Crying in the airport

Okay. So I got all the kids to San Francsico after another very uncofortable night on the Mexico City airport floor. Once we got to San Francsico no one picked us up at the airport so we took the Bart and then a cab. I must say that I was a little suprised that no one picked us up. I mean we are talking over 4 cars that could have come and no one adjusted their schedules to come and pick up their kids from the airport then had just been gone a month?!?!? I mean, I have no problem taking the Bart but I was just a little suprised.

I went and dropped off the kids at grandma's house and left to go find some of my friends. Ruben called me later and said how his sisters were talking smack about how I am not haning out with them. I have decided to completly let this go. I mean- they were not at the house until after 7- there were no arangemnts to have a dinner or any sort of hang out- we did not even get picked up at the airport?!?! I have learned that I will talked about no matter what.

I love his sisters and his mom- hiw whole family- I really like them and I know that they like me. But this is one of those cultural expereince influenced by intence tella novellas. The same is true for my friend who lives in Oxkutzcab. Mexican women LOVE to gossip. Now this is true of many types of women in every culture but oooohhhhh Nelly do the ladies in this family love to gossip. It was pretty funny because when I was in town last time - I made no hide of the fact that I was going to be spening time with my friends. And when I saw his sisters they kepts saying- "yeah you have been partying and having fun." now while that is true- I know that their idea of the sort of parting I would be doing is the sort that used to do years ago. Not so much anymore. I really do not care but it just seems funny. If they knew me better they would understand the sort of things that I do for fun. Most of it revolves around food! jaja

But after I let my husbands comments slide off my back I got back to missing him so much. I am so much more emotional about being away from him this time then I was last month when I was gone. I think that it is becuase last trip was so fast- it was fly to SF - ng out withe my friends and fly home. This time it is so much more involved and stressfull. I am about to fly to Portland then I have so much work to do in Portland and running around and then I have to drive down to San Diego and do the whole baorder pass process. Should be interesting.

I am sitting here in the airport and I was writting a message to my husband and I jsut could not stop a few tears from rolling out of my eyes. I am sure that getting my period has something to do with it. I am so madly in love with my husband. When we first met I explained to him how I felt when he came into the room. I got a little jump in my stomach every time he came into the room. That sort of "hhhaa- there he is." feeling. Several years later I told him- you still make me jump inside when I see you. it still happens after all of these years. Sorry- this is a sort of random and emotional post but I am a random and emotional sort of gal.

On the flip side I did find some scores in San Francsico. There is this store- Forever 21 and it is full of cute cheap cloths. They had timy almost underware style tanktops for $2.50!!! In all sorts of colors. These a the shirts that I would wear EVEYDAY! So that made me very happy. I also found 2 beautiful long summer dresses for $6. and I am so broke so that made me very happy.

Anyway. I am going to see if I can track down my hubby on facebook or something. I am such a mess right now.

A birthday party for no one- or every one.

Last night was the last night that my family was going to be with us and I had the idea a while back of doing a birthday party to celebrate all the kids birthdays that we did not get to celebrate together.

the kids picked out what they wanted for dinner- bbq chicken, garlic mashed potatoes and salad. Dinner was great. The kids made a bunch of invitations and ran around the streets handing them out to their friends. I must say that I love this method for birthday parties. So much less stress then the birthday parties that I am used to throwing. Here I have 2 responsibilities... a pinata and a cake. They do not care about decor- they do not need games- they all run around hopped up on sugar and play.

We bought a cake, a pinata and some candy. It did not take long for the kids to descend on the house. It was a really fun time. Just a pinata and a cake and a bunch of screaming kids and little old me. It was pretty interesting. But hey - they all had a good time.

After all of the craziness I sat everyone down to watch a movie. Man, I need a vacation after that ordeal! jajaja

Tonight i am off to the states to drop off the kids and to pick up my car. I really hope that I do not have any troubles at the boarder. We shall see.

The family is back.

My niece and nephews are back from central Mexico and I am so glad. I know I have made some side bars about how hard and crazy it is - and while all that is true- I love it. These kids are great and so sweet. I have been around other kids that fight and bicker and these kids do not and it is really great.

There is something that I have been wrestling with lately. Now, I know that I am bit different in my dealings with my kids then many other mothers in Mexico but I think there are some things that are a little more universal. But maybe I am just a bit old fashioned. I am not sure.

