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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

The Birthday Bash

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

We feel honored.

Living in Chapala, Mexico off and on since 1993 has provided us with numerous opportunities. One of the best gifts we enjoy is the friendships that have developed over time and through projects in which we have participated. Rubbing shoulders over the years through marriages, the births of children, illnesses and the deaths of family members and friends bring people close

A couple of weeks ago Billy was chatting with his tennis buddies and mentioned that he recently had a birthday. I just had one also, plus we celebrated our anniversary, all in succession! So it was an event-filled month.

The Mexicans need little excuse for throwing a party so right then and there it was decided that they wanted to give Billy a birthday bash. The date was set and we were good to go.

Being on the edge of the rainy season, on the morning of the party it began to rain. We both briefly wondered if the party would be cancelled so when Billy called the courts to check it out, he heard hoopin' and hollerin' and they wondered why he wasn't there yet!

Ball cap and jacket on, he headed down to the courts in the rain. They all sat and chatted a bit and as the skies brightened, it then became time to mop the court free of rainwater.

Billy was still nursing an injured knee, so as is friends played, he watched the games and goofed around with other players. I was waiting at home for his phone call to let me know when to show up for the festivities.

The food and supplies were beginning to arrive, so this BBQ birthday party was definitely moving forward. I soon received Billy's call: "It's happening! C'mon down!" he said.

After the rain, courts are slick and need to be mopped of extra water.

On the right you see Doctor Oscar, one of the town's obstetricians. On the left is Fernando, an 82 year old who has come every weekend from Guadalajara for twenty years to play tennis here in Chapala. The courts that Billy help build bring a wide crowd to play.

 

"Charlie" holds a squeegee

Carlos, or "Charlie" as he is called, has an outstanding baritone voice and sings professionally in Guadalajara. We were hoping he'd stay around for the party so he could sing! But Charlie comes to play and then runs back to Guad for work.

 

Ya wanna play? Ya gotta mop!

Beto is a longtime friend and was Presidente (Mayor) of Chapala when courts 5 and 6  were built in 2000. Everyone participates on an equal basis in the mopping of the courts. Doesn't matter who you are or who you used to be.

 

Campo wipes the seats down so on changeovers no one sits in a puddle

We've known Campo for decades also. A Columbian native, he's lived in Chapala for 34 years. Campo has great charm, considers himself quite the cook, and actively helps Billy with his Spanish.

 

One of Beto's employees

Beto also owns several stores in Chapala, and party supplies are brought from his dispensa. Carne, chorizo, Oaxaca cheese, tortillas, and utensils are now arriving! The party is getting started.

 

Fernando, Beto and Ramon start the grilling

No such thing as too many cooks here! Everyone wants to get in on the act, and the meat and sausage get laid out on the hot coals. Fernando, Beto and Ramon all pitch in. Ramon used to own a restaurant in town not far from the tennis courts.

So here you have Ramon cooking, Beto checking out the quality of meat from his store, and um.. Fernando is helping too!

 

A closer look at what's cookin'

 Marinated carne asada, some of the best chorizo on the planet and pounds of shrimp that Billy soaked in a secret sauce. The seafood gave a good contrasting flavor to all the meat.

 

Too much fun!

Here you have Dennis, Billy with the bag of shrimp, Odin, Beto, Ramon and Fernando. Everyone has their hand in on the cooking!

 

Odin keeps an eye on the parilla

The shrimp are starting to get some good color now. They were a hit!

Anyone for shrimp on the barbie?

 

Where the boys are

Billy, Dennis, Odin, Campo, Ramon, Fernando, Beto and Gilbert.

All the guys are hanging out grillside and aren't going to miss a thing. The wives are enjoying each other's company at the table while the boys serve them. Isn't that great?

Right about this time, Dr. Oscar gets called away to deliver a baby.

 

People from other courts start to smell the delicious offerings and gather around also.

Other tennis players have finished up their games and are drawn by the mouthwatering smells coming from the grill.

