Thankyou very much for so many warm wishes and thoughts from Australia J It is very nice and comforting to hear from home. I have been in Mexico for 3 weeks now and away from home for almost a month. I am feeling a lot more comfortable and am learning my way. So far I have discovered almost everything I could want in a town, spectacular nature, a beautiful park with artisian markets, really good locally grown dark chocolate, yoga and a health food store with an excellent café attached that serves the most delicious vegetarian burritos and has so many varieties of fresh juice and smoothies. The population of Playa Del Carmen is somewhere between 100, 000 – 150, 000 so there are also many shops, supermarkets, bars, a fast internet connection and all the things that I like to believe I´d happily give up for life in the jungle but in reality I´m really relieved are here.
For those of you suffering through Australia´s winter, jealous of me in sunny Mexico, I should let you know I spent all of last weekend in bed with mild heat exhaustion!! I am perfectly fine now although I now have heatrash travelling up my arm and onto my neck.
Last Monday was the last day of work and we had a meeting with all the staff. It was really enjoyable with a warm positive atmosphere and as a nice coincidence they have been studying the same work of Steiner´s that I was this year with Glenaeon preschool! The more I learn about the context of Waldorf education in Mexico, the more I admire the work involved with funding and continuing the school. I was suprised to learn that the school fees are around $7, 000 a year. This is a lot of money for Mexican families and a large amount that needs to be raised so children from poor families can attend. The reason the fees are like this is because the school recieves absolutely no funding from the government and actually has to pay taxes to be allowed to have a school. The mexican government has no idea about Waldorf education and the mandatory school curriculum is very different. Teachers spend large amounts of time filing papers for the government, most of them fudged because it is impossible to follow a Waldorf curriculum while abiding to the strict, narrow Mexican curriculum. If they don´t do this, the school will be closed down. I feel very excited to be part of such a brave initiative!
I have been exploring the nature around the area, visiting many different beaches along the coast. Last weekend I went North to Puerto Moreles, a very cute beach town and took a snorkling tour in the Carribean Reef. It wasw absolutely stunning! The reef itself is very pretty and we saw sooo many fish,of every colour! Yellow and black stripy ones, blue and green ones, purple ones, ones with electric blue sparkles, schools of thousands together, big ones, small ones and even a stingrang!
Today when going to a new beach I got a little lost and walked back through either a large hotel or a bird santuary. I looked towards a waterfall and saw bright, hot pink flamingos!!! I was so amazed I stood for atleast a minute with my mouth wide open.
I have a few more days left in Playa, relaxing and having adventures. Then I have planned myself a very interesting bus ride to Mexico city through the mountains of Chiapas. Then I´ll be in Mexico City for 3 weeks for the Waldorf teacher training….all in Spanish!