Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Adventure Begins...

This is the first time I have signed onto the blog since I joined some weeks ago after our Oaxaca orientation at American and I see that Laura has pretty much held down the fort for us American students. Nonetheless, I will try to add my two cents of the Oaxacan experience thus far.

Our trip started out at Hotel Arnel where were greeted by a host of local animals: approximately 10 very vocal parrots and one hairless beast resembling a dog, named Rex. I am ashamed to admit that I never captured this beast on film, however, the birds did not escape me. It was from this hotel we got our first taste of Oaxaca.

We walked to streets to the Zocolo where we encountered tent covered streets which we would later learn were from the teacher's protests. We had our first meals during which we all ordered food that left us unsure of what we would actually be consuming that night. My favorite meal was tacos de pastor, an old favorite of mine from when I lived in Merida, Mexico. I saw the spinning pork glowing from a mile away and my mouth began to salivate; I was all too happy to satisfy the craving.

We arrived at our home-stays on Monday and Jamie and I met our Oaxacan mother, Guillermina, also known as "Mi Mi." So far she has been wonderful. She often shares stories with us of past students and tells us about her family who are constantly in and our of her house. Oddly enough, most of her grandchildren are boys in their early teens who want nothing to do with two girls in their twenties. Perhaps they will warm up to us soon.

School at the Universidad de la tierra has started off great as well. Oliver, our fearless leader, has given us a great introduction to the city of Oaxaca and a general overview of Mexico as well. We had our first field trip on Thursday to Monte Alban. The views were breathtaking and the history of the ancient civilization was mind boggling. During the field trip we also stopped by a local market and ate lunch in the small city of Zaachila. Below are photos from the field trip which I hope capture a small part of the experience.

More posts and pictures are sure to come as we continue our Oaxacan adventure. Next week's blog is sure to tell what this weekend will hold.

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