Soft Landing: Oaxaca, Mexico

The Continental flight from RDU to IAH to OAX was easy, fast, painless.  The plane left the gate in Raleigh-Durham at 2:30 p.m.(EDT) and arrived in Oaxaca at 8:30 p.m. (CDT).  I was welcomed into the arms of family cousin Uriel Santiago (you can find him on Facebook: Teotitlan Fruit Company [UriCorp]).  He managed to get my oversized bag stuffed with four months worth of clothing, shoes and workshop paraphernalia (LCD projector, tripod, camera lenses, writing notebooks, pens, external hard-drive, computer, iPad) into his tiny Chevy with room to spare.  Uri named his Facebook page after a Pablo Neruda poem.  In it, Uri says, “Neruda writes that ‘…and on the seventh day, God distributed the world, and South America was for the  United Fruit Company‘ [see link for poem]. Gabriel García Márquez also talks about that in his 100 años de soledad [100 Years of Solitude].”

Quite fitting, I thought, since my last post was about cultural sustainability and big agribusiness.  Zapotecs are quite good at poking sardonic fun at the disintegrating world around them as they continue to preserve culture through tight-knit communities organized and operated by self-governing, communitarian principles.  A great example for thriving and staying true to personal values, which is why I love it here.

This morning I was greeted by Federico and Dolores who had already been to the daily market.  The kitchen table was laden with huge chunks of fresh papaya, a delightful nopal cactus/tomato, onion, pepper salad, chapulines, rice, fresh steamed green beans and mushrooms,  queso fresco sautéed in olive oil with scallions, and tortillas.  I made a cup of my favorite morning beverage, that I call Choco-Cafe (Oaxaca chocolate mixed with coffee and a little sugar).

Now, it’s time to put the Oaxaca Photojournalism Workshop preparations aside (it begins this Friday evening), and take a walk in the campo (countryside) before we welcome Patricia this afternoon who will look at Federico’s extraordinary rugs he weaves with naturally dyed wool.

2 Responses to Soft Landing: Oaxaca, Mexico

  1. We already miss you in North Carolina but glad that you had a soft landing.
    Please advise as to ripening a partially ripened papaya that must have been too long on the way in a giant box! I am trying that old memthod of encasing in a brown paper bag.
    Audrey

    • Audrey, thanks so much! I’ve been here one day and feeling a bit homesick. I know that I will need/want to sit with this and understand that sadness is a natural part of change. There is much to be joyful for in my life here. Today, I had a long walk on the dirt road through the countryside. Clear, warm, glorious. Now, for the papaya ripening question! It’s iffy. Yes, put it in a brown paper bag and let it sit in room temperature. If, after 3-4 days, it does not ripen, I have posted a great recipe on this blog for how to cook a green papaya! Buen provecho. Big hugs. Norma

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