día de los muertos

in mexico on november 1st and 2nd, people honor their loved ones that have passed on by remembering and celebrating them with different traditions and many festivities. this year my family and I went to a cemetery in mexico to take flowers to those we have buried there.

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we take fake flowers, so they last more. but many people purchase real ones. there are many vendors outside the cemetery in case you want to buy some.

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if you’re from the u.s. you know that the majority of cemeteries don’t look anything like this. they’re mostly just grass with a plaque on the floor or a cross. I personally like how the ones in mexico look; big cement tombstones where you walk around and not step on. however, as you can see in the photos above, they might break after years. and since this is an old cemetery, the tombs are really close to one another too. still like it though.

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to conserve the tombstones clean, from both weeds growing and dirt getting on them, men or kids offer you their services to clean them. some people just do it themselves.

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musicians also offer to play your loved ones’ favorite songs.

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my mom tells me, and I also have very faint memories of when I was younger, that in years before this area would get so full of people and merchants. now they built a bridge that makes it harder to navigate around, and also the violence here got worse that many people moved out and are scared to visit.

since my grandmother’s house is a few blocks straight from this cemetery, mom and her siblings would offer their house’s front ward to park cars. it’s was like a mexican version of a lemonade stand to make money, haha.

**

the best part about being mexican: FOOD!

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the white and chocolate bread are called conchas– delicious by the way! and the bread next to them is the pan de muerto, the traditional bread.

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delicious pastor above // the making of enchiladas below

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how mexican housewives become immune to the heat of a stove and oil is beyond me! I can’t even flip a tortilla without it hurting..

IMAG0292 my breakfast: tamales made by abuela.

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If you read my blog, you know I always say this, but I’m gonna say it again:

I love Mexico.

I do. The people, the culture, the places, the food. <3

Nothing other like it.

**

I hope you enjoyed this post and that if maybe you’ve always wondered how people in mexico celebrate day of the dead, this helped you visualize it a little more. of course there are way more traditions that people do, but this is what we do in our little town :)

Have a good week, dear readers.

–diana

Napo <3

friends,

to what appeared to be the start of a good week, turned out to be one of the worst in my life.

My best friend of 5 years, my guinea pig, my baby boy, my adoration, Napoleón…left my side on october 28.

You don’t know how sad it makes me. I am heartbroken. Someone pulled my heart out and ran with it and my emotions; now I’m empty, left with sadness. All I want is to never leave my bed and sleep and maybe cry some more.

Some might say I’m exaggerating, but my goodness, I am not. That little man meant so much to me. You don’t know the number of nights I would come home from school stressed about life, and he would be there, ready to be carried by my arms to cuddle. I would put him on my chest and we would talk; he would make his piggy noises and I would tell him my day and how much I loved him. Suddenly it was all better. He made me better.

Other times he would just cry or touch me with his paw, and that his way of begging for me to carry him, and once I would do that, the crying would stop. He really was like my first kid…

I had him in my arms minutes after it happened– and thank God I was with him because he did not deserve to go alone– and I could not fathom what it would be like to come home to no one needing me. No one waiting for me to cuddle. No one to call by those unique nicknames one thousand times per day. I just… I would just see him, looking so peaceful, and part of my mind didn’t want to believe it and was hopeful he would wake up. I just really couldn’t comprehend. I also couldn’t understand how in the same year I had lost my childhood best friend, grandpa, and my young-adulthood best friend, Napoleón.

I have another guinea pig, Linda. I love her. I can tell she misses her buddy too. If I say her name she just looks up. If I say his name she goes crazy excited. Lately all else does is sleep. I go to her cage, play with her, give her floor time, and snacks, but I know she’d rather be alone (She bites me when I try to touch her). She’s just more independent than he was. However, I want her to know that I am here for her so I still get out of bed and spend time with her. She needs me now.

This is hard.

I got the flu too. I feel sick all over. My muscles ache. My head is pounding. I can’t breathe through my nose. I miss him terribly.

I just wanted to let you guys know since I consider you my friends, dear readers. I’m moping. And I didn’t want to keep it inside because I’d feel worse. I haven’t told anyone else other than those extremely close to me. I’m just not really in the mood to hear “I’m sorry.” Mostly cuz I’ll just start crying again.

The thought of the days to come without him feel out of place, weird, wrong, but with time I’ll learn to accept it. I know he lived a good life and did things many piggies don’t get to do– getting featured in a magazine, being a finalist in an instagram guinea pig contest, getting a blog named after him, changed people’s perspectives on guinea pigs (Oh, I’m so proud of him!).

I know someday I’ll see him again. I know he’s in a good place. I know he’s healthy and happy and probably has a plethora of his favorite foods with him.

He was an amazing, loving guinea pig.

There is so much more I want to say, but I can’t find the words to write or a way organize my thoughts. For now, I have memories, my writings, and pictures.

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By the way, today November 1st is the Day of the Dead in Mexico. I wrote this yesterday, but I waited to post this today because I felt it was appropriate since we are supposed to celebrate and honor those that have passed on by remembering them.

I love you Napoleón.

Thank you for everything.

p.s. I made a tag called napo in case you want to get to know him better or see pictures of him. I know I’m gonna do that just now.