Got questions? Like Painting?

This is the painting I did for Day One of te Art Rendezvous… virtual participación I’m afraid

Mary Elizabeth Walberg is the moderator of a website called, YUCATAN BEACH FRIENDS. Each Sunday she publishes an interview with someone living in the community. However, sometimes her column doesn’t feature a person, but rather several of them who are associated with an institution, service club or a structure of historical merit. I enjoyed reading her account of the families and fortunes associated with El Pastel – The Wedding Cake – an iconic summer residence on the Malecón of Progreso. The house gained its moniker because literally, it does resemble a multi-tiered, sugar-coated confection. I wrote to Mary to comment on her interesting story.

She and I had been introduced previously, but always at a big event. We are both from Vancouver and one morning last month, we decided to have coffee together. It was fun to talk with someone from the old stomping ground. After 20 minutes or so, we both realised that our conversation was touching on subject matter for one of her weekly columns.

Last Sunday, February 7th her interview with me was published.

In fact we talked about so much that Mary decided to break the material into two parts. The second one will be published next Sunday, February 15th

I received quite a number of comments, both on the Yucatan Beach Friends site and by email. One of them read:

“Hello Joanna, I read the comments you gave to Mary at Yucatan Beach Friends. I hope you will share more information soon. I know I’m not the only one with lots more questions.”

Hm-m-m-m, that got me thinking. I have written more than I ever wanted to write about the most recent former U.S-president, and I am exhausted from NOT writing about the activities I usually enjoy because the all-consuming COVID 19 has put the kibosh on most of them. For example this week is the one time a year, when I join other painters in Carolina Weis’ long-running annual art rendezvous, MERIDA IN 5 DAYS.  Everyone who participates has such a fabulous time, and we all produce one work a day, in five different locations in and around Merida. Sigh – Sigh – Sigh –

Now, I am not suggesting that I’m an expert on any topic, but I do know a fair bit about adapting to a new culture and country. So I offer this blog as a place for asking the questions that have you stumped.

As you can imagine, the person who sent the comment is tackling several hurdles right now. As I am doing with him (or is it her?) names and other personal information will be kept confidential. So, if you’ve got something you’d like put out there, write to me at:

I look forward to hearing from you.

Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include reading, painting, cooking and travel.

15 thoughts on “Got questions? Like Painting?

  1. Unfortunately I could not read the interview the link is to the private group. Would love to read it but I would have to join the private group in order to do so and as I don’t live there…..


  2. I fully understand your desire to find new writing material. Even though politics was a central part of my life in Oregon, I decided to generally avoid the topic when I moved to Mexico in 2009 because discussion had long been nearly impossible on any issue that even had a whiff of politics. To write about it was a waste of time. The same goes with the virus during the past year. Johnny One Note issues simply consume people.

    I suspect you have had the same experience I have had as a writer. When almost everyone is consumed with politics and The Virus, what can we write about that will connect us with our readers? Fortunately, the country in which we live provides us with plenty of material.


    1. “I fully understand your desire to find new writing material. ” Yes it is getting harder because the fonts of my writing are the interactions I have with people… and that is limited now. And yes, our readers are as burned out as we are. Looking forward to the future and better days is futile because WHO know when this will be over.


  3. It’s wonderful to finally let go and relax into what we love, writing, painting. Potting. Missing “mi itch”. 🥰


    1. Yes, it is a great pleasure… and I miss you too Loretta. I look forward to the pandemic being over and being able to get together again.. I have been hopeful that this summer might see a turning point but I am no longer so sure… But if not, at least we have a whole store of GREAT memories to look back on. Love you MUCH!


  4. Hello! I just wanted to let you know that I love your painting. The colours, the expressions, the dynamics invite me in and make me wish I could be there with those women as they share lo cotidiano of their lives. Also, I want to encourage you to not give up on looking forward to the future and better days ahead. The fact that less than a year after this virus became pandemic we have not only one but several effective and safe vaccines is astounding, a testament to what humanity can achieve when working together towards a common good, with adequate scientific AND financial resources. I’m a doctor here in Toronto, and I’m confident that here we will pretty well be seeing the other side of this pandemic by the fall. And things should steadily start improving in March, as production capacity increases for the current vaccines, and more vaccines are approved. Also pandemics historically tend to become less intense in the summer months. I know there are factors in Mexico which may make the timeline a little different, but once enough vaccine is available from the various companies developing them, Mexico is very good at getting needles into arms. ¡Ánimo!


    1. Thank you so much Miriam for your comment. I am glad you like my portrait of the ladies selling their embroidery… I love painting and as often as I can, I am at it… As for the pandemic. I agree with what you you say. I make a lot of noise about how hard it is to be cooped up, but really much of my complaining is just blowing off steam. In truth, I feel so fortunate to live where I do and be so comfortable … What is hard for me is to not see much of the people I love. But for all that I miss my absent dear ones, my husband Jorge is wonderful company and I feel grateful that we are getting through this time together. What does concern me greatly are all the people with few resources who have been stressed pschologically, economically and healthwise to the breaking point. Businesses are failing and we pray our college will be able to hang in there. Another point you bring up is how researchers and medical facilities from all over the globe have worked together to develop a vaccine in absolutely record time. This is not an easy time but hopefully in a few years we will look back on this period and see some benefit… I sure hope so…


    1. Thank you Alex. Yes, a painting a day is a big challenge but its fun to see what we all get accomplished. I hope you and John might consider joining us one year… it stretches the creative urge to move around and enjoy the company of other painters. Soon we’ll have our vaccines and we’ll get together for a catch-up.


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