October began with a visit from Susan Nisly from MMN and a couple visits to the Balloon Fiesta. Later in the month, we celebrated Gabe's birthday (as well as Joe's) by hosting a Mario themed party, where we played lots of Mario Cart and attempted to make turtle shell cakes. We also traveled to the Rocky Mountain Mennonite Relief Sale in Colorado, which after being a part of the relief sale at the Elkhart County Fair Grounds, was drastically smaller, but fun to be a part of nonetheless. On our way back to ABQ, we were able to stop in Taos and do an amazing hike up to Williams Lake, where we even hiked in some snow. I am constantly amazed as we travel to different places in New Mexico of the different terrain that the state has. Gabe and I also were able to take a weekend away to Santa Fe, where we stayed with a couple who is associated with AMC. They own a cabin east of Santa Fe where we spent part of the weekend, keeping warm with three different wood stoves, one of which was a cooking stove. Its adventures like these, where we see woods, that make us really appreciate being in a state that
is so empty of people, but full of interesting landscapes.
In November, we began the month witnessing the Dia de los Muertos parade. Events like this remind us of the Mexican population that we are close to and live with. I have experienced this especially through substitute teaching where about half of the schools I have taught at are bilingual and have many hispanic teachers and students (the majority really). Oh, how I wish I knew Spanish better. I'm beginning to think that that needs to be a goal while I am here, maybe by taking a class through a university here. We also traveled to White Sands and camped right beside a mountain at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park. At night, the sky was the most clear I believe I have ever seen in my life. We could see so many many stars! And the guys in our group were able to sleep outside because it still wasn't cold enough that that wasn't impossible. We sure aren't in Indiana! This weekend we will be traveling to the Festival of the Cranes in Socorro, NM where we will witness thousands of cranes arriving and departing as they travel south.
Gabe and I look forward to our trip to Phoenix to visit family there for Thanksgiving and the break that awaits us at the end of December, but are fully enjoying being here and embracing being in a new part of the US.