 

Campo and Billy clowning around.

Latins are very open and emotional about their friendships. It has been a privilege to be able to enjoy these qualities in our world travels. Latins will say "You are a friend for life." When was the last time someone said that to you?

It's very heartwarming and unique.

And we love it.

 

Freshly made guacamole, newly grilled tomatoes and chiles for the salsa, some salt 'n' chili in a jar

Wives Libya and Estella join in on the fun too, and Alvaro just came in from his rancho.

Earlier in the day, he was almost killed by one of his horses who got spooked at the watering hole. Alvaro was grateful to be alive and was starving. Nothing like a brush with death to get one's appetite for life engaged again!

Meanwhile, Oscar is still delivering that baby...

 

Fellowship: the #1 priority

Enjoying each other's company is big in Latin countries. Just being together is held precious. How are you? How are your children? How is business? Are things going well for you these days?

 

Father and Son; a special bond

Odin and his 5 year old son also named Odin have a Father and Son moment. Again, Latins are very emotional about their relationships and Fatherhood is a proud accomplishment.

"My boy, my son, the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life," Odin Sr. says. "I love my son."

There is no doubt.

 

Like Father, like Son

Odin Jr. is learning the man's "way of the grill." He saw his father grilling earlier and was so proud to be able to contribute by cooking the corn over the last embers.

 

Let the music begin!

Alvaro, also a former Presidente of Chapala, sings his well-known favorites. Music is another must-have ingredient to Latin parties and if you can sing, dance, play an instrument or otherwise contribute you are always welcome!

The corn on the table was freshly picked from Alvaro's fields that morning.

 

Ramon's soulful singing

Ramon has a golden voice packed with feeling. Listening to his ballads brought me to tears. I figured it was my party and I could cry if I want to.

Sometimes emotions are so full at these events that I get bowled over by their power. This is LIFE. Fathers, sons, Mothers, marriages, music, food and friendship.

Seriously? I was just bawling.

Odin asked why I was crying and I said "Honest. It's not because of your singing. I'm so happy and just taken with how special this all is."

I need another hankie please!

(Where's Dr. Oscar? Isn't that baby born yet?)

 

More clowning around

Odin, Ramon and Fernando all get in on the act. Humor and laughing is also a familiar ingredient. People poke fun at themselves and each other. It softens life's blows and bonds us all together.

 

Getting in on the act

"Hey, if the boys can sing, so can I!" says Martha. She's strumming and singing a song about her native state of Chihuahua.

Seems all the songs were proud compositions about Mexico, her beauty and the fervor for which Mexicans love their country. Or they were romantic ballads - sort of like the Mexican version of Country and Western. You lose your lover, your rancho, your reason to live...

A common joke when listening to these "I-can't-live-another-day-without-you" songs is to pretend you are cutting your wrist with the pain of it all. Except you and your friends are laughing because it is so over-the-top.

The drama! The passion!

So Mexico!

 

Father and Son

Alvaro and Oscar have a Father/Son moment too - one of clowning around and singing.

Everyone knew the words to every song. When was the last time you gathered around and sang love songs about your country and lovers?

The last time we did this in the States was over a campfire in the Montana mountains under a full moon. We sang Cheeseburger in Paradise!

 

Line 'em up!

Dr. Oscar returns!!

Another custom in Mexico for birthdays and anniversaries is to form a line to give the woman hugs. Every man in attendance gets in line and not just once! Free hugs are hard to pass up and they just feel so good!

I already had several lines formed to the chant "Linea (LEEN-ya), Linea! Linea!"

Dr. Oscar gives Alejandrina a hug while Campo sings to Alvaro's guitar playing. In the background partiers start again to chant "Linea! Linea! Linea!" to begin another line to hug the player's wife.

All in good fun!

We wish the same for all of you everywhere. Lasting friendships, open acceptance of who you are, and profound appreciation of being alive.

Linea! Linea! Linea!

Hugs anyone?

About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

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