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Journals from Spring Semester in Oaxaca, Mexico

2009-02-27 Typical Week in Oaxaca - with Caves!

Hey! Weve been in Oaxaca for almost two weeks now, and it has gone by so fast! Its crazy to wake up every morning and speak Spanish " though Im still waiting for those dreams in Spanish I heard that happens to a lot of study abroad students. Also, it is so pretty here! Everything is flowering, and some of the flowers and trees are so tropical, completely different than winter in Oregon. So, we have class Monday through Thursday that lasts until 1:30, and then we walk home for la comida (the big meal of the day). Afterwards, we walk back to school to meet up with our Intercambios, Oaxacan students who are studying English and want to practice speaking. We spend an hour with them, speaking in Spanish for half an hour, and then switching to English for the remainder of the hour. On Fridays, we have excursions. Last week we went to Mitla, Tlacochahuaya, El Tule (around 1,500 years old!! " its pretty big.) and hiked up some cliffs to see caves in which groups of ancient indigenous peoples in the Valley of Oaxaca lived. In the caves, we saw preserved cave drawings and even some handprints from the Classic and Post-Classic periods. The cliffs are in a valley under a highway, and it was pretty interesting to stand at the bottom of the valley and look up to see both the caves and the highway. Oh, and by the way, there were no trails; we blazed our own up rocks and branches. A lot of us fell and a few us were pricked by some cacti (like me, it but wasnt too bad), but all of us had tons of fun. Anyway, thats it for now. Ill write more when I can! - Marina Cheatham

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