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Journals from Oaxaca, Mexico

2012-05-15 Last week!

Wow. One week left. It’s really weird to think that next Wednesday I’ll be back in Oregon. . . .These past couple weeks have been filled mainly with working on final assignments, which has been really stressful, but we’ve had our workshops to give us a little break during the week, and last weekend I was able to take what will probably be my last trip here in Mexico, to Puebla.

Salsa classes ended and now we’ve started taking cooking lessons. Last week we made three kinds of etole, a traditional beverage made from corn, as well as memelitas, which are tortillas with beans, cheese and salsa. We were able to appreciate how much effort it took to make everything from scratch the traditional way, grinding the corn (or part of it anyway) using a metate, a stone slab with a kind of rolling pin, and a molcajete, similar to a metate but in the shape of a bowl, to grind the chilies for the salsa - it was hard work! Luckily we were able to cheat a little, using blenders to speed up the process. It was a lot of fun and the food tasted great.

Last weekend I was able to visit my sister who is studying in Cholula, Puebla, which I’m glad I was able to do. I stayed with her host family there the first night and then my host sisters here came up the next day to visit the city. Her host family was really sweet and it was interesting to see what her life was like there in comparison to my experience in Oaxaca.

 All of our classes ended one by one: first anthropology, then Spanish, and then finally this past Thursday we had our last day of history class. It was kind of a shame to end Spanish since Cory, Lizzie and I really enjoyed the class. Our professor was really nice and really patient with us and kept the class entertaining. I think we all learned a lot from it. Our anthropology professor also did a good job teaching, and even though the class was really difficult, I think we all left knowing a lot more about indigenous culture than when we  started.

I’m hoping to take advantage of this next week as best I can, spending time with my family and re-visiting my favorite places around the city. We have a few free days after finishing our assignments, so it will be good to relax and have enough time to say our goodbyes. . . .

Bring on the last 7 days!

Emmy Elliott

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