In 2005, my partner and I took a course in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
It was FABULOUS! I highly suggest it for anyone. We had a great group of people who got along so well. We were taught by a professor who is also a friend of mine. I was one of three men on the trip (and my partner was another man). We had so much fun.
One of the best parts was that we stayed in home stays. Richard and I stayed with a lovely couple, Carlos and Luis. Their house was filled with art (a lot of inappropriate art, now that I think of it). Luis was a chef, and taught a lot of cooking classes to visitors. Together, they started up an organization called CD4, which was an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign.
They were such a fun couple. We didn't speak Spanish (still can't, really), and their English was marginal, but we had so much fun laughing together.
I just got an email that Carlos died. This is very unexpected and shocking. I got a lot of details about the celebration over his life. They partied, just as Carlos wanted. That's what the email said..."just as he wanted". I didn't know that Carlos was sick. On one hand, it sounded expected. I only have a few people I can call about this, but it just saddens me to know that someone who was so full of life is no longer with us.
Carlos was SO FUNNY. All my classmates told me that we lucked out so much by having him as our hosts. One night, we went with him as he prepared to participate in a drag show. He was with a serious drag queen (who loved to perform). She didn't appreciate how lightly he took his job as a drag queen. She wanted him to choreograph something, while Carlos just wanted to look stupid. He also was refusing to shave off his mustache.
Luis' father died a little over a year ago, and we sent a note then. I feel bad that he is all alone right now. I hope he's doing well.
This is our group in Mexico. Richard and I are on the left, and Luis is on the far right. Carlos is right behind him.