Each year, between my winter and my spring trips to Mexico, one major project which I have to complete is to paint a picture to donate to the spring auction held by one of my favorite charities, Los Amigos de las Américas. (I have written about Los Amigos before on this blog. It is an organization which sends U.S. high school and college students to Latin America to do volunteer work in poor villages.)
I had begun work on this year's painting. As you can see, I had completed almost half of it. It is a view of the lakeside town of Valle de Bravo, a place which I had visited on my latest trip to Mexico.
The auction is held in early April, and usually by this time someone from the organization has contacted me to ask if I am once again going to donate artwork. A few days ago I emailed my contact person. This morning I received a reply, and was told that for a number of reasons (which she did not detail) there would be no auction this year. On the one hand I am concerned that things might not be going well for the Ohio chapter of Los Amigos. But on the other hand, I don't have the pressure of completing the painting and delivering it before the end of this month. I also have a bag of little Mexican handicrafts purchased on my various trips south of the border that I was going to donate to their silent auction.
I will continue to work on the painting, but at my leisure. And I will save the bag of handicrafts. Hopefully next year Los Amigos will once again have an auction, and I will be ahead of the game.
In other news, my planned trip to Europe this summer is in the air. I have written frequently about my third cousin Gail who shares Swiss ancestors with me. She and her husband had signed up for a guided tour of Switzerland for this summer. The plan was that they would stay on in Switzerland for a few days after the end of the tour, I would meet them there, and I would introduce them to our Swiss cousins. My cousin Brigitta, who lives outside of Zurich, was going to organize a family reunion while we were there. We were dealing with a very tight time frame because Brigitta, who is a teacher, was going to be traveling over much of her summer vacation. There was just one week in August that would work for her. Gail had found a tour that fit into that time frame.
Gail had told me that the tour company had not yet confirmed those dates. We assumed that not enough people had signed up for that particular tour yet, but it was still early. Nevertheless I was holding off on making my travel reservations until they had a confirmation. Yesterday, Gail told me that for some unexplained reason their tour had been cancelled. She is looking into some other companies that might have tours of Switzerland that conclude in Zurich at the right time. So that trip is a question mark.