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  • That is my friend Christel.

    She was born and raised in Germany, went to the US when she was around 20 and stayed there. She married three times, had two sons, and was a Mormon for many years. When that marriage fell apart, she got together with a man and his 2 former ex - wives and they all lived happily together. With this man she came to San Cristóbal, about 20 years ago. She is a wonderful painter and an even more wonderful gardener. In California, she says, she won prizes for her gardens.

    With her partner or husband she rented a large old house in a forest at the outskirts of town and created a wonderful garden in a very short time. After the Zapatista Uprising an Indian group chased them out of the house off the gardens. Christel left nearly all behind: the rests of her old German dishes and many other things. She became quite a Zapatista and went with her artwork on a trek through the Zapatista communities. Later she started seeing the rebels more critically.

    Her husband was quite a bit older, an interesting and good - hearted man, but nearly deaf and an incessant talker. I got tired being with him and so did she finally.

    One day they packed all their stuff, cats and dogs, among them a deaf and blind one, in a car and off they drove to live at a beach in Honduras for a while.

    Christel returned alone, she could not take the man anymore she said, she would live without a man now. She had married 3 times and actually, today, she wondered why she had ever done that.

    She settled into a small old house with low rent and turned that into a kind of Old German Fairy Tale House and the garden is gorgeous. She lives off very little money.

    Over the years we have hiked the mountains together, we have painted together and organized many an art event, mostly we have had wonderful Kaffeeklatschs, many, many, with our other German or friends from wherever.

    A few days ago she had us for a wonderful lunch and I photographed her house and fell in love with the colors and details and love for life and beauty she expresses there.

    She is not a Mormon anymore, but she still sees a lot of good in the Mormon religion. She likes Yogananda a lot and Edgar Toelle, but does not marry anyone. Two days a week she travels on combis to a huge park more than an hour from here, which she helps create. She paints and feeds 6 cats, some of them wild. She will be 76, I guess, she never tells us her exact age.

    Once, many years ago we had this heated discussion: she believed that we just die because we believe that we have to die. If we did not believe this anymore we would not die. There was a group in the US at the time that proclaimed this. The other day I reminded her of that time when she believed this, she could not remember a thing!

    Today she says firmly: Death is nothing. We just keep existing in a different dimension. She claims to not be afraid at all of death and is getting prepared every day.

    She brews the best coffee and bakes the best Poppy Seed Cake.

    Come and visit a bit!
  • The first photograph is the window in her entrance room: a beautiful Datura flower was just hanging there, looking into the room from the garden outside
  • Her Living - Room with her paintings on the walls
  • Her Bedroom
  • A clay plate with maize corns and chili surrounded by twigs from the fir tree that just fell down and nearly - but not - on the roof of her house
  • The Entrance Window with table and flowers....

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