How was 2016?

Lee-la-version-en-espanol-aquiHappy New Year! I wish you the best in this new year that it’s just starting. How did it go in 2016? Can you make a recount of the things that you did? In this post I’m sharing how 2016 went for me. The transcendental event in 2016 for me was that I moved to Qatar. Here is my year summary under specific areas (not in any particular order).

Family

In 2016 I had the blessing of being in Guadalajara, Mexico, near my mom and two of my sisters (my dad passed away in 2013; if you read Spanish, you can read his obituary in the Obituario a Jesús Rosas Núñez (papá) post). From January to April, I spent most Sunday evenings at my mom’s house with her and two of my sisters. We usually had lunch or early dinner together. Sometimes we also watched uplifting and inspiring movies or we just simply talked.

From May to July, I moved to my mom’s place while she was in the US visiting family and relatives. I stayed at my mom’s place with one of my sisters. We didn’t go out much as family during 2016, we were not in the city during the special dates either. My mom, for example, was traveling during Mother’s Day and her birthday. Only one of my sisters got the best during her birthday; mi other sister and I took her to play laser tags then to a restaurant we had never been, and finally to the movies. Other than that, we didn’t go out much. I still consider such time a blessing and I would treasure those moments. In August, I left again on a trip far away from my family.

Social Relationships

This year I met new friends and people, again, many from a wide variety of nationalities. I also went out on dates, but nothing beyond that. I’m still single and without commitments. So, I accept proposals ;D

Dinner with former roommates

Dinner with former roommates

Some member of the Autores de Blogs en Guadalajara group

Some member of the Autores de Blogs en Guadalajara group

At a young single adults conference in Leon, Mexico

At a young single adults conference in Leon, Mexico

At a young single adults conference in Leon, Mexico

At a young single adults conference in Leon, Mexico

Tacos al pastor, one of my favorite foods in central Mexico

Tacos al pastor, one of my favorite foods in central Mexico

Work

I continued working as a freelancer (sort of) during a couple weeks for a group of great people who had a very interesting project in the automotive industry, but communication and fluctuating plans were some issues; things simply didn’t work out together. I went back to other pending projects and also did some interpreting from English to Spanish for former customers. Then, with a renewed desire to travel again, I looked for a job overseas to travel while making money. I found a job as a teacher in Qatar. You can read more about that in my post A New Stage in My Life: Qatar.

Travel

In 2016 I visited the last two states I hadn’t gotten to complete all Mexico. There are 32 Mexican federal entities. By the time I graduated from high school, I had visited them all except Morelos and Guerrero. For many years I hadn’t visited those two states. This last year I did a quick trip to Cuernavaca, Morelos and to Taxco, Guerrero. Now I can officially say that I’ve been to all Mexican states. However, I would like to visit Chihuahua, Durango, and San Luis Potosí again since I visited those states when I was too young to remember.

At Ellora Caves in India

At Ellora Caves in India

Me in Zacatecas, Mexico

Me in Zacatecas, Mexico

Adventurous ride in Agra, India

Adventurous ride in Agra, India

Iranian men I met at an old touristic bridge in Iran.

Iranian men I met at an old touristic bridge in Iran.

Image of Lake Camécuaro in Tangancícuaro, Michoacán, México.

Lake Camécuaro. If you want to find out more about my trip with friends to this lake, see pictures I took, and watch a short video I made, check my post Lake Camécuaro: “The Place of Bathing”.

Below is a list of the places I visited in 2016.

In Mexico:

Mazatlán, Sinaloa (one week)

León, Guanajuato (weekend)

Zacatecas, Zacatecas (four days)

Camécuaro, Michoacán (one day)

Tequila, Jalisco (twice and a day each)

Mazamitla, Jalisco (one day)

Several small towns around Chapala lake in Jalisco.

