Short Stories
Entry No. 33 Felipe Arreaga           A Bike Race November 19-22, 2004


My time in "Zihua" was so amazing and so filled with things to do and passionate people to meet, that I couldn't possibly make just one story about it. Therefore, I have made two sub stories: "Felipe Arreaga" and "A Bike Race" that I hope you'll read after. Before beginning, though, I would like to introduce 2 very critical, passionate people who made our visit my most successful one yet. First we have Alejandro Bello, who is so far and by far, the coolest Mexicano I have met. I was introduced to him via email from a contact in San Francisco. He seems to pick and choose tasks that interest him, although they may not pay well, or not at all. He also has a radio show on Sunday Mornings called "La Banda en Vía". He wishes he could have a better time slot so that 75% of the town isn't suffering from a hangover and can actually hear what he has to say. However, his boss, with such political ties, can not have any controversial topics such as environmental degradation of Zihuatanejo's bay being talked about during prime time hours.

Second, we have Wibke Langhost, pronounced [Vip-ka], A German native, Wibke has traveled all over the world and has now ended up in Zihuatanejo for the time being. She has started an organization in town called S.O.S. Bahia to get people involved in the protection of the bay. After graduating from Temple, she worked for a bit with a program that was called the World Game Institute. I found it fascinating as she explained how the program took groups of people and had them interact with each other as if they were leaders of each country. Resources were allocated to each country according to history and these people had to work for their country to obtain the resources needed whether it was by war, trade negotiation, or some kind of international cooperation. She noted that, when she directed the program in Zihua, the politicos were still acting corrupt.

Anyway, Wibke was our temporary landlord, events planner, and wonderful hostess, providing us with tasty meals that included various cheeses (She's German so she'll find ways to get cheese!), Nutella, savory organic coffee, bolillos(1), and pasta dishes filled with vegetables and salad on the side. It was so nice to have a bed, a bathroom, a phone, and a computer with Internet all in one room! It was a dream.

So, because of these two wonderful people, Susanna and I visited an innocent man in jail, participated in a bike race, we were guests on Alejandro's radio program, I made it on TV, we talked with a few classes at a local secondary school, visited the local dump, talked at an S.O.S. Bahia meeting, and truly felt like we got the attention of the community!

Thank you so much, Alejandro and Wibke, for all of your help!
(1) Oblong rolls that sell so well that Wibke had to throw a few elbows to get some!

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