Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Calm before the Storm

Friday, January 23, 2009

Today is shaping up to be a rather hectic day.

My friend Nacho is coming back to Oaxaca for about a week.  He’s arriving at 6 in the morning and I am part of the delegation that’s going to pick him up.   Then at 10:30, he and I along with Margarita and her sister are supposed to be visiting  a school where Nacho’s cousin teaches.  There, we are going to be making a presentation to a group of 65-70 junior high and high school students about Zapotec and indigenous languages.  Nacho’s cousin had mentioned to the director about being from the Sierra and apparently he’s enthusiastic about the area and interested in languages and wanted her to do something on it.  She called Nacho who told her we were still around and voila, a presentation has come together.  I’m excited and hope the students will enjoy it.

Then, after all that, we are heading up to Macuil, because this coming 25th is San Pablo Day, the patron saint of Macuil.  So, there’s going to be a big celebration starting with a calenda today that Margarita hopes to make it to, so Benjamin can be in it.

So, considering the day that lies ahead (and since it’s only just begun) I better head to bed for a little bit of sleep.  Hopefully, everything will go off without a hitch and I can write up the latest adventure when I get back.



Saturday, December 27, 2008

So, it has taken me most of my first day back in the US to get used to being in the US again.  There are various habits that I picked up in Mexico and it’s taking some time to get used to American ways again.

It started on the flight out of Oaxaca.   We had an English speaking crew, and although my Spanish isn’t where I would like it to be, I still had the feeling that I should be attempting to speak to everyone in Spanish.  I can start to see how we develop these habits (I should speak language X to this group Y, I should speak language X while I am in location Z, etc.) which might affect language vitality.  So, I have seen repeatedly here how people speak Spanish to younger people, because that is simply what you do, even though small children could acquire Zapotec and there is some desire for them to do so.  And Margarita actually had been in the habit of speaking of English to Benjamin before we came down here.

Another habit I had to consciously relearn was to put toilet paper down the toilet.  In much of Oaxaca, the plumbing isn’t good enough to allow toilet paper to be flushed, so you have to put in a trash can.  I kept doubting whether I was really supposed to flush it here in the US.

A final habit I’ve had to relearn is seatbelts.  As I was surprised to learn last summer, Oaxaca does in fact have seatbelt laws.  Apparently, those in the front seat are in fact supposed to buckle up, but like many traffic laws here it seems more like a suggestion than something rigorously enforced and followed.  Most of the time, I don’t see people putting on seatbelts and oftentimes they are hidden away in the seats, clearly unused.  So, when my stepson Edgar picked me up at the airport and let me drive, I can’t remember for the life of me if I actually used my seatbelt, though I have the uneasy suspicion that I didn’t.  Unless of course the LAPD reads this, and then I probably did, or at least don’t remember.


Phone Line

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Well, no good news for getting our own phone line in Macuil.  It is possible, but we will have to wait 45-90 days, or maybe longer.  So, that option is out, at least in the short-term.  If I am going to be using dial-up then, I will have to find someone who doesn’t mind sharing their phone line.

Satellite remains another option, but we need a meter-by-meter flat space to install it, a strong surface (not the tin roofs we have here), and a clear line of sight to the south.  So, it’s not like the Sky dishes which I have seen attached to sides of houses and basically wherever.  Still, the satellite people will come out in 3-4 days if that’s what we want.  It sounds good (if we can find a spot) and I’m tempted, but I would still like to know what is up with the library (do they have satellite access?) and why it is out and why the secundaria‘s runs slow.


Back to Oaxaca

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Today we returned to Oaxaca City to check out the possibility of our own phone line, investigate other Internet options, collect some things we had left there, and get caught up online, which, once we get settled in, is what I spend most of the day doing.