International:

Qatar
Iran
India
I will share pictures and stories about each of those places later on. So stay tuned 😉

Food

Food is one of the things that I need to highlight. This year I ate a great variety of new dishes, including authentic Iranian and Indian meals in their respective countries. Many of them with names that I couldn’t find out. And being in Qatar, I was able to eat a lot of Arabic food too. I also tried new drinks, (non-alcoholic, I don’t drink alcoholic drinks). Many dishes and drink were great and fascinating. I’m only highlighting a couple meals and drinks below.

Picture of duck breast with some green leafs and berries on top of a sauce

Raspberry duck breast in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Canelé Bordelé

Canelé Bordelé in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Julienne vegetables (squash, carrot, beet, jalapeno, celery, avocado, sprouts) with sunflower seed cheese wrapped in a rice sheet Verduras julianas (calabaza, zanahoria, betabel, jalapeño, apio, aguacate, germinados) con queso de semilla de girasol envuelto en una hoja de arroz, acompañado con salsa de soya y aderezo de mango.

Julienne vegetables (squash, carrot, beet, jalapeno, celery, avocado, sprouts) with sunflower seed cheese wrapped in a rice sheet. Guadalajara, Mexico.

Ancho chili pepper stuffed with pasta, shrimp, and squash blossom dressing sauce at Sacromonte restaurant in Guadalajara, Mexico. | Chile ancho relleno de pasta, camarones y salsa de flor de calabaza con hojuelas crujientes de cebolla en el restaurante Sacromonte en Guadalajara, México.

Ancho chili pepper stuffed with pasta, shrimp, and squash blossom dressing sauce at Sacromonte restaurant in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Jicama tacos stuffed with spinach and mushrooms with Tampico paste and hot chocolate at Samborns | Tacos de jícama rellenos de espinaca, champiñón y salsa tampico acompañados con un chocolate caliente en Sanborns

Jicama tacos stuffed with spinach and mushrooms with Tampico paste and hot chocolate at Samborns in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Pastela at a Moroccan restaurant in Guadalajara, México.

Pastela at a Moroccan restaurant in Guadalajara, México.

I don't remember the name of this dish, but it was bread with cheese, chicken, spices and BBQ sauce. Al Wakra, Qatar | No recuerdo el nombre de este pero era pan con queso, pollo, especias y una salsa BBQ. Al Wakra, Catar.

I don’t remember the name of this dish, but it was bread with cheese, chicken, spices and BBQ sauce. Al Wakra, Qatar.

Ground lamb with some Iranian spices garnished with bread and basil leaves and limes | Carne molida de cordero con especias iranís acompañada de pan y hojas de albahaca y limón.

Ground lamb with some Iranian spices garnished with bread and basil leaves and limes.

honeycomb with bread, cheese, butter and walnuts.

The first time I ate actual honeycomb. I tried it with bread, cheese, butter and walnuts. It was amazing. Soft and chewy but also slightly crunchy when eaten with the walnuts.

Kebbeh bil sayniye, malfouf salad, laban, custerd in Al Wakra, Qatar.

Kebbeh bil sayniye, malfouf salad, laban, custerd in Al Wakra, Qatar.

Blackberry sparkling water on the left and pomegranate drink with basil seeds on the right

Blackberry sparkling water on the left and pomegranate drink with basil seeds on the right

Photography

In 2016 I took almost 27,000 pictures (without counting the ones from my smartphone and other devices), don’t be surprised, I have taken more in past years. However, of all of them, just a small percentage turn out to be good enough to share here in my blog.
I use a software called Lightroom to organize and tag my pictures. In 2016 one of the most used tag was food. That happened last year too, I’m starting to wonder if that’s how it is going to be every year 🙂

Leisure and Entertainment

In 2016, most of my entertainment was within the ordinary: movies, going out with friends, dancing, street markets, and the like. I also joined Universidad Metropolitana’s students who volunteered to organize an event to celebrate el Día del Niño (Children’s Day) among a poor community in Guadalajara; it was fun. And I went to a humanitarian dance in which all the guests were asked to bring some non-perishable goods.