Here is the story. I have these 2 neighbor boys that are at my house bright and early most mornings. I have the house that most kids on the street hang out at and I am totally fine with that. Over the past 8 months or so I have gotten much better about telling people to go home when I am at the end of my rope of sanity. The kids have all been very nice about it.

But... here is the problem, the neighbor boys went to their house and then had to come back to my house to get the keys to get in. The fact that they were by themselves sort of shocked me. I mean, 1 is 8 and the other 6.

Now let me just say for 1 that I know that you have to work with the situation you are given. Mom works at 3- Aunt is not home until 7 - that is not terrible and I know people who have had to work situations like that. But it just seems too young to be by yourself. And if it was only for those few hours a day it would be one thing- but then for the past few weeks when they are here in the morning there is no one home for hours.

Then a few nights ago- we were about to have dinner and so I sent everyone home - well- it was almost 7:30 and no one was home- they had been at my house all day so I know that they had not eaten anything more then the snacks we had done at my house.

I asked them what they were going to have for dinner and he said nothing. Now- I am sure that is not entirely true but I had them stay at my house for dinner anyway. Afterwards they went home. They were in the streets playing late into the evening- like 11. And while that is not that strange on these streets- the fact that no one was home made me really uncomfortable.

Now- it is none of my business how someone else raises their kids but I feel a sense of responsibility for these boys. I mean- even if the mom had simply said to me- "Hey- there are going to be some hours I am not home- the boys are good by themselves but could you just keep and ear out and know that they are by themselves in case there is a problem." For 1 I would totally say yes- but... I do not know.

I really like this family and I like the boys but I feel like them at home by themselves for several hours a day is a little crazy. I talked to Ruben about it and he has similar concerns. For him he hates that he has seen the boys actually locked into the house. Most of our locks here are ones that you need a key to open the door even from the inside. So these boys are literally locked in their house.

Am I crazy or is that a little nuts? And I am not sure if I should say anything or not. I think I am just going to mention to the mom, "Hey I know the boys are at home by themselves a lot. If you need a hand with someone watching them, let me know." I mean she lives 2 houses down.

It did get Ruben and I talking about what age we think is okay to leave the kids at home. An age I am very excited about because there are many times that Ruben and I would love to hang out a little just the 2 of us. I mean, I will leave the kids at the house while I run to the supermarket but I am usually gone about 30 minutes.

Ruben and I decided that Akilean at 11 and Lena at 12 would be appropriate. Ruben and I could go out to dinner and they would be fine by themselves. This is new territory for me. I could see them being at home for a few hours during the day when Akilean is 9 and Lena is 10. But I do not know.

What is the norm? Is there a norm? Am I being a little crazy American lady on this issue? There are a lot of things here in Mexico where Ruben or my Latino friends will affectionately remind me that I have crazy white lady rules. jajaja.

Anyway. School starts soon so maybe the situation will change.

Home with flowers

I have been with my husband for almost 10 years now and he never stops amazing me.  We are at a place in our relationship that is really good.  We are really happy.  We are in desperate need of some time together out and about without kids but this is the reality of every young family. 

Yesterday Ruben had to go and order some flowers at a wedding that they are having at his hotel and when he came home he brought me a very beautiful bouquet of flowers.  They are white lilies which are my absolute favorite flowers.  Both the white and the stargazer lilies.  They smell so wonderful.  It was so sweet.  I love getting flowers for no reason.  It really was so sweet.  And there are many that have not opened yet and I love watching them open. 

Back in Oregon we have one of the largest and most varied rose gardens in the United States and the roses in that garden are as beautiful as they get.  Ruben and I used to walk those gardens all the time and watch the roses open. 

One thing that has been really funny around here lately is my kids have fallen in love with certain songs.  The Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) song from Shakira is HUGE hit in this house.  First of all it is all Futbal and they love anything futbal.  They both know every word to this song in both the Spanish and English version and they both know the dance.  It is really cute. 

For Akilean- he has really attached himself to the song from Desperado.  Now let me just say that I love Antonio Banderas.  I mean - love him.  Everything about him.  He is one of the best triple threats in Hollywood and Broadway.  He is a wonderful dancer, singer, actor and musician.  Not to mention hotter then hell.  Plus he is married to a cool as white woman who adores him. So Akilean wanting to watch this video 100 times a day is okay with me.  (I think Shakira is one of the hottest women in the world too- so these videos really work out) jaja.

