Wednesday, August 04, 2010

one day at a time

I have been thinking about life here in Mexico, there is less fluff than in the US. I have also been observing the glad and thankful hearts these people have. Not hearts of ignorance, nor innocence; but hearts that recognize the reality of life. In life there are days of celebration and days of sorrow. We in the US , I think, expect the celebrations as normalcy, when days of sadness come we are upset that the good-life is gone. My teachers here, the Mexicans, are much better at living in the present. They grieve their sadness with gusto and they also celebrate joys with all their being. OJALA (May it be) that God is teaching me to live in the present, to search out the joys of each day! of each moment! Some days I have to look harder and accept "joys" other than what I was looking for or expecting. But they are there- sometimes as small as a humming bird hoovering outside my window, other times it's much more obvious like an unexpected visit from a friend. May we all learn to seek out friendships, joy, small gifts, beauty- LOVE.

Monday, February 22, 2010

up coming wedding

Yesterday we celebrated Jake and Shontee's up-coming wedding; friends from church came over, friends we work with, students who come to our English classes. We ate, we laughed, we sang, etc. After a few snaffoos we finally got a video link between Oaxaca, Mexico and Portland, Oregon so everyone could greet the Novios in person. We are looking forward to our trip back to the States and spending some great days celebrating there also with more family and more friends. FELICIDADES JAKE AND SHONTEE!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Where are you going?

I went to visit a friend yesterday. I've been to her house before, but we drove there in a car, yesterday I took the bus, by myself. I left an hour early- to be sure to have enough time. It was a long ride on the bus so I got to thinking about where I am. It still boggles my mind at times, "I'm on a bus, in foreign country, not totally sure where I'm going, and I know I only have basic command of the language. What am I doing?" Well, it all worked out, it always does, but it is still a good question to ask where ever you are. What are you doing? and Why?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Simple Gifts of Christmas

We like to spend a bit of each Christmas morning
visiting friends; that is no different here in Oaxaca.
This morning we drove out to the community where we
work to visit two special families who have accepted
us as friends. They welcomed us into their humble home and served
us fresh coconut milk, right from the coconut!
Ruth whacked away at the shell with a huge machete
finally making a small hole for us to drink out of.
The hospitality and sharing of Christmas was displayed by this family. Humble people with simple gifts; simple gifts but non-the-less gifts of great value- they give themselves.


Poinsettias here are not just small Christmas plants sold in December. They range from decorative plants that adorn the main square to large trees that grow in people's gardens. Poinsettias, and other plants, make Oaxaca alive with color; in December, in January, all year.

Christmas Eve on the Zocalo, Oaxaca

We spent Christmas Eve in an outdoor cafe in shirt-sleeves, drinking hot chocolate out of ceramic bowls. Many of the Catholic churches in the city march from their neighborhoods to the city center, The Zocalo, usually with energized brass band setting a festive tempo for their congregants, floats and costumed dancers following along behind. We spent about 2 1/2 hours enjoying friends, music, parades, people watching, and fireworks. A Oaxacan Christmas is solemn, extravagant, spicy, folkloric, ritualistic, colorful.....maravilloso!!!
What a special time and treat to celebrate and honor the Christ Child.
Feliz Navidad !!...

Friday, December 04, 2009


Our hosts, Rulfo and Celia.

Celia, preparing TLYUDAS
in her kitchen over an open
fire. MMM! delicious

A quick clean up before church. Brush was raked
together and burned! Oh, if we had only thought to
bring marshmallows!

We brought some health tools (like this blood pressure
cuff) to check people's blood pressure and glucose levels.
A simple but important test that these people would
otherwise have to pay for. Diabetes is a serious health
problem in Mexico, especially here in the south.
This women lives alone. She hikes down to the river
everyday and rests in her hammock. At the end of
the day she hikes back up.

Traditional traje (dress) from the Isthmus,
in southern Oaxaca.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Day on Saturday?

It seemed very appropriate to celebrate Thanksgiving Day here in southern Mexico with our Oaxacan friends. So last Sat. we invited three families over to our house to share in a Thanksgiving dinner. We had barbecued turkey, rolls, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and a sweet potato pie! It was just like at home, without the traditional food ball game on the TV. We are grateful to our friends here for their patience with our Spanish,
for teaching us their culture and their recipes, for gifting us their time. We have prospered because of the generosity and help of these dear people.
We are simply grateful!

When the early pilgrims in the U.S. arrived to their new world, their food was scarce and the winter was fierce. By the end of their first year, close to half of them were dead! They survived in part due to the help of the citizens, the nationals, the locals who helped them, taught them, had patience with them.

We too are pilgrims here, new residents. We arrived with needs like the pilgrims of an earlier epoch. But there is no draught, nor starvation, like in the days of old. And we won't die in a draught of friendship; we have been gifted with many dear friends. We won't die from a starvation of loneliness, we have been well cared for and accepted; we have been befriended. We will survive!

We too wish to say, "Thanks be to God for what has occurred here."