Playing games at Church during a young single adults activity

Playing games at Church during a young single adults activity

I also went to a young single adults convention in León, Guanajuato, México. That was a gathering of Mormon singles with Christian values. Besides having workshops, games, dances, a talent night show, and great meals at a hotel, we also had uplifting talks. However, the convention wasn’t as great as the one I attended the previous year (See My Experience at the Guadalajara YSA Convention 2015 – Special Guest: David Archuleta.). In addition, I participated in extracurricular activities such as a group of bloggers in Guadalajara and events for the Doha Creatives in Qatar.

At a Doha Creatives event in Qatar. Picture by Doha Creatives staff.

At a Doha Creatives event in Qatar. Picture by Doha Creatives staff.

At a social media workshop organized by Doha Creatives in Qatar. Picture by Doha Creatives staff.

At a social media workshop organized by Doha Creatives in Qatar. Picture by Doha Creatives staff.

And, finally, if I include traveling in the leisure part of my year review then I did some exciting things such as visiting the Taj Mahal and the Golden Temple in India, and Persepolis in Iran. I visited fascinating places, went to some museums, had rides in motorcycles and rickshaws, went to an area with sand dunes, and swam in a river. All that in 2016. I really experienced some cool things that I will share later.

At Ellora Caves in India

At Ellora Caves in India

Taxco, Guerrero, México

Taxco, Guerrero, México

Eating lamb broth with ground meat at a restaurant in Iran.

Eating lamb broth with ground meat at a restaurant in Iran.

Spiritual Life

As usual, I attended weekly Church meetings most of the year, I probably missed about three or four times because of my travels. I also sang in a Christmas choir in Doha and went to a few family home evenings with young single adults [Family home evenings are uplifting meetings in which we have messages, games, and/or refreshments]. As I mentioned before, I also went to a convention for young single adults. Besides the social and entertaining activities, there was also a lot in the spiritual part of the itinerary program.

Special Calendar Dates

There are several special dates in the year, but in 2016, I want to highlight four.

Día de Reyes (the Three Kings’ Day) in Cajititlán

Although I don’t celebrate this holiday in a religious manner, I like to join my Catholic friends on Día de Reyes in a popular tradition in Mexico and other countries to partake of the king cake. The king cake is an oval shape bread with candied fruits and has a plastic figurine inside representing the baby Jesus. It is delicious and it is fun trying to see who gets the figurine. The idea is that you share the king cake with someone, but in 2016 I went alone to see how the people in Cajititlán celebrated this holiday.

Cajititlán is among the most devoted communities to the Three Kings, if not the most. Many people there take it very serious and their religious fervor can be seen in great deal. People bowed and touched the three Kings with tremendous zeal. If you want to see the pictures I took there and/or you want to learn more about this tradition and the king cake, you can read my post The Three Kings’ Day Celebration in Cajititlán.

The three magi or wise men or also known as the three kings on a Catholic church in Cajititlán, Mexico.

Music, dances, a fair, processions by foot and by boat, and more. Read The Three Kings’ Day Celebration in Cajititlan to find out more.

Christmas at the Taj Mahal

I normally celebrate Christmas with my family or other families (when I’m abroad) but this time, I was alone in India, a place were Christmas is celebrated by a humble number of people only. But my Christmas gift was seeing the Taj Mahal. It was indeed fascinating. I took lots of pictures (of course) but it is better to be there to admire all its grandeur and majesty. I will share a post about it with more details later, if you want to be notified, enter your email address here to receive notifications of new posts.

New Year’s Eve at the Golden Temple

I actually spent the New Year’s Eve and the New Year Day in Amritsar in the Golden Temple area. I didn’t get to see fireworks and didn’t do the countdown to the New Year, I didn’t gather with friends or family, but I enjoyed the peculiar experience of being at that place, I saw the last sunset of 2016 and the first sunrise of 2017 there. The complex and Golden Temple, the people around, its culture, and the procedures were out of the ordinary and riveting. I will also share more about this later, you can subscribe to the blog to get a notification about it.