The other song that Lena loves is actually Ruben's and my song.  Nelly and Kelly Dilemma.  She loves to get all dressed up and dance around the living room to this song.  It is a very sweet sounding song.  It is pretty much our beginning except for the kid and we have not listened to the song in over 7  years.  Then suddenly Ruben put it on and even though it is not our story anymore it remains our song.  We tried to look for a  new song but you cannot just pick a new song.  There are songs that really reflect our current relationship and love but that song - it is our beginning.  it came out right in the beginning of our relationship.  it is really funny to watch Lena dance around to it and sing all the words.

An interesting opportunity

I had an interesting opportunity yesterday.  I was walking with the kids to get Lena's skirt for her uniform made when I passed a man that Ruben and I met when we first moved Tulum.  he has a newspaper that is one of the best in TUlum.  There are a few papers but they cover a lot of the murder- cartel-  car crash sort of stuff.  This newspaper is more about Tulum.  The stories and events that are happening right here in this community rather then the Rivera Maya or Quintana Roo. 

They are looking to open a social section of the newspaper and want me to cover the events and write the articles.  I am really excited about it.  For 1 I really love working.  But I simply cannot nor do I want to do it like I was in the states.  With kids in school here - I need to have a flexible job because there is nothing very scheduled about the kids schools.  Plus- I really like having so much time with my kids.  But need some more structure. 

I am a stage manager in the theater.  The idea of a plan of no plan is totally against my nature but I am getting into it.  But I like getting up early and having a reason and schedule to my morning.  Then the rest of the day can relax.  I was never really one of those sleep in late people.  Even in my really crazy party days in SF.  I would go to bed at 4 and wake up by 9.  Then again I was in my 20's.  That magical age when you can do anything to your body and it totally works with you.  Not so much anymore and I felt that when I slept in the Mexico City airport. I slept in train station after station and park benches when I was in Europe- not so much anymore.

I cannot tell you how great it feels to be back on our feet again.  We are all moving around again which is great.  I took the kids to the beach yesterday and that was great.  The water was perfectly clear and felt magical to be in.  It was great. 

Even when we are dealing with all of the bad about living here- we get to go swimming at the beach and we remember- oh yeah- this is worth it. Or when we walk around town day or not and know dozens of people.  I love going to Don Cafetos because almost every day there are several tables with my friends at it.  it is great. 

And soon to have a car.... I cannot even imagine the difference that will make in my life.  Anyway.  back to life, back to reality! 

Feeling Better

Enjoy the pics- Cesar let me borrow his old camera.

Hey Everyone. I have the greatest news in the world!!!! We are all better.  All of us.  We still have a lingering cough but hey- after these past few weeks I will take the cough.  Plus it is just the body's way of getting all the remaining stuff in our bodies out- and I am okay with that. 

Okay- so we are off today to get the skirt for Lena's school uniform.  I love that they all wear uniforms here.  It literally eliminates the whole- what am I going to wear to school question. Lena gets to decide what she wears when she plays with her friends (with my Veto power- no party dresses to the park.)  Akilean hardly wears anything but a pair of shorts and undies.  I cannot keep shoes or a shirt on that kid to save my life.  He is such a Tulum kid.  he is going to be my acro -yoga instructor with long hair- always with his shirt off and fire dancing in the evenings. jajaja.  Then there is Lena who I have a funny feeling will be some sort of paddle board or kite boarding instructor.  Possible scuba diving but I think boarding.  

They are both growing up so fast.  Lena finally got her ears pierced a while back.  Well I finally let her change her earrings.  Her Tia gave her a pair of earrings when she was born but her earrings never worked out as a baby. With my hands in those stupid casts I could not take care of earrings.  So she finally got to put in her little angle earrings.  Ruben was thrilled that I still had them. 

We made the kids chore charts yesterday.  I am done buying ice creams and treats all day long.  It really adds up.  So I told the kids that I will buy them an ice cream when we pick up Lena from school.  It is right next to our favorite helado place and the park in town so they can play a bit.  But after that.  Once we get home.... NO MAS! 

