In Transit and Transition: From North Carolina to Oaxaca

The past two months that I have been in North Carolina have been filled with visiting dear friends, doing a lot of creative writing that includes poetry, creative non-fiction and personal narrative, attending a women’s writing retreat, planning new workshops, and keeping Mexico on my mind.  I tell friends that I love it when I’m in North Carolina and I love it when I’m in Oaxaca.  Both places are home and I’m never ready to leave either place when it’s time.  But, thankfully, there’s always that return ticket to take me forward.

What does HOME mean to you?

This week I’m in transit and transition, planted in Santa Cruz, California for a longer-than-usual ten-day visit with my family.  My 97 year-old mother is slowing down, though is mobile and quite alert, still able to carry on a meaningful political conversation, always an important distinction in my family. Yesterday, my 12-year-old niece played a violin recital that my mother’s retirement community enjoyed.  Tomorrow my son arrives to celebrate his birthday during the July 4th weekend.  We are based at my sister’s house where an organic garden is in glorious profusion of fresh vegetables and the Mediterranean climate offers dry sunny days and chilly nights that promote deep, restful sleep.  This feels like home to me, too, reminding me of childhood California nurturing.  California roots run deep.

On Tuesday, July 9, I will travel to Mexico City on a non-stop flight from San Francisco.  There, I’ll meet Deborah Morris, M.D.-P.A., who heads up the physician’s assistant program at Methodist University.  We have two of her students volunteering in the Teotitlan del Valle public health clinic for the month of July. We will join them for a mid-session debriefing and plan a project they will create that will have sustainable health education benefits for the village.

So, stay tuned.  Soon, I’ll be back in Mexico to give you more reportage about Oaxaca and beyond.

Hope you are having a great summer.  -Norma

P.S. Consider our next Women’s Creative Writing and Yoga Retreat in Oaxaca, winter 2014.

12 responses to “In Transit and Transition: From North Carolina to Oaxaca

  1. Hi Norma,
    I am looking forward to joining you for the weaving workshop in August. I hope that I can visit the clinic as well – I am a nurse, a nurse educator (community college nursing program for over 26 years , a certified lactation consultant and I work with Latina women in that capacity at a local hospital. I’m very interested in women’s health and the needs in Teotitlan. But as I said – really looking forward to weaving and staying Teotitlan.

    • Claudia, I had no idea you were a nurse! Yes, we will go to visit the village health clinic while you are in Teotitlan. Who knows what possibilities will develop from that. Looking forward to your arrival. -Norma

  2. I love your update.
    I especially love your medical linkage for Teotitlan. Will be interested in its unfolding in this ancient village. You are the known quantity and the catalyst.
    On the 16th, I will fly from Norfolk, VA to Mexico City where our son and daughter-in-law will meet me. We’ll stay in Tolouca a day or so and then on to Huajuapan de Leon, OX. On the 24th, I will ride the midnight bus back to the Mexico City airport to board the 7:30 a.m. plane. Have been taking Spanish lessons but can’t use it enough. I hope to be able to speak with Maricruz’s family someday.

    Thank-you, Norma, for your work. I faithfully read about your experience

    • Hi, Mary Pelham, I just got an email from the two physician assistant students today. This was their first day volunteering in the clinic and they loved it. Thanks so much for your caring words of support. It means a lot to me. It’s gratifying to know that little by little we each have an opportunity to make a small difference in the world, and that adds up! Enjoy your time with your children, and good for you for traveling solo and letting the world know that it is safe for a woman to travel to Mexico. I hope to attend Spanish classes in Oaxaca for a couple of weeks this summer. One can never get enough language instruction when it is not your native tongue! You are a great example, too. Thank you for staying connected. -Norma

  3. Norma, as usual love your updates, and I feel ditto about two places I love, my cottage almost- on- the- channel in picturesque Anacortes, Washington, surrounded by bays and islands, a boating mecca, and the inner conflict of wanting to be in two places at once-with those Mexico memories and Mexico joys. Delighting in my fresh raspberries now!

  4. Does your Santa Cruz family have any new suggestions for Greater Bay Area Oaxacan restaurants featuring the various Mole dishes? Thanks, Bruce A.

  5. Home is where my family is. . . any member of my family… in any state or country. Trouble is, I have too little time and so much family!!! (a blessing and a conundrum – where to go? whom to see?)

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