lifted up her child to me, I cried,” recalled Dunaway, “and I thanked her for trusting me with her child.” That was four years ago. Now Dunaway happily gives more than 10 hours weekly to the training program all year long, as does Harper.
“In the summer, when it’s really hot, three hours leading a horse is tiring. I get home and have to sit on the steps for a while before climbing to the second floor,” says Harper. “but it’s the best job I’ve ever had,” he says convincingly.
Then there were the extra-extra-special people, the moms and dads of these children – the moms in particular who are fending with the complexities of special children and life in general without a partner in some cases– and still showing a strength and a love only a mother can conjure up for a vulnerable, high-maintenance child.
There was something quite telling at this party: Most of the children balked at showering the unarmed pinata (stuffed with 11 pounds of candy brought by the Berreths) with hard and repeated blows with a stick – it seemed to betray their tender, fragile beings – while adults attacked with a barrage of solid strikes that eventually tore the pinata apart. Who is teaching whom the civilized way of life?
There is more to this story than a Christmas party imparts, and there are more special people whose individual struggles are in themselves singular dramas of survival. These will unfold from time to time in the Pelican.
Santa (with the help of the elf Gaylita who scoured stores for gifts) was the last guest to arrive at this party, adding to the already copious merriment of special people who both give and get from each other all year long.
Yule Grinch roils Soriana snowbirds
Posted 11/21/11 by Pelican Paulie
Several snowbirds who had been saving points on their Soriana shopping cards for holiday season spending were roiled this week upon learning that their points were, let’s say “pointless” because their cards and thus their points were no longer valid.
Yet cashiers have kept asking for and using the cards and adding points knowing they weren’t valid? What’s that all about?
Not content with being rebuffed at the checkout counter, they appealed to the customer service desk only to be told the cards had expired. So the snowbirds asked for a new card to carry over the points.
“You know how it is” observed one snowbird, “There were huddles by staff, then finally a decision to send us to another desk.”
There they were greeted by a woman in a white shirt who told them they would be issued new cards upon presentation of their passports, proof of residency and FM2 visas.
One of the snowbirds had FM3 identification with photo, but was told that wasn’t good enough. The snowbirds left without resolving the situation to their satisfaction. As far as they know, they lost all their accumulated points (one of them had 600) and can no longer get cards.
When one of the snowbirds told the white-shirted woman she would henceforth shop at Chedraui’s, the woman merely shrugged, like, so go ahead.
This biased treatment is tantamount to a sort of commercial “profiling” that does not take into account that some older snowbirds cut coupons back home but give generously of their time and assets to assist in the poblados. In that vein, the snowbirds are now wanting to give their expired cards to local residents in hopes they can use the points.
That’s because now playing on this same stage is the recent news that more than 10 percent of poor families in Quintana Roo cannot fill their dinner plates because of rising food costs and low wages.
If this is a move by Soriana to deny the comparatively affluent snowbirds so that discounts can continue for the indigenous shoppers, then it should have been clearly explained when this new program supposedly began last June, observed one of the snowbirds. It is not so much what has been done, but the insensitive way in which it was done, said one snowbird.
The incident added a fleeting sour taste to the sweet season.
New rules govern foreign cars here
People bringing cars or other recreational vehicles and boats from the U.S. and other nations are now subject to new rules and fees. Regulations are of such length that the best way to convey them to our readers is to provide links to the information needed as noted in links below.
You will be dealing with a government sanctioned agency known as “Banjercito” a national credit society authorized by the government. In brief, the import will require deposits of from $200 to $400 “collected in Mexican pesos” and based on the model year of the vehicle. More information on the substantial rules is contained in the links below that were provided by the U.S. consular agency in Playa del Carmen. the consul notes that “As of June 11, 2011, there have been some significant changes to the laws regulating your U.S. plated car in Mexico. Everyone who has, or is considering bringing a car from the USA is encouraged to visit these sites for the latest update on requirements.”
Input from other Americans who have posted information on this subject and on the general topic of life in Mexico can be found at:
Theft underscores need for caution
There was a theft from a home on Bahia Chemuyil last week that serves as a reminder from Colonos General Manager Armando Rincon to take precautions by locking cars and using “the stick in the window” to prevent theft.
In this case, a window was apparently left opened while the owners were elsewhere, making it easy for thieves to enter and leave with a large TV, two laptops and some luggage. The holidays often bring with them an uptick in petty crimes by people looking for presents they can’t otherwise afford.
There will also be a renewed effort on the part of Colonos to enforce leash laws after a worker was bitten on the arm recently and several tourists complained about being frightened by dogs running loose.
THE SIGN AT HAL’S consignment shop on the road to Dreams says it is going out of business at the end of the month. Rumor is somebody is considering taking over the consignment business at a retail space just outside the main gate. If not, one can always advertise wares in the Pelican Free Press… AN EVIDENT FLAP between some real estate personalities in the area generated a story in the local press claiming that the attorney general and other officials were being asked to investigate. This could not be corroborated in the absence of complaints by any victims of the alleged improprieties…NASSAU IN THE BAHAMAS bested Cozumel on the number of cruise ship arrivals in 2011, albeit Cozumel expects a 20 percent increase in 2012…CAREER CHANGERS –The technological institute in Cancun says enrollment in technical courses is giving way to accounting and administration courses because there aren’t enough engineering jobs for graduates…THERE ARE CONCERNS in the tourism industry over what effect the national 2012 elections in Mexico and the U.S. will have on the industry…THE FOURTH AND FINAL dolphin birth here for this year occurred Monday at about 2 p.m. All moms and pups reported doing fine…
Phrase a week… By Gloria Contreras, state certified interpreter
You are unhappy. almost angry, with the work of a craftsman. You can tell him so and to please fix it. “Este trabajo esta muy mal hecho. Por favor, arregle lo.”
(Ms. Contreras teaches Spanish classes from 3 to 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Tiramisu Restaurant and all are welcomed to attend. The fee is $150 pesos. Please call her first to make arrangements at 984-108-3517. Holiday break, lessons resume Jan. 9)
Sta. Teresita del nino Jesus Y la Santa Paz (Roman
Catholic), at the poblado; classes: Mondays through Sundays, 7 p.m.
(Spanish);Contact church office: 984-206-6245 (4-8 p.m.-
Corpus Christi Parrish (Roman Catholic);
Calle 110 entre 25, Playa del Carmen (near Soriana); Mass: Saturdays,
9 a.m. (English); office: 803-0600; Rev. James Hogan.
Lubavitch Jewish Center, Avenida 10 entre Calle 6 , Playa Del Carmen; service: Sundays, 9 a.m.;
tel. 984-876-5571; Contact: Rabbi Mendel Goldberg.
Lighthouse Church English Speaking Christian church, non-denominational, Meets
at 10:00 a.m. Sundays; more information at 984-120-4169; located on Highway 307
in Tulum 1.2 miles south of San Francisco store, past the Mormon church, on the
right next to the fruit stand.