They  now have their chore charts and they can earn up to 5 pesos a day.  The jobs are pretty simple.  They are in 5 groups. 
1) eat breakfast, brush teeth and hair, wash face and hands, put on uniform, pack backpack
2) take off uniform and put away, put books on table, wash lunch dishes
3) Do homework, read in Spanish for 20 min. out loud, read 20 min. in English out loud
4) pick up and organize toys  AKILEAN: pick up garbage around house, clear table and scrape dishes after dinner  LENA: wash plates from dinner, sweep bedroom
5) take a shower, brush teeth and hair, pack backpack, get uniform ready
That is not bad.  They have been doing their own laundry for a long while now.  That is my latest- I will separate all of the laundry into 5 piles- each kid- hubby - me and the sheets and towels.   My pile is by far the smallest- my cloths are small and there are very few of them. And I will do the family stuff- but come on- The kids can do their own- you want to change 100 times  a day- fine- but I am not folding your cloths. 

So I am having to get back into gear.  I let so much get away from me this Summer.  My emails are so backed up- I have so many people to write - answer questions- move forward with my school project- get back to writing and thank people for donations. 
I need to get back on it.  I cannot wait to have a schedule again.  I am a person who thrives on a schedule.  I guess it comes from being a stage manager in the theater. 

In other news.  The garden is looking great. We need new grass but that is another project for another day.  It is sort of crazy.  The garden has grown so much.  We litterally planted the papaya last fall from seeds from one of our papayas.  Now they actually have fruits.  We just had to cut back our Elephant ear plant.  It had some HUGE leaves.  When we cut some back we saw this really cool flower.  I had no idea that they even flowered like this. 

The bogenvilla arbor is great.  I want it to just cover this little arbor that Ruben built and create like a little house.  Up the other side we have this great yello flower growing.  It will fill in the whole side of the fence so you cannot see it and will thread over the bikes.  Very nice. 

The whole family in the living room

Well, Ruben came down with the same illness as the rest of us and I hate seeing Ruben sick.  He is such a strong man and takes care of all of us that to see him feel sick kills me.  I told him that he had to take a day or 2 of of work because he was no good the hotel sick and he needed to get better for himself and for the family. He did and slept ALL day on Saturday.  That was really good.  We just stayed in bed and slept and watched movies. 

Sunday is usually Ruben's day off and he was able to have it off this week even though he was sick the day before.  Cesar wanted to go to a Casa Cenote.  This is one of my favorite cenotes around Tulum.  Now we have all been feeling better which is great but I was not sure if going to a cenote was a good idea.  It was sort of a 2 sided deal.  On one hand we had all been cooped up in the house for several days now.  Lena and I and Akilean for almost a week.   And simply being in the house could be contributing to us being sick. 

They emptied the French drain in the street in front of our house and the fine powder dirt that they have in the street gets blown up behind every car and the light dust comes into the house.  Not very helpful when you are trying to breath fresh air.  ALso, the fresh cenote water mixed with a little salt water is really good for your sinuses.  Not to mention that the cenotes are simply magical and lend a lot of healing energy. 

On the flip side- when you are sick it makes sense to just stay in bed and try to get well.  Well I made the choice to go to the cenote.  I am glad I did because not only did it really lift the kids spirits- which can almost heal you all by itself- but the density of mangroves that surround this cenote create a very dense fresh oxygen that is so wonderful to breath.  You can feel it in your lungs.  It is a very fresh air that I can almost feel absorbing into my lungs and blood.  It was very nice.  The water was a perfect temp and the sun was out but not beating down on us. 

It has been so hot here and we are down to just 1 fan so we moved our mattress to the living room and we all slept in the living room with the front door open and the fan on.  There was not too much of a breeze but it was better then the bedroom. 

Ruben did not have to work again today because he is sick and I am so glad.  There is nothing worst then trying to speed a recovery and not really recovering.  So today we are all going to just watch movies curled up together on the mattress on the floor and eat some soup. 

I made some of my veggie soup last night and so we have some of that left over.  It should be chicken noodle soup but I did not have enough pesos for the chicken so it is just veggie and noodle soup.  But it is still really good.  I use a few drops of my favorite hot sauce- Melinda's XXX in all adult soups- It will clear up any sinus block you have that is for sure.  jaja

I have really been slacking on my projects- I have no energy to work on them.  I really need to spend sometime on m y school project.  I have all the pieces in place- I just need to get it organized and get the word out. 

