July 9/24 Beryl has passed us by.

All we got out of it was half an inch of rain, just now. And much cooler temperatures. Friend Evelyn O’Hara was with her dad in Texas City and texted us (us other three who ride together, named The Saddle Sisters by June)high winds and no electricity but it was only for about 24 hours — I think. I’ll hear ore shortly on the text thread.

I don’t have any social media and they are all on Facebook so they sometimes forget I haven’t heard the latest but they always catch me up later.

Letter from Elvia, Coatepec, Jalapa State, Mexico

That’s Elvia in the middle, at a birthday party for the friend on the left, in Coatepec; (Veracruz State, Mexico)

Hi Linda…we hope the (cortisone injections for hip) is enough and you are able to be without pain. No doubt that old age is really aggressive, we have to bear with white hair, griefs, pains, deafness, foolishness, stubbornness and wrinkles, jajaja. But we are a little more wise at least.

Well I am still enjoying my colorful trip (to Uzbekistan). I learned a lot and I am still reading, thousands of details from such cities. …I knew Khiva was a commercial place where you could buy horses, camels, slaves then caravans during the XIV and XV centuries…it was very exciting to walk the old paths…Samarcanda was the place I liked the most…

We (Elvia and niece Mariana) walked everywhere and could “talk” to people thanks to the translator application at the telephone, sometimes in English and Oh!! Surprise!! we met students that wanted to practice their Spanish because they are taking Spanish classes at the university. Everyone was very nice, very kind…There are a lot of tourists, French, Russians, Germans and Italians…I didn’t met any American and no one Mexican, only Mariana and Elvia jaja. You see Spanish people with their cell phone in hand every corner…

Around here we had a long drought too for almost two months. We had fires close to Cosautlan at the forest between Veracruz andPuebla states. The inhabitants asked for help and the government sent helicopters, firefighters, etc. Coatepec, Xalapa and Xico population organize a food and water collection to help people who live over there. Besides serums for workers. Fortunately we had a big rain last Saturday…we are happy again with water coming from heaven. It’s a long letter sorry about it, but many things to say…

Elvia is from the large and quite marvelous Contreras family and taught for thirty years in the Mexican government school system in Coatepec, attends a tertulia concerning Latin Ameican Literature and is a great traveler. Take note; she asked me if I knew anyone who needed a nanny/tutor for a year as she wants to improve her English. My friends know how to get hold of me. Her English is far better, at this point, than my Spanish. Am ordering a facing page translation edition of the collected poems of Antonio Machado, my much-beloved favorite, so am forging on.