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ONGOING WEEKLY/MONTHLY MEETINGS
AA GRUPO GRINGO MEETINGS: Sun, Mon & Thurs, 10am; Tues, Wed & Fri, 6pm, Sat, 3pm, Ave. Mar Mediterraneo #16 (2 blocks east of Las Brisas Hotel).
AL-ANON FAMILY GROUP MEETING: Tuesday 10AM (Same meeting place as Grupo Gringo) Al-Anon provides hope for friends and family members of problem drinkers.
BAJA BRIDGE CLUB: Mon, 11am, at Club Marena, km 38, TJ–ENS. ACBL duplicate game. Info: Clara Lowe (619) 270-1266, firstname.lastname@example.org BAJA GOLD COAST BRIDGE CLUB: Tue,11am, at Rosarito Beach Christian Church, km 42.6, TJ–ENS. ACBL duplicate game. For info contact: Gwen Castelda 646-155-4036, email@example.com BAJA WRITER’S WORKSHOP: Wed, 12 noon at Restaurante Eden, next door to the Cruz Roja store, second building east of Waldos. Info: Marsh Cassidy at firstname.lastname@example.org CRUZ ROJA VOLUNTARIOS: 2nd Thursday of each month at the Rosarito Beach Hotel at 10:00 a.m. For info contact Paul Flowers at 661-613-9355, 661-124-3424, 661-612-3455, email@example.com. Cruz Roja Thrift Shop, located behind Waldo*s, is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. FLYING SAMARITANS: 3rd. Wednesday of every month at Villas del Mar, 10:00 a.m. They conduct free medical and hearing clinics for people of Mexico who have no other resources. Medical clinics are the 2nd and 4th Saturdays, and hearing clinic is the 3rd Saturday of each month. The clinic is located at Chihuahua 488. For info contact Susan Smith, President 661-100-6066 Mx 858-2402360 US, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.flyingsamaritansrosarito.org. FRAO (Foreign Residents Attention Office): 3rd Thursday of each month. Location to be determined. Office located on the 1st floor of the Municipal Building, provides information to international residents who live or want to live in the Rosarito area. For info call 661 614 9600 Ext-1530; email@example.com, www.rosarito.gob.mx FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY: 2nd Wednesday of every month (except December). at IMAC public library (one block west of Boulevard Benito Juarez and Banamex) 10AM. For info contact Susan Shea, President at 619-704-8091 US. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.friendsofthelibrary.com.mx ROSARITO THEATRE GUILD: (The Rosarito Theatre Guild Board of Directors): 2nd Tuesday of each month, 10:00 a.m., at the Theatre. #76 Benito Juarez Blvd. For info contact Sylvia Dombrosky, President, at (664) 631-3320; e-mail: email@example.com ROTARY CLUB LA MISION MX: Meet Wednesdays at Poco Cielo Restaurant at 10AM. Breakfast $5 / coffee $2. For info contact Gabe Fasolino, President at 503-919-1333 US. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org SPANISH STUDY GROUP: (Profesora Susana Schinkel) holds weekly sessions. Info Susanna Schinkel, (664) 631-3967; email@example.com. SQUARE DANCING: Every Wednesday of each month. Beginners welcome. No Partners required. Info: Maggi Wagner at (661) 612-1174; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org USBC (The United Society of Baja California): Meet the 1st Saturday of each month, 10:00 a.m. at Casa Blanca Restaurant, Rosarito Beach Hotel. The USBC is primarily a social group serving as the hub of information for the English speaking community in the Rosarito area. They donate to several local charities, publish a monthly newsletter, the Communicator, and hold monthly potlucks and social events. For info contact Judy Westphal, President, at (661) 614-1113; e-mail: email@example.com www.unitedsocietyofbaja.org/
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Anne & Patrick Mullen moved to the Baja in 1999
It did not take much convincing when the doctor told Patrick he was putting him on work disability. He would eventually recover from his illness, but it would take time. A friend (who conveniently had a house to rent) suggested they move to Rosarito during the convalescence period. It sounded like a good idea, so they packed up “Spike,” a Standard French Poodle, together with all their belongings, and migrated south of the border. The house they rented was in Colonia Mazatlán, located east of Playas de Rosarito. It was a unique experience for them to live amongst the Mexican families, to watch the children go to school in the mornings resplendent in their uniforms and spotless white shirts, to wake up to roosters crowing, to listen to the local vendors selling their wares while barking over loudspeakers — an experience they would not have missed for anything. After almost a year Patrick returned to work status and they moved to a gated community along the coast. They decided to remain in Baja California while Patrick commuted to the States to work. Anne is a second-generation Dane from Nova Scotia, Canada, with zero knowledge of Spanish, and Patrick was concerned how she would adjust to life in Mexico. It turned out she was, and is, enthralled with Mexico. It was not always effortless. These were the days before SENTRI, and the border waits were often long and tedious. Anne’s lack Spanish at times was a problem, but the Mexicans were patient and she got by. Each morning Manuel, a mason hired to build a wall, brought Spanish words written out on a scrap of paper, resulting in daily short lessons for both Anne and Manuel in English and Spanish. Patrick had lived most of his life in California, and never seriously considered living anywhere on a permanent basis other than the United States. What figured in their decision to remain in Mexico was the fact that they had the feeling of “fitting in.” It is affordable, the people are gracious and helpful, and they were generally accepted by both expatriates and Mexican nationals alike. They have lived here for over a dozen years (along with their menagerie of 4 dogs & 2 cats) and are now legal permanent residents. There is a saying in Mexico, “Mi casa es su casa.” They have received open friendship and good treatment from every quarter, and engage in the many activities of both the national and expatriate communities; i.e. Cruz Roja, Flying Samaritans, The Sisters of Mercy convent, USBC, etc. One issue, however, is trying to explain to friends and family that they are very comfortable in their surroundings, and that it is safe to come to Mexico. Crime is everywhere, no matter where you go in the world, that is a fact — and no, they do not have to dodge bullets when driving across the border on their way home, although the same cannot always be said for the potholes.
(left to right) Kathleen Taormina, Tillie Foster, Rachel Pack, Judy Westphal and Anne Hines
Taking part in the first Baja Image Conference (BIC) at the Rosarito Beach Hotel June 8 & 9, 2011