We are getting quite accustomed to this new pace of existence in Oaxaca. We start to stir between 7-8:00am and wander outside to the open veranda to start the water for coffee and tea. Cassidy usually sets up shop with the binos and scope, watching the morning antics of the Yellow- rumped and Wilson’s warblers that are plentiful here and the different hummingbirds that are very into the purple flowered tree above us. We make our breakfast in the open kitchen and then it’s off to school for Anny and the kids around 8:45. They have a 15 minute walk to school (about a mile in distance)via a combination of small streets and cobblestone alleyways, passing under the centuries old aqueduct that supplied water to the town in colonial days. Daddy cleans up the place and writes emails to send later at the school when we have internet access and then walks to the school around 11am for internet surfing, emails, and future trip planning online. We all visit during the 15 minute breaks every hour and a half and then the kids check their own email sites at 1pm before walking home.
We normally stop at a small café for a “Comida Corrida” which is still found in much of Mexico though not often in resort towns. It is a lunch special of sorts with a choice of hand-made drink, a soup or boullion, a salad course, a main course chosen between 3-4 options ( chile relleno, pollo, enchiladas, mole, cecina o bistek) and a small postre or desert-usually rice pudding or cookie. The price varies café to café but we usually pay 35-50 pesos or $3-5.00 per person and get 3 meals. Then it is home to the Posada for a siesta which is spent reading, sleeping or doing homework. We all walk back to the school at 3:45pm for the Backstrap weaving class that Anny and the Kids are doing and daddy does more internet downloads of places to go see, birding advice for Chiapas and the Yucatan, and updates on news and sports. The afternoon session is over at 6pm and we all walk home for daddy to make supper and then usually spend 2 hours doing homework. Some week nights we will walk down the mile to the Zocolo for a meal and to enjoy sitting and people watching but we usually reserve this for Fri, Sat and Sunday nights. We end the day with some book reading, star gazing or Harry Potter video game challenges if the kids are in the computer mood.
Weekends bring time for choices. We always go to the “Centro” to sit on the Zocolo at one of the open air cafes, drinking “Limonadas con Agua Mineral” and eating the free “botana” that comes with all drinks and meals-usually nuts soaked in chile and salt with limon to flavor it with. We will wander to one of the close markets to look at handicrafts and fresh fruit and vegetables. The kids like to take the scooter everywhere here so will take turns scooting around the plaza, taking in the street scene with musicians, street theater and strolling vendors aged 5-80 sharing the space with them. We try to do an adventure as well- going on birding trips, visiting ruins and may even visit some smaller villages in the mountains around this large city.
We have decided to stay in Oaxaca until around March 10th when we will head out for Tuxtla Guttierez and Chiapas though we haven’t decided on the route yet. We may take a 2-4 day detour through tropical jungle north of Oaxaca closer to the Gulf coast to make it a more interesting trip and are talking to a great local guide about accompanying us for this stretch of the trip. We hope to take in a lot of nature experiences in Chiapas over 2-3 weeks with stops in San Cristobal, Palenque, Bonampak and other jungle sites before continuing on towards the Yucatan. We’ll see how we feel upon arriving on the beach before deciding how long to stay on the peninsula. We are open to any ideas for rendezvous in the jungle or on the beaches of the Yucatan so write us anyone if you want to come for a visit and adventure!! Some friends of ours from Massachusetts (Amy, Pat and Bailey) are seeing whether they can come to see us in the Yucatan south of Cancun in mid-April which would be great.
The family talks continue as to where to land eventually-it helps to talk about it as we are encountering less absolutes such as “I will not live in __________ unless we have_______ and _________ and I can do this type of school or homeschool”. We finally arrived at a point recently where we have no ties to any particular place or absolute rejection of any particular place-including back east in Mass.—which actually has made it easier to discuss. We have had great offers of work in Tucson and northern NM and we know we could go back to western Massachusetts and return to some version of our old jobs there. It’s good to have options though the array of choices is a little mind-boggling. We believe that it will become more clear to us over the next 2 months- it has to as our bank account dwindles down lower and lower. We do love this little adventure we have been blessed with and would love to keep it going as long as we can (Cassidy would love just one more year and Teslin said she would continue if we have a house to go back to!). We’ll see what the new day brings.
Peace to all.