You will hear more soon.  Hopefully today I will do some.  I have a classic problem... when Ruben is home I want to do nothing but be with him.  This is the same problem I have with going out.  I told him, and I know that I need to get out of my house- away from the kids and Ruben and be by myself every now and again. And Ruben is totally supportive of me going out with my friends and taking time for myself, but every time he gets home  I want to curl up and watch movies, make dinner and kiss him.  I guess that is a nice problem to have but...

Okay- well I better go- I am getting tea requests from the kids.  Thanks again all for the good wishes. 

I feel like I am dying

It started a little over a week and a half ago when my niece did not feel well.  Then on Sunday, Lena was feeling pretty lousy.  We had taken all of the kids to the Coba ruins for the day (free for Mexicans on Sundays!!!) and about half way through our journey- Lena was feeling pretty bad.  She did not want to climb the pyramid.  Probably a good thing because it is really steep and worn.  Beautiful views of the jungle and the ruin site but if you are dizzy no way.  So I stayed at the bottom with her.  Just as the rest of the fam was at the top it started to rain.

Lena got really excited because I told her the rain god heard that she was burning up and brought her some refreshing rain to cool her off.  A light rain just for her.  That made her feel a little better.  We are quite the rain loving family.  Anyway.  Later that day we went to her favorite Cenote.  She got in for a little while and played but as soon as she remembered how horrible she felt- she just wanted to sit on the out side and watch. 

We all headed home and just relaxed.  Once we took the nieces and nephews to the airport to visit some family in Guanajuato, Lena was in need of some serious mommy time.  She cuddled up with me and we watched movies and rested for the next few days. 

So then... like clockwork... Thursday night both Ruben and I start to feel a little less then great.  By the morning- I was racked.  I have not been this sick - or felt it so much throughout my body in years.  I have had other illnesses that were more sever but this is one that I can feel in every cranny of my body.  I was unable to even get out of bed yesterday.  The kids mostly stayed in my room or played on the computer.   About noon I was sent a little angle.

My friend Desiree came through the door and ordered me into the shower to cool off- by now my temp had climbed to 102 and was showing no sign of stopping.   After my shower she put me back in bed, picked up my living room and kitchen and made lunch for the kids.  I do not know what I would have done without her.  My head was pounding so hard and still is.  Then she made me  drink a shot glass of NyQuil and sent me to me room. 

God bless her.  Around 5 I vaguely remember Ruben lying next to me and then that was it.  I feel so bad for Ruben.  He felt pretty horrible all day too but was at work.  Yesterday evening, Akilean had his fever and symptoms.  There is just not enough time for us all to be sick at once.  Who is going to take care of who.?

Yesterday when I was crying for my mom, Lena was behind me stroking my back saying, "I miss grandma too. she will be here to visit soon mommy, Don't worry"  It was so adorable.  If anything was going to make me feel better- that came the closest. We spent last night sweating, fighting over the fan- we only have 1 now and having a fever in extreme heat sucks. On cold days in the winters of Oregon- I could get on board.  Get some tea- sit with the fire on and all cuddled up- watch some movies.  But in this heat with no way to stay cool... yeah that sucks. 

Well, I am back off to bed.  I just got up to get some tea and toast.  I have not eaten anything for quite a while now and I think my head is showing it.  time to go fight the hubby for the fan. jaja

Wish Lists

The comment that Steve left on the previous post about prefect Summer Days got me thinking about flying space ships. And by the way, if you have never been in the Pacific Northwest and gotten to enjoy a perfect summer day... you simply have not lived! One of the best places in the world and I have been to many many places in the world.  And currently live among the best beaches in the world!  So I know pretty landscapes

But anyway, Lately in general, I have been thinking a lot about wish list.  I have been making a lot of wish lists lately.  I made 1 at the Temezcal for myself on ways that I want to improve my life and my relationships.  It is all going very well.  It is nice to be so happy.  I know that this marriage will be a wave just like every relationship but I am really enjoying a new place that we have gotten to in trust and communication and just being and showing that we are happy.  It is really nice.  Learning from our past fight and just dropping the stupid stuff sooner.  I am really enjoying the roller coaster right now. 

