Traveling with a group of people you don’t know ahead of time could be risky for those who are independent and like to go off on their own to discover the world. We found our companions who participated in the Day of the Dead Photography Expedition 2012 to be muy amable! We shared interests, took time for ourselves and came together to learn and discuss. We all had some good laughs with each other and at ourselves, too.
Here, Deby Thompson (left) and Helene Haviland (right) brought their tripods to the Zocalo to practice before we went off for an all-evening night shoot at the Xoxocotlan cemetery the following night.
The style of our instructor Bill Bamberger (left) is relaxed and informal. He offered coaching sessions on the hoof, and here Mark Pollard and Bill strolled through the archeological site of Monte Alban together as Bill advised Mark, a very accomplished professional photographer, about ways he could build and organize his portfolio. To the right is Erin Loughran at Yagul archeological site determining which shot she wants to take.
Several of us stayed an additional day to explore Yagul and Mitla, two major archeological sites in the Tlacolula valley. To the left, Bella, Erin and Helene posed for a photo in the shade of a 900 CE structure with Mixtec-Zapotec carvings at Mitla. To the right, Helene showed us her clock, which she pulled out on many occasion to show street vendors that she didn’t have time to shop, she was running late. They were speechless and she was able to walk away, no muss, no fuss, no bother.
Yagul is a stunning archeological site about 20 minutes south of Teotitlan del Valle off the Pan American Highway. There has been intensive restoration there during the past six years and the views are amazing. Here Kathy Heath is concentrating on getting from one magnificent spot to another.
Above, Bella Jacque sitting on the edge of a pyramid base at Yagul.
Helene and Bella at Yagul, where caves, windswept cactus, flowering acacia trees, and ancient rocks draw us to wonder about life in Mexico over 1,000 years ago.
And here we are hanging around under cover from the rain in Xoxocotlan, with Bill demonstrating a camera technique to Liz Thomas.
I took this portrait of Bill Bamberger early in the week of our workshop together. I just loved how the light falls on his face. To the right is Bella Jacque modeling a traditional indigenous rebozo from Tenancingo at the Sunday Tlacolula market, where we went after the visits to Yagul and Mitla.
It was a nicer day by the time we got to Teotitlan del Valle. Bella is trying to figure out directions with the self-guided tour map I give to each participant.
After the workshop finished and I returned to North Carolina, Deby Thompson (right) and I got together with weaver Lynn Pownell in Durham at Dos Perros Mexican Restaurant. They made us a delicious tamarind mezcal margarita, a close rival to the excellent Oaxaca versions at Cafe San Pablo and Los Danzantes. I am on a quest for the perfect tamarind mezcal margarita. Does anyone out there have a recipe to share? Anyone know Rick Bayless’ Tamarind Mezcal Margarita recipe?
Happy Holidays, Discounts and Taking a Break
Felices fiestas de la temporada: Hanukkah feliz, feliz Navidad y feliz Año Nuevo. Happy celebrations of the season! I am in Santa Cruz, California now and will have lunch today with Debbie Mayfield and Bella Jacque, two Day of the Dead Photography Expedition participants. Bella is coming back to Oaxaca in February with her sister to take the Felted Fashion Workshop with Jessica de Haas and Eric Chavez Santiago.
In celebration of the season and five years of Oaxaca Cultural Navigator blogging, I am offering a
15% discount on all workshops scheduled through August 2013 — when you register by December 25, 2012. (Except Felted Fashion Workshop.) Gift Certificates available. Tell me you want the discount when you register.
Tonight, there will be a Oaxaca Trunk Show at my sister’s home. I had a very successful show in Atlanta last week (thanks to Kim Drader Noeltner and Robin Blocker who hosted) and still have some great “leftovers.” When I get back to North Carolina next weekend, I’ll be offering more as part of Shop Mexico: Artisan Sisters. So stay tuned.
Then, I’ll be taking a blogging break until 2013! Maybe, I’ll post something if it’s important enough to share.
Enjoy the season — and let’s honor its universal reminder to hope and pray for a peaceful world, well-being and good health care for all. Let us practice compassion, generosity, understanding and forgiveness. Our time here on this earth is finite. Let’s make the most of it!
Abrazos fuerte, Norma
Posted in Cultural Commentary, Travel & Tourism
Tagged blogsherpa, fiber, Mexico, Oaxaca, textiles, workshops