As you can see from this picture, this part of Veracruz is at a lower elevation with rolling hills rather than the steep mountains just a bit further to the west. It is a very fertile land and we were amazed at the variety of fruits and vegetables that the ranchos (gardens) here produce. And see all those clouds? Those were the remnants of Hurricane Ernesto that was moving through that weekend!
Our purpose in this trip was to participate in a children's activity that was to be held in the town of Poza Larga that Saturday. Miguel shared a story about friendship with the kids involving three butterflies and three flowers.
There were also games and a meal of tamales, horchata (rice/cinnamon drink) and cake. Our kids were a little shy at first, but then they started making friends and participating in the games. It is always a joy to see our kids making connections with the Totonacan kids!
We stayed with a Totonacan family while we were there, Lorenzo and Juana and their four children. They fell in love with Gugui and he really had a good time at their house! He loved all the chickens and turkeys wandering around and how they cooked over an open fire!
On our way home, we decided to take some time to visit El Tajín, a place where they have restored some ancient Totonacan ruins. The neat thing was that Lorenzo and Juana decided to join us, along with their entire family! They live just about 40 minutes away from El Tajín, but they had never visited there before. That made it a really neat experience for us to tour the ruins along with a Totonacan family! We also had our friend Gabriela from Chihuahua along (pictured just to my right). Here we are as a group getting ready to watch the voladores (literally 'flyers') do a Totonacan ritual where they tie themselves to the top of a tall pole and slowly circle down to the ground as the ropes unwind.
El Tajín was really an impressive place! Even knowing that most of the ruins have been restored doesn't take away from its impressiveness and it made me wonder what it looked like during the time it was built.
Then it rained for a while and we all got soaked!
Micah with his friend Josué. Josué is the son of one of the pastors where we visited and he and Micah really hit it off! We actually brought him home with us after this and he spent a week visiting us in Apizaco.
And then, of course, we had to play around with the camera angles...but since it was our first time to try this, they didn't turn out as good as we wanted! Still lots of fun, though!
We brought a couple of extra family members home with us, since Jojo decided to ask a friend there in Veracruz for some chickens! We brought them home in a box and they only escaped once on the way home (unfortunately depositing some undesirables in the van) and now they have their own cage out in the garage. They spent a couple of weeks in the dog's kennel, though, until we got them a cage. The kids are already counting the chicks they think this pair will give them!
Here is a picture of all the things our friends gave us, including some things not pictured, such as plantains, vanilla, and pepper pods. Pictured below are oranges, yucca root, squash, bananas, squash seeds, avocados and sweet potatoes.
We can't wait to go back!