Monday, February 15, 2010

CANDi- Cats and Dogs International Coming to Cancun

CANDi (cats and dogs international) is an international organization devoted to saving the world's strays, one animal at a time. This fantastic organization is coming to Cancun April 19-23 for a free spay and neuter clinic at the municipal pound where they expect to sterilize 450 cats and dogs. They will also be working with the local authorities, training in humane methods of euthanasia to replace the current (horrible) practice of electrocution. In addition, CANDi will be improving the conditions of the pound, painting, adding new kennels, refrigerators for medicine etc.. They[ll be working with local organizations Rescate Malix, Isla Animals and Cancun Animal Rescue as well as international groups Humane Society International and the World Society for Protection of Animals.

They need your help! CANDi needs to raise $15 000 for the clinic and improvements to the municipal pound. Donations from Canadian and American citizens are tax deductible, please click here to find out how you can contribute. In addition to the funds needed for medical supplies, CANDi is asking for donations of the following items:

Bathtub - to offer free dog washing at the pound
paint and paint supplies - to add color and a better working enviroment to the walls
bottled water for the volunteers working during the clinic - about 14 cases
kennels - to hold the dogs before and after surgery
ice - to keep the water cold
ice coolers
used towels - to help with the surgery
a refrigerator - to hold medicine
tables, the folding kind would be great
chairs, even the plastic pepsi ones would be good
dog and puppy food
plastic cups and plates and forks, sppons, knives
garbage bags, all sizes
gauze and Q-tips for ear cleaning
permanent markers
duct tape
masking tape
tarps - to cover and protect us from the rain and sun
a local artist who could come and help paint murals of animals and people

I've said it before and I will say it a million times over, the problem of stray animals in Cancun is horrendous! Thousands of animals roam the streets in very bad conditions, covered in mange, starving, injured and abused. In addition to these unwanted and uncared for animals, there are thousands of very poor people who love their animals dearly but do not have the resources to take care of their medical needs. CANDi is one of the fine organizations trying to make a difference in Cancun, I admire and respect them and will do what I can to assist in their generous efforts. Spread the word, donate what you can and know that your contribution is doing a world of good. If you are planning on being in Cancun, why not adopt a doggie while you are here? It's easier than ever before and organizations like CANDi and Isla Animals are doing all they can to facilitate international adoptions and rescues, you can read some beautiful adoption stories here on the CANDi page. I thank you in advance for doing whatever you can do, together we can make a difference!

Become a fan of CANDi on Facebook, visit the CANDi page and join, spread the word!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Protect the Green Belly Button

For a long time we've been reading about the Mayor's proposal to build a new city hall in one of the last remaining green areas in Cancun, known as "el ombligo verde" ("the green belly button"). We've been witness to the protests against this action and have seen signs around the neighbourhood asking the Mayor to please stop the destruction of the environment. This green area is about two blocks from where we live, beside the "new"cathedral that has never actually been completed. A few weeks back some astonishing aerial photos appeared revealing that the area had already been stripped, bare earth where once there was jungle, done from the inside out so that it was not obvious that the work was being done. "Officially" there was an order for the work to be halted, but that order has obviously been ignored, we can hear the machinery ripping the place to shreds. I can't believe what they were able to accomplish under the noses of citizens who did not want this to happen, until we saw the photos we had no idea that they had already destroyed the area.

While it seems that protests are futile at this point, we decided to take part in yesterday's "human chain", an effort to surround the green area with people and bring attention to the "ecocide" taking place in our city. A few hundred people came out, with placards and green "belly buttons" painted on foreheads (and various other body parts), even the environmental doggies wore their green paint with pride. I had mixed emotions about the event, I was happy to be a part of an obviously passionate group of people, but saddened by the relatively small number of citizens that turned out. I was able to give Max a little environmental lesson and I was proud that he was a part of the action. He is Cancunense, this is his city too, what's going to be left of it by the time he is an adult?

I could rant and rave about this all day, but where is that going to get me? I think I'll just share some photos of some really great people standing up for what they believe in.

My Little Green Protester

Tough Guy

Dude, your belly button is green!

The banner reads:
"Nothing is more important than our Mother Earth. Less cement, more conscience"

Kermit the Frog was on hand, he says
"I live in Cancun and love nature, reforest our green!"

"It's not about religion, nor politics, it's about ecological conscience"

"Halt the ecocide in our municipality"

Groovy eco-street art

"Yes to the green belly button, yes to nature!"

Thanks to all who came out, thanks to all who have signed petitions and done their part to protect the city. Shame on the government for allowing this to happen, not only destroying our green areas, but doing so in secret and agains the wishes of so many citizens of Cancun. Shame shame shame.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ex-pat Schmex-pat

Last week I received yet another email from yet another "ex-pat" website asking for my input in helping others relocate. I usually try to help, but I am starting to become annoyed by the term "ex-pat". I don't feel like an ex-pat anymore. I associate the word with someone who has recently relocated outside their country of origin or someone who has changed their location temporarily or someone who only associates with other "ex-pats" instead of becoming part of their new community. I don't really fit in those categories. Living in a country outside of my birth country is no longer new, it's no longer about adjusting or making comparisons between there and here, it's just the life that I am living, I am simply a resident of Mexico who happens to have been born somewhere else. In a relatively short time (year and a half? two years?), I will be a citizen of Mexico, will I still be called an "ex-pat" then? Holder of dual citizenship? MexiCanadian? Am I doomed to a lifetime of being called "ex-pat", implying that I am not a part of any community except for that of others who have chosen to live outside their country of birth? Why so many questions? Hey Canucka, who put a bee in your bonnet?

I don't know why my panties are in a twist about this. I don't know why people would assume that I am an "expert" in the area of relocation. Hey, read the bio folks, I didn't plan this move, it just kind of happened, I came on vacation and didn't go home, do you really want to take advice from someone who would do such a thing? If I had sat down and planned this move, it probably would never have happened. I always laugh heartily when someone sends me financial questions about relocating. You're kidding right? I live pay cheque to pay cheque with no assets and no savings and you want to ask me about money? HAHAHA. Sorry, you've got the wrong girl.

Now, if you want to talk about the emotional aspects of living in another country, I might be able to help you. MIGHT. Every person has a completely different experience, everyone has totally different coping mechanisms and no two people will react the same to the same set of circumstances. But I can at least give an idea of the kinds of things that usually bother people when they move to Mexico and offer suggestions on how best to cope. I've witnessed enough meltdowns from people who try to make the move to determine "this is the wrong way to handle it". I've also seen the success stories and can say "this has worked for some people". How someone else handles adversity is completely up to them, but I'm willing to play counselor with a "buyer beware" caveat and small print declaring "I am not an expert though I have played one on TV".

I am Canadian. I am a resident of Mexico. I'm a mom. I'm a Pisces who loves long walks on the beach. I'm short, creative, sensitive, cute, generous, and funny. I've got plenty of labels, must we use the "ex-pat" one too? Or am I just moaning about something ridiculous because it's Monday and it's raining? Can someone help me get this knot out of my knickers?

D is for Dengue, Depression and Dread

I'm currently sitting in my Cancun apartment, staving off the Covid 19 panic and using all my Jungle Kelly powers to maintain my cal...