Sunday, March 30, 2008

The return of your intrepid blogger

I have returned from an unintentional blogging hiatus that occurred while I got busy getting back into my life State-side. Tomorrow, a new quarter of classes begins, and perhaps I will find time to see where some of the ideas that have been bouncing around inside my brain-pit will lead me.

In the meantime, thanks for reading about my adventures in Oaxaca. When I've narrowed down my selections for the photo contest I'll post them here for opinions (I'm going to check out the past winners to see how my portfolio compares).

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The journey home

As you should have surmised, in less than three hours I leave Oaxaca by plane. And then I sit in the Mexico City airport some, and then in a few short (or not to so short) hours, I'll be in Chicago.

The last couple days have been good, with the exception of leaving my wallet in a cab last night, and I don't know if it's really sunk in that I'm leaving so soon, but I also don't know what it would mean if I did recognize that fact.

I'm sure I'll come back here in a day or so and do some wrapping-up, maybe post a few other pictures that I didn't get around to before, but for now, thanks for reading and wish me a safe journey back!

Que les vaya bien.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Winding down

I'm sorry that I've been pretty taciturn during my final days here in Oaxaca (I leave this coming Sunday), but I've been busy doing homework, and enjoying the rest of my time here when I'm not working.

We went out to dinner as a class on Monday night; Professor Winter joined us (hooray!) and the University picked up the tab (also hooray!). We ate at a pretty well-known seafood place called Marco Polo. I had shark empanadas (tastes like tuna) and a fish almost the length of my arm:

For dessert there were fried platanos (bananas) covered in cream, condensed milk, and mango sauce.

Class is over in two days, one way or another (meaning, I've got dubious prospects for my final paper, but it's gotta happen), and then I have a few more gifts to buy, a few dinners to enjoy, and a few drinks to have. Vicky's sister Luz Maria invited me to cook dinner with her on Saturday night...I think we're making a salad with kale, apple, and a white wine dressing?

All in all, I am ready to return. Despite the ridiculous workload I've had the past couple weeks, this quarter was the break I needed to refresh myself, recharge, break out of a rut. But now, I'm ready to start my real life again and move forward with some things that have been kind of put on hold (job, BA, relationships, stuffs like that). So, I'm not sorry to be leaving, but I do want to make it back in the not-too-distant future. And there will be things and people I'll miss, but I'll miss them when the time comes rather than anticipating it now.

Alright, back to this stupid final.

Jasmine, Darío and myself

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Chicken scratch

There's a reason this blog is typed, folks (besides the fact that that's the simplest way to get writing on the 'net): I have shitty handwriting. But, thanks to recent experiments, I've discovered that I'm not doomed to be so! Observe (you're gonna want to click):

And with more effort, I can actually make it even more elegant! Although, I must admit that after writing that, a page for class, and two pages of fiction (yes, fiction! I'm making up stories just to have an excuse to practice cursive!), my hand is really worn out.

Maybe I'll go through a period soon of handwriting my posts...or at least handwriting flash pieces and posting photographs. That might be cool.

Un lagartito

I was busily reading for class this afternoon (read: chatting online) when I spotted this tiny fellow sitting on top of my suitcase. After many attempts at both photographing it (it moves crazy-fast!) and trying to get it to leave my room and go out onto the patio, we finally got him settled in a plant pot. This is not the first time a lizard has appeared in my room, but it was the most photogenic. Here's another photo, for detail:

Think he's related to this fellow? I took this photo at the lagoon near Puerto Escondido; the surrounding area is actually called Los Negros after these black iguanas:

By the way, the thumb in the first photo belongs to Darío, a high school senior from D.F. (Mexico City) who goes to school here in Oaxaca and lives with us. His English is really excellent, which is a mixed blessing (good for helping when I can't think of how to say something, bad because it's so easy just to revert to speaking English). We poke fun at each other and go to movies. He's a good kid, and the only Mexican friend I've made besides Vicky, and I'll miss him when I leave in...less than two weeks!

Darío and Martina, in one of her more photogenic moments

Monday, March 3, 2008

Photo dump

Some pictures I hadn't had a chance to put up yet, from various locales:

Various Alebrijes - imaginary, brightly painted animals carved out of copal - at San Martin Tilcajete, the town where they come from.

Tejate - a beverage made from corn syrup, cacao, and something else? It's pretty rich and rather peculiar, and there was a lot more of that stuff on top originally.

A tree outside the market where we went before the cooking class

Poster outside the Instituto for a screening at El Pochote in January; I just like the aesthetic. There was a less ripped one that I wanted to steal, but it's firmly attached to the concrete.

A hurt bat I saw on the grounds of the Instituto Friday. He would try to fly and fall down seconds later. I took a picture because when else do you get to be this close to a bat? I don't know what happened to him in the end.

Neat graffiti near Anna's apartment

By the way, I have some additional photos in Facebook albums that you can view here and here; I'm considering photos from there as well for my competition entries, though in general those are pictures of people while the photos I post here are the "artsier" ones. Thanks for the input so far!