April 30, 2012

Migracion for that visa

There I am Friday, getting fingerprinted by Migracion in Cancun. Finally! Because I was 2 days late applying for my visa renweal, it inexplicably took 5 months to get the visa!
 Maurico Mendoza, my lawyer, is picking up today (no telling why they couldn't give it to me then and there) and I will go to his house tomorrow afternoon and pay him for his service.
 Getting this FM document took the original letter Mauricio wrote, which included an apolgy, another letter with an apology asking about the status of my renewal,  an interview  in which two Mexican nationals who've known me a long time to sign, another requested letter of apology, which Mauricio produced promptly, but that meant another trip to Cancun. So, this is about a 5 trip renewal process and I might actually be starting over at the higher level of being here.
 I logged on last night and noticed my accountant, Leidy Sosa was filing my annual tax declaration (digitally). And it's due today.
 I spoke to the Migracian agent in Spanish and answered all her questions in Spanish.Still, she wrote that I speak only English. Why I asked? She whispered as she fingerprinted: "If there is every any trouble. you don't have to say a thing until Mexico produces an English speaking official to help you."
 No hablo Espanol! Thank you.

April 23, 2012

On to something big via the dogs?

This is how Punta's spleen looked when it was removed December 23 by Dr. Pepe Vega. She had a swollen spleen and bad blood counts, that, among other things, showed a lot of dead red blood cells. She had Ehrlichiosis. Her spleen, roughly 10 times normal size,  was not clearing the dead ones and they made the blood very thick andit was therefore not oxygenated.
 Pepe has done probably another dozen spleenectomies since Punta and that first dog. He documented them, took biopsies.
 All the cases involved Ehrlichia Canis. the Ehrilichia bacteria that dogs get  from a tick bite. It only takes one: my dog seldom sees a tick and gets shots of a repellant fatal to ticks should they bite.
 Pepe returned on Friday from Monterray, where he met with the chairman of the veterinary faculty and UNAM.
 The chairman told him there might be government money to keep doing the spleenectomies on Isla Mujeres where, it appears to Pepe, and is documented well now, a number of the dogs need the surgery.
 Why would the Mexican government care about funding surgeries for dogs? Because this Erhlichia is  rapidly mutating, and has affected people in Georgia, Minnesota and Wisonsin in the US. And in Mexico.
 Pepe's theory is that it settles in the spleen in dogs and mutates until it forms an autoimmune process, where the cells of the spleen attack other cells of the spleen, much like happens in  lupus or multiple sclerosis in humans.
 This research would be important for humans, where Ehrlichia  could mutate the same way once it enters humans in larger numbers than Wikkipedia notes. The spleen is also hugely important in a variety of immune processes.
 In the meantime, Pepe is back on the island, following up his spleenectomy cases  and looking for other dogs for whom is it a matter of life and death. And praying for government funding. It is an expensive surgery: over 20 blood vessels need to be tied off before the spleen can be removed. Other organs then take over spleen functions.
 And to think, Isla dogs made the bell go off in Pepe's head! And Punta was one of them!

April 22, 2012


It's been a great few days for bugs! It started when the weather front was at a distance. Ants came out of the electric sockets, water pipe ducts, drains, from under the doors. Everywhere!
 I was going to Javier Martinez Cen's birthday party Saturday afternoon. My friend Cheryl was late getting here because she was waging war on ants that moved from one space to her bathroom. She had them cornered and couldn't stop.
 When she got here to go, I told her about the two women who rented for a week but left after a night because of the "filth" that attracted the ants. The place was clean..."They were coming out of the electric sockets," they said.
 So, we went to the party but got caught in a flooding downpour. Cheryl was a hoot: Her barricade against torrents was a six pack! We found a spot where the buildings blocked the wind and sat in the golf cart, thinking about opening the six pack! We didn't and Cheryl's blockade managed to keep Javier's present dry.
 Do, we get to the party and initially sit with a group of women. The topic: Three days of ants coming out of nowhere and going everywhere! Made me feel better about my vacant apartment!
 Yesterday, we had a play date for Punta and her best doggie friends. As we people sat inside watching more rain roll across the sea, we watched little twigs turn into dragon flies. Hundreds, perhaps thousands. It was a beautiful sight, one I have never seen before.
 So, if you have vacationed here and never seen ants come out of electric sockets and climb walls before serious rain, you have missed being in tune with island life. Sure, we don't love ants. But it beats living with toxic insecticides in the house. It is part part of tropical living.

April 18, 2012

Dance with me...

After a four month hiatus, the dance partners were reunited and it was as if he never left! Sergio has been off island for four months thinking in Cancun and working in Playa del Carmen. Now, he is back and ready to be a daddy to a boy due this summer.
And Punta, she's just glad to have him here, taking care of his lady and his dog, Maruka, who has been shuttling around three residences and grabbing the occasional golf cart ride with Punta to exchange stories.
And the plants and pool at Zina's Guest House need tending. Honestly, they've never looked worse! Welcome back!

April 4, 2012

If I'd had a daughter...

For four months, Anastasia from Vladivostok was my sidekick. She was on the island to be closer to her fiance from Atlanta. Here we are at a Fat Tuesday party and her costume was anchored by the wreath traditional to Ukraine, where girls wear them when they are ready to be brides.
Nastia, as her brothers shortened her name, is that. Ready to be a bride. Her USA fiance visa has been provisionally approved. She is back in Russia to pick up the rest. But...
While she cleared the interview with the US Embassy in Moscow, an x-ray came back with a spot on it and the US wants her to go to a chest clinic for analysis next week. She is sure it must be only a scar from a pneumonia she had last year. So, we wait.
It took a while for her to settle back in in with an internet connection at her friend's house in St. Petersburg. Now we are in daily communication again! Skype also has enabled her to stay in touch with family in Vladivostok during her time in Mexico.
What a relief! One of the joys of having her here was the language. We could go anywhere and not one other person understood what we said between each other. Just imagine that bond! Her last week here, we did encounter Russians who were staying at Avalon Resort. But still....
We went through the December holidays, a pirate party, Carnaval and so much more together. Her with her glue gun making appropriate costumes and head gear for the events. With her yearning for herring! OK, our yearning for herring. With our love of Asian food!
Vladivostok is Far East Russia. It is tomorrow there right now. It is on the border of a piece of China, where she and her family would go on weekends to shop. Japan is so close that now, in peaceful times, there are sushi restaurants in Vladivostok. So we were regulars at Sushi Island here on Isla Mujeres.
We shopped soup bones together, something her American fiance couldn't comprehend. But a good stock is essential! On her Facebook page, she recently posted a new cover photo of camomile flowers on sale in Chedraui. In a store here. Picked along paths yourself in Russia, used the same ways. Her friends in Russia were astounded.
So, that is where I disappeared to. Part of me went with my roots this winter and immersed into Russia, right here in Mexico. And now, part of me is in Russia with woman many here asked, "Your daughter?"