Wednesday, August 30, 2006

San Miguel Walk

I can't believe how quickly sometimes things move. In 24 hours I have made the decision to return to Mexico for the three day pilgrimage known as San Miguel Walk ( , found free and fabulous accomodations for the week preceding the walk ( , and arranged a donation of 2 Spanish (with translator) and 1 English CPR courses for the expatriot community there. This will be my third trip to San Miguel for the walk and I feel as though I'm going home. San Miguel is a wonderful Spanish colonial city in central Mexico. It has a thriving expatriate community there where many internationals go to retire. There is also a large and thriving artist community there as well. Its hard to describe San Miguel de Allende. Though it contains all the modern conveniences, the architecture and culture are firmly rooted in the past. It is very catholic and full of old world charm. The pace is slower, the language unfamiliar, and I always have the sense that I have escaped into another world. I spend much of my time in silence and contemplation both before and during the walk. It is a sentinal spiritual event for me. Its also a time to practice my limited Spanish, which I try to do as much as possible, when I'm not in the presence of other Gringos. My challenge now is physical conditioning. How do I get in shape for a grueling 3 day walk through the mountains while I'm still pregnant (I can hardly do my daily walk)? It takes rigorous and devoted training which I can't really start till after I give birth. That gives me three months to get back in shape. That will be a challenge. Then there's the fundraising. San Miguel Walk requires a donation of $1,200 to participate. I have raised this amount and more both previous times by sending out donation letters to friends and family. Folks have been so generous about supporting the work of San Miguel Walk. All donations fund domestic abuse prevention and support services in San Miguel and surrounding areas. I do hope I can talk my husband in to going. I really want to share this experience with him (and I'll need his help with the baby!). Dear readers, if you have a moment to check out the San Miguel Walk website, you'll find a picture of me walking on the "mission statement" page. Two of us are walking past villagers sitting on the side of the road. They come out to watch the pilgrams pass by (about 10 thousand Mexicans plus a handful (about 20) of us San Miguel Walkers- mostly Gringos). I'll continue to blog about this unique and life changing event. Right now I have to get back to that other unique and life changing event- the mad morning rush to get the kids out the door to school.

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