We spent two days driving, twisting through the mountains, and visiting the Sierra Gorda
range, the Franciscan missions and the churches. We stayed at a former hacienda. People
rave about Sedona, its beauty and variety of vegetation, but I'm convinced that the Sierra
Gorda takes the prized Blue Ribbon on both counts, and the missions, with unique façades
mixing native and Catholic symbols, are added for good measure.
I made a quick run to San Luís Potosí, delivered a cake to a friend who guided my first
trips to Mexico, dined with her and family then raced back to Las Campanas (The Bells),
my hotel in Dolores Hidalgo, for the next Global Volunteer stint.
I stepped into my hotel room where the temperature had dropped below refrigeration. The
climate in Dolores Hidalgo was mild, somewhat colder that normal, but I managed to find
the coldest spot and a heat-sucking mattress. With two additional blankets, one to sleep un-
der and the other to insulate me from the mattress, and with a nighttime get-up that only
Eskimos would consider, I managed not to freeze. I slept with socks and slippers, with only
moonlight and a light bulb for radiant heat. The moon wasn't full and the bulb flickered.
Subsequently, I learned how aptly named was my hotel, Las Campanas. The morning tin-
tinnabulation of the bells, bells, bells, every ding and every dong, hundreds of them began
at 5:30 a.m.
Dolores Hidalgo was real Mexico. When I inquired from the U.S. about parking for my
car, I was told, “Oh, yes there is parking,” but he failed to mention it was on the street. I
found parking lot three blocks from the hotel where the “vigilancia” (security) locked the
gate according to his personal schedule, so the Grand Marquis was secure, especially from
The new group of Global Volunteers jumped in average age by about ten years compared
to the last group. All were experienced travelers, and the majority were either teachers by
profession or had taken the English-as-a-second-language course. The core of our group,
The Seven Sisters of Feminism, took none of my opinions. Our leader was pathologically
cheerful, optimistic, loved everyone nonjudgmentally and believed in “sharing,” which is
one of my favorite gag-me-with-a-spoon clichés. Her good nature and friendships were the
assets that got us invited to a ranchito barbecue where the sons of the hotel owner acted as
chef and dance instructor. She deserved credit for an “all-come-over” house party invita-
tion. We brought tequila and beer, and I surprised the group with the arrival of a mariachi
band. Animal House would have been proud. And to my great delight, there was an ar-