On Sunday, we went to the Zoo.   The Parque Zoológico Del Centenario has a pretty impressive animal collection (especially the big cats), a train, amusement rides, a small tram, a moonbounce section, a large food area and playground, and much more. There is no admission fee and seeing the animals is free.  You pay for any rides you go on and purchases you make.  The bumper boats cost 15 pesos ($1.50), the train 1 peso (10 cents). 4 sodas, 2 kibbes and 3 ham and cheese sandwiches – about $5.  I forgot my camera!  We will definitely go back and I will post pictures.

One of the things that has stuck with me most since then, is something that happened while I was buying a gift for the girls.  There are lots and lots of merchant carts there selling balloons (globos), puzzles (rompecabezas), and counterfeit ? Disney items. I noticed a cart selling play money and I thought that having some play pesos in the house would be a good way to get the girls used to Mexican money and they could use it in math and play.  The package of money was hanging from a string on the cart, attached by a rusty safety pin.  I removed the play money, gave the woman some real money (20 pesos/$2) and headed off to catch up with my family.  About 30 feet – sorry 10 meters – away I was being tapped on the shoulder by the woman who ran the cart.  She had left her cart to catch me and ask for her rusty safety pin back.  I had left it attached to the money because it was easier to remove from the string that way and I was about to throw it away. Not once did I think that that rusty safety pin had value for her and was needed to display more of her wares.

I’ve always been a bit of a hoarder (no surprise to those who helped us pack up!), but even I wasn’t one to save safety pins from dry cleaning, etc. I’m trying to be a lot more cautious about not overbuying, not wasting, not splurging on unneccessary things and instead finding alternative uses for what we already have.  Being here definitely makes me feel thankful – and guilty – for our blessings.

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