Nine months between newsletters is unforgivable! Jim, my webmaster, suggested that I create a blog, but that did not happen either. I hope that you didn’t worry that I had been kidnapped or run off to Africa.

Summer began and ended with family visits…California for Kira’s high school graduation and Illinois for time with Alissa and Krista. I came home with updated memories and photos of these beautiful young women…each so special and unique. Kira with plans for college and her future; Alissa dancing Irish jigs and reels; and Krista zipping up the lines at the climbing wall…and so much more.

In October and November, I was back in Buenos Aires for the third year to study and dance Argentine tango. Once again, Luciana’s Intensivo was my first choice, and she delivered the most logical approach to the underlying structure of tango. What is equally special about this program…we only danced with her professional assistants. No more discussing with a fellow student…”That wasn’t what she said. We’re supposed to do it this way.”

I found a place to watch the debates live…with hundreds of young Argentines. They were very interested in the results, as were most of the local people I met. The day after the elections, as I was leaving my apartment building, one of my neighbors, an Argentine woman around my age, asked if I was happy. Her response to my emphatic affirmation was to say, “I cried with joy for an hour; now we are equal.” For days everyone I met had something to say about the results…something positive.

Early in December, Carol Anne, of fused glass jewelry fame, and I left for a week in Guadalajara almost as soon as my flight landed from Argentina. This is an annual pre-holiday trek to shop and hear the Christmas concert by the Jalisco Philharmonic in the Teatro Degollado. Our first night is always tango at the Ex-Convento de Carmen…a charming outdoor café on a small downtown plaza.

The first two months of the new year have been a constant swirl of events and visitors…lots of tango, open studio evenings every other week at the Pat Henry Studio, and regular Wallace classes twice a week. The amazing tango masters from Embrace Tango, Beatrix Satzinger and Michael Young, returned to our area for a series of tango workshops down the coast from PV in La Manzanilla. I took a “vacation” to join them for a terrific week of pushing-the-limits tango classes. Then they came to Puerto Vallarta, and I danced everyday for more than a week in group classes, privates, and milongas. By the end, with their unique methodology I knew my dancing has just leapt ahead by a big margin…and my desk was so buried in paper that I might never see the top again.

One week later, the fifth annual Puerto Vallarta Writers’ Conference opened for the most ambitious and successful event yet. With outstanding speakers visiting from the States and culled from accomplished writers in the community, attendees left ready to sign up now for next year’s program. Cudos to those Renaissance women Karen Blomain and Norma Schuh who nurtured this weekend conference through a year of preparation.

When visitors I meet on the streets of PV say incredulously, “You live here?” My stock response…”Somebody has to do it”…thinly disguises my pleasure at choosing to live in such a beautifully-sited small city with a perfect climate and wonderful friends and neighbors who greet me with a smile while I do the things I love at my own pace. How could one ask for more?

---Pat
 

Krista scales the wall


Alissa and her mom show their Irish heritage


Luciana's gorgeous partners


Dancers on Calle Florida


Hometown friends visit the studio


Michael and Beatrix
 

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