Sunday, December 14, 2008

December in Oaxaca

Earlier today I had to write the date. I found myself struggling because, well, it just doesn't feel like December to me. Not down here in Oaxaca, Mexico. It was hot - in the upper 80s in the sun; we went out for our exploration after the workshop and I had on capris, a light cotton shirt over a string undershirt, and my Kumfs sandals. And sun screen. There are fake Christmas wreaths hung on balconies and over doorways; real and plastic and metal trees in restaurants and shops and homes; garlands of green, glass and plastic tree decorations, and twinkling Christmas lights on the trees in the Zocalo. Christmas is here and, well, it's hot and sunny. Disconnect!

Whereas I see that home in Portland, there was a snow storm. It looks like there are two to four inches of snow around the area - which is unusual. The temperatures will be dropping into the teens at night for up to a week, the latest forecast says. The high temperatures will be about ten to fifteen degrees colder than the low temperature here.

This is a new - and not at all unpleasant - experience. We have tended to go to colder than home regions the few times we've been somewhere in December. So going someplace warm is a treat. And I did not expect my reaction of "what's wrong with this picture."

The workshop is fabulous.

The food is yummy.

The culture is comfortable and I am finding that, while I don't speak Spanish, I am being able to pick up some things I'm being asked. If they go at gringo speed, I know - slow. And I have actually been able to ask for a few things myself. Another new experience. I've needed to rely pretty much entirely on my partner for the language part of the trips to Italy or Mexico (all one time to each I've done in the past!) - being completely unable to comprehend or produce anything myself. But this time I've been able to do just a little bit myself.

I must end this post for now, because tomorrow morning we have an early continental type breakfast at 7:00, then it's off to Monte Alban at 7:30 am to walk up the ruins - where we will hold tomorrow's workshop. So I must stop to sleep.

With a smile of contentment.