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At the Golden Temple comlex in Amritsar. It is required that everyone is barefoot and cover his or her head.

At the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar. It is required that everyone (men and women alike) is barefoot and cover his or her head.

My birthday

My birthday is on December 2. I’m not really into bringing attention to my birthday, but I still consider it a relevant date that I should keep track of whether something important happens or not.

This year, it was silent and dead. Nobody around me knew it was my birthday. It was on Friday, but Friday here is like Sunday so, I went to Church. Later on I went to a family’s home for lunch and a nap and then to a “Musical soiree” and a puck luck type of activity. It was a fun day either way. Few days later my colleagues at school gave me a birthday card.

However, I want to thank all my friends, family and relatives back home or in other locations around the world who sent me their greetings through Facebook, email, and the like. Thank you so much! Your messages brought light and joy to me when reading them. I sincerely appreciate that. At the same time, I’m aware that I’m behind in reciprocity. I’m guilty 🙁 I’m sorry I haven’t been that good at corresponding in the same way. I hope I can improve in that regard.

And well, I bought myself a present: The GoPro Hero 5 Black camera, which you will now notice in future posts when I also add pictures and videos taken with this camera.

My new gadget for pictures and videos. GoPro Hero 5 Black.

My new gadget for pictures and videos. GoPro Hero 5 Black.

First and Last Day of 2016

And what did you do a year ago on the first day of 2016? Can you remember? I have a vague idea of my first day of 2016, but I took notes and pictures 😉

I received 2016 with about ten friends at the house of one of them in Guadalajara Mexico. We had been eating and playing games and, right at midnight, starting 2016, we began hugging each other, but to my surprise, many started to send New Year greetings to others through WhatsApp and Facebook. In such a sudden change of mood, almost everyone was on his or her phone; the lively environment went almost quiet. I admit it was an odd sudden transition of mood from a lively and cheerful moment to an almost funeral period of a couple minutes. Fortunately, for the sake of the party, the smiles and celebration came back.

After the party I went home. I was living at a flat in Chapultepec area at the time and had a roof terrace. I wanted to see the first sunrise of the year, but I slept in because I hadn’t slept much the previous night with the New Year’s Eve celebrations; I didn’t wake up early enough and missed the sunrise. Later on I wrote for my blog, pondered, and in the evening, I went to another friends’ house where we got together for a BBQ. We mingled, took pictures, and even played volleyball.

And what about the last day of 2016? I was in a lounge at the New Delhi airport, in India. At 4 AM I ate breakfast. I went to the gate and flew to Amritsar, near the Pakistani border. I arrived around 6 AM in Amritsar, after waiting for almost two hours at the airport, I shared a taxi with two Chinese girls and went to the Hyatt hotel. They were staying there, I just went for the breakfast buffet. I stayed in the restaurant until 10 AM, went to the shopping mall next to the hotel, and then to the Golden Temple.

I decided to spend the night with the pilgrims around the Golden Temple. There was accommodation for foreigners; a less than a one-star type of hotel, but I was there for the experience. After taking a nap, I went back inside the Golden temple complex and took pictures during the sunset and walked around.

I went back to the dormitory where I met a guy from New Zealand and his girlfriend from South Korea. We talked about our trips in India and things to do in Amritsar. Then we heard fireworks outside right at midnight, people outside chanted things briefly. We said happy New Year to each other and I went to bed.

This is a quick summary, but later on I’ll share with you more details of this trip in Amritsar, the place I stayed in, the food and how it was like inside the Golden Temple complex. Again, if you want to receive an automatic notification of that and other coming posts, enter your email here. Don’t worry, you will not receive Spam from me.

And that’s it. What do you think? Do you have a comment? Leave it here. If you liked this post, click on the Facebook or Twitter buttons below and share it. Until the next post!