It’s Kind Of Like Camping Only Better – My Dad Would Have Been So Proud

17 Aug

Five children, a dog, occasionally my grandmother and a cousin or two joined our childhood camping vacations. It was partly economical but also for the love of being outdoors. My father grew up as a Boy Scout and loved all things merit badge. I learned to build and cook on a campfire, make a sling for a broken arm and identify constellations.  His rule was to leave the campsite cleaner than you found it. My father’s admonitions live in my heart to this day.

Being my father’s daughter has served me well for living in Bacalar in the southern Yucatan. It’s a lot like camping, only better. The windows to our home are persianas which do not seal out the world.

Our alarm clock.

Our alarm clock.

We hear birds squawking, dogs barking, the roosters greeting the sunrise and an occasional goat braying. It’s not all at the same time, usually.

We choose not to use air conditioning even in the heat and humidity of the summer. We cope as do most people here by keeping activity to a minimum during the heat of the day, jumping in the lake in the afternoon and if necessary, taking a shower before bed. The night seems to cool down just enough and we are up with the sunrise.


 With the windows always open, you can feel the shift in the wind which indicates a possible shower rolling in.


 My dad would have loved Bacalar. This past week was twenty-eight years since his death. I still see his gait in my son, and his stewardship of the earth in myself and my children. I hope my children and grandchildren will someday share stories of their crazy grandmothers who lived in the jungle in Mexico with their windows open.



8 Responses to “It’s Kind Of Like Camping Only Better – My Dad Would Have Been So Proud”

  1. Lisa Thompson August 17, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    Nice story. Last sentence has a spelling mistake (heir should be their). Love you honey


    • afish25 August 17, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

      Done. Thanks to anyone for catching my typos.


  2. LJones August 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    I, too, love the “natural” – seems closer to nature and I don’t feel ‘one step removed’ from the beauty and noises of the Yucatan. I will be there the 7th or 8th of October – with Ginny and then to a language school, then back for November. I’m looking forward to reconnecting 🙂


  3. emilievardaman August 17, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    Yikes! How hot and humid does it get there? I always figured it would be way too uncomfortable a place to live, yet you’re without A/C.
    My first choice is always open windows and doors but I’m not sure I could do it in your climate.


    • afish25 August 17, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

      The lake breezes help a lot. It’s about acclimating. Lots of people do it, and others have AC. It’s an expensive option.


  4. april August 18, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    I agree with everything you say. Having the open screens, airflow and a gentle breeze is like living in heaven. We have built out house in the jungle ( Tulum) and designed our house to have this. Lots and lots of fans and high ceilings and 10 foot doors with screens.
    Everywhere you look you see jungle. You want to experience nature and hear the monkeys, toucans, birds, We have always been big campers from Alberta also. So appreciate so much what you are saying and we are all living our dream. When you come back to visit Karen and Skip you must come over.


    • afish25 August 19, 2014 at 7:25 am #

      Consider it done! You have a very special slice of heaven in Los Arboles. Love seeing the monkeys.


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