Happy New Year 2011 from Oaxaca: Prospero Ano Nuevo

This is a perfect, balmy day, clear with a light breeze, cool in the shadows, warm in the sun.  I am sitting in my room with the turquoise door open to the patio where the pomegranate trees are in blossom, an intense coral.  The fruit is ripening and in various stages of development.  The mature fruit is pure red/orange.  The immature fruit is avocado green with a blush of peach.

Magda is shaking out a rug, readying it for sale.  Josefina is in the kitchen preparing for the evening meal of homemade tamales.  They will be soft custard masa stuffed with bits of chicken and mole amarillo, tucked neatly into translucent tender mint green corn husks, and then steamed.  This is the traditional new year fiesta meal in Teotitlan del Valle.

A cock crows.  In the distance I hear the band — a drum roll, a horn announcing something special.  Zapotec, the indigenous tonal language spoken here, is exchanged between the women like a song.  Now, Rosalina brushes a broom across the patio.  They prepare for the new year.  It is also my birthday todayand with modest celebration, I will walk up the hill to get a shiatsu massage from my friend Annie, then raise a glass of mescal tonight in quiet tribute to a new year to come and the blessings of years past.

Happy new year to you all!  May your life be filled with the blessings of contentment, good health, intimate connection, and peace.  Each of us deserves nothing less.

Now, some photos to share:

Ixcel Guadalupe Chavez Santiago

Las Hijas de Ester y Rucio

Tapetes (rugs) de Galeria Fe y Lola

Spinning Wheel for Bobbins

Three Little Pigs

Plow Bulls in Agave Field



12 responses to “Happy New Year 2011 from Oaxaca: Prospero Ano Nuevo

  1. Your world sounds lovely. We will be in Oaxaca in late January and are looking forward to some of that warmth, colour, beauty – YES!
    I am looking for a book to bring with me (for the airports, plane, late afternoon naps) You wrote about the couple living in SMA and I have read the ‘nothing to declare’ and ‘amigos in paradise’ – any other suggestions? I love reading books set in the place I am exploring (love the Dr. Siri books in Laos) Let me know if you have any suggestions (Thanks!)
    Also, I am intrigued with the travel book making – do you know of any classes in Oaxaca that would be similar?
    I am currently in cold and damp (although not rainy) Oregon waiting for my sun in Oaxaca.

    • Bettysue, thanks for your comment! I would suggest Barbara Kingsolver’s book, The Lacuna. Also, 1491 by Charles Mann. I don’t know of any classes in Oaxaca specifically. In February we are offering the workshop on photography and collage during Carnival. Something to consider, as well as a lost wax jewelry making workshop. We’d love to have you if you can fit either of these into your schedule. Days here are warm and nights are chilly. We are layering with wool and down after the sun goes down! Saludos, Norma

  2. Hi, dear, your Mom wishes you Happy Birthday and Happy New Year!
    You were our little tax deduction, having been born on the last day
    of your birth year and a little before midnight!
    What a way to celebrate! Our stars were well positioned. Keep up
    the good work , bringing people together to learn, to enjoy and to
    support one another. The world should be so lucky as I am lucky with

  3. Your lush descriptions of celebrations, your eagerness for all to experience 2012 in a new way and your photos are making the minutes drag until I arrive on January 17 in Oaxaca. I will hope to meet you! Your missives have been such an inspiration.
    Ruth Dorsey

  4. Dear Norma,

    Felize cumplianos y feliz ano. We are certain you are delighted to be in Oaxaca.

    We still look forward to meeting you.

    Warm regards,
    Jo Ann

  5. HI Norma,
    So nice to meet you on the plane–and to now be receiving these wonderful messages about life in Oaxaca/Teotitlan! I hope we’ll get out to see you while we’re here. We’re trying to figure out both how and when. Happy birthday y feliz año nuevo. Also, felicidades for the exciting decisions that led you to celebrating this new year and new year for you in this magical place.

    • Anna, saludos a ti y Marilyn. Espero a ver ustedes en Teotitlan. Yes, I hope to see you both! and thank you for the birthday wishes. If you wish, come join the cooking class on January 7. It starts at 9:30 a.m. We have a “free” day here on Wednesday and I am taking our group to two of my favorite weavers. If this doesn’t work, then I hope to see you the following week when my workshop is over! Prospero ano nuevo.

  6. lovely posting and beautiful photos. thanks for sharing this day – i can’t wait to be there – only 2 1/2 weeks!
    happy birthday, happy 2012, looking forward to meeting you!

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