On Friday, after the clinic, we were invited to have dinner at a restaurant which was on the way back to Chapala.  Our hosts were Sheila and her husband Graham Paull.  They are avid Shriners and Sheila is a past president of the Rotary Club of Chapala Sunrise, and the one who invited us to return here for the clinic.  They both have Lymes disease which they contracted in Ontario and are sometimes in poor health, like on Thursday at the Rotary meeting when Sheila was not able to stay.  But she is having a better day today, and is happy to host us.  
This is an Italian restaurant called Focaccia, definitely off of the beaten path, but well attended and appreciated.  It is located high above the road and with all open air, no windows, with a nice view of the lake. We order wine and beer and the wine appears as 8 oz glasses, at least, at a cost of 33 pesos, a few cents over $2.00.  We had been told that the portions were huge, so Shannon, Peter and I ordered a salad, that came mounded on a plate, and was delicious with a balsamic dressing.  We also ordered a pasta Carbonara, a huge platter heaped with pasta  with ham, tomatoes, mushrooms, in a wonderful cheese and cream sauce, priced at $6.00, and it was perfect for 3 to share.  Everyone was thrilled with the hospitality and the food.
This restaurant family is very special to Graham and Sheila who have lived in Chapala for 22 years.  The family had a small cafe across the road and they had a son who was born deaf.  Sheila and Graham took them to Montreal to the Shriners hospital and Christian, their son had surgery to have a cochlear transplant done.  He is now 11 and hears well, does well in school and helps his family in the restaurant.  While in Canada, his parents worked in the food industry and learned, returned home and built up the business little by little to what it is today.  It is frequented by the ex-pat American and Canadian population and I can see why.  It is a very eclectic spot with excellent food and very cheap prices.  
We went to pay for the alcohol to find that Sheila had covered the whole tab.  We so enjoyed the evening and gave gracious thank you’s.  
The room we are using as a storage room for our supplies was rented for a function on Saturday, so we had to move our stuff.  In the morning after breakfast, the team members moved all of the left over supplies to my room, on the balcony and around the walls, no problem as I am alone in this room.  When we got back Friday evening, all of the hockey bags were distributed to peoples rooms.  We will be able to move them back after Saturday.  
Saturday, we were to have a clinic to replace the one cancelled on Wednesday when we did not have any supplies.  However, Saturday is DWayne and Valerie’s busiest day with their ministry and as we had not planned on a Saturday clinic, we did not have enough translators.  Alas, we have a day off.  
It is a beautiful day, and I sit at a table by the pool soaking in the wonderful sunshine on my winter sun-starved body and write to you.  It is peaceful, I cannot solve any of the problems we face here and the birds keep me company.
The rest of the group take the local bus west, past Ajijic, to the Thermal pools, the Spa.  There are regular hot pools and then specialty ones, like apple cider vinegar, coffee grounds, flowers, red wine, mud pools where you could smear mud (apparently not farm mud that I am used to) all over yourself and others and then a pool to rinse off,  There were facial steam masks of Eucalyptus and others.  Each station had a long list of health benefits.  Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience, being told not to miss by the group that was here last year, and eager to return. 
I had a lovely day here, and in the afternoon, many people arrived at the hotel, dressed to the nines, (some girls wearing shoes that must have been painful), so I knew there had to be a wedding.  Yes, a wedding and a baptism!!  The bride arrived wearing a beautiful white dress and the groom carried a little girl about a year old, also dressed in white.  We had the pleasure of listening to their Mariachi band before going to dinner and after we returned, a great group playing ballads and dance music.   
When the Spa group came back about 6, we all walked down the Malecon, the lovely concrete boardwalk to downtown Chapala.  On Saturday night it is crowded with families and lovers, old people in wheelchairs, out just enjoying the evening.  We walked to the very end to a restaurant for dinner.  We all ordered but it all got screwed up.  Marian got a fish soup with all the body parts of multiple seafood and the tomato broth was pure salt, and she had to send it back.  Joyce ordered a fish dinner (guaranteed not to be from the lake) and Peter and I agreed and ordered a specialty of the house to share.  Others ordered chicken and most ordered wonderful guacamole and some quesadillas.  Everyone is finished eating and Joyce, Peter and I have no dinner, so I cancelled our order.  Joyce’s fish arrived shortly after looking dreadful with head, and tail hanging over the plate.  We sent that back too.  Joyce’s wine arrived in a water glass, water that was ordered never arrived.  What a mix up.  The servers were only interested in going home.  Joyce, Peter and I ate some left over guacamole and Tostitos and we walked home, back down the malecon where the lovers still sit and look at the lake and each other.
Today, we had breakfast at 7 as 11 of the group took the bus to see the Aztec ruins, which have cone shaped stepped pyramids.  Then they will go on to Tequila, where, yes, that special alcoholic beverage of Mexico is made, and the agave cactus is grown as a cash crop, as we would grow soy, or navy or cranberry or black beans on the farm to sell as a cash crop.  The cactus has to grow for from 6 to 8 years so that the base, called the pineapple is big enough to be useful as the main ingredient, agave, to make tequila.  Margaritas seem to be the drink of choice here.  I enjoy them but would not think of having them at home.
Sunday night was an event we were all looking forward to, an evening at the home of Doug and Diane Scrimgeour, from Blythe Ontario.  Doug is retired fire chief of Wingham and Blythe departments, and a very active Shriner and Mason.  They have been coming to Chapala for many years for the winters and own a beautiful house high in the hills in a gated estate and overlooking the lake and the communities below.  When he first came here, he saw that the Bomberos or fire fighters had no equipment to work with and no protective equipment.  He sent me pictures of men in flip flops carrying leaky pails of water to pour on brush and grass fires.  I think our health care system is a throw it away society, and fire departments the same, apparently.  He started collecting fire suits and equipment and has shipped many containers here to distribute to departments around the lake.  He heard about the medical recycling depot we coordinate in Stratford and we were able to add medical supplies to Doug’s shipments for the bomberos and also the medical clinics.  This is how we got the connection to come here.
Doug and Diane invited the group for drinks and we offered to take Pizza.  But, no, they had already made arrangements with a caterer.  They invited their neighbours, an electric group for sure and we enjoyed meeting them.  There had to be 35 to 40 people.  The drinks were plentiful with Margaritas pre made in a container, just turn the tap!  Also wine and beer.   The food was assorted pick up appetizers, like caramelized shrimp in thin slices of pineapple, little tied bundles of something, tomato boats with cheese and herbs, and stacks of cheese and figs and devilled eggs.  Doug wanted them, but the 2 chefs had never made them before so looked on line.  Served alongside was a wonderful caesar salad and then there was Tiramisu for dessert.  We were able to see the sunset across the lake, and get a team photo taken but all the guests got in the photo too, which was fine. 
The group that went to Tequila got dropped off on the way home, but they had to walk the last bit because the road was too steep for the bus.  5 of us took a taxi from the hotel and got his number and he said he would come back for us.  When we called for taxi for 16 people he refused, so we got home in Doug’s 2 cars and Dwayne’s.  What a wonderful evening.
When we got back to the hotel, we had to move all the hockey bags  and all of the exes supplies back to the storage room so the bags could be packed to go out to clinic in the morning.  It should be a good clinic as we have the offer of a not of translators.  I accept every offer as you never know how many will actually show up.  We can find work for everyone.