So I am writting today from Oaxaca, Mexico where people are friendly, patient and you should not get frustrated, but get a dictionary as these lovely Mexicans make an effort (unlike some other ramnce language speakers :@) What am I doing here? What I do here is spanish. 7- 8 hours a day. Mon- Friday. Its alot of work but I am really enjoying it. I still have a long way to go, but I am improving all the time. Lets see, so last weekend we went on a riding weekend, stationed at Teotitlan in a beautiful hacienda, owned and run by a english speaking woman. The house, food and hospitality were great, but the horses were not in the best of shape. She had a mexican husband and now has a mexican boyfriend and I think she plays the roll of passive woman with all the cowboys to much and lets them be rough. Ass-holes with balls. The first day was fine as we rode with 2 other experienced riders. But the second day was not. They "used us' to move all the horses from one ranch to the other, including a father and son pair who just sat on a horse for the first time that week. They put the totally inexperienced father on a stallion, who are very hard to control. THis stallion had also viciously attacked my horse Zeb in the pasture a few days before and he still had bite marks all over him. So I spent the whole ride maneuvering as far away from him as possible and scared shitless that we would both be attacked in the middle of no where by this beast. I didnt help that the very beginning of the ride began on a very steep and rocking hill, where Zeb lost his footing and actually fell down in the front. I jumped/ rolled off on the rocks as a horse that falls down is super dangerous. They get very scared and can thrash and roll around trying to get up and especially in between rocks they can break a leg so I wanted to get off his back and away from him. He was fine, but a horse falling down is really scary so I started the ride in some shock and then the evil uncontrolled stallion kept me afraid for most of the ride. I am telling you, its all about the ball culture here.
This last week I went to the Mezcal festival with my language exchange partner. We were there for 5 hours and on top of trying a thousand different types of mezcal I also tries a worm, chile fried grasshoppers, and roasted ants. All gross- to disgusting but at least I didnt vomit, and I at least experienced the festival the "mexican way".
I also went on a tour to Teotitlan with a girl from my school who has, with a mexican, started a micro-financing and tourism project, where 100% of our tour fees goes to the project and the lenders pay o% interest. ( En Via Tours) The woman begin small, must work in groups of threes and must open their workspace up to two tours are part of their application process. We saw some beautiful tapetry work, a gifted woman who is turning small tapestries into great handbags, a woman beginning a tamale business and a woman improving her little store. They are 85 woman in total with the program. it was definitely worth the 50 dollars as these woman often begin in abject poverty and have to live with "large tourist houses" at the beginning of the village where to tour buses stop, who buy the woman's work for less than its worth and then sell it for 4X + that price :(
I must now run to an open air concert in front of the Santo Doming Cathedral: OK how many of you thought that mexico was only filled with dirt poor field workers and drug cartels? Oh how wrong you are. "Drug Infested" Oaxaca beats Atlanta and all of Georgia in cultur anyday.
Hasta luego, Chicos!