Oaxaca Love Story: Carol and David Get Married

On Thursday, January 12, at the bench in Labastida Park where they first met a bit more than two years ago, Carol Lynne Estes and David Levin got married.

Carol Lynne Estes and David Levin at Parque Labastida

It was one of those gorgeous late afternoon Oaxaca winter days punctuated with clear skies, bright sunshine, passersby on bicycles, street vendors hawking fresh roasted corn-on-the-cob, a group of salsa dancers in the adjacent space waiting for their teacher, school children with noses in open books, mothers towing recalcitrant children.

We gathered to witness and give support to a great couple!

As we gathered, Gail Schacter, a Victoria, B.C. snowbird, retold the story about how she introduced Carol and David. Seems that she and Carol had gone shopping to replenish incense sticks from the ceramics shop inside Plaza de las Virgenes. As they exited onto the street, Gail spotted David, who she knew, across the park on a bench eating a sandwich after his gym workout. They went to say hello. The rest, as they say, is history/herstory.

Oaxaca is a place for convergences, new discoveries, exploring identity, creating new beginnings. Living here has a way of opening us up to possibilities. It also stimulates us to see what we are capable of doing, being, becoming. This is not a new-age concept, but one more of what it means for some of us to live life more passionately, fully and in support of each other’s choices.

It is more than escaping the chilly north for a patch of winter sun and clear blue sky. Young and older gravitate here for so much more.

From the moment that Carol and David met, they were inseparable. Carol’s girlfriends had to get used to that! We quickly learned that this was a couple who stuck together, so an invitation to one was an invitation to both. Their devotion to each other, I think, expanded our capacity for friendship, inclusion and intimacy.

The park bench where it all began! Felicidades.

Some of us wondered about this unlikely couple, a Texas English teacher and a South African Jew who settled in Canada after university study there. Theirs is a model for respecting traditions and differences.

Carol, Gail and David remember introductions

In 2015, Carol and David traveled together throughout Asia for several months, learning to negotiate everything. And, it seems, they managed this pretty well. They didn’t kill each other! They returned to Oaxaca even more committed to their relationship and started planning their next adventure.

Mary and Carol, celebration time.

Life takes us in unpredictable directions. On a stopover in Toronto to visit family last summer before going on to India, David had a medical set-back. Now, with great Canadian health care, he is recovering well, but they need to be in Toronto until the treatment plan is complete.

Amidst the hubbub of a public park, a wedding!

David and Carol are making Toronto home for the time being, but they came back to Oaxaca to get married at the park bench where they first met. Oaxaca is their heart home. We gathered round in tribute to their love, commitment and testimony to all that Oaxaca can provide for each of us in different ways.

May your cup over-floweth–with mezcal, of course.

In Spanish: Saludos. In Zapoteco: Chichibayoh. In Hebrew: L’chaim. With Bob Klotz officiating and Mary Erickson standing as a matron of honor, we raised our cups of mezcal. What else would one drink at a Oaxaca wedding?

Divine lemon cake from La Pasion bakery in Colonia Reforma, tops off the event



27 responses to “Oaxaca Love Story: Carol and David Get Married

  1. I’m not sure what to say.
    I wish you both a universe of happiness for all time.

  2. My very best wishes for the continuation of your sweet life together. I hope we can meet again to celebrate with a heartfelt toast to you both.
    Much love,

  3. Dear Norma,

    Thanks so much for the heart warming story. I have read it three times and it makes me smile each time! Muy dulces! Many blessing on David and Carol.

  4. Carol & David,
    A beautiful wedding in a warm & happy place. Best wishes to a lovely couple!

  5. Thank you Norma for this lovely tribute to Carol and David! Unfortunately we were away and weren’t able to attend. Our heartfelt congratulations to a sweet couple!

  6. Hooo boy!
    Mazaltov Bro & sistinlaw. So very cool.
    I feel proud (if a younger brother is allowed to offer this compliment.)
    Love you both

  7. Mazel Tov to you both, David and Carolynn. You were Barshert (1)
    for each other. I knew that the day I saw you together on a hike during one of the early days of your love. It was a joy to watch you with each other, regardless of where you were. Basically, wherever you were, it didn’t matter. The location was just the backdrop for you to be at each other’s side.

    I wish you every happiness, always.
    Elaina Hershowitz
    (1) Bashert (or Beshert), (Yiddish: באַשערט‎), is a Yiddish word that means “destiny”. It is often used to refer to one’s divinely foreordained spouse or soulmate, who is called “basherte” (female) or “basherter” (male).

  8. What a beautiful tribute not only to David and Carol but the context of the magic of Oaxaca. We are planning our wedding here next year and your post really provides context to “Why Oaxaca” Felicitaciones!

  9. thank you for a beautiful story. Norma–you’re next!!!!

  10. Norma: I was wondering about the charming couple that I always ran into at the gym. Now, I know! What a great story! Thanks for sharing.

  11. What wonderful news! My dear friend Carolynne and I were neighbors in Plano,Tx in early 1970’s. We built a special bond sharing mothering best practices, crafts, cooking, veggie co-op, and a favorite pasttime eating Mexican food at our fav Mexican restaurant with a very young Becky and Troy. Oh the memories we share of that special time in our lives. She is a wonderful mother and friend.

    I wish David and Carol all the very best life has to offer. Carol has a big heart and so deserves a life partner. I could not be happier about their marriage! My love to them, always!

    Thank you Norma for posting the beautiful photos!

  12. Mazeltov
    Love your little sister

    Avi g

  13. Would love to be on the list for your next group tour. Love folk art and textiles and museums, and I would be open to any suggestions for tours. Diana

  14. Oh, gosh, this makes me weep. I met my late husband, the painter Gordon Rayner, in Oaxaca, in 1993. We married and lived and Toronto, but I we returned often to Oaxaca, and after his death, I have made a yearly visit, and it is just so great to hear of this romance. Alegria for all!

  15. I am so happy to see these photos. What a wonderful, romantic occasion. The people, the happiness, the park, the cake, just gorgeous. I will absolutely be there at their one year anniversary.

  16. How wonderful. Thank you for letting me know and describing the festivities so vividly. I wish them the best for many years to come

  17. I got tears in my eyes! Norma, I love this your write-up, I loved the history/herstory and I really love the fact that they found each other. The warmest of congratulations are in order although I don’t have the pleasure of knowing this sweet couple, David and Carol. I hope I will in the near future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *