Like vagabundos, nomads and okies all over the world, we packed our panga and left the same way we arrived...same people saw us off as greeted us 16 years ago. Many thanks to Oracio, Daniel, Giovani on the Yelapa side and Miguel, Kate and the crew and family on the Puerto Vallarta side for an absolutely flawless move!
Thanks to Kathryn Hardin for capturing this moment in my personal history!
It may seem to most of my readers that Desi and I have fallen off the end of the earth, but we have only dropped off the Yelapa end of Paradise...and taken our act to Puerto Vallarta. I am sorry that I have, until now, been unable to let my blog readers know but you have no idea how many times I have sat here trying to find the right words to explain our exit. Since it has taken me about two years to finally make the decision to move I hope you can understand how difficult it has been to conclude my time in Yelapa and write this final blog.
There is no one reason for our relocation - just a lot of small things that after sixteen years have caused me to actually dare to make a change. I still feel and love the magic that is the source, the heart and soul of Yelapa. I love the community, the fact that everyone knows us, that we could have such a sweet home which I could never afford in the United States. I love my swimming hole, the quiet times of summer and the exuberance of our fiestas. There is little to dislike living in beauty and knowing the feeling of being protected that a small town has provided me, Chinook (my blessed first wonder dog) and Desi, Mr. Adorable.
Eventually, however, I found myself feeling closed off and a little isolated by the very things I love. Many of my pals have already moved on, either to the states or they are here in Puerto Vallarta. I'm not much of a drinker but I have been to thousands of fiestas and I have walked everywhere there is to go and watched the almost rapid progress in the pueblo with mixed emotions...glad for the pueblo's economy, sad to see the dimming of simplicity and loss of innocence that comes with development. Not that Yelapenses are innocent; they are astute, intelligent and sophisticated and they welcome the changes and growth. The innocent part has more to do with us, the visitors and residents from other parts of the world - we also have changed from a group of layabouts, living without many amenities, many in recovery from the hard work of summers in other locations, our expectations appropriately lowered considering we could just live, rest and play in paradise. There are many fewer folks who have the time to do nothing in Yelapa other than read, visit and work on our tans. We have changed to a group of landlords, business people and in some cases, developers. Economics are a major factor and it seems that most like the new business environment and I hope everyone will prosper.
So...I figured if I was living in the new world I might as well expand my own borders. No, I'm too much of a slacker to take up any new occupation, so I'm here not for business but for an expansion of my own small universe. We are now living in the Colonia Buenos Aires, a semi-rural part of Puerto Vallarta but with everything within minutes of home. I think I like the rustic side of life. It's still a little primitivo here much like Yelapa. We have a really sweet casita here that is still a work in progress but one that I am loving very much. I have neighbors here, something I have seldom experienced, but they are all nice and I think it is almost quieter than Yelapa.....amazing!
The sounds of the river have been replaced by the sounds of children playing...all welcome sounds of life. The river is two blocks from home and the walking is endless. I am already finding it easier to do things here and usually more economical. Yes, economics also played a part in my own move so living in my own house here is rewarding in many ways...some financial. The Desi dog immediately became the kids' favorite. He strolls into our neighborhood tienda much as he did at Letitia's - right to the kitchen where he is usually welcomed with a little treat. Life is good for both of us here and we will be back in Yelapa...planning on being there in October, opening up that old dog, Lucky's place and having a vacation....I have heard it is a paradise there!
Now for some exciting news about A Word From Yelapa: Our pal, Susan Bahia, has agreed to take over the blog. This will be a great change and a jolt of energy for all of us. I believe Susan will provide quicker, newer views. She is definitely very intelligent and has a wonderful experimental streak, which all great chefs seem to possess. As for the old blog, I am hoping to make a small book of some of my own favorites, mainly to leave some written words from one of Yelapa's biggest fans....we may even send in a PV report once in a while. Until Susan's return I will repost some blogs from the early years...
There is no way to close for good but for now, thank you to everyone who has blessed us with loyal reading and support and shared our passion for Yelapa!
Como siempre, con abrazos!
Maria y Desi