Whew. I just bought my plane ticket to return to Oaxaca, after last leaving in March 2020. That’s 17 months ago! So much has happened since then. To many of us, I’m sure. For me, it’s been a crazy year-and-a-half. I decided to sell my historic tobacco warehouse condo in downtown Durham, North Carolina, in December 2020, and move to the wide open spaces of Northern New Mexico. My small casita on the Rio Grande Gorge is just beginning. My return to Oaxaca has been delayed because of this construction project.
Now, I’m concentrating on getting back to my Oaxaca world — my family of weavers, Galeria Fe y Lola, who I live with in Teotitlan, the artisans who are important figures in my life, my two adopted campo dogs who I miss immensely, my friends who are permanent residents. It’s a perfect time to return by revisiting the meaning of Day of the Dead that brings life and death into perspective.
We have a small group participating in the October 28-November 4, 2021 Day of the Dead Culture Tour celebration. This is a culture tour that concentrates on being in the villages for this very important observance. I have space for a few more people and welcome your participation IF you are vaccinated! Most of our activities will take place outdoors and all the artisans we visit will be vaccinated. We will adhere to strict Covid-19 safety precautions.
I’ll get my third “booster” vaccine before I leave New Mexico to make sure I have maximum disease resistent antibodies!
If you wish to participate in this tour, please contact me at Norma.Schafer@icloud.com I am offering several discount packages to entice you to come along!
My friend Carol Estes, a permanent resident, just returned to Oaxaca, traveling by air. She will be writing about her experiences with travel safety, and also what she observes on the ground. Another friend, permanent resident Jacki Cooper Gordon, wrote that protocols are mostly being followed in Oaxaca city now and most people (except for young American tourists), are wearing masks everywhere. Open air restaurants are welcoming clients and tables are well-spaced for social distancing.
Honestly, this is not to say there aren’t risks. Each of us has a different genome and each of us responds differently (physically and emotionally) to health threats. My feeling is that with all safety protocols in place: vaccine, booster, hand-sanitizer, face masks, goggles or face shield, and social distancing, I will be fine. If I do get sick with a breakthrough case, it will likely be mild; I will not die or need hospitalization. The data confirm this. For immune compromised people, the risks are much greater, of course.