This was the last day of the writing workshop here at Casa Colonial in Oaxaca. Several of us read pieces, we gave and received feedback. There were tears and smiles and laughter. Exchanges of contact information. The making of bracelets or anklets from yarn made of reclaimed materials by one of our members.
All of this was followed by an amazing comida at la casa de Eva (our writing facilitator's mother). Tostadas with guacamole (a condiment at meals here, rather than an expensive addition), Oaxaca queso (string cheese at home will never be the same - this cheese is so incredible, especially when fresh), and the perfect salsa (hot, yes, but a hot with flavor and it dissipated easily with a bite of guac). Next was a perfect soup: beans with cactus and other vegetables and bacon for those who eat meat (or are eating meat on this trip, anyway), and a vegetarian soup with calabasa blossoms and an assortment of veggies. The main dish was chicken wrapped around sliced carrots, nopales, and some other veggies I don't remember. Then all smothered in a light sauce with some sliced almonds (only negative thing was not main dish for the vegetarians ... hmm). After a little while we had a postre of light and lightly sweetened rice pudding with freshly ground cinnamon. Yummy. A nice ending meal, although there were a couple of groups who ventured out for other meals and shopping and who knows what all.
One person had already left very early this morning (she missed the final workshop meeting, too). Another one left late afternoon (after the meal). One left at 9 tonight for an additional trip to the coast before heading home in a few days. Several of us are flying out early tomorrow (a taxi will be here at 5:30 AM for four of us - eek, must sleep soon) and then the others are leaving at scattered times.
This has been a successful trip. I have more stories started. Some rough drafts which will probably be discarded but which will lead to other writings. And one piece which I think is done. It might need a couple more tweaks - and I will get some more feedback on my final (I hope) edits before sending it forth into the world.
I want to take a little more piece of cyber space to say thanks to all of the wonderful writers I've met here. I hope that we do keep in touch and that we all achieved what we came here to do.
Thank you to Ariel Gore, our talented writer facilitator for bringing us together. And thank you to Desirea, Noel, Gabby, Angela, Krystee, Elena, Alexandra, Shell, Kait, Colleen - awesome writing and feedback. I've enjoyed spending the week with you and hope to see you all again in the future.