I must say- this is a fantastic morning.   The kids are still fast asleep and the birds are chirping, the morning sun is out and hits my backyard Mango wall perfectly... and I have coffee.  This has not happened in a long time so I am inclined to just write a bit.  Not sure what will come of it.  The coffee is the biggest part of the equation.  I did not have it yesterday and I had a horrible headache in the afternoon.  Yes yes I know, I am clearly addicted to caffeine.  But if drinking 2-3 cups of coffee a day is among my biggest vices- I am totally okay with that. 

So back to perfect summer day's.  One clear memory that I have of a perfect summer day was on the coast of Oregon.  On the perfect 4th of July holiday it was amazing to be out there with my whole family.  The little town of Lincoln City was packed with people and the beaches were full of kites.

I have never seen so many kites.  Just off my dad's docks on the beach house were several wind tunnels of bright colors twisting like crazy and strange animals.  It was fantastic.  I cannot wait to go and get some great kites for the kids.  I had found some once in Fresno while visiting my grandma but they fell apart pretty quick. 

Kite boarding is such a huge sport here because we have the perfect conditions for kites.  This is one of the things on the wish list.  I am going to get the kids really well made and sturdy kites.  There are not too many toys that you can bring to the beach - and there is only so much time you can play in the water. So a kite is perfect. 

My wish list is ever growing and shrinking depending on my mood- 1 day it is no problem to hang my cloths on the line- then others it is a nightmare or has ruined the  cloths- its a toss up on everything- everywhere - so pretty much the same,  I am really trying to move forward on our small piece of land.  We are going to build to VERY SKINNY t- 3 story townhouses. 1 to live in and 1 to rent.  eventually rent both.  But first we need to get it through the phases. 

But that is my big want- to get my house to 1st level walls and roof.  So- I guess I should go draw my house plans- later all!

The family is here

After such a great time in San Francisco, I am so very glad that the visit with my family has been equally as wonderful.  We miss them all so much and really wish that we could see them all more.  My kids do not have any family in Mexico so to have their cousins here and visiting for a whole month has been really great.

We have had to balance with days at the beach and at cenotes and the laguna with days in the house.  For one the taxis to do things every day just gets too expensive but also- we need to give the kids a bit of a break.  They are not used to such high temps and humidity in SF.

We went to the beach the other day and it was so very cool.  The kids all ran in to the water- except of course Akilean who will forever it seems be a land guy.  Anyway- he went off to play in the sand and about 30 minutes later came back and said "mommy, mommy, come into my space ship."  It was crazy- he had built this wonderful 3-d space ship in the sand.

There were levers and buttons, and he built a seat for me.  It was so cute, he opened my imaginary door and let me into his ship, then after carefully getting in himself proceeded with many sounds, and motions with his levers and off we flew around the beach for a while.  He flew me back to SF so we could say hi. Then we flew to Oregon so he could say hi to his cousins. 

It did not take long for all of the kids to catch onto the idea and soon there were HUGE sand ships being built with the most creative of functions and whistles.  It was great.  I have never seen such great creativity!!!!

Later in the week we looked up our names meanings on the computer- that gave a good time.  We found out that Calvin means Bald- which is funny because Calvin is anything but bald.  My niece is Dark skinned and innocent lamb which was perfect for her.  And strangely - my nephews name means Protector and his other name means protector of all mankind.

Lena loves her story about how Helena was the most beautiful woman in the world and how she was kidnapped and how her kidnapping led to the Trojan War and one of the greatest warriors from that war was Achilles.  She just loves that story!  It was  a fun afternoon.

We have been making giant soap bubbles, playing Wi, playing in the park and BBQing hot dogs.  It was been a really great trip so far. 

I took off one night and left the kids with Ruben and went out with a friend of mine.  There were some great groups playing at a new spot in town and it was a great time.  We are going to take Cesar out for a bite and some drinks on Friday.  It is his birthday and this is the first one he will have around family in over 5 years.  So that will be fun!

The kids left yesterday to go visit some family in Guanajuato for a week and then they will be back here before heading up to SF again. 

If all goes well I will be bringing my car down from the USA which is good because being here without  car is very difficult and much more expensive then it needs to be.

Anyway.  There is the update.  Lena is not feeling well so I am going to go snuggle with her on the sofa and watch movies. 

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