At the three-month mark for our first destination on the Los Globesters World Tour, many thoughts and emotions occupy me. Increased comfort and ease in day-to-day life in Oaxaca.... Enjoyment of the food.... Lamenting the absence of friends and family from the States..... Nostalgia for Adam's peanut butter... An abundance of motivation to jog and practice yoga.... A feeling of professional "limbo".... Empathy for the financial and personal struggles of those I have met here.... An overwhelming appreciation for all of my life circumstances.... Boredom.... Impatience/excitement to move on to the next step: professionally, immigration-wise, travel-wise, etc....
The last couple of weeks have been spent here in Oaxaca City, mostly within the walls of Harold's family's compound on the north end of town. This is Harold's childhood home, or the version of it that survived a destructive 2002 electrical fire. The compound has since been rebuilt of cement, after its initial wood construction. Smart move. There are two houses, which share the same roof, in the brick-walled, fenced family compound. One contains me, Harold and my suegra (mother-in-law), Lupita. Cousin Carlos and aunt Consuelo inhabit the adjoining home. The inseparable sisters helped raise each other's children and now operate a growing comedor (home-based restaurant and catering business).
Most of the clients live and work in the neighborhood, or at a nearby pharmaceutical company. People often stop by for a breakfast or dinner, and we always have guests for la comida (lunch), the main meal of the day, at about 4pm. Lunch in Mexico generally consists of agua fresca (a watery fruit or vegetable juice), sopa (soup, either chunky with meat, pasta and/or vegetables, or creamy in texture), el plato fuerte (the main dish-almost always containing meat) with beans (always black in this part of Mexico) and/or rice, accompanied by fresh corn tortillas. A small dessert and/or cup of coffee follows the meal.
Earlier this week, Harold and I helped prepare a special birthday meal for one of the pharmaceutical company employees, which featured tacos arabes (wheat tortillas with thin cuts of pork marinated in soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce, orange juice and our secret spice mix), and a corn cheesecake (sounds gross but it totally works). The random assortment of people, including a priest, a teacher, and an eight-year-old boy who consumed the meal enjoyed it, and it is awesome experience for two people (us) who are thinking of starting a dining establishment someday.
We spend our time in the house lending a hand with chores or the many meals prepared in one of the two kitchens, conducting research or processing photos on the computer, doing yoga (mostly me:-) ), drinking coffee with family friends, and above all, conversing, conversing, conversing. Favorite topics are politics, culture, the economy, and family gossip. A cat of questionable origin wondered onto the property a couple of months ago, and we are slowly domesticating her in preparation for our animal-loving niece, Renee's, visit in mid-July.
We are eagerly awaiting the Guelaguetza, or traditional Oaxacan cultural festival, which begins over the next few days, as well as the progress of our application for permanent residence in Canada, which has been moving along swiftly so far. I leave you with an assortment of photos and captions. Enjoy!
Two vendedoras chat as they wait for customers in front of the Soledad cathedral in downtown Oaxaca City.
Experimenting with the "cinematic" adjustment on my photo editing program, I present this shot of me sipping coffee at a downtown Oaxaca City cafe, back in April.
"Say "no" to junk food", urges the cover of a book observed at a church gift shop in a nearby Oaxacan village.