|Nora and her son Henry|
There was a light knock at the door of his mother’s house. Henry opened the door, saying hola, but thinking: Wow! She’s beautiful. I wonder who she is.
The pretty stranger at the door was his mother’s neighbour, Nora Perez Sosa.
Her mom owned a little business – part restaurant, and part grocery store – but Nora liked the tortillas that Henry’s mother made better than her mother’s. It was her normal routine to pop over and purchase a few tortillas from Señora Sarita Cruz.
After living and working a few years in Santa Rosa California, Henry Cruz was back at his family home in the Municipality of Peto, located in the Yucatan one hundred and thirty-five kilometers south-east of Mérida. One of nine siblings, Henry’s name really is Henry. His mother heard the name on a radio program and liked it well enough to give her son the same name. Henry laughs when foreigners ask him his name and he says: Henry. No, what’s your real name? Henry. No, I mean, what is your Mexican name? He smiles good-naturedly and tells them it’s Enrique, but it isn’t – it’s Henry.
|Henry - at Jax Bar & Grill|
Eleven years ago when Nora completed her certification for teaching she was offered a position on Isla Mujeres at the Gabriel Mistral kindergarten in centro. It was a very good opportunity for her, so she accepted, leaving her home town, parents and five siblings behind. Henry waited a short time before visiting Nora. Once he arrived he quickly decided that if Nora was on Isla Mujeres then he needed to be on Isla Mujeres.
Fluent in English Henry easily found a job working for Jax Bar & Grill. He’s a well-known fixture at the restaurant; personable, efficient, and always smiling. In the ten years since he started working at the restaurant he’s done just about everything - except the cooking.
|Nora at Isla Mujeres Artist Fair|
Even though Nora is busy with her kindergarten teaching position five days a week, plus raising two active young sons, she finds time for her hobbies – or as she says – her obsession. Nora crafts wonderfully quirky accessories, earrings and decorations. On the first Thursday of every month you will find her at the Isla Mujeres Artist Fair with a large display of her creations.
We recently asked Nora to decorate forty-eight rather plain beer koosies as a jokey birthday gift for Lawrie’s brother. (Koosies are those neoprene bottle covers that keep beer cold longer – vital in the tropics.) The finished product was fun and fabulous. The beer koosies are decorated with pink and orange, blue and red, yellow and pink, purple and pink – depicting the newest little-kid-craze, the Angry Birds. My favourites are the six decorated in formal white and black that look like Angry Birds wearing tuxedos. Too much fun!
|Lawrie and Nora holding Angry Bird beer koosies|
Because Nora enjoys her obsession so much, Henry is happy to help out anyway he can around the house and with the boys.
Their oldest son, age seven, enjoys his Tae Kwon Do lessons and the younger one is a happy busy little guy.
The funny thing is Henry’s oldest son is named Henry just like his papa. And his youngest son? His name is Enrique. Somebody has a good sense of humour in this family.
|Henry Jr, Henry (proud papa) and Enrique Cruz|
Luckily for Henry, all those years ago when he was visiting his family in Peto, he was there to answer the knock on the door. It was the knock that led to romance, and happiness.
Lynda & Lawrie