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Maya Monthly October 2017

Oct 21, 2017

Why Do I Stay ????

Dear Friends of the Maya,

When my good friend Bob Ziolklowski died last month, I wanted more than anything else to be back in Michigan!


Many of my friends in Michigan and in Mexico have asked: ”Why do you stay?”


I think I have it figured out.


I’ve been back in Mexico for more than a month. I arrived just a few days before my Birthday. I was hoping I could celebrate quietly – maybe go out to the gulf for a swim, go downtown for a meal of pavo relleno negro, and catch up on what has been happening in the villages. Pavo Relleno Negro has a taste unlike anything you can describe or imagine. Burnt, hot chilies are cooked over a slow fire. Pork meatballs, filled with a hard boiled egg, are added to the black, burnt, sauce. Turkey legs, necks and God knows what else are added to the mix. I can’t say I like Pavo Relleno. But I have to have it once a year even though I usually end up with Montezuma’s revenge for a couple of days. That’s a hint as to why I stay!


A day before my Birthday celebration and my special meal, I advised Marcos Sosa, the young man who is coordinator of our Scholarship program, that I would be stopping by his monthly meeting with the students. They come from each of our villages. Just seeing 100 young adults gathered together, eager to continue their education, and reporting on their service work in their communities, makes me appreciate what we have been able to do. I had to be back in the city soon, but I was eager to see the kids once again.


As soon as I arrived, I knew I was going to be late getting back to the city. This wasn’t just a meeting to give out scholarship money and see the students once again. This was going to be a FIESTA!




There were balloons all over the place. I was going to complain about all the money we had just spent for a new microphone and loudspeaker system, but they were using it for me!


Each group had prepared a skit. I forgot about the trip downtown and joined in the fun. Some of the groups went a little overboard in their praising of ole Guillermo. What I really liked was their willingness to point out my impatience and willingness to push them to study more. They are beginning to know the real “Bill”.


A group of adults was there. I didn’t recognize them. The women were dressed in traditional white, beautifully embroidered dresses. The men in white pants, white hats and Guayabera shirts. When they started dancing, I recognized the group. They were all friends of mine. I have known them for 30 years but I was used to seeing them in jeans, baseball caps and T-shirts.


Watch a brief video of the wonderful fiesta dancing:



I was embarrassed by all of the praise. Fortunately I had a meeting with my psychologist last week and he reminded me that most of us need to be more comfortable with receiving the thanks of others and recognizing how good each of us is.


I do not tell you often enough how much I love you.Thanks for sharing your love with me and with all of our people. That’s one of the reasons I stay.


Here’s another one. Remember the relleno negro and the Montezuma’s revenge I usually get ? Well my toilet died last week, and I really needed a new one. I called the plumber. He bought and installed a brand new, white toilet in just three hours. And it cost less that $100.00. Try to get that done in the USA! That’s another reason I stay!


Paz y amor,



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