Wednesday, April 20, 2016

update 2016

I saw a news report stating that the strongest teachers union in the world has blockaded all roads leading into Oaxaca, thus cutting off food supplies to the residents.  The government had to supply the citizens with food aide so Oaxacans don't starve to death.  I haven't been able to contact any of my friends there to verify the info..

Monday, December 15, 2014

Last day in Oaxaca

Tomorrow morning early we leave town just as the snowbirds fly in.  We are making our final purchases and eating our favorite foods before leaving.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Goodbye Leslie

Leslie left early this morning.  Yesterday she and I visited San Bartolo Coyotepec which is a pottery town.  The clay in this area produces a unique dark colored pottery known as Barro negro.  For 1000s of years, the pottery served utilitarian purpose, but the pieces became popular as collectables in the 1950s with the discovery of a new polishing technique. Once fired, Barro negro sports a dull gray color, but if the pottery is polished before placing it in the kiln, it comes out as shiny black. Barro negro is now known throughout the world and many use it now as a decorative pieces. 

And the price is right!

We had a heyday purchasing pottery and spent less than $20 total.  Arin and I had taken an expensive tour there earlier this year.  Leslie and I found a bus for 6 pesos.

Last night we had dinner at our friends Cameron and Jay's home.  Jay cooked delicious Indian food.  They have the nicest apartment we have seen in Oaxaca.  It looked much like home.  Most of the other homes here have barren walls and uncomfortable wooden furniture.

Arin and I have one week remaining in Oaxaca.  We are going to miss this place, but some of the things I will not miss are the crowds, the traffic, the sound of bus drivers yelling Cuarteles and Volcanes, each time one of those bus routes stops in front of my house, but especially not the constant barrage of bottle rockets released from churches during all hours of the day and night.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The ruins of Mitla

Leslie and I ventured out of town to Mitla which is another of the Zapotec historical sites.  We caught a bus in front of our place then transfered to a very nice greyhound type bus.  Lastly, we rode in a this motocar taxi.  While Monte' Alban is isolated, this is a tourist town where people live near the ruins.  The Zapotec building are composed of interesting tile designs.

We had a soup of yellow mole which has no relationship to the chocolate type moles.   I originaly thought that all moles were chocolate flavored, but there are actually several types. 

Somehow we were convinced to taste mezcal.  There were several types of sweet fruited mezcal including tamarind which seems to be the favorite flavor of Oaxacanos.  We didn't like those so much.  Leslie purchased a really cute touristy type bottle on which was tied a bamboo shot glass and a bag of worm salt.

Miguel and Miguelito and Emilio, our tutoriong students

Arin and I are very busy with our teaching and tutoring.  I have two Miguels.  Miguel Spain is my 37 year old whom I am teaching English, although I learn just as much Spanish from him. We are trading English lessons  for cooking lessons.
Miguelito, which I call him so as to differentiate, is my 11 year old who attends Esperanza.   I am tutoring Miguelito in Spanish.  For the most part, he needs to read and then write a summary.   Luckily, I am very good at Spanish reading and spelling although not so good at speaking.

The Esperanza children are allowed on the computer to do math and have been using Mexican math websites. Today I  introduced American children's math websites in which you learn by playing games.  I received a big hug from Miguelito's friend over this, because the only math websites which they have been using at Esperanza are very dry.  Also today, Miguelito presented me with a Feliz Navidad card that he crafted.

Arin also has a student at Esperanza who speaks almost fluent English.  Once in awhile, Emilio's mother takes Arin on an excursion to the market or a festival with the family. Arin is getting a nice taste of the town and Emilio's family gets to practice English conversation.

Leslie and the vendadoras

I wish I would have had my camera today and photographed Leslie on the tourist street.  She was sandwiched between two vendadoras.  One woman was in front of her selling painted combs and painted wooded teaspoons while the other was behind her massaging her back and trying to sell her the massager. I was standing about 6 feet away laughing on the sidewalk.  There are so many cute little painted things to buy that it is hard to resist.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Leslie visits from the USA

Leslie has been here a couple days and we are having our adventures.  Today was the long-awaited cooking class.  I arranged an intercambio with Miguel (from Spain).  I am teaching him English and his friends are teaching me to cook.  Today Leslie and I were taught the secrets to chiles relleƱos.