Mexican Memoirs: Entertainment high at indoor centres

GUADALAJARA, Mexico:

I made my first, and what turned out to be the last, visit to the CODE Alcalde Sports Complex, venue for basketball here in Guadalajara yesterday.

Jamaica’s girls played hard and were committed, but were no match for the taller, stronger Americans in the play-off for seventh and eighth spots and were beaten 87-41. There is definitely ability there, especially in guard Simone Jackson, but it needs to be channelled into a proper training regime.

I really like the indoor sports arenas here. They have been transformed into real places of entertainment during the Games and events attract young and old. Latest music, Games souvenirs and snack shops are all in place. It was nice to see so many families coming out to watch events at swimming, basketball and boxing, which I also went to for the first time on Sunday night.

By the way, at basketball yesterday, I was given a sample tutorial on Mexican education policy by volunteer Edgardo Exiquio, who is an English teacher at the primary level.

“Not so long ago English was seen in this country as a foreign language, but now the government is ensuring it becomes a second language,” Exiquio said.

“Students are being taught English in schools at all levels up to secondary. The foreign language will now be French,” he added.

He learnt most of his English at a private school and went to the United States to spend his vacations with family members to get to know the language even better.

Hotel recommendation

On another matter, I must apologise to my hotel, the Fenix. The air conditioning is there and working perfectly in my room. I checked it yesterday morning. The problem lies with me. I have not spent enough time there to sample all the good things about the hotel. Each morning I have been going out before daybreak (daylight is after 7:30 a.m.) and returning ‘home’ at night.

In fact, I would recommend the hotel to anyone planning to spend sometime in the heart of Guadalajara. It is fairly inexpensive and is situated close to a host of historical structures. On my way to basketball yesterday, I passed very close to the Cathedral de Guadalajara, and it is a magnificent structure. Those who are interested in history should see it. It is within walking distance and there are quite a few shopping areas nearby.

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