February 28th The Last Birthday Celebration

2011 February 28
by Susan

By Susan Klindienst Fogel

Here it is February 28th. The last day of MY month.
And what a wonderful birthday month it is has been.
I received emails, e-cards and Facebook messages on the days leading up to my birthday.
And of course there was Valentine’s Day which always kicks off the week of my big day.

My friend Kass came down from San Francisco
She brought with her my gift from my darling daughter; a Kindle.

Kass and I had a wonderful time. We swam with the gargantuan and placid whale-shark.
It was a wonderful day that started early with us suiting up in wetsuits.

Our guides were attentive, skilled, multi-lingual and good to look at as well! On the way out to the area where whale-sharks feed we encountered a young gray whale cavorting and breaching and just putting on a wonderful show for us.
Since they are a protected species we were cautioned not to touch the shark. We did not want to cause it any stress. It gently swam by us and curved around and I had to swim backward to avoid a collision. It is an amazing experience to be in the water, under the water, with a purple–polka-dotted fish that is over 30 feet long.

First you see the dorsal fin, and the distinctive shark-shaped head, then you are told to jump in, put your face in the water, and swim with a shark! Counter-intuitive.

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These sharks are not predators, they do not have teeth and they just suck up algae with their giant maw, and glide on by.

And as the captain was turning our boat back towards shore, the great shark fin was headed right for us.
We stopped, and the shark came alongside and hovered , as if posing for us. After a few moments it gave a few flicks of its tail and swam off.
Kass left on my actual birthday February 21.

Mary my closest friend here, arrived back the same day. I missed her at the airport and missed seeing her wearing a headband adorned with felt candles each one sporting a letter spelling our Happy Birthday! Sorry I missed that!
She did wear the headband again when I stopped in for coffee.

On Friday evening my beloved and were invited to dinner with our friends, well, our adopted family Ann and Fernando and their adult children Ixchel and Ruben (they built our house) and Balam and Liliana and the children of both.
And I received lovely gifts from all.

On Sunday, we met Patricia and Gordon for breakfast at La Marmolera. Patricia presented me with cut flowers and a gift.

Today Maria and I skipped our usual massage, then lunch and margaritas under a palapa at La Concha, it is just too cold. We went to breakfast at El Corazon and had a lovely time. Maria was born on February 29!
And so the day is drawing to a close, and the My month is over, it